Sunday seen me take to the middle of the Mournes to run 10k back to Kilborney Forest.
I won’t lie…as the last 10k before I start hitting the big miles, I was going out to PB. I wanted that personal best so bad. I’ve had 3 x 1.09 10k results and I just want a 1.08.59 so badly.
Yet I woke that day and knew something wasn’t going to go to plan. Just a gut feeling that it wasn’t in me. I knew Caitriona had her sights set on a 1.10 and I’d every faith that she wold give me a run for my money today and beat me.
She is coming on leaps and bounds. Doing Lisburn half and surviving I think has made her realise that yes she can do this and do it well. So fresh off her holidays with a fancy tan, new hair do and a good few runs in the heat under her hydration belt she was ready for this 10k.
Tara had also got herself into the race and had sights set on a pb of her own. She’s been progressing so well since joining Newry City Runners and she is so happy and determined with her running I’d no doubt in my mind that she was going to smash it. Plus she really suits the club colours!
The weather was onside and with an eclectic warm up of some dodgy shape throwing to Maniac 2000 we where off. Which by the way Tara…Bootsy has captured fabulously on camera lol
It was definitely a race which was missold to me…predominately downhill my ass. I forgot my favourite saying of what goes up must come down so I was met with the 3k gradual climb at the start and a monster hill at 8k. But other than that the garmin stats on elevation look favourable.
Yet a km in and I was feeling a tugging on the back of my left heel. I’ve heard horrible stories about snapped legiments etc so feared the worst if I continued on. I knew there where walkers in the field so I avoided stopping at the 5k mark and said sure I’ll walk if I have to.
And as I had predicted Caitriona was in fine form. Passing me at 1.5k and was forever in my sights, I just couldn’t catch her. It was lovely in a way as I was glad to see she was in front of me, I don’t have the nicest ass to be following and I’m sure she knows every colour variation in my pony tail. But it meant she was improving and pushing and that made me smile.
So I used her as my marker trying to not lose her. I met a lovely lady at 6k who chatted away to me as we enjoyed a nice downhill part of the course. I think this helped turn my race around. Her name was Francis and she was from the fabulous Ormeau Runners who always brighten your day in races. We chatted about Ballycastle and caravans totally taking my mind of the potential snapping of something in my foot.
At 8k we met “the hill.”
I watched people stop dead in their tracks when they seen it. However as much as a scarey hill it was, I don’t spend hours upon hours up mountains to be put off by a short hill. So I put my Lauren head on and powered up the hill.
I always think of our trips out when I tackle a hill, we have embraced the biggest hills in the Mournes together and procrastinated about them no end. So any hill that scares me I just think of how Lauren would love to tackle it head on and smash it.
On the hill I made ground on everyone. A welcomed feed stop had me spot Caitriona in the near distance. I know I finish races strong and after conquering that hill and entering into trail running territory, I knew I would be content with my pace. As I gained ground on her I became aware of the time. Her aim of 1.10 was within sights and knowing my pace was strong, when I caught up with her at 9k, we agreed to run it home together.
On down through the caravan park she encouraged me to stretch it out knowing I’ve a fear of downhills. We kept eachother at a steady pace and on the final downhill we came down it side by side.
Yeah a bad friend moment…with the momentum of the downhill and cheers of not only Michael and my baby girl, but on the far corner there was Tara and the Newry City Runners shouting for me. Then as I took the corner, Paula a fellow team mate was shouting and I was off. I couldn’t hold back. I hoped Caitriona would follow but as much as I tried, my legs had a mind of their own.
I glanced down at my watch…1.09.47. ANOTHER 1.09 finish. At first I was delighted as it was a 2 minute improvement on Shore 10k. Also after having a bad start to the race, I was surprised to be coming in at that time.
However I was gutted as I drove home. Another 1.09…that was 4 now. I just want to see 1.08.59. Ok ok it’s still a great time for me. Also I didn’t feel on form so that’s a valid excuse. I’m training for a full marathon..another great excuse. I could go on.
However…I had a collection of pbs to celebrate.
1k, 1 mile and 5k pbs….that’s something to focus on.
After a few days reflection am I still disappointed? Yeah I am but I’m happy to have achieved the time I did. It was mentally a tough race for me probably overshadowed by Cookstown half this week.
The event itself was well run, great craic and the atmosphere was fantastic. I totally massacred the hot dog at the end. And of course…the medal…finally a pink sparkly medal for my baby girl who was so excited by it. And her comment of “mammy I seen you run really fast” melted my heart. At least someone thinks I’m fast!
Also Caitriona got her 1.10 and Tara blew us all out of the water with a speedy 51! Well done girls!