I had to have words with myself at 4k today. I was getting mad at myself for not being able to go fast and more and more people were running past me. I tried to push harder but then when my legs started cramping I had to tell myself to slow down and just focus on finishing. My legs were still really tired from Brighton but that was the whole point of running. I need to learn how to race when my legs are really tired as training for the tour which is training for Dopey. So, I’d already sent my friend Ali off because I could keep up with her and when Bryan caught up to me I sent him off too and just ran my own race. I decided that as long as i didn’t walk it was a win regardless of how long it took.
Whitley 10k is an annual event actually organised by the people of Whitley Village, which is just outside of Warrington near Antrobus. Organisation was really great. Number and chip pickup was very quick, marshals were lovely and supportive and great water station at 6k. Although it’s a similar price to a club race, at £13 for affiliated runners and £15 for none, it attracts runners of all abilities and times ranged from 30:33 (A new course record I think from Daniel Cliffe. I’ve seen him running on the track and he is crazy fast and he won our 10k last year with a really big lead) to 1:41. Over 50 runners were over the hour so you don’t need to worry about being too slow.
The race is part of the Warrington Road Runner’s championship so there’s generally a turnout with 18 members running. there was also a few warrington Running club too, it’s not often that my first claim outnumber my second claim club but the marjoity were off running Manchester Marathon. Whitley is ran on country lanes (that could do with a resurface if I’m honest) and is certainly not flat. I was a bit scared after looking at the elevationj chart before the race because the hill around four and a half miles looked quite brutal. In actuality though it wasn’t that bad, every uphill has a downhill pretty much straight after and so i think knowing the course can be a good advantage. The uphills can make you lose motivation a bit, I know I was ready to give up a few times because you can’t see where the hills end. Yet every time I’d get close to walking I’d come across a downhill that would keep me going. I think if I knew that these were coming then I wouldn’t have slowed down so much on the uphills. If I’m running it next year (I want to do London Marathon and Manchester Relay so it all depends on when those two events fall) then I think I’ll go and have a practise run.
It’s actually a pretty nice course once you look at it objectively after and a lot of people do get pb’s there so I think it’s a fast course (if you haven’t just ran a marathon. Bryan even got a pb the week before his marathon, crazy man! I actually ran a lot faster than I thought I had. I lost it a little in mile 5 and slowed down quite a bit on the uphill but for the last half a mile I was running 8:30/mm. Maybe if I hadn’t started so fast in the fist mile it would have been easier but I didn’t walk and I finished in 57:22 which isn’t a bad time for me. I’ve ran faster than it 3 times but they were all last year when i was training specifically for the shorter distance and wasn’t distance building. My average 10k speed over the past 12 months is 57:27 (if i exclude being the Wirral 1 hour pacer) so it’s actually not that bad. It’s hard getting into that mind set that you have to be slower than you normally are and that you can’t keep getting pb’s when you’re doing back to back races but hopefully by the time i get to the tour in July and then Dopey in January i’ll be more used to it.
Just a quick word about the medal. Obviously, like parents, I have my favourites but i still like them all. I have to say though that this is the first medal (And i’ve gotten 36 in the last 18 months) where the runners look like Planet of the Apes cast members running in 80’s running apparel. James even compared them to Daley Thompson. It’s certainly unique anyway so you gotta love it.
The provisional date for Whitley 10k next year is 24th April 2016 http://10k.whitleyvillage.org.uk/