July

As I sit writing this, it’s getting towards the end of the month and so far all I’ve done is one race. I’ve done a lot of socialising, and spent a week sitting in the sunshine and exploring the Greek Island of Kefalonia and getting fatter by the day, but very little running!

The Rye Classic Summer Series July 10k

Doing this race was a last minute decision after my friend Kevin messaged me and invited me along as there was space in the car, so I agreed, and tagged along with him and another friend Ashley, unrested and a little un-well.

Before the run with Ash and Kev
Before the run with Ash and Kev

Ordinarily I would take at least one rest day, and usually two, if I was planning on racing seriously, but as this was a spur of the moment thing far from being well rested I had done two tough training sessions the day before. I had also come down with some kind of chesty cough a few days before that had left me finding it hard to breath when exercising. I was told this was a nice flat course that is a good one to chase a PB, but I wasn’t hopeful and just figured it was something to do and a chance to have a run and get a medal.

Despite all this, at the start line I got swept up and set off way too fast, I over took a few people, and found myself neck and neck with another lady for quite a while, and was worried I was going to be battling her the whole way, knowing I couldn’t really go much faster to overtake, but suddenly she wasn’t there anymore and had dropped behind me. I had settled into the race and snuck a glance at my watch and realised I was still holding a good pace, as I came up to the turn around point of this out and back run and the front runners were coming back towards me I started counting the women in front of me, one, two, three… three, that was it, I was sitting in 4th place, I couldn’t quite believe it. This spurred me on to carry on pushing it and not give up, whats more the next lady was quite a way behind me. I held on, but by mile 5 my chesty cough was catching up with me, and I was wheezing, I was also overheating as once we turned around the wind dropped and the humidity seemed to treble, with only a mile to go though I didn’t want to give up, I could see by my watch that a PB might actually be in my grasp, I pushed on, and there was the finish line, I stopped my watch and beep, beep, I had done it, new 5k PB, new 10k PB and at under 50mins I was ecstatic, remembering back a year or so when I didn’t believe that would ever be in my grasp, I had also held onto 4th place lady and had come 2nd in my age category as well. Ash and Kev also hit new PBs so it was a great evening run all round.

Finished!
Finished!

What next?

So after this triumph I was out of races for July, with every weekend taken up with holidays and social engagements that left me this morning with the highest number on the scales that I’ve seen since January, so this last week in July is all about training hard and eating right to try and pull this back to something I’m happier with (not liking my mirror or scales at the moment!) I’m also going to look to see if I can find and squeeze in another last second race entry this weekend, if there is one that I can work around my crazy social life, we’ll see…

Bexhill 5km

… So despite there only being one week left this month I managed to find not one, but two last minute races. The first of these was the final in a series of 5km races run on Bexhill seafront in the summer, although this is the first one I’ve been able to get to. I went along with my friend Jac, and decided to pace her rather than try and push for a PB of my own, and had a lovely time doing the three up and down laps of the short stretch of seafront at a pace that was comfortable in the heat of the July evening. This was a nice little run out on a Wednesday evening and it was great to help Jac get a new 5km PB in the process.

Finished the Bexhill 5km with Jac Ginn
Finished the Bexhill 5km with Jac Ginn

Brighton Trailblazer 10km

The second race I found to do was a 10km trail run near Brighton, on the final Sunday of the month, which I convinced my husband that we should do before returning for our friends birthday celebrations later in the day. We also took Kev along with us, to take on this hilly course set over a section of the South Downs.

The start of the race was very crowded, and if you are at all competitive I would suggest getting as close to the start line as possible. The start was up a narrow track where we were basically queued up to cross the line, and we were near the back of the line, once we were off it stayed very narrow for about a mile and it was really difficult to overtake people.

The scenery during this race was nothing short of beautiful. Running over hills, overlooking the sea, which was a deep blue on a gorgeous summers day, through shady wooded paths, and over grassy farmland.

The race finished with a nice downhill section and offers you a medal and a selection of cakes at the finish. It comes up slightly short of 10km and doesn’t include a water stop on route but both of these things were clear on the website before you signed up so there were no surprises. It seemed well organised, and really was a lovely pretty run.

Finished with Kev and Phil
Finished with Kev and Phil

And that brings July to a close, as with this month, I’ve not got anything booked in yet for August, but it’s unlikely to stay that way for long!