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    Whitley 10k Race Recap; Chasing The Sub-60

    Sometimes you just see a challenge and take it. That’s what I did with the Wigan Half Marathon. After that, I kind of fell back on my running and lost all motivation, so signing up for the Whitley 10k 5 days before the start without having run properly for a month… Well that brought another challenge.

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    Arriving at the Whitley 10k Starting Line

    I’d never driven to Whitley before, in fact I’d never even heard of the place until I discovered this 10k race, but it was actually a lot easier than expected. I used my satnav of course, but the race was sign posted from a few miles out so that was helpful. I’d seen in the instructions that we had to drive in through a different road to what the satnav may direct and this was easily found. The parking was also great too, and well directed by marshalls.

    We were really lucky over the weekend in that we got a couple more days of sunshine so arriving at such a pretty little village in the sunshine was lovely.

    Getting Past The First Few Miles

    Having not run for the past month, I did find the first couple of miles a little tough. It just felt like I took a little time to really settle in, but once I had it was all fine. Just before the halfway mark I settled into a good pace, and I was running alongside another women. We didn’t speak, but I felt like we were pacing each other. She may not have felt the same way, but hey, it sure helped me haha. I felt a little bad when I pulled away at around 5km, but I was feeling really good by that point and I’d been warned about a bit of a hill around the 6-7km mark and wanted to get a little speed in before possibly having to slow down for the climb.

    Struggling in Heat And Hills

    This sounds really arrogant as I write it, but the hill was actually no problem at all for me. I mean, it wasn’t great – I’m not a big fan of hills – but after the monstrous ones at the Wigan Half and the Blackburn 10k it was nothing really. Never did I think I’d say that! I dropped pace a little bit but I still managed to stay under 6:30 for that split so I was pleased enough with that. From then onwards it was go, go, go!

    The main problem I had was running in the heat. I’m just not used to it. I mean, we don’t really get many hot summery days do we?! Most of my race days have ended up being a little dreary or wet, so this was definitely different. I made a last minute decision to take a vest along and I’m so glad I did because if I’d attempted the run in the top I was originally wearing I would have been so uncomfortable. (And people were running in all black! How?!)

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    Do You Constantly Look At Your Garmin?

    Some people hate wearing watches and timing themselves when running. I am not one of those people. That said, I’ve learnt to just run and not constantly watch-check to see how I’m doing. Especially on Parkruns, I’ve just been running to how I feel. Sometimes it’s disappointing, like when I feel like I’ve been really pushing hard and then I don’t get a faster time, but honestly it’s made me enjoy the running so much more.

    Anyway, back onto the Whitley 10k… I checked my watch at 5km and I was just over 30 minutes. Not slow, but it meant I’d have to run the second half faster if I wanted that sub-60. I took on that challenge. After looking again around the 7-8km I realised I could do it if I just managed to keep under the 6min/km mark. I find looking at a watch constantly makes the run harder, because you’re aware of every little step, but I think if I hadn’t looked I might have just let my pace drop a little.

    The Finish Line

    With 1km to go, I didn’t have many people around me. I’d been picking off people as I ran, pushing myself that little bit faster each time. There was one lad, a few years younger than me I’m guessing and when I pulled up alongside him he definitely sped up a little. I managed to stay with him for a couple of minutes and then he pulled away and was into the distance! It pushed me though, and I knew I was super close to the end by now.

    Which brings me to the finish line. We headed back up a country lane and into the main area where everyone was waiting at the little community hall. The finish line was in sight, but oh, we had to run all the way around the parked cars first to get to that line?! This was pretty devastating, not going to lie haha. I’d just done almost 6 miles and this last 100 metres seemed SO far. But I pushed and pushed, and as I crossed the line the timer said 01:00:29. I knew my chip timing would be a little off from that, but I just didn’t know how much, and I only remembered to stop my Garmin after I’d had my chip taken off my shoe so that was out too.

    The Results

    It was a long few hours waiting for that result! I spent the next few hours watching the rugby (and seeing this amazing stadium entrance by the Red Devils Parachute Team!) and constantly checking my phone. Must have been around 4pm when I spotted the results online and did a little dance in the female toilets when I saw 00:59:53!! New PB and finally under the sub-60 10km. So, so pleased with myself. Winning the rugby match too was just a great end to a great day.

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    You can see the full overview of my run stats on Strava here!

    My next race is the Great Manchester Run 10k… sub-59 maybe?

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    What Do You Listen To When Running?

    Some people run with music, some audiobooks, some podcasts, some nothing. I’d say I’m a mixture of all, but mostly audiobooks or nothing at the moment… So what do you listen to when running?

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    Can You Concentrate on an Audiobook During a Run?

    Audiobooks have me in two minds. Currently my long runs are spent listening to the Harry Potter audiobooks, and it’s great. As I’ve read the actual books so many times, I find it super easy listening material and I can always keep up with what’s happening. I mean I can pretty much recite them. Is that something to be proud of? (Well I am) Now I’ve tried another fiction audiobook and I just kept getting completely lost. Granted I tried this whilst commuting and not running, but it completely put me off fiction. Besides Harry Potter of course, for the above reasons…

    Non-fiction books are completely different though. You don’t really have to listen to intently and keep up with a storyline, which makes it a lot easier in my opinion. I listened to Running Like A Girl by Alexandra Heminsley at some point last year and absolutely loved it. As a book based on personal experiences, it felt like I was just listening to a friend chatting. Would recommend that book actually as it had me laughing out loud many times!

    Audiobooks are a definite no-no if you’re doing intervals or a tempo run or something other than easy and slow and I think most if not all runners would agree with that. How would you keep track?!

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    So What About Podcasts When Running?

    I’d definitely put these in the same category as non-fiction books. Perfect for those long or easy runs. You could literally search for anything and there will be a podcast for it. I’ve got plenty of running related ones on the app I use (Podcast Addict) but I’ve also got TV series discussion ones (AfterBuzz), Serial, Stuff Mom Never Told You, Ted Radio Hour, The Black Tapes, Welcome to Nightvale and a few more. A good mixture!

    The thing is, I do sometimes zone out whilst on my long runs. The audio is great as background noise and a distraction, but I guess it’s not a time where I want to be putting all my focus into listening. This makes podcasts perfect because honestly it’s mostly just chatter depending on what you’re listening to and it doesn’t matter if you miss a few sentences here and there. As above, I wouldn’t choose a podcast for any fast training run!

    Use Music to Get Your Body Moving

    This is where music comes in. If I’m honest, I can’t remember the last time I listened to music when running. (Shows how much I do intervals/tempos – that needs to change!) I don’t have music on my phone and I cancelled my Spotify premium so you know, I’ve just managed without. I actually headed out for a run on Tuesday after work. I was a kilometre in when I realised I hadn’t put any music or podcasts or audiobooks on. So used to running without now at Park Run each week!

    So yes, I have a severe lack of interval/tempo/sprints and whatever else in my running training, but if I did motivational music has to be the way to go. All too often I’ve just put a random playlist on and then I’ll get a really slow song come on, and it just ruins your flow. You can find playlists on programs such as Spotify, or workout CDs that have music with a very specific tempo time. These are perfect for keeping you running at the pace your aiming for and I need to utilise them more.

    What do you listen to whilst running? Any favourites?

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    14 Races To Tick Off The Bucket List

    Not gonna lie, I mostly enjoy doing races for the medal afterwards. And the sense of achievement, I guess. They’re always fun and it’s great to see the variety of people that turn up. It’s also great doing a run in a new place and seeing new things! I keep spotting races that sound awesome, so here’s a little race bucket list of ones I’d love to do!

    Tough Mudder | Race Bucket List

    Photo: Gameface Media. Thanks to Jodi from Tough Mudder for sending!

    Tough Mudder

    If you’ve never heard of Tough Mudder before (have you been living under a rock?!) it is basically just an obstacle course. Except it’s pretty tough. And muddy. Currently I’m pretty sure I’d have the stamina, but I don’t have the upper body strength that would be really useful with this race… I really want to do one though!

    Race For Life Pretty Muddy

    In the same vein as above, I’d love to do the Race For Life Pretty Muddy. Similar to the Tough Mudder, only a lot easier I imagine! I haven’t been able to do this yet because of the dates and being busy each year, but I will get to one eventually!

    Paris Half | Race Bucket List

    Photo: Jon Furniss. Disneyland Paris Press

    The Disneyland Paris Half Marathon

    Who wouldn’t want to run through Disneyland Paris, let’s be serious now. Imagine running through the streets of Disney, passing the castle and knowing that the characters are dotted about to see as your run progresses. It just sounds like a dream, and I’d get to run through gorgeous countryside too. I’d love to try the American ones too, but let’s hit Paris first eh? There is a medal that you can get for doing both the US and Paris halves in one year!

    The Great Wall Marathon

    Because how amazing would it be to run along the Great Wall of China? Plus there’s the option of shorter distances, like a half or 8.5k. I’ve always wanted to see the Great Wall though, and it makes sense to get both things done in one. Obviously. Will it ever happen? Who knows.

    Lanzarote Marathon, Half Marathon & 10K

    I’ve been to Lanzarote twice, and I took my running shoes the second time so I could go explore. I loved running along the coastline and finding new places and I think I’d like to go back to complete an organised race. It’s a lovely country and hey, I could gorge on a delicious Paella afterwards. What’s not to love about that?

    Midnight Sun | Race Bucket List

    Photo: Truls Tiller. Thanks to Midnight Sun Marathon for sending!

    Midnight Sun Marathon

    This takes place in Norway, starting in the evening time. Yes, that photo above was taken at NIGHT TIME. Amazing right?! The time of year it takes place means that the sun doesn’t fully set, so I’d be running at night time but in ‘daylight’! They have a 10k and half-marathon distance which is more likely to be the ones I’d choose, rather than marathon. Cool right? I’d also just love to visit Norway so you know, killing two birds with one stone and that.

    London, Berlin, Boston, Chicago, New York & Tokyo Marathons

    The World Marathon Majors. Is this ever going to happen? I’d say more unlikely than likely but hey, it’s up there. London and Boston are the ones I’d like to do the most – Boston even more so after watching Patriot’s Day recently. It just seems like an amazing place, with super supportive residents and a great outlook on life. But yeah, I’d really love to hit the 6… Just look at the finisher medal!

    Race The Train

    I only discovered this quite recently, but Race The Train sounds like a stunning run. You’re ‘racing’ a steam train and running through glorious countryside. There’s a 14 miles, 10km, 5.5 miles or 3.5 miles. It’s based in Wales so you know you’re gonna get some brilliant views along the way!

    Great North Run

    The Great North Run is just one of those that everyone seems to want to do. It’s the largest half marathon in the world. That’s pretty exciting right? I can’t even add anything else to this, I just know I want to do it.

    So that’s my (provisional) list. A lot of marathons in there…
    Right now that distance terrifies me haha! What’s on your race bucket list?

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    Wigan Half Marathon Recap: 13.1 Miles of Hilly Hell

    It’s been a week already! Running the Wigan half marathon was THE hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life, but it was so worth it!

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    The Start

    The Wigan 10km didn’t have staggered starts, so I wasn’t expecting the Wigan half marathon to – and it didn’t. This meant it was a little slow setting off for us in the middle and at the back. I crossed the line at around 2 and a half minutes, but I was off and then the roads were pretty open thanks to them being closed or managed by marshalls.

    One of my favourite moments was spotting a 40-odd year old man stopping to either give something to his parents or get something from them in the first few miles of the race. They sent him off with a “See you soon sunshine” and he was like “Ah, perks of having your family there to cheer you on.” It just made me laugh, but they looked so proud though. Cute.

    The first half of the race was alright. I was feeling okay, but I knew the rest of it would be tough. The rain also decided to make an appearance at the half way mark, so we were all soaked. I don’t really mind running in rain, but it’s awful when everything is wet and you can’t wipe the rain off your face with anything dry. Also glasses. I should have taken a cap…

    The Hill

    We were running down a canal at this point, which was lovely but also pretty windy (which didn’t make the rain any nicer) along the water side. And then I saw the hill. The hill which, in relfection, was nothing to worry about. Nothing compared to the mountain that followed! Never in my life have I walked into Haigh Hall through the plantations, so when people said there was a long hill incline I just thought ah, it’ll be tough but my park run is hilly so I’ll be fine. Ha. Ha.

    This section was KILLER. Absolutely killer. From roughly 6-10 miles we were heading up, with the hardest bit being from 8-10 miles. Actually just as we were at that bit someone ‘helpfully’ shouted “Come on guys, just 2 miles to go and we’re out of this hill”. Cue a few exclamations of “STILL 2 miles to go?!” It was hard because the hill was really winding, and we had people coming back down the same way as we were going up. Every corner I’d be hoping this was the end, and it wasn’t. It just seemed to last forever. I made it most of the way up and then I just had to walk a little.

    That’s one of the hardest things for me. I know it isn’t, but it just feels like a bit of a fail when I have to walk. Sometimes you’ve just got to suck it up and give yourself that break. We had two gel/water stations through this hill though, and that was a god send. As always, plenty of people helping you along and once we did get to the downhill it was great. I mean I still felt bloody awful, but at least I was going down!

    We had one last hill before getting out of the Haigh Hall section and there was a couple stood here cheering us on and repeating “Look, the gate’s just there. You’ve done the hard bit now!” It was coming up this last hill, between the 11-12 mile mark, where I was completely and utterly struggling to keep going. I could feel the tears appearing, but I didn’t want to cry. I’ve never felt so emotional during a race or run and it wasn’t a great feeling to be honest. Upon leaving the park though we passed a runner sat on the floor surrounded by paramedics (she looked okay – just exhausted) and I knew I needed to keep going and finish.

    The photo on the left was taken at around 9 miles or so I’d guess, after the humongous hill and surprisingly I’m looking pretty good. The one on the left was just coming to the finish line and well, you can see how I was feeling by this point!

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    The finish

    From Haigh Hall we had just over a mile to go, back on the roads. The support here was greater and there were so many people out cheering us on. A really fab marshall was shouting at the top of her voice to keep up going and it was great. I really needed that push at the end. I have to say though, that last mile was SO hard.

    My legs were just so tired and sore, especially the muscle all around my hips and the inside of my thighs. My thighs and hips were actually giving me the most pain I’ve ever had running, and I’m not entirely sure if it was the distance or the hill. I’m thinking the hill mostly because it was tough. When I crossed the line, my body was just shaking like mad.

    Half-Finish

    The Massage

    I must have looked a sight as I walked to the end of the race pen area. Actually I know I did because my boyfriend said I was walking like bambi haha. Again I felt like I could just break down into tears but I held myself together – just about. The pain was mostly the cause of this emotion but I was also super proud of myself. I don’t think I gave the 13.1 miles enough credit before actually doing the race. They really are a great feat, and you can see how much it means to others.

    One of the best things about race days though is the massage afterwards, and I’ve been lucky enough to get free ones in all the races I’ve done. That said, the massage I had after my race was honestly the most painful thing I have ever felt. Seriously. I had two people working on my thighs because that’s where I was in pain… I couldn’t keep still and they had to keep asking me if I was okay because I was clearly hurting haha. It definitely helped though and the pain started to disappear as the massage went on… But then I had to get up and walk to the changing area and if I’m honest I don’t think I was completely with it!

    All good and well though. I got changed, stuffed my face at The Chinese Buffet and then went on to watch the rugby. Even though my team only just scraped a draw… Was still good. An eventful day to say the least! The Wigan half marathon was definitely one to remember, and I’ll be there next year!

    You can see the full overview of my run stats on Strava here!

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    That is an actual mountain… Right? Blue is pace, shaded is the elevation.

    Ever done a Half Marathon? Has my recap put you off haha?
     

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    Half Marathon Training: The Final Countdown

    Two days. Two days and this half marathon will be over! I’m filled with a mixture of excitement and nerves.

    Half Marathon Training: The Final Countdown

    Why Do I Always Get Hit With A Cold The Week Before A RAce?

    Seriously though. My last two 10k races I’ve gotten a cold in the week before, and it has happened again. Except this time I’m doing a half marathon. The only positive is that the cold appears a week before, and not the day before. Then I’d have serious problems!

    Because of this cold, the last run I did was on Saturday at Park Run. Is it bad that I’ve done hardly any running in the past two weeks? I don’t know to be honest. My legs are definitely well rested though and that’s better than burning out!

    I guess any struggles on the day will be more of a mental thing, because I’ve done plenty of training (in fact I’ve done LOADS compared to my usual pre-race struggle to cram the miles in) and I know I can definitely run for at least 2 hours. I didn’t post as much as I thought I would but this year has been a really good year for running so far. I’ve felt more motivated. It helps that I discovered the #ukrunchat on twitter, and I’ve been following more runners on my fitness instagram. (@runliftkt if anyone wants it!)

    I’m expecting it to take me between 2 and 2h30 to finish but to be honest I’ll be happy whatever time I cross the line. My longest training run was 16.5km (so pretty much just a 5k off the total) and I was pretty pleased with the time I did it in. I’ve also discovered that the race will have two gel stations as well as water, and it’s the High5 Gels that I’ve been training with so that’s great news.

    A post shared by Katie Halsall (@runliftkt) on

    It’ll Be A Busy Day…

    I’ll be kept company with my boyfriend this time, how strange! I’ve never had a boyfriend come to a race and support me. Always my mum and dad haha. He’ll have to take the role of photographer for a couple of hours, and of course wait around for 2 hours in a strange town… But then we’ll be stuffing our faces with chinese buffet food and then heading off to see the rugby. Important post-race fuelling. Obviously.

    When your team plays on the same day and your race medal gets you in for free, you can’t say no can you? We’ve won 4 out of 4 games now in the league so I’m hoping this will be number 5. It’s my boyfriend’s first rugby league match so we’ve got to impress… I can’t wait anyway, it’ll be a good day!

    My next running update will be a race recap… Keep your eyes peeled!

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    Fuelling Long Runs With High5 Energy Gels

    Gels always scared me. I didn’t know what to expect, and figured they’d just be really weird and sickly. That wasn’t the case!

    Fuelling Long Runs With High5 Energy Gels

    I’m sure we all know by now that I’m training for a half marathon. I mean I say training, but you know, it’s one of those where I feel like I’m doing stuff and then I see everyone else on twitter/instagram getting out WAY more than me. Also, here’s the disclaimer… I was not asked to write this for High5, I simply got a selection of the gels when buying a new water bottle and figured what the heck, they seem interesting enough!

    Why I’m Using Energy Gels On Runs

    I would class myself as a very middle runner. Not fast, but not really that slow either. I’m fully expecting my half marathon to take between 2h-2h30 to complete (and hopefully not more!) and that’s a long time running for me. So far in training I’ve run 1h45 (with a 2h run planned as this is posted!) and I’ve discovered that I do need something mid-run to keep my energy up.

    If I’m honest, I’m not great at fuelling before hand. I don’t like to eat too much before a run as I don’t want to upset my stomach and whilst this is fine for shorter runs, after an hour I start to feel like I need something. A lot of people use gels for longer runs so I figured it was time to try them.

    They are basically just a quick boost of carbohydrates, suitable for vegetarians and vegans and without lots of added nasties. It’s advised to take them every 20-30 minutes during a long run, but what I’ve been doing so far is just taking one just after the hour/10km mark. As I hit 2hrs, I’ll try taking another after the 30 minutes to see how I get on with two gels.

    You can’t really see properly, but the nutritional info for the orange flavour is: 0g Fats, 56g Carbs (with 7.4g sugars), 0g protein and 0.12g salt. Citrus is the same but with 6.2g sugars and I guess all flavours will differ slightly in that regard.

    Fuelling Long Runs With High5 Energy Gels

    Texture and Taste of Energy Gels

    It was weird actually. Not as gloopy as I imagined, but still a little thick. It was kind of like eating a yoghurt, except not creamy at all. Just very fruity with a little bit of a twang. So far I’ve only tried the Summer Fruits and Apple flavours but I’ve enjoyed them. Wouldn’t say they’re extremely delicious, but they’re definitely palatable. The Summer Fruits was probably my favourite out of the two as it was a little softer tasting – we all know how tangy apple can be in sweets and stuff right?!

    High5 also do IsoGels. They are basically the same thing, just with a higher water content. This makes them a lot closer to a drink rather than a gel, but do make the sachets heavier and harder to carry when running. I was going to try some, but that put me off as I don’t really have a belt designed to properly hold gels.

    Do Energy Gels Make A Difference?

    I would say so. They’re obviously not miracle workers and key to hitting a PB, but I definitely felt the energy release and my legs felt a lot lighter afterwards. Maybe it’s all mental, but even so it still works. You do have to make sure you’re properly hydrated and all beforehand, as the gels won’t do that for you! I think they’re definitely worth giving a go anyway.

    Ever used gels before? Other brands I should try?

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    Blackburn Winter Warmer 10km Race Recap!

    I went into this race fully blind as to what the route was like. Oh, Buncer Lane was a shock to the system! I loved the whole day though, and I would definitely think about doing the Winter Warmer 10k again! This is a long one.

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    5th February 2017. Sunlight streaming through my room, I checked my phone to see it was 7:40am. I’d woken 15 minutes before my first alarm was due to go off but hey, no point attempting to get back to sleep! I was actually so awake at this point, and just excited. It was my 24th birthday, but honestly the most exciting part was that I had my first race of 2017 – the Blackburn Roadrunners Winter Warmer 10k!

    Let’s go back to mid-January. I was thinking about my birthday and realising that it was on a Sunday I knew that there would be a race somewhere. Turns out there were quite a few down south! I managed to find the Mad Dog run in Bolton, and this one in Blackburn. Unfortunately the Mad Dog 10k sold out months and months ago, so I went for the Blackburn one. A little further away from me than Bolton, but still only about a 40 minute drive away as it turns out. Don’t ask me why, but I just really wanted to do a run on my birthday, and a run with a medal at that! Sad or just a little insane? I’ll let you decide ha!

    The drive was really easy and we arrived in no time. There were plenty of marshalls already about, directing cars for parking and then directing the runners to the pick up areas. Getting my race bib and chip took minutes, and I was really impressed with their organisation! It was only when I got back outside and showed my number to my mum that I realised I’d been given number 24. On my 24th birthday. It can’t have been coincidence, I signed up late! Once that was done, we headed back into the arena and soaked up the atmosphere. There’s just nothing better than the nervous excitement that race day brings! Oh and my mum told the guy doing all the race commentary it was my birthday so he only went and bloody announced it to everyone! Embarrassing.

    As we were there early, we got to see the younger runners doing their 2km run first. Some of them were absolutely tiny, and it was lovely to see them all running. Honestly I felt a little emotional when they all started coming back in to the finish line, all red-cheeked, tired looking yet so happy with themselves!

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    11am, time for the 10k! The start and finish was on the track, so all runners headed around the track and we all lined up. Pacers were helpfully dotted about so I quickly found the 60 min pacer and tried to start near to him. I thought this was really great – the pacers all carried a badminton racket with their time on it so you could easily spot them throughout the race. Better to keep up with them! (Also my mum was so proud of herself for getting this photo of me as I ran past!)

    Uphill struggles

    I mentioned at the beginning that I was not prepared for Buncer Lane. Well nope, I certainly was not. The first 1-3km was completely uphill. It was nearly like 20 minutes worth of uphill running. Horrendous. There was one point and I was like ‘Yes, we are turning left instead of going up that hill!’ and then we turned left, and went up the same hill just at the other end of the road… As I got to the top my stomach felt so tight and if I’m honest I thought I was going to be one of those people you hear about collapsing and having a heart attack whilst running haha. It was awful!

    But then the 1:05 pacer went in front of me and that was all the push I needed. There was no way I was taking more than 65 minutes to finish this 10k! That said, I really didn’t think I’d be able to hit a PB at all by this point.

    Going on Down!

    Thankfully, the next 4-6km was all downhill. Still pretty tough on the legs, but you can sort of just let gravity do the work and pull you down… I definitely managed to pick back up some time here and also spotted the 60 minute pacer a few minutes ahead of me. Still, it was a very distant few minutes away. These kilometres were definitely a lot more enjoyable, and I was feeling really good by this point. We did hit another small uphill challenge at around 7km but soon enough we were back to level grounding.

    The views were incredible though, we were running through country lanes and could see pretty far at some points. It was nice just to run through long country lanes though and see all the houses and areas around there.

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    Photo thanks to Michael Rawsterne (https://www.flickr.com/photos/147287852@N06/)

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    Photo thanks to Michael Rawsterne (https://www.flickr.com/photos/147287852@N06/)

    Nearing the end

    I can’t honestly remember much from the last 8-10km. As we got back to Witton Park we ran through football fields where plenty of matches were happening. It felt a little surreal actually. I think to be honest I was just completely knackered by this point! Someone did spot my number though, and I guess from the commentator announcing it, they remembered it was my birthday. Got a big happy birthday shout as I ran past. I mean, that cheered me up! I also spotted my dad just before getting back onto the track.

    Final 400m lap of the track

    This was actually torture. We got back to the track, had to run past the finish line and around the 400m before getting back to the finish line to finish. I could see the 60 min pacer about 100m in front of me so I tried so hard to get that last sprint to catch him up. As I crossed they read out my number/name and I didn’t hear it but apparently the guy wished me happy birthday again!

    As I came to a stop, I felt SO tired and sick. I really pushed myself in the last half of that race, and although I didn’t know for certain, I was pretty sure I’d hit a new PB. As it turns out, I finished in 01:00:03. A 30 second PB, but so damn close to that sub-60. If only I could have pushed that little bit harder! I’m still annoyed but hey ho, Manchester 10k that sub-60 is getting done. I was the 120th female and 398th finisher out of 600 so I’m happy with that.

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    I of course took advantage of the free massage afterwards… When it’s there, you can’t say no! It was also one of the most painful thing ever – on par with those uphill kilometres haha. Legs felt great after it though! Overall I thought the Blackburn Road Runners really put on a fab race. There were SO many marshalls in and around the arena, out on the course and easily on hand if you needed anything. It’s great when so many volunteers can come together to make a day run so smoothly. It seems like a really great club to be a part of, and if I lived closer I wouldn’t think twice about joining them!

    And here are my stats in case anyone was interested! Just look at a visual of that awful hill incline!

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