On Saturday 5th I ran my second 10k race in the Women’s Running 10k Series, my 4th 10k race to date. Last year’s was in London and they only had three locations, but this year they’ve opened it up to loads more places and I was very pleased to see that Milton Keynes was one of them. I had enjoyed last year’s so much that it was a no brainer to run this one. You can read last year’s recap here.
This year I roped in my friend Tash to run with me, since she was after a new challenge and hadn’t run 10k before. Our lead up to the day was a little muddled in training since we were both so busy. We only managed one training run together and our independent training runs sometimes turned into treadmill runs since the weather was being a tad temperamental. And in the days leading up to the event we could see that this wasn’t going to change. Heavy rain was forecast, but with very high humidity. It was going to be an odd one. I’d never run in the rain before so I was intrigued to see what it would be like, and since I suffer in heat a lot I hoped the rain would help me along.
The big day arrived and so did the rain. But we donned our head gear – I’d heard that a cap in the rain was the best choice of accessory as it kept the rain from your face. They weren’t wrong!
We arrived at the race village and it wasn’t too busy but women gradually started to appear over the next 45 minutes until there was just over 300 of us. The rain had held off until we decided to duck into the portaloos and by the time I re-emerged it was peeing it down. Gary was prepared with a large golf umbrella which was sheltered underneath until we had to move forward for the warm up. We did manage to get some pictures before the rain though:
The warm up was really excellent. Firstly it kept our whole body warm despite the rain coming down on us quite heavily by this point. It got my heart beat up just enough to prepare me for the race and all the parts of my body that needed a stretch and warm up got exactly that. The best pre-race warm up I’ve ever done.
And then we were moving towards our pacers. Since my fitness level had dropped dramatically since the half marathon I knew I would need to take this easy. I wanted to hit no slower than 70 minutes so lined up next to the sub 70min pacer. I love that this race had pacers and I knew I wanted to run sensibly this time around since last time I thought I’d chosen too slow, went faster than my pacer and then burned out too soon. I didn’t catch the name of the 70 min pacer but she was amazing. She was motivational and chatty (but not too chatty) and so friendly. I managed to run directly alongside her for about 4.5miles when I slowed down as I was starting to struggle.
The rain held off for most of the race but there were 2 large downpours – they were welcomed and seemed to happen just when I was overheating. The humidity was unbearable at points so the rain was amazing!
I didn’t walk at all until the 5k water station, where I realised I’d been going a little fast and took the opportunity to walk until the 70 min pacer met with me again at which point I carried on running. I’m really familiar with the route, since that’s where I train most of the time so I knew what to expect, but I was very impressed with my pace and how strong I felt. After a short walk later on and seeing I had 1k left, I began to run and felt so great I was able to start pulling back, dug my heals in and gave a really strong finish.
I crossed the finish line with a time of 1:10:35 – 36 seconds over what I’d wanted to achieve, but I’m still happy!
Reunited with Gary and Tash, along with her parents who were braving the weather to meet her, we got our medals, t-shirts and goody bags (the best goody bags in the business, and the medals even have the date and location printed on the ribbon which I love!) I headed over to the Everything But The Cow stand who were there to grab a bottle of their yummy drinks for me and Tash. They’d been lovely enough to send me some samples to review a few months back which you can read here. I mentioned that I’d tried their product frozen and they immediately knew who I was – ‘Erin – Groggits from Twitter ‘ they said. I was amazed they’d recognised me from my blog photo, and felt a little bit like a celeb 😀 It was amazing to meet and chat to the Everything But The Cow girls, and hear how much they’d loved my review.
I have to admit I was starting to wonder whether I was falling out of love with running since my half marathon, but after this race I know it was just a bump. I enjoyed it so so much, and I will definitely be back to run with Women’s Running again next year, whether it’s in MK or London.
Now I just have to find my next race…….