First race of 2015: Wellingborough Multi-Terrain 10k

I’ve been rubbish this year at blogging for Janathon.  Although I have been including little #Janathon snippets on Twitter on the days that I haven’t written a full blog post.  I have also been sure to exercise each day.  Even on days like yesterday, when we had the dreaded email warning us that Ofsted may be with us in the morning.  (Luckily not long after, we received a second email letting us know that that was no longer the case…Phew!)

As well as exercising and tweeting about it (when not blogging) each day, I have also been keeping on track with my Jantastic goals.  My target number of runs for each week in January was five, which I completed in week one.  I’m happy to say that I completed at least five runs again last week (depending on how you count it).
Monday: (no run)
Tuesday: (3.7m easy with Dan)
Wednesday:
(6m trail)
Thursday: (4m easy with Dan)
Friday:
(10.3m trail)
Saturday:
(no run)
Sunday:
(1.5 mile run to race, 10k race, 2m to car)

Jantastic week 2

Sunday was my first race of the year and one I went in to without a solid game plan.  With the race held just up the road from our running club meeting point and as one of the races selected to make up our trail running league we had a fantastic turnout with 29 of our club turning up to run one of the three distances offered; 5k, 10k or 15k.

The race offers the three distances over a 5k loop.  If you are competing in the 10k distance, you run the loop twice…Three times for the 15k.  I can have a bit of a love hate relationship with lap courses sometimes and these points sprung to mind over the weekend:

Love them because I know what to expect of the course after the first lap…
Hate them because the course never really thins out from runners…
Love them because the crowd of support is never far away…
Hate them because it’s likely you’ll get lapped…and have to stick to one side of the path for the rest of the run…Usually the muddiest side of the path.
Love them because you can encourage other runners from your club at several points out on the course where the route overlaps.

Because the football team Dan plays for was playing in Wellingborough on Sunday morning I suggested that I share his ride and jump out of the car a mile or so away from the race start line, to allow me time to warm up and get a few extra miles in.  After the race I also ran to the park where Dan’s team were playing to wait for him which added an extra two miles to my overall distance for the day.

I never intended on ‘racing’ the 10k Wellingborough Multi-terrain race.  I just loved the look of their medal on the Just Racing facebook page (below).Wellingborough Multi-terrain dirt run medalIn fact, for the first five minutes of the run I casually trotted along next to another member of the club, chatting and laughing away.  I wasn’t really aware of the speed which we were running at, but it was slow enough that I could chat and laugh, so I figured it would be fine.  As the other runner pulled away in front I took a bit more notice of my surroundings.  I’ve run the course numerous times before as it’s so close to home.  A mile in from the start of the race is a very steep hill that gets muddy very quickly at this time of year.  Especially when several hundred runners have already gone up it infront of you!  I powered past a lot of runners here who were busy pussy-footing around the muddy sections (impossible!) or had slowed to a walk.  There’s something to be said for training on lots of hills!  Luckily the photographer wasn’t at the top of that hill, but instead at the bottom of the muddiest downhill section instead another mile into the course.Wellingborough Multi-terrain dirt run photoI don’t do downhill running very well so it’s not the most attractive expression on my face in that photo and I won’t be adding it to my photo wall!

As I began the second lap I realised how comfortable I was finding the race.  I glanced at my watch briefly to see 160bpm according to my heart-rate monitor and decided to try and keep my heart rate between 160-165 for the remainder of the race.  Or at least until the end was in sight!

I overtook a few more people side stepping muddy puddles through the trees and a huge collection of runners when I ran the steep hill for the second time.  The light was just wrong coming up the hill and I was squinting to see what was around me.

The final 3/4 mile is run in sight of the finish line…

Wellingborough Multi-terrain dirt run photo

…before tucking away again into a back field out of sight, through a thick muddy patch and back into sight as you come along to the finish arch.  There was a lot left in me for a sprint finish so I made sure to produce one!  No-one was catching me up here!  The lady in blue on the far left of that photo had been infront of me for the majority of the race and I used her as my unofficial pacer – a guide to sticking to a regular pace until I got to that final 3/4 mile and then I don’t know where she went!  I’m not even sure if she was running the 10k or 15k distance…I’ll have to have a look in a minute.  **Edit, just looked, I beat her at the 10k distance by 4 seconds**

As I crossed the line, I spotted someone I’d marshaled with at Country to Capital the day before so stopped for a chat.  Normally when I cross the line I either throw myself onto the floor from exhaustion or have to continually pace until my heartrate returns to normal so I was happy with how quickly I was able to recover once over the finishing line here.

Wellingborough multi-terrain dirt run medal

I watched the last few runners from our club come over the finish before taking the slow jog over to the football field.

Finishing position: 143/180
Official time: 1:00:37

I was really happy with my finishing time as I took more than two minutes off my time that I’d run the same course last year (62:53) and I’d put much more effort in last year than this.  Times aren’t everything though, and I was much more happy about the fact that I’d paced my run consistently, without pressure and remained upright over the finish line!

Lap lover or hater?  Can you think of any other lap love/hate comments I’ve forgotten?

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8 thoughts on “First race of 2015: Wellingborough Multi-Terrain 10k

  1. Lap lover right here 😀 In fact, I already have four multi-lap course races on the schedule for 2015! I think I’m going to end up running more lap courses than any other type. I find repetition comforting and knowing that I have completed one lap, at least in my mind, gives me the confidence and feeling of safety and security required to keep on running when the going gets tough. I definitely don’t deal with the unexpected very well, and lap courses help to soothe me and tune out external sources of stress (crowds, weather etc.) I can’t think of a disadvantage as I never run uber-busy lap races and I don’t seem to get bored with them.

    I would have been one of ‘those’ pathetic runners picking their way around the mud. I am no better at keeping my balance in mud than I am on ice!

    Congrats on such a strong start to the year – the first of many racing triumphs to come, I am sure :)
    Jess recently posted…Fitness DVDs Saved My LifeMy Profile

    1. Thanks Jess. I’m feeling strong at the moment and I hope this year I can tick off a racing year to be proud of. :)
      You are very definitely the definition of a lap lover! 😛 Your reasoning makes complete sense as well. The only other lap course I have planned for this year is Grim again – but laps over 10 miles aren’t quite as bad! Oh, and I should have the second MT race next weekend where I’m hoping to run the 15k.
      I usually find it easier to plough through mud – it’s often easier than ice and at least it’s easier to spot!

  2. I think your time is excellent considering the course is not always that easy there…I did the 5km a couple of times a few year’s ago and that hill…Oh that short sharp and seriously muddy hill sticks in my mind for all the wrong reasons! :)
    I think on that run it would be slightly frustrating going past the start point again but I can handle two laps…any more and I’m FED UP!
    Katie G recently posted…Read : Eat : MoveMy Profile

    1. That hill is a regular on our training routes – I have gradually perfected my route up it and know all the worst bits!
      I’m going for one more lap next weekend when I run the 15k, but I’m not sure I could do any more laps there…definitely not marathon distance anyway!
      Can I just remind you that when we met (although without my knowledge at the time!) it was as you were collecting your race pack for a lap 10k…! 😛

  3. Awesome stuff- you are looking very strong and confident :) Also, I love the photo with both feet off the ground- I hardly ever seem to get those of me!
    I do sometimes like laps- I like knowing what is coming and how to pace it, and sometimes they seem to go by quite quickly. But then if there is a hill in lap one, you know it will seem harder in lap two. Although the other year I did a 6 mile race on a 400m track and I thought it would be so boring, but in fact it was great as I could watch everyone else all the time. I tend to choose the non-lapping parkrun now as I find the front runners at the lapping one are quite rude- I was shoved once, and almost knocked in the lake another time, and once someone shouted ” get out of the way” (to someone else)- so rude!
    Maria @ runningcupcake recently posted…Sorting out my sports clothesMy Profile

    1. Thanks Maria – I felt strong on the run and really enjoyed it!
      I do remember reading your 6m recap and how surprised you were about enjoying it. A nice surprise though!
      Such a shame about the attitude of your front parkrun runners. I always get lapped at the Peterborough parkrun because I run it with one of my non-running friends but the front runners are always full of encouragement for my friend and me (well, as full as you can be in just a couple of gasped words!) and my friend Vicki always comments on how lovely everyone is.

    1. I’m not sure I’d survive five one kilometre laps! Also, it must be really confusing with everyone get overtaken at different points by the front runners!

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