MK Festival of Running – Race Recap

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Well here we are on the flip side of the MK Festival of Running 10k. Gary and I were using this race as a measure of our half marathon training so far and also a great way of seeing what’s it like to run on the streets of MK since that’s where our half will take place.

First of all I want to thank everyone who sent well wishes and messages of support to Gary and I over the last few days. It’s really amazing how many people have supported us. We’ll make you all proud again for the MK Half!

We were up bright and early in time to have a leisurely breakfast (honey and banana on toast) and a top up of water. The day was still pretty chilly when we left but knowing it was going to heat up outside I didn’t really know what I should wear. I opted for a black base later, long running tights and my Macmillan vest. This was a mistake. Despite it being fine standing around in this, within 1 mile I wanted to remove all my clothes and jump into the lake…. Anyway more of that later.

We arrived at the start and the atmosphere was wonderful. The sun shining and all the runners and supporters milling about. We found my friend Jen who was there to support us – so glad we saw her at the start. The 5k wave went off and then it was our turn to move along to the 10k start. We’d had a little drive around the route the day before so we had an idea of where we’d be running. And then we were off. It was amazing seeing all the heads of the runners up ahead in the morning haze, stretching along the long straight roads of Milton Keynes. Definitely the largest race I’ve taken part in, it was wonderful to see so many people running ahead. I kept the pacer screen on my Garmin so I knew I was heading out a tad fast to begin with, so I slowed and was able to maintain a comfortable sub 10m/mi pace for the first 3 miles.

It was just before the 5k water station that I began to feel the heat becoming a problem. All dressed in black long sleeves I was overheating all of a sudden. I needed the water we were given but had to be careful not to drink too much. Along this stretch a teenager had moved his drum kit outside onto his driveway and was playing drums for the runners – it was such a boost!

I tucked my top and vest up into my sports bra at the back and this did help a bit, but by this point I’d had to stop and walk or risk letting the heat win and as a result I lost Gary in the crowds – up until this point we’d been running at the same pace which was great. I carried on, grabbing jelly beans from spectators as I went. I was gagging for a hydration drink at this point, and now know I need to buy a running bottle and some hydration tabs for the half (Nuun here I come!) I also know I want to take some jelly babies to hand out when I go to support at the London Marathon.

The rest of the race is a bit of a blur, but at some point I ran right past Jen and didn’t even realise! She said I was so in the zone I didn’t hear her calling my name!

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Jen was this close to me and I missed her! Doh!

Speaking of people calling my name, since I was wearing my Macmillan vest which has my name on it, I was delighted by the amount of people cheering me on by name. I LOVED this and I think I need to get another vest (no charity) with my name on so I can always take advantage of this amazing support tool. The massive hill at the end (a different hill from what I thought it was) was hard but my hill training paid off and I ran the whole thing. At the top was a guy from Macmillan who was cheering me on as I got towards the top – thank you that man! You can also see from the photo above that I was wearing a knee strap. This was for my ITB injury and I felt zero pain the whole way around.

I saw my Mum & Dad then my Sister and her family at the last ‘landmark’ before the final stretch. I could hear people’s names being called out as they finished and as I neared the last corners I heard Gary’s name being called. Then it was my turn and it was over!

My final official time was 1:05:34 which was a PB by approx 2 minutes. I’m über pleased with that, but just wish I hadn’t walked when I did – the heat really hit me, and I didn’t want to get ill so went for cautious instead of time. There was a guy who collapsed at the finish and was taken away in an ambulance. Apparently he was pale and his lips were blue. A lot of people are asking how he is….. so I’m glad I was careful!

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Jen was there at the finish to congratulate us and give me big sweaty hugs (Me not her!). I’m really pleased with this run and it’s really shown how good our training has been so far.

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The training ramps up from here with at least two 10k runs each week in the plans to start with, and then increasing distance over the next 2 months until race day!

When we got home and after a wonderful bath, I had lunch. I’d been craving avocado on toast with bacon for about a week and a half and decided to leave it as a reward after the run. It was delicious!

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And I still have some left for later in the week!

The weather was so amazing that we headed back out to Willen Lake for the afternoon. The Brits were out in full force for the first sign of good weather. There was a 30 min queue for ice cream, barbeques on the go and far too many leggings as trousers (my eyes!) We probably walked about 3 miles on and off. It was a good stretch out for the legs. Sitting at the Peace Pagoda and watching the daffodils was beautiful. Spring has arrived!

So I have today and tomorrow off to recover. Tonight we’ll be back at the gym to do some weight training, as I’ve been slacking off since running has been taking precedence, and then it’s back to pounding the pavement tomorrow.

It’s exactly 8 weeks until the MK Half Marathon – Let’s get this done.

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