So, some while back, I had the idea to run this ten mile race, and this was going to be my big one. Somewhere along the way, Stateside Husband convinced me (in a moment of weakness) that I should run a half-marathon and so the Valor Run became my ten-mile training run in the run-up to the half-marathon.
Having run 100 miles during April (my highest ever monthly total), May’s mileage has been much lower, largely due to being away from home but also because I have been doing a few longer runs with more rest in between. So I embarked on a training run a few days before this race, thinking it would be nice and easy and just a little something to loosen me up. Well, for some reason it was one of the hardest runs I have ever done, only 7 miles and the overall pace wasn’t bad but it felt like such hard work, I assume because the heat and humidity has just suddenly crept up. Worst of all, I fell over one mile into the run, although I’m proud to say I got up and ran another 6 miles anyway. Best of all, despite it being early morning, I somehow managed NOT to fall over where there were lots of school kids waiting for their bus, so nobody saw me do it 🙂 I obviously have a tried and tested falling technique, because I managed to hurt exactly the same spots as last time (which was over a year ago) and got myself a large wound over the scar from last time. Well, I decided that this bad run meant that the race was likely to be epic.
The weather on Sunday morning was pretty good, and we were racing on a trail through a State Park so it was all under the cover of trees which helped a lot. The first part was flattish so I made some good progress, but the second half was much more challenging, with some really steep, sandy, slippery parts, and I got a lot slower during this section. Half a mile from the end, I fell over, this time taking most of the skin off my shoulder, scraping my knees again, and getting a lot of dirt on my face but amazingly not actually injuring it. My dreams of being a professional knee model are, I think, pretty much dashed. However, I finished in a time of 1:47:46, putting me fifth in my age group. All the way round, I thought I was really slow, so I was pleased to find out that I was actually pretty consistent with everyone else, especially considering my fall and the fact that I’d never run that far before. There was also a 5K race, and my 10 mile pace was almost a minute faster than the winner of my age group in the 5K. Which made me slightly grumpy as I could’ve totally won that, but the main thing is, I did pretty well on that day as I think the heat got to everybody.
So I have less than two weeks now before my half-marathon, and I expect the weather will be really hot and humid again for that so I have no great hopes for a world-shattering time, I just want to finish it, preferably with all limbs still intact. I have a six mile race this weekend, just for fun and I will not be looking for any records there as I want to concentrate on getting my pace right for the half. Oh, and as of today I have run two-thirds of my goal (500 miles) for 2015, less than half way through the year. My mileage will definitely be reducing now for the summer, but I’m on course to make it way past that target 🙂