Tag Archives: road run

Tapering and The Rye Summer Series July 10k (Road to Bournemouth week 13)

Taper week. never have two words looked so beautiful on a scruffy bit of paper than these! After three very heavy race weekends on the bounce, the realisation that I wasn’t going to have to do as much running this week was a joy to behold. It meant I could spend my Monday having a lie-in, resting my aching body with all its cuts and bruises from it’s weekend of OCR without feeling guilty.

In all honesty this taper week was more well planned than I could have anticipated as I have been shattered all week, to the point where twice I came home from work, sat on the bed to take off my work clothes and found myself waking up an hour later in that bemused state of “What year is this, what planet am I on?” that comes from an unexpected nap… and I don’t nap! I clearly needed a rest.

I made it a light training week, with just two Bootcamp sessions, and it’s fair to say I struggled with these, a bruised rib making some exercises nearly impossible and leaving me feeling a bit pathetic! I managed a couple of kilometres of running during these sessions but nothing crazy, so I should have been going into Friday well rested, but I still felt sluggish and tired.

Rye Summer Series race 1

Friday evening I travelled with the hubby to Rye Harbour for the first of the three races that make up the Rye Summer Series with a sense of trepidation. I had won the series last year but am well aware that my running is not where it was, I was curious to see, in race conditions and on this flat course, exactly how much slower I’ve actually gotten!

It was a really hot evening, as we set off out of the harbour and along the road, before turning into the nature reserve. The wind was fairly strong pushing back at you as you ran, and It was already feeling like a struggle, it felt like my brain was having an argument with itself as I ran, the pessimistic side telling me “You can’t do this, you’ll never make 10km, You’re already struggling” against the side of me that stubbornly refuses to ever give up “you’ve got this, don’t stop running, it doesn’t matter what time you do, just get it done”

The race directors had made the decision to move the water station from the end of the out and back course, to the 3km mark meaning you would hit it twice due to the hot conditions, and the hit of cool water was quite reviving. I had a bit of a stitch from the off and my knee was aching, I was being passed fairly regularly and really felt like I was struggling out to the 5km point. Round the cone and back the way we had came, I started finally to get into my stride, picked the pace up a bit and began to feel a bit more comfortable despite the heat feeling 10 times worse now the wind was at your back and not in your face. Back past the water station most of the second cup went over my head, as I started to pick a few people off again, turning into the final straight and finishing seconds after one of my bootcamp friends who I’d not quite been able to catch. After a quick breather I jogged to the end of the harbour and back to make up the 10km that my watch had clocked slightly short and ended up clocking it as just over 52 mins although my race time was less than this due to my extra little jog. This was 4mins slower than last year, which feels a little disappointing despite knowing I would be slower, but I had still managed a top 10 ladies finish and it’s given me a time to aim to beat next month!

I finished my week with a personal training session where we did a short run then lifted weights and had a really long stretch giving me a slightly shorter than planned distance for the week, and brought my well needed “rest week” to a close. This week no excuses, time to get back out on those long runs!

Week 13 running total: 19km

Hellingly 10k

When you only have one race free weekend in the whole of September what do you do? Enjoy the down time? Put your feet up? Embrace the chance to have a rest? Apparently not me. In fairness, weekends are not the holy grail of leisure time they used to be while I’m not working, but whatever my reasoning, I found myself looking up races during the week, desperate for something to add to the list.

What I found was a fairly local 10k run, that was still accepting on-line entries, so I asked my hubby if he fancied joining me on a little road run, and we signed up at the last minute to the Hellingly 10k.

Phil and I before the run
Phil and I before the run

The start line was an 800m walk from the car park and the finish, but it was a pleasant walk, then we were off, running down quiet roads, it was threatening to rain, but it was warm running, and then we hit the hills. The race was described as undulating, but to me the uphill sections felt endless, and I was struggling, my running has felt really off lately, but luckily what comes up must come back down and I do love running down hill.

I struggled through the first 5km, Phil patiently sticking with me as I ran slowly, but after some water at the halfway I really picked up and we started making up some time. With my pitiful running in the first half, along with a an unscheduled shoe lace pit-stop and I was just hoping to keep the run under an hour, and we made the finish line in 53 minutes which was far better than I was expecting.

The run itself was a really nice one, the hills made it a reasonable challenge, the roads weren’t closed but they were quiet, and quite well sheltered with lots of hedgerow and greenery on either side and there was a decent medal at the end. All in all, worth getting out of bed on a Sunday morning for.

Phil and I after we finished
Phil and I after we finished

Ashford and District 10K

Having planned to take a bit of a break this year, I found myself with two weekends off after completing the Winter Fan Dance, and incredibly itchy feet. I sat down on the second Sunday night to book a few races in and get some dates on my calendar when I decided to look at what was available the following weekend. What I found was the Ashford and District 10K, which rang a bell, and I remembered a friend had posted something about running it, a few quick messages later and I had a lift, a race, a place to get showered and a lunch date!

Race Description

This 10K race has been voted as one of the best 10km runs in the country a couple of time, set in a fairly rural location, described as undulating, with the last section all down hill. The run was an out and back on closed off country roads kicking off at 11am. This would only be my second road race, everything else I’ve done being OCR or trail. Last February I ran my first (and so far only) 10k road race at Kenley and set a time of 56mins. On this race, with the course being hilly and Kenley being flat, I was hoping to at least equal this time.

Pre-race selfie with Tom Jury and Jac Ginn
Pre-race selfie with Tom Jury and Jac Ginn

The Race

It was a pretty chilly start, with a biting wind, but eventually we were off over the starting mat. I took off and tried to settle into a pace that I thought I could maintain.

It was a pleasant run along country roads, I felt comfortable running, which is unusual for me in the first few kilometres of a race. The first part of the race was up a manageable hill, before a flat section and then heading down a slightly steeper hill that I couldn’t help but thinking “oh no, I have to run back up this”. The course was well marked with each kilometre clearly signposted.

The running was feeling comfortable as I came up to the turn around point, but as I hit about the 6km point I got a horrendous stitch, I didn’t stop though, that 56mins was in the back of my head, I pushed on but a little slower, and eventually the stitch eased, unfortunatly my relief was short lived and at the 8km mark the stitch came back and lasted the rest of the race.

After cresting the hill and carrying along the flat the 9km sign came into view and I tried to pick up the pace. The final part of the race was all down hill, which allowed me to run a little faster despite the stitch from hell. I finished the race with a clock time of 53.46 and when I got home, I found out my chip time was 52.42. With at least 3mins taken off my Kenley time from the previous year I was pleased with that.

Me before and after the race
Me before and after the race

I waited and took myself a finishers photo while I waited for Jac and Tom to finish, then we headed off to warm up, get a shower and go for a well earned Nandos.

Jac and Tom coming in to the finish line
Jac and Tom coming in to the finish line