PB Prior to Race – 48.55
Target Time – 47.30
Actual Time – 46.17
After several months of training the race I had been waiting for had finally arrived. I know it is not good to pin your hopes on one race, but this was the one I knew I could do well in. The first two races I did this year were just to get the legs going (and no one seems to get PBs at Balmoral) so this was the one where I hoped my training would come to fruition.
As the day drew closer the nerves built, until my last training run on the Friday. I planned to go out and do a steady 5k with a couple of those km at target race pace. As I set off my legs seemed to just go off without me and it felt great. I was striding through the streets of Aberdeen with not a care in the world and was delighted to see I was managing just under race pace quite comfortably. As I finished off my run I felt happy and confident that although another 5k at that pace would be tough, it was hopefully achievable.
With that in mind I woke up on Sunday not to my usual flurry of nerves but with anticipation and excitement brewing. I just could not wait to get on the line. I played some motivational music to get me in an even better mood and when my dad came to pick me up I was ready to get going.
My Dad, Uncle, Cousin and I arrived in plenty time as I we were both meeting up for team pictures without respective jogscotland groups. As I met the rest of the jogscotland crew everyone was looking forward to the run but we were all slightly anxious about the wind that was brewing.
If you have ever been down to Aberdeen beach you will know that it is not the most sheltered of places. As about 5k of the 10k route is along the beach front if the wind is going the wrong direction, you are screwed. Luckily for us it seemed like we would have it on our backs for the beach section but this would mean facing it in the final few kilometres.
With that in mind we lined up for our photos then I went off to find my dad, cousin and uncle again. We all went on a small warm up jog and then set off for the start line.
This year they decided to do staggered starts to prevent overcrowding. The signs were 45<, 46-50 and so on. This proved to be a dilemma for my dad and I, neither of us expected to run sub45 however we wanted the initial pull of the fast people for the first few k. He kept spotting people and saying oh no their time is x faster or x slower – it was a chaotic few minutes while we decided what to do. We settled for the 46-50 in the hope that we would not be too far behind the first wave. We were fortunate that we started at virtually the same time so we needn’t have worried!
The first few k are fairly windey around the streets by the harbour and I was setting into a nice rhythm and felt comfortable. The nerves in my stomach subsided after the first 400m or so and that was me into the swing of it. Although we did start a little on the quick side for my liking I kept the pace up as I knew I would need the extra boost in the last few k.
As we came onto the beach the crowds of spectators began to appear. This is always nice as you can try and spot people you know and everyone is very supportive. It also breaks the long beach stretch up as without those people it can seem a very daunting (if a little boring) stretch. As my dad and I reached around 5k Dad told me to push on as he could not keep the same pace. I have never ran a race with my dad that we haven’t finished side by side or him ahead so this was a little scary. However I was feeling strong and as my garmin hit 5k I noticed it was a 5k pb by 10seconds!! (woops). My garmin and the kilometre markers were slightly out of sync but this was definitely a good boost for me going forward.
The next two k were fairly uneventful, I kept pushing on and kept a positive attitude. Picking off people in front one by one to keep myself going. As we reached the 8k marker I had a stitch brewing. I have been plagued by stitches since I began running last year and nothing I do seems to get rid of them. However this time I was determined not to stop. Nothing would get in the way of me finishing well. As I looked at my watch I was very happy to see that even if I dropped my pace to 5min kilometres I would still have a pb, maybe not as good as I had hoped but I would still have one.
I managed to power on through and as I got to the hill before the last 400m I was struggling to keep going. I put my head down and just tried to keep the feet moving, as the 400m to go sign neared I tried to pick up the pace a bit more – it was a struggle. 300m to go – even more of a struggle. However at 200m to go a man came sprinting past me and I my competitive attitude kicked in. I am delighted to say I then absolutely gunned the last 200m and had a great sprint finish.
I thought I was about to keel over and potentailly be sick,however, it was worth it. When I looked down at my Garmin my time was showing 46.15 for 10.05km – that is a massive PB for me. My previous pb was 48.55 last September so I felt I could burst with joy.
When I got the official text through it stated 46.17 for the 10km course which I was still happy with – my weaving through the crowds will have added on the extra 0.05km.
My cousin came in around 30seconds before me, my dad with a great time of 47.19 just behind then my uncle in around 49 and half after. All of my jogscotland friends did exceptionally well too – it seemed like it was a great result for all. Quite a few people were complaining about the wind however I can say my mind was more occupied with getting rid of the stitch and keep running.
I am almost back down to earth now after that PB, I can honestly say it is one of the best feelings ever. Finishing a race, knowing I gave it my all and getting a result like that. I could not be happier.
I know now that if I keep up with my training, hopefully combat these stitches, and keep the positive mental attitude that my goal of sub 45 could be achievable sooner rather than later.
So here’s to many more great runs.