I will get straight to the point - the Nottingham 10k was not a good race at all for me. I ran a time of 51.55, having previously seen a sub 50 minute 10k as something I should always be running. It is even slower than my Lincoln 10k time earlier this year (51.02) which I allowed as an exception to the rule since it was a week after I had completed the Manchester Marathon. On paper it is an incredibly poor run for me. Yet, I still strive for the positives, and I did enjoy it - which is what running should be about after all!
My friend and I had both completed the Women's Running Finsbury Park event in this 10k series last year, and there is a really nice vibe about the races being all female in nature. The field is a mix of women running their first 10k to those who have raced countless events, but the way it is pitched means it feels welcoming for all. The Nottingham course was due to be two laps of the same loop set near Nottingham Embankment. As I stood with my friend waiting to start the setting seemed pleasant for a race, although I was not too keen on the brisk wind whipping through the trees.
I decided my aim was to keep just in front of the 50 minute pacer and hope to nip away at the end. However the pacer dropped out after about 2 miles, which did not bother me too much as I have never really relied on pacers before, but my race strategy was quickly thrown. I ran the first 5k well though, setting what would have been a good parkrun time for me. The course was pleasant, some marginal inclines but nothing too horrendous, although the final section on uneven grass was not too kind on the legs.
Going into the second lap my legs faded almost instantly (maybe they thought it was a parkrun!?) My calves tightened badly and painfully, and the wind now seemed to affect me more, clipping my tired legs into each other at times. I even debating stopping at one point, contemplating whether a short stretch of my calves would help, but I decided to keep battling.
Mile 4-5 was bad for me, very bad. Any hope of dipping below 50 minutes was lost there and I knew it. This didn't stop me trying to exert some effort in the final mile, although the grassy end part literally finished my legs off. I managed a very short sprint finish in front of my cheering friend (who amazingly ran a 47 minute time despite having completed a 16 mile marathon training run the day before!) and crossed the line.
So now for the positives. My average pace was 8.27 overall, which for a 6 mile distance running at a consistent pace (e.g no intervals) is my best for a long time. I also didn't give up, and there were some battles in my head for brief sections which were suggesting I should. Despite a poor time and some pain I did still enjoy the run - believe it or not! I am not going to beat myself up over a 10k race when I know its not my ultimate goal right now. I have another 10k race next weekend and hope to redeem my sub 50 minute standard then.
Alice's Adventures In Running Land
Read about my adventures in running land...