Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Baxters River Ness 10k in the bag!

Sundays 10k race has got to be my favourite so far!
The day was set to be warm weather wise (which it was) but most importantly for me there wasn't even a hint of a breeze anywhere - perfect!
The day started early - 4am for Wayne, 5am for me and 6am for the rest of the household (My mum, Leanne, Owen, Stacey & John) due to having a 2 hour drive to the start of the race at Inverness. Because we had so many coming to support us we had to take 2 vehicles which meant I had to be a driver and this was the part I really wasn't looking forward to - for one I'm Narcoleptic and although I take meds and no longer have sudden sleep attacks past experiences pre diagnosis are always in the back of my mind and also because the car has decided to develop a fault which can stop the flow of fuel to the engine if it's driven wrong i.e by Wayne. Luckily it didn't have any problems with my driving - phew!
Once we'd dropped the support off in Ness town Wayne, Leanne and myself took one vehicle to the start line.
The atmosphere from the minute we arrived was absolutely second to none, with over 3000 10k runners a huge effort had been made to keep everyone jolly and motivated - mind you I think the sun did a good job of that too.
I wasn't going to bother using my GPS for this 10k because it's well marked but I thought I'd have a go at keeping an eye on my pace time with it so that we could make our 'suggested time' (1hr 15mins). As it turned out I didn't record the first 1k accurately because I hadn't paused the watch while we were waiting to start so it shows the first 1k as taking 32mins.
The start was an incline so Wayne kept me very slow for that but we soon picked up the pace on the flat and I have to say I was loving it. I've worked out why I couldn't run fast for long and so have adapted my running style (basically picking my knees up instead of running like scissors) and I found myself overtaking so many people, which is always good for the ego and motivation.
For the first 6k I really was flying and actually really enjoying it.
As the first water station approached at 6k I was kind of desperate for some fluid and nearly choked while taking it so Wayne suggested that at the next one he should grab the water and would get a bottle with a squirty spout rather than one with just a bottle top.
About 7k  I started to get jelly legs and to lose some of my momentum, it was getting hard to continue at my current pace but I was determined to keep going. The jelly legs didn't get worse but it was hard to run with them and then I started to feel sick and so so tired. Wayne kept me going to the next water station and I tried to eat a couple of Jelly beans but found I just couldn't chew, run and breathe at the same time so had to give up with that idea.
With just 2k left to go the route turns up the side of the River Ness and you can see and hear the finish line, however this was my Achilles heel last time I did this race because you have to run up one side of the river away from the finish line, cross a bridge and run back down and again I struggled with it - I really wanted to stop and give up.
Leanne had gone off at her own pace at about the 6k mark, she'd suffered a stitch from trying to keep to my slower pace and needed to run it out so by the time I hit the bridge to go to the finish Leanne would already have crossed it.
Somehow Wayne managed to keep me going, I didn't walk once, I didn't stop once, I just put my head down dug in and thought of the soup and roll at the end.
I have never been so glad to cross a finish line!
My official chip time was 1hr 11mins 46 secs, a personal best and shaving a good 5 mins off the Turbine 10k a couple of weeks ago.
Leannes official time was 1hr 4mins, another personal best and shaving 11 mins off her official Turbine 10k time.
Wayne had the same time as me which I feel bad about because I know he could do a 40min 10k at his pace.

Lovely setting alongside River Ness. Wayne looks as though he's walking at this point lol.

Desperately looking for the finish line.

Leanne has alot more energy left in the bag than me at the end and looks as though she could go again - apparently she was determined not to let anyone overtake her at this point and sprinted to the finish - she makes it look so easy!

So glad to be done! The lady behind the Baxters barrier on the right is my mum and the guy near her is Owen - Leannes boyfriend!
Ignore the clock time, it goes off the minute the first person goes over the start hump. Our chips attached to our race numbers gives us our actual time.

I had nothing left in the tank at the end of this race - something I am definitely going to work on. By the 9k mark I was struggling just to lift my legs and once I got over the finish line I was knackered to the point of not knowing where I was or who all these people were, I was really confused and just had to hold onto Wayne until it passed. I think it scared the living daylights out of my poor mum because she says I didn't recognise anyone and was wondering why I put myself through it.
Recovery was quick though and we filtered through to get our medal and goody bag, meet our family and then get the free soup and roll Leanne and I had so looked forward to.

Goody bags were especially good at this 10k

As we headed round for the soup and roll Wayne realised that he'd lost our tickets during the run but when we saw the queue to the tent we figured we'd leave it anyway - it was seriously long.
There was alot of entertainment at the finish line but Wayne and I had to get the shuttle back to the start line to pick up the car so we arranged to meet everyone else back in town and then we'd go for something to eat.
My feet felt fine during the race, I had one numb foot toward the end but nothing else so I was surprised when I went to get off the shuttle bus to find that my right foot felt broken, it was seriously painful to walk, not cramp like the last time but the bone hurt.
I sucked it up and limped along though, met the guys in the town and thankfully McDonalds was full so we didn't have to eat there, instead we went out of town to Pizza hut where we could make full use of the free salad and pasta bar alongside a few slices of Meat Feast pizza - bliss!
I was concerned I'd be too tired to make the 2 hour journey home but I made it easy.
The next day my foot was real bad and the bone on the outside felt really tender, I'm not sure what I did but it feels much better today so maybe it was just the impact of running.

We'll definitely be entering this race again next year, the atmosphere was brilliant and the support of locals round the entire course is brilliant too.
Looking at my GPS data I can see that we kept our pace way under 7mins per km and km 4-5 when I felt especially good we managed in 5mins 55 as was kms 7-8, the last km was the longest at 8mins but I would expect that with how I was feeling.

I'm not sure what those sudden spikes are because I didn't stop once or slow down to any great extent, maybe the GPS lost signal during those points.


  1. Congratulations on the run. That is such a long distance.

  2. Hi Linda! Nice photos of your run and good story! I like your writing personality too. I will follow! I hope you follow me back too. :D

    :-) Marion

  3. Great run...a PR is always awesome. You definitely earned it!