The one where I am extremely nervous
On Sunday 20th March I lined up for my 23rd race. The Mercedes Benz of Shrewsbury 10k is described as ‘a true town 10K with closed roads and a grand start & finish in the High Street of Shrewsbury’.
I don’t know why, but I was really nervous about this race. I think because it was in my home town, there were a lot of people running I knew and most of them assumed that because I was training for a marathon I was going to be quick. And because of this pressure I started to feel nervous and a bit sick!
I was also racing against a friend who I had previously beaten at the Weston Park 10k in December. This was to be our rematch … and although I was pretty confident that would beat him I was starting to have doubts, especially as I am pushing 40 and he is a couple of years off 30!
The start line was quite chaotic, about 900 on our small high street and starting in the middle it felt quite claustrophobic. Thinking back, if that felt claustrophobic, what will it be like with 38,000 runners.
After an energetic warm up (well the guy trying to get everyone to warm up was energetic, the rest of us stood still with our arms straight as anything else would have resulted in injury to the people around) we set off. As it was quite congested I set off a lot quicker to try and find a space and settle into my pace. Looking back, I set off far to quick and managed my fastest ever mile (7:57). My next mile was 30 seconds slower, but in my defence it was uphill! Shrewsbury is quite a hilly town and the first 5k of this race seemed to include them all.
Although I started the race with a friend I wanted to get ahead of him as much as possible. As I got to the worst hill, Porthill, I was unsure if I was ahead or in fact he had actually gone past me. But looking at the photos uploaded to the race Facebook page I can see he was hot on my heels (I am the one in blue on the left … he is the guy in green/yellow right behind me).
I think it was at this point I managed to get a bit of a distance between us. I don’t mind running up hills, I struggle more running down them.
My hubby and the girls were waiting just after the 5k mark, which was a welcome boost and after a quick high five and a swig of water I was heading back into town.
The atmosphere was great, lots of local people had come out to cheer and wave. It was the first time I had run where I knew some of the spectators and I loved it when I heard my name being shouted along with calls of encouragement. This particularly helped towards the end when I was starting to flag (and feel a bit sick) but I turned the final corner and saw the finish.
I tried to sprint finish … but being nearly 6 foot I look very gangly when sprinting with my arms and legs going all over the place … but then I was was over the line. As usual I managed to get another dodgy race photo for the collection … (who knows what I am doing with my arm) but I had finished in 53:52.
It wasn’t quite a PB (11 seconds away), but it was faster than my last 10k in December and this was a lot hillier than other races I had taken part in. I also beat Rob by a few minutes (phew!!!).
I enjoyed it so much I have already signed up for next year … and so has the husband!