When I came up with this notion that I wanted to do something special this year for my birthday, I didn’t really think it through. Genuinely, I was bored one day and came across this guy on Instagram who was doing 52 events for 52 weeks in 2015. And I thought ‘hear I could do that’. People that know me know, that once I get an idea in my head then that’s it, so no one tried to talk me out of it, but, they did the sensible thing and knocked me down from 52 events to 30. Thanks mum! At the point of deciding that I was doing 30 events in 2016 I had completed the grand total of about 3 hours cardio training for the entirety of 2015. See? Told you I didn’t think it through. 8 events and 15 weeks in to my challenge and so far I have run 83 event Kilometers (and countless kilometers in training) and today I ran my first 10 mile road race. In fact, my first 10 mile anything, ever.
Event #8 – The Great Edinburgh Run. Dubbed ‘The worlds favorite race’. Set in the heart of Edinburgh it promises to be the ‘most scenic road race in the UK’. And it didn’t disappoint. I was nervous going in to today, standard really. For a variety of reasons really, 1. I have never run 10 miles continuously from point A-B before (some of my OCR races have been longer but they are broken up by the Obstacle element). 2. I hold myself to a really high standard. If I had ran slowly today then, well I’m not sure, but every time I run I aim to take time off my previous race. oh and 3. I was being interviewed pre-race about my challenge. So all in all it was a nerve wracking morning.
I deliberately don’t look at course maps until either the night before of the day of events. I’d rather go in blind and then not have the excuse of ‘it was hilly’ to compensate for slow times. I’ve learnt two important things so far this year; 1. NOTHING will EVER be as bad or as hilly as Deerstalker and 2. I can run REALLY fast downhill. So hills don’t scare me. I can’t run very fast uphill yet granted but I’m getting there, and Edinburgh isn’t that hilly anyway in the grand scheme of things. I make up for being slow by doing my best windmill action on the down slopes. Today, I had set myself a personal target of hitting a sub 1 hour 30 minute time.
It was cold this morning. Really sodding cold. I did swither between running with my hoodie on but in hindsight I’m glad I didn’t, it got warm quick. We started from Holyrood park, I was in the White wave (pushing for Orange wave next time Obvs), and we headed out towards Meadowbank then doubled back along past the Palace and the Parliament before hitting the first hill, which was the Royal Mile. There were pipers at every mile marker (at least I think it was every one, some blended into others). The run itself lived up to scenic label, we ran past the Scott Monument, the museum, past Greyfriars Bobby, along the Grass market, up the Pleasance. I bloody love Edinburgh. I’m not a massive city girl, and I’m pleased my girls are growing up ‘in the sticks’ but I bloody LOVE Edinburgh. 10 miles was a joy today. There was a runners shower at mile 6, at the top of the Pleasance, and that was needed and amazing let me tell you. There were spectators everywhere, there was music being pumped out of loud speakers at numerous spots along the way, the atmosphere in general was incredible. I did do my weird stalker thing for a bit, there was a girl in pink who seemed to be around me most of the way. Also, a special mention needs to go to ‘Kylie’ who was in front of me for a little but, you were wearing a bloody wooly jumper, wasn’t that cold love! Oh and to the beautiful lady who noticed I was slowing at 9.5 miles and who subtly remind me that ‘you can’t stop now, people can see you’. Thank you. I was flagging, reminiscing about the first Race for Life I did in 2013 (where I nearly puked after 5km), and I was about to stop. You kept my going. I think your name was Lynsey, and you were my savior.
My finishing time was 1 hour 29 seconds 59. So talk about taking it down to the wire! I finished in position 1268 out of 5000+, so I’m pleased with that. I’m in the top 25%. I can say, because I made my goal, that I’m not sure I would’ve felt disappointed had I ran slower. It was an amazing day, and I gave it everything I had. I deliberately didn’t take any pre-workout or natural pre stuff this time, massive hits of caffeine just don’t agree with me, and I end up feeling sick and shakey. I did however take an endurance gel round with me that I tentatively sooked a bit of at mile 5. Yeah won’t be doing that again, bloody disgusting stuff. Although I think thats more my aversion to artificial flavors and chemicals than anything else, I’m pretty sure it did work a little bit. So the next race will be based on good nutrition and hydration in the days before and the day of. No more gimmicky things. I’ve got 10 miles in me, 10 km might start to seem like warm up in a few weeks. Pahahahahahahaha.
So, event #8 you lived up to all the hype. I even got to meet Bryan Burnett, who interviewed me briefly before the race start. That was a odd experience. Talking about #30for30 in a field full of 5000+ strangers, hearing my slowed down voice over the speakers. I don’t like being the center of attention really, id rather be quietly competitive or driven in the background. But people are talking about the challenge, which can only bring good things to the fundraising total. The link to my page is below, in case you want to make a donation 🙂
Onwards to event #9 – a Trail Run in Hamilton which some other like minded crazies that I met at Deerstalker. But before that – a whole weekend off from competing! And two full weeks to work on shaving yet more time off my 10km time (which was bang on the 52 mins mark today).