Another parkrun PB, last minute race packs and new races.

After the success of last week’s parkrun, I was doubtful I could improve today.  To cut a long story short, I did improve, and have a new parkrun PB of 24:01.  Such a nagging itch in the crotch that I was a mere 2 seconds from coming in under 24 minutes, but ho hum, maybe next time, right?  I was also pretty happy to finish 5th female.  Single figures is always pretty sweet (and there is simply no need to investigate and find out how many women actually participated – who needs to be brought down?).

In other news, I finally got my race pack delivered for the Baker Hughes 10k here in Aberdeen next Sunday.  There was a delay because they noticed, after sending out a few batches of race packs, that there was a spelling mistake on the bibs, so had to halt production, get new ones made, and then start resending stuff.  It was a nice surprise to come home to after the gym and parkrun.  I’m pleased that the technical tee is significantly less boring than ones in the past – they’ve used lots of colour!

Nice easy number to remember!

I was kind of thinking about running the 10k at half marathon pace, because I want to rock the Edinburgh half marathon the following weekend, but I know once I’m at the starting line, I’ll find it really difficult not to just hit the gas.  I guess I’ll make my final decision when the starting gun goes!

Finally, all these long runs on the weekend make me seriously dread my full marathon training that will need to kick into gear in July-ish.  I can see myself getting really bored of them, without any atmosphere and all on my own.  Solution?  Search online for any long race that can be substituted as a ‘long run’ for motivation!  So my marathon debut will be at Loch Ness in late September (the day after a friend’s wedding in Edinburgh, so I’ll have some magic to work there).  Two weeks prior to this, I have entered the Crathes half marathon, and two weeks prior to the Crathes half marathon, I have blindly entered the BRG Challenge, a 17.5 mile hilly beast of a run up North.

In a couple of days when my updated race schedule registers in my brain, I’ll perhaps be slightly irritated with myself for depriving my body of a few weekend lie-ins, but in the end, I think it’s for the best, pre-marathon, not only as training, but to help me feel more confident about actually completing the distance in one piece…

Arbroath Smokies 10 Mile Road Race 4.3.12

Official time: 1:24:56  (PB)

99th finisher (out of 333)

Medal: None, unless you’re crazy-fast (but we did all get a t-shirt and goody bag)

First race of the year, first PB of the year (by default, but totally still counts), and first 10 mile race – such excitement!  At least excitement is what I expected to feel this morning, until I gazed out of my window upon the delightful Scottish weather.  Here is a shot from the inside of the car, on the way to Arbroath, just before we passed the road information sign announcing: Snow forecast.  Terrific.

A touch of rain - and sleet.

Luckily, when we arrived it had stopped bucketing rain from the sky, but it had not stopped being totally freezing.  I was very glad I wore the long running tights.

Anyway, The crowd was friendly and I had some good chat before the race, and picked up some handy information.  For example, it was good to know there would be a hilly start, with a down hilly second half before I set off, or I may have ended myself at mile 3.

I’m a fan of summarizing, so I’ll keep the overall ‘Race Report’ short and sweet by breaking it down into defining thoughts per mile.

Mile 1: Glad I brought my gloves, it is freeeeee-what the hell, how can she wear just a singlet and micro mini shorts? Oh, we’ve started, bring it, hill, I’ll destroy you. Holy shit, check my pace!  That’s a 7!  I am AWESOME!

Mile 2: My pace is still awesome.  I am slightly concerned I will suffer for this pace later on in the race.  Pffffft!  Whatever. I am AWESOME!

Mile 3: OH MY GOD, I AM SO SORRY HILL, I DIDN’T MEAN IT, YOU WIN, PLEASE, PLEASE JUST END.

Mile 4: I recovered like a pro after that hill – BOOM!  Still a decent pace.  Damn my hands are sweaty.  I’ll take off the gloves.  Hmm, where do I put the gloves?  Stuff into bra? That’s some sweet thinking on your feet, Rachel.  I am AWESOME!

Mile 5: Shit, that guy just took a photo with a super-professional looking camera and I have gloves stuffed into my bra.  I’m going to look like I have a growth on my chest in every single race photo.  Should I move them?  Nah, best not to look like I have a dong instead.  Smart thinking, baby, you’re on top!

Mile 6: Shouldn’t have tried to drink out of the plastic cup, I am freaking soaking. Hey!  We’re going downhill! WooooOOoooOooOOOOOoOOOoooOOO!! Check my pace.  I am AWESOME!

Mile 7: I want to die.

Mile 8: I’m a fucking idiot for signing up to this.  Why did I sign up to this? My underwear is chaffing my vagina.  How does that even happen?!  My shower is going to sting, hardcore.  This is shit.

Mile 9: So close.  Please don’t die.  Keep going.  Wait, why am I listening to PJ Harvey?  This is not uplifting at all!  Ah, here we are, some relaxing System of a Down.  Lovely.

Mile 10: Chaffing is worse than cancer and AIDS and world hunger, I will never enjoy sex again, where the shit is the finish line?  Wait, is that the sports centre?  Oh thank fuck, it’s over.

So as you can tell, I thoroughly enjoyed myself and am totally not regretting the Half Marathon in Inverness next weekend.  At all.  But knowing that if I stick to today’s pace I can make it in under 2 hours is pretty groovy indeed. And the goody bag?  Well, who can complain when they give you booze at the end of a run?

Minus a Twix Bar, a bag of crisps and a bottle of water.

To everyone that gave gel advice – thanks!  Unfortunately my stomach has been really weird all day, so I just stuck to Gatorade and dried fruit, and am still not feeling totally right.  I will definitely try a gel or two next weekend though.  After my Mile 7 lull today I think I’ll need it!

Oh and the weather cleared after the race.  We visited some of my boyfriend’s relatives for lunch, then met a friend for a quick visit before heading home to some typical Scottish views:

Mountains and nature and shit.