So, as you may have seen on facebook, I managed to get a pb for the Brighton 10K this weekend. I am still so excited by it! But I shall rewind for a little first.
On Saturday morning we got the train down to Brighton (well the train, then a rail replacement bus)- the bus was stuck in loads of traffic, and so by the time we arrived it was lunch time. I was very hot and feeling a bit rubbish, so we went to M&S and I ended up with carrot sticks and hummus- not the best lunch but I didn’t feel great. We dropped our cases off at the hotel, and then wandered around the shops. I do love the shops in Brighton- such a fab mix of “normal” shops and then little quirky ones. One shop had a giant Miffy lamp (anyone else remember Miffy?) but it would not fit in my case…
I did pick up a few bits:
A cardi on sale in Fat Face, and a chocolate/ marzipan stollen from Montezuma’s, plus some coconut and lime chocolate, and cherry and marzipan chocolate. There were free samples of dry shampoo being given out in the town too.
The shops were so hot- I hate it when they blast out their heating as you have to wrap up so warm for outside, but then get way too hot each time you go in a shop. We bought a big chai latte to share, and had a walk up and down the seafront. To warm up again we stopped for tea and a slice of carrot cake to share from Cafe Coho (we were going to the Naked Tea and Coffee company, but it has shut down). Then we wandered around the shops some more- by this time it was dark so we enjoyed all the Christmas lights, even though I feel they were on a little early! Then we went to Bill’s for dinner before heading back to the hotel.
Sunday morning we didn’t have to get up very early as our hotel was around a k from the starting line. At about half 8 we were up, had some malt loaf and got changed. I went for running tights and a t-shirt (and gloves) as I didn’t want to be too warm. We got down to the start with about 15 mins to go- it was all very low key with a cardboard box with “60” on it marking the pen we chose. Andy was going to run with me and help me get my pb, so it was lovely as we both waited together (usually he goes closer to the front) and could chat. I had written down the timings I needed for a 59 min 10K (9.29 pace) and knew I could not go under 9.39, so I was going to keep an eye on that, and Andy prefers K’s so knew we had to stay under 6 min K’s- simple.
The start was very prompt (always good) and a bit congested, but we managed to pick out the spaces and kept on overtaking people. We crossed the start line at around 2 mins on the clock, and I think we were around half way along. I kept glancing at my watch but we were always way ahead of the time we needed. The course was lovely and flat- it started near the pier, went East along the seafront for 1.5K, then turned and went back past the pier and out in the other direction. Each time my watch beeped I would check the last mile time, and each time we got to a K marker Andy would check his. I was feeling really strong, and although it felt like I was working hard I never felt like I was struggling- I really enjoyed it. The weather was overcast and breezy, and as we turned at the far end (I think the turn was at 7.5K) the breeze was blowing in our faces and seemed a bit stronger, but nothing tough. I had to take my gloves off after a few miles so I was very glad I didn’t go for a long sleeved top. Near the end Andy started asking me how I was feeling, and we started to pick up the pace a bit- I noticed 8’s in front of my mile times. My running maths is never good (never better than when at the GNR I thought that 7 miles would be the half way point) but I knew that with 2 K to go we had plenty of time to get in under the hour! The adrenaline started to go, but in fact having Andy there really helped. Running along the final part you can see the pier, and you know the finish line is close, but it seems to never get any nearer! We picked up a bit more, and the final stretch was flat and then downhill so I felt like I was flying. Andy then got rather alarmed at my heavy breathing and kept asking if I was OK and saying we could slow down if I wanted to. I did try to say (between breaths) that this was what I sounded like at Parkrun!
In the finish tunnel he tried to grab my hand so we could cross the line together, but I found it so hard to run like that so we had to let go- a sweet gesture anyway! The tannoy announcer was saying “well done all you guys coming in now, under the hour mark, great job”- I was really giving it all I had at that point and was so relieved to cross the finish line! My watch said 56.12, and Andy’s said 56.13, so whatever the chip timer said I knew I had a great new pb!
We picked up our medals, water, and then I saw loads of people with bananas (my fave post race food- they seem to be less “trendy” at races now but I love them)- so we hung around until a new crate was opened up. By then it was really damp and misty, so after taking a photo we headed back to the hotel before we got too cold.
This was right where I had that photo- it is a sculpture of Steve Ovett- apparently the original one in Preston Park was stolen, so for the Olympics last summer they made a new one.
We didn’t have to check out until 12, so we managed showers and I (mostly) dried my hair before we went out for some lunch. We ended up going to Iydea, which is a fab veggie cafe (you can choose a main, two salad items and 2 toppings, plus they had lovely veggie and vegan cakes, and loads of drinks, smoothies etc)- I had a lovely vegan sweet potato lasagne, with some pesto salad, hummus and seeds, and Andy had a veggie burrito thing with potatoes, beetroot mash, hummus and something else. Alongside it I had a beautiful soya almond hot chocolate, which was like drinking chocolate marzipan- I fancied some sugar after that run! I was too hungry to take a photo but I wish I had, it was so pretty.
We bought cakes to go, and then headed up to the train station. The Sunday rail replacement bus went further and there was a long wait at the station too, so we didn’t get home until nearly 5pm. We made a big pot of tea and vegged in front of the TV for a bit, and then had a speedy tea of tomato and basil soup and sourdough toast. We looked up our results and we both got an identical time of 56.14, which is a pb for me by nearly 4 minutes! Granted all my other 10K’s have been off road but I am so pleased to have finally cracked the hour mark.
A little later we shared a hazelnut brownie (from Iydea). It was jam packed with nuts- so good.
And then we put on the Grand Prix and I came on to write this mammoth blog post- phew!
I shall leave you with my splits- I was so pleased to see that I managed to speed up for each mile (I am calling this the Royal Flush negative split and hoping it will catch on)- with a strong finish.