So this morning I woke up early to have some porridge before my run.
I was feeling quite relaxed about the whole thing, as it wasn’t chip timed or anything I felt like there was less pressure for some reason. After pottering about a bit I got dressed and Andy dropped me off at the sports centre. The directions just said “head to the athletics track”. Well, I did, along with about 5 other people. I am not kidding! I was there about 20 minutes before it was due to start, and gradually a few more people turned up. A lady came to chat to me as I was on my own- she was going to do the 6 miles but had a cold so had decided to stop at 3.
At around 10.25 we were ushered to the running track and told: 12 laps for 3 miles, 24 laps for 6 miles- keep a track of how many laps you do yourself- I was glad I had my Garmin as I was sure I would lose count otherwise!
We did a little warm up (well needed as it was freezing) and then were counted down. I was not keen on the idea of 24 laps- I was worried that I would get rather bored. But in fact it was not too bad- the laps went down quite quickly. There was a mixture of 3 and 6 mile runners- there was one lady in front of me who was going just that bit faster, but in the end she turned out to be a 3 miler- I was only around half a lap behind her when she stopped so I was pleased she didn’t lap me (and I did think that if I was doing the shorter distance I could have kept up with her). I was lapped in about my 4th lap I think by some fast 3 milers. At around the same time I was also lapping other people- there were quite a few people doing it in little groups who were run/walking, and also an amazing lady who was doing the whole thing using a push along walking support thing (not sure what they are called)- she did about 1/4 of a lap for each one lap I did, so I went past her several times and a few times she encouraged me on (and me to her too). I lapped the lady I was chatting to at the start, as she was coming up to her final lap, so it was nice to wish her well.
At this time I realised that most people (and I tried to count- I think there were about 30 people running) were stopping at 3 miles- I almost chickened out at that point but for Jantastic I had said I would do 8 miles so needed to keep going. Plus it was actually quite therapeutic- as you went around one corner you were into the wind a bit, but then of course it was behind you for the rest, and there was music being played and other people to watch.
After I had done about 4 miles more people were turning up at the track as there was a one mile run at 11.30- I really wanted to be finished by then. There was one man running and he finished when I had 2 laps to go- by this point all the one milers were doing their warm up (the lovely marshals were having to ask them to mind out of the way as I was coming through).
Finally I was on my last lap! I was about half way around when the one milers set off, so I really went for it as I wanted to finish on my own (my final mile was 8.38- my fastest). I was the first female haha! There were 2 girls who finished about a lap behind me- no prizes of course but you have to be in it to win it! It took me 56.07 for 6.05 miles (all that overtaking!!). I looked up my pb for 10K, which is 56.14, so I was pretty close to that. And the best thing is that I felt comfortable- in the back of my mind I knew I had to run home, so I could not go crazy, but except for the final lap where I really went for it, I felt like I was running pretty hard, but still in control.
One of the guys gave me my medal and some water, and I took a few photos of the milers going around the track, although the dark clouds were looming at that point so I didn’t hang around.
I was pretty cold on the way home- it rained a bit and I was unlucky with traffic lights too. At one point I was waiting and noticed that my watch said 7.99 miles- I even tried sticking my arm into the road in case that would get to the 8 miles (you know, otherwise that mile would be a lot slower) but it didn’t work. In total I ran 8.5 miles, not too shabby.
I was hungry after that!
I had a few chocolate truffles and a drink, before a hot shower and pancakes for lunch.
After finishing the lovely buckwheat pancake mix ages ago I have been hunting far and wide, and found it last weekend, so I had some of that. One with blackcurrant curd, and the others with chocolate pb, plus some melon.
I really enjoyed it in the end. I was feeling a bit apprehensive at the start when there were hardly any people there- I had visions of me running around on my own, but actually I do prefer smaller races. It was good to not have to worry about crowds, and because there were more runs later on, I didn’t feel like I was holding up the staff or anything. If I had needed to drive there, there was plenty of parking, and “real” toilets, and really friendly marshals too.
A nice morning out 🙂