As promised, a personal account of the inaugural Rothwell Town Carnival 10k, wonderfully organised by Desborough Races . This was the first outing for my new Alzheimer’s Research UK top, for whom I will be raising funds in my next big race. Details and funding opportunities will be revealed shortly under the heading Operation Newkie Orange.
The course through the town and surrounding countryside was described as “undulating”, but in reality there were lots of ups and downs! Total elevation was 82 metres according to my watch. I struck up an interesting relationship with one of the wheelchair racers – I overtook her on the uphill stretches and she zoomed past me on the downhill stretches. Don’t you love these roller-coaster relationships?!
The weather was kind – a little overcast with a temperature of around 18 degrees. The rain kept away until the end of the trophy presentations in the market square. The previous day was very hot and sunny and would have posed additional challenges for the participants.
I found the race quite challenging and did not expect to achieve any PBs. My expectations were realised. As is often the case, I set off at a pace that was too fast. This is easy to do when you get caught up in the excitement and it is downhill. I tried to pace myself better as I settled into it and was doing reasonably well up to the 2 mile mark. That was when we encountered the first of the hills and I had to walk for a bit – despite giving sound advice to someone running their first race to dig in their heels and activate their glutes! My glutes seemed to deactivate soon after that. It was good to reach the water station at the half-way stage, where I took the opportunity to do some FB live videoing. I think quite a few people overtook me at that point, as happened recently to Habos Gebrihwet , who miscounted his laps in the 5k at Lausanne and celebrated too soon. This is the only similarity I can find between myself and an elite athlete, so I need to make the most of it.
Unsurprisingly, I struggled for most of the final 5k and it was a great relief to get over the line in the historic market place. The carnival was due to start soon after the end of the race, so I was lucky not to have got caught up with the Scottish Pipers who were leading the parade!
I ran this race on the day after my 66th birthday. It was quite magical that my time was 1 hour and 6 minutes (plus a few seconds) – a minute of running for each year of my life.
For the metrically minded, my average moving pace was 10:23, mean stride length 0.90m (which I’m pleased with), mean HR 152 bpm and maximum 163 bpm. I have worried about my cardiovascular fitness, but this is not far removed from when I was marathon training. The curve closely matches the elevation profile and seems to show good recovery on the downhill bits. I need to monitor it more regularly – last time was in September 2018.
And the lessons I have learnt? I need to do more hill work. I need to pay more attention to my posture and core development. My psychological resilience is not what it should be, I’ve been giving up too readily. I think if I work on the former issues it will improve my confidence and then my resilience. Also, I’m quite far removed from being a serious runner – and that’s not just because of my attempts at humour!
As always, run happy and free in ways that have meaning for you.