Sunday, 9 October 2011

Fat Girls Chafe

Distance: 6.2mi
Time: 59:34
Surface: Road
Conditions: Cloudy and warm
Sheffield 101010 in 2010

I've kept it quiet, but today was Great Yorkshire Run race day. I'd kept it quiet for no other reason than I'd temporarily forgotten about it and I suppose I was  unworried about it. It's a sort of 1 year competitive race anniversary too as I took part in my first race on 10th October 2010 (Sheffield Ten Ten Ten) with a time of 01:01:24. A year on and my pace is slightly improved though I'm probably a good half stone heavier. I'm reasonably pleased with the time (although if I'm being truly honest I'm gutted I didn't beat my personal best of 58:26 at Leeds Abbey Dash last November) but I have pretty much started again in the last couple of weeks, and the second hill in the last 2km was paaaainful.

No pre-race nerves!
The route was pretty flat which is a miracle in Sheffield although having run 13 miles round Sheffield for the half marathon and having to contend with only 2 hills, I do believe in miracles. I'd entered myself with an expected time of 01:10:00 so was in the green band but decided to drop back to pink to support my husband who I felt responsible for bullying into taking part. We were also running with a few friends of which two decided to drop back as it was their first races too. The atmosphere on arrival was really good, it felt quite chilled out and not as expected based on the predicted throng of in excess of 8000 people taking part. The baggage area was well organised considering it wasn't at all (obviously) attended, and wasn't busy at either drop off or pick up.

I felt like I'd packed my entire running wardrobe; the weather forecast was for heavy rain but muggy during the race, but the previous week had been a mix of sleet, freezing conditions and hot sun. Who knew? I changed twice before I'd left the house and changed again at City Hall and ended up in a sleeveless vest (having changed out of a long sleeved t-shirt and waterproof jacket). Because of the weather forecast we left our son at home with my mother-in-law rather than drag them out in the cold rain for a couple of hours, which is unfortunate as I'd really liked them to have been there. We needn't have worried though, it was sweltering (OK exaggeration police, maybe not tropical but warm enough for a reasonable run).

The starting line up was pretty relaxed but the warm up was a wash out, the further towards the back you were the more random the flailing arms got as it was impossible to hear or see what we were supposed to be doing. Still the starts were prompt and we were off just after 10:21am but what a nightmare start! The route started off exceedingly narrow for the number of people and at one point just after we started we ended up walking as we hit a bottleneck which was very frustrating. This continued for about .75km before the route widened and overtaking didn't involve death defying leaps up the pavements and dodging people in big wigs. After this the number of runners thinned and it was manageable to keep up up a straight run and a reasonable pace. Pretty much all my running companions had over taken me right at the start, even my husband whose pace in training had always been much slower than mine. I am, however, pretty good at pacing myself and keeping slow despite the wave of people over-taking and the pressure not to be beaten by my newbie race pals.

I can't say the run was easy as it wasn't; I ran pretty much at full pelt for 8k. I could tell as my face was hot and my lungs were burning and my knee was twinging, sure signs I was pushing myself beyond my usual comfortable run pace. I could really have done without the last 1k uphill slog past Fitzalan Square, as could many others I'm sure, but as I turned the corner down Arundel Gate for the last 200m, despite telling myself not to do a sprint finish, the clock showed I'd been running very close to an hour and this was my threshold. I'll be damned if I was going to take longer than my first ever race, so I floored it across the finish line at just under an hour (there is photo evidence to substantiate quite how much I gave it, but needless to say they far from show me in my best light). My husband came in not long after me and finished in a respectable 1hr 5, so we were both in the first half of the running returners. I rather stupidly dug straight into my post race booty bag and scoffed the energy bars and drinks before I'd even had my chip removed from my shoe (which I discovered I couldn't bend down to do myself), and consequently nearly threw up by the side of the road, reminiscent of many a pre-school birthday party I'd attended (and a few drunk night outs). Classy.

I did recover enough to enjoy a post race lunch and deconstruction of the morning's running events with the hubby before returning home. Especially proud, I am, of his great race time considering his training runs were a good 15 minutes longer than today, a triumph indeed (and a result of being diagnosed and treated for Asthma in the last couple of weeks). Mine on the other hand was a little disappointing, as I had hoped (admittedly in those last 200m and not before) that I might beat my personal best achieved at the Leeds Abbey Dash in 2010.

So, we returned home, husband in a glow of glory, and me, just a bit moody, licking my chafing wounds from having too fat arms.


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