Oh I do like to be beside the seaside

Please, sing along if you would like. If you do not like, I apologise for putting the song in your head.

So on Friday after work we had dinner at home before getting the train down to Brighton. Originally we were going to go on Saturday, but there were rail replacement buses and we decided that once (Sunday) would be enough.

2014-11-15 10.49.22On Saturday we went out for breakfast (pancakes from Bill’s) and then had a wander around the shops in the rain. Then it brightened up so we had a nice long walk by the seafront.

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Some of the stones and seaweed had washed up all over the promenade- crazy!

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We did some shopping, had some tea and cake, and generally enjoyed wandering about.

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I got some super cute t-shirts in New Look!

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We went for a fairly early dinner (Pizza Express) before heading back to the hotel for some TV (Strictly and 8/10 Cats does Countdown)- good to rest the legs before the race.

2014-11-15 21.47.01I shall be very easy to spot in my luminous t-shirt.

Staying over before the race is such a luxury. The race started at 9.30am, so we got up at 8, had a clif bar for breakfast, and then took our time getting ready. We left at just after 9, and we were at the start 5 minutes later. Amazing.

This race is great- last year we ran it together and I got my first ever sub hour 10K. This year Andy was aiming for a faster time, so we arranged to meet at the end. The run begins near the big ferris wheel- you run east for 1.5k, turn, come back to the start and run west towards Hove, and then at 6.5k turn back along the seafront again to the finish. Super flat, nice scenery the whole way, and considering it is a fairly small field for a city race (I think 3500 runners) lots of crowd support too.

I had no idea about my pacing- I have been either running 5k’s at parkrun and Sweatshop, or much longer runs for my 10 mile race. My time last year was 56.14, so I wanted to beat that but didn’t know how my fitness compared. Plus last year I had Andy pacing me, which really helped. This year I was going to have to do it by myself.

I looked on the lucozade pacing calculator- to run 56 flat I would have to do 9.01 miles, and for 55 I would need to do 8.51. Those paces sounded quick, but the parkrun I have been doing recently is not flat, and is a huge range of terrain, so it is much tougher than a pancake-flat road run. So I decided to try and keep as close to 9 minute miles as I could, and see how long I could hang on for.

I kept glancing at my watch and was generally seeing 9.03. After about 3k I think ( I like miles, so really had no idea) it went up a bit of a hill and I dropped to 9.13, but I picked up the pace again pretty quickly. This year the course was moved to the road to help with congestion, but I don’t think it helped much as I was still weaving past people a fair bit. But no matter. Just before the 6.5k turning point I saw Andy going in the other direction- he was still looking happy which was good (he often sets off way too fast and the struggles), and after the turn I was seeing a few 8.xx’s on my watch. Soon enough the ferris wheel was in my sights, and a marshal was shouting “one kilometre to go” so I decided to push it a bit. I was on my watch that I was going to make a pb, but then the finish line seemed to far away- I ended up counting to myself (one count for every 4 steps seemed to work) and willing myself to push hard. I overtook a few people, but some people rocketed past me- I have no finish kick at all.
I was so chuffed when I saw my watch!
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My official time was 55.23- and my splits went 9.03, 9.02, 9.02, 8.59, 8.57, 8.39 and then 7.45 for the final .2. So another royal flush negative split πŸ™‚ I think it is catching on!
Something that Andy pointed out to me as well was that compared to last year I recovered so much quicker- last year I was a bitΒ shaky and Andy was a bit worried about me (my breathing while we were running- I did explain that was just what I sounded like, but also I was pretty shattered after)- whereas this year although I was very tired (and my legs still ache today) I was much better, sooner after the race. Also, pacing myself was harder than having someone else do it for me so I am really pleased with my time.
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Hooray! I had some water and a bit of banana (they were a bit brown for me) and then we headed back to the hotel for showers (what a luxury again) before going for lunch. This time we went to Wai Kika Moo Kau as last time we visited it was too busy.
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I had a pitta with hummus and falafels and Andy had a wrap filled with chilli and served with nachos and dips. So good. I could not resist an almond hot chocolate from Iydea either.

Another wander around the shops, and then we had the joy of the rail replacement buses. At least we had podcasts to listen to- we both caught up with the radio 5 film podcasts (and I may have had a little nap on the train too).

I think this race is great. I love the smaller races, and this has all the pro’s of one- you don’t have to get there hours before, the marshals are all fab, the start/ finish area is nice and small so meeting up is easy. There are no goody bags, just a medal, banana and water when you finish, but you get chip timing, and there is lots of crowd support. Plus, it’s in Brighton and I never need an excuse to head down there for the weekend. Even with the bus replacing some of the train our journey took about 3 hours, so we didn’t have to spend the whole day travelling.

Brighton, I will be back for more!

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20 thoughts on “Oh I do like to be beside the seaside”

  1. Congrats on a new PB πŸ˜€ I like the small to medium races the best as well, and I’m not fussed about goody bags in comparison to medals. I can rarely use any of the stuff in the former anyway, and I’m always a sucker for a nice medal.

    If there’s one place I wish I lived closer to, it’s Brighton. I’d choose the Brighton Marathon over any international ones as my dream race, but sadly it’s a nightmare of a train journey from Newcastle. I’d be in no fit state to walk afterwards, let alone run, so I definitely wish we lived a lot closer…plus Brighton just seems like such a relaxed and groovy place. I get the feeling I’d like the general vibe and atmosphere.

    1. Thanks πŸ™‚
      I do like a goody bag, but often they are disappointing!
      Yes, Brighton is a very relaxed place, quite eclectic, but yes, a very long way from Newcastle! The journey back here after the GNR was bad enough, without a couple more hours on the end!

    1. Sorry!
      It is a great place for a day trip- near us is a direct train line (normally) straight through London so it is pretty easy to get there.

  2. Ahh well done! So nice to not really expect a PB. It’s nice to sort of go into a race without any expectations but then surprise yourself. I hate having a rigid goal and feeling pressure to hit it.
    Smaller (and chip timed races!) are brilliant. Less faffing about and crowds. Sounds like a good one to do – and with the joys of Brighton to enjoy afterwards too. I know I’d have gone to the Choccywoccydoodah cafe and got myself a slice of cake hehe.

    1. I have not seen the cafe- I have seen the shop (with crowds of people taking photos) but not the cafe. There are so many good cafes in Brighton though!

    1. Indeed- Brighton is a fave place of mine too. The 10k is a good option as it starts early, so you have time for a shower and then aren’t too tired for the rest of the day.

  3. Song firmly planted in my head! πŸ˜›
    Fantastic PB! A huge well done. You’ve knocked off loads of time since I started reading your blog.
    I’ve found that counting really works for me when I’m racing as well. It gives me a focus when I’m finding things tough and it’s kept me going at several of the shorter races this year.

    1. I just needed to take my mind off the clock and the distance to go- I am no sprinter. Thanks- I have been working to speed up- going to sweatshop and parkruns has really helped me with that.

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