East Midland 10k at Nottingham
After Christmas I decided that I really didn’t like cross country that much and I would concentrate on 10K’s from now on. I resolved to train harder and specifically for that distance all thru the year.
This would involve week A doing intervals, (between 8 and 10 one kilometre speed repeats), on a Tuesday afternoon, something easyish on Thursday with a fast park run on the Saturday, and the following week B doing a decent tempo 10K early in the week then hills on the Thursday and my normal “social” park run on Saturday. Then repeat week A and B all summer, races permitting.
I know that doesn’t sound much but it was double to nearly triple my normal training work load.
Things where going really well and I could see time improvements in my speed work and hill work. Encouraged by the gains I started to look for a fast 10K race in March to see how it was going. Gainsboro was full up and the Trafford 10K looked like it was a bit too seriously speedy for a plodder like me, and was about to sign up for a social Golden Fleece meander again when I spotted the “East Midlands 10K” at Nottingham. It was at the national water sports centre (didn’t know there was a national centre for it) and after a bit of pissing about on the web site, it seemed to be 2 laps round a large rowing lake … ooooo not quite what I was thinking but more like an extended park run. I signed up there n then.
Just over 2 weeks to go and I was doing my last hard interval session before the race and was half way thru the 3rd one kilo max effort when I felt a dreaded sharp pain in my right calf. I stopped running immediately and went home to check my leg out.
A couple of hours later after lots massaging and rolling the calf I could hardly walk up the stairs. I rested it till Saturday by which time it seemed to have freed up, so thought I’d have a very gentle park run to test it … Not good, after 700m a pain re-appeared now in both legs so I walked most of the park run in my slowest ever time of nearly 38 mins … oh well that’s the Nottingham 10K out the window I thought.
By the following Saturday after no running and just a bit of cycling, I tried the park run again, this time there was no real pain but also no real speed, I ran round in a bit over 24 mins chasing Karl, while trying pretty hard but with nothing left in the tank to go any faster … Looks like I can at least “run” the 10K now, but will the pain re-appear and at what pace after missing the last 2 weeks of training with only one week to go?
Day of the race, up early and decided to have a gentle car drive to Nottingham via the bridge and Lincoln, trying to be as economical on fuel as possible. The 85 mile journey took about 1 hour 50 mins and the best bit was the 56mpg the dash computer was telling me, well at least that’s saved me a few quid ….. was short lived tho, the 5 pound parking when there was a bit of a shock.
Still had 50 mins to go so popped to the bogs and got changed and as I was walking back to the car I thought I felt a few spots of rain.
Over the next 30 mins it continued to spot with rain while I sat in the car watching the other runners mill about, at 15 mins to go, I decided its time to get out the car and go do my warm up while getting to the start which was about 600m away. Thought I wouldn’t take any bags or stuff, seeing as it was so close.
At the designated time of the start they informed us there was gunna be a 10 min delay.
This is when I spotted fellow harrier Stephen Graham, sheltering from the cold, he said he was hoping for 42 mins ish, recent injury permitting and maybe first in M65. He said I should tag along with him. I declined knowing that’s about 3 to 4 mins better than my PB and prob 6 mins or more faster than I expected to run today
Finally at 9.40am the race started, while it seemed to be spitting with rain a tad harder, not too bad I thought, should keep me cool.
I set off at my normal race pace and tucked in with a few other runners.
1K done, 4 mins 30 ish, nicely on equal PB pace, then the rain got heavier,
2K approaching the end of the lake, in just over 9 mins, this wind is getting blustery, so tucked in behind a fat lad and let him break wind.
4K slight detour to the right off the path and round by the white water area and car park, turning left to re join the lake perimeter path it was blowing a gale and now persisting it down … mmmm deep joy.
At the 5K marker I clicked my watch … oooo 22.35 that’s a surprise, well inside PB pace but thought it didn’t seem too believable.
1st lap done, now it was just a straight lap of the lake with no detours and pan flat, I overtook a few and tried to latch on to a couple who was sneeking by.
7K … it was now absolutely pissing it down, my glasses were waterlogged and couldn’t see the screen on my watch, on to the back straight of the lake into the gale, the swans where hiding their heads in the water, but think my head was wetter than theirs, The rowers on the lake didn’t look happy, I deffo wasn’t, I was drenched and my hands had stopped working in the cold. I’d no idea of my pace or time and was starting to wonder what the hell was I doing this for … Coniston 10K last year was tropical compared to this purgatory.
9K, ok nearly there, the 2 runners I had tried to keep up with had started to pull away but I still hoped I was on for a good time.
Finish line in sight with 250m to go I heard the commentator say its just over 46 mins, bugga, guessed I still had nearly a minutes worth of running and knew my PB had gone again …. Crossing the line, just managed to stop the watch with my frozen fingers on the second attempt and saw 46.39, oh heck, 1 second slower than even Scarboro’s disappointing effort last year.
Queueing for the T shirt n medal, I started to shiver. I decided once I got the mementos to get straight back to the car and get some dry clothes on before I got hypothermia. The walk back to the car in the driving rain was torture, my body was aching n shaking and both calfs were seizing up.
At the car I had another problem, my car keys were in a zipped pocket in my shorts, but couldn‘t get my frozen fingers to move the zip. Eventually I managed it and got in the car, took the soaking wet EHH vest off and put my dry EHH hoody on. Oooo thats better, the car heater helped a bit too.
After 10 mins felt I was warm enough to venture back in the rain to the nearby toilet to put dry trousers, kegs, socks n shoes on. Leaving the toilet in the lovely dry clothes I realised it had stopped raining.
Sure God does it to me on purpose !!
The T shirt n medal was ok …. if you like green …. and the course is dead flat, except for a tiny slope on the first lap 400m detour, and should be very fast in ideal conditions. I just needed to be injury free and with better weather I’m sure I’d have smashed my PB. Not too bad for 16 quid, plus the dreaded £1.60 admin charge.
I’ll be there again next year, hopefully fit n healthy and in the M55’s so might be in for a prize … yea, as if lol
Paul Reed.. Pos 148 out of 861.. Gun time 47.00 …. Chip 46.39 … M50 Pos 7 out of 30
Stephen Graham.. Pos 117 out of 861 … Gun time 45.40 …. Chip 45.38 … M65 Pos 1 out of 4