Short girl problems!
Last night was the first of our summer BDL races at Teversal (the race league series is free with our yearly club membership) and I was debating right up until 5pm whether to run it or not. The illness that knocked me for a loop at the Easter 10k ended up putting my partner on the couch for most of a week and has settled into my chest. Combine that with my horrendous allergies and it's a bit of a struggle to breathe so I knew I wouldn't be able to match last year's time but I figured that a run would either kill me or make me feel better. It didn't do either one so it's just as well I made the effort to get out!
The Teversal course is an interesting one in that we end up at the highest manmade point in Nottinghamshire around mile 3.3ish. It's not a straight up-hill slog though, there are a series of wide switchbacks with ups, downs, and flats to break up the climb then it's mostly downhill for the last 1.6 miles. Last year I felt great once the race started and put in a reasonable time of 38:45 (188th place overall) but I started at the very back this time with the only goal of just hanging on and finishing. One of my running club mates (hi Paula!) asked if I felt well (no), should I be there (of course not) and was I going to pass out (probably)...paraphrasing the questions but I think my replies are mostly accurate.
The great thing about starting in the very back is that you don't get caught up in the mad rush at the start and jack rabbit your first mile, the bad thing is that the race isn't chip-timed (but it's free so I'm not complaining!) so you will lose several seconds. The other good part about it is that the atmosphere is more relaxed so you are not as likely to get kicked, elbowed, or knocked down and there is a fair bit of laughing and chattering.
Since I wasn't placing a time goal on myself I decided to use some of the principles that I was telling the Nordic Walkers from the morning session to focus on--nice upright posture to keep the breathing easy and relaxed arms and shoulders. A good result from doing so was that the pics taken there weren't outright horrible if you ignore the faces I was making!* Another result? I ended up running faster and more consistent than I expected to and while I was 21 seconds slower than last year I gained four places (184th).
This is what it looks like when I'm on allergy meds and decongestant! Goofy face!
- There was a girl who had a bloody nose during the race, while there was nothing I could do I did slow and ask if she was ok. It probably irritated her but I couldn't go by and say nothing in good conscience.
- This is the second year in a row I've not taken any notice of the humongous miner statue at the top, we need to make a road trip over on a clear day to walk up and take photos
- Totally irritates me when runners don't throw their cups into a bin especially if there's one just a few steps away. This was after the race by the way so no excuse for it.
- If you smile at the marshals then you get extra words of encouragement in return.
- Faster runners who go back on the course to warm-down and don't give way to those still racing are jerks who deserve to get elbowed. And perhaps voodoo dolls made in their likeness.
- Decongestants dehydrate you so be sure and drink extra fluids!
*The finish line photos are just as terrible as ever, must learn to smile during a sprint to the finish
Tissue in hand, tissue in the bra and apparently I took a nap on the way