and ......................... Hello Adena :-D
Right then, to the race.
Braunton 10 is a tough old 10mile race that starts 1.5miles from my home. It's certainly not a fast course with it's two stinking hills in it, the first of which comes in two nice sections causing many an unsuspecting runner to swear out loud. Normally this is a race I do as training for Grizzly, putting in a warm up lap before the race starts to make it a nice little 20 miler. This year however I'm in no shape to go out doing 20's so it was just the 10 for me (plus running to and from home).
Shelly was over there nice and early to help out with registration while I messed around at home eating, drinking and trying my best not to leave anything I needed at home. With only 30mins remaining before the start I decided to drag my butt out into the cold and run over the the track where the start/finish was with the pup. There was a frantic 5mins before I left the house as I tore around trying (and failing) to find the HR strap for my Garmin. Ah well, no worries. Off we went and soon we were at the track, Rosie was safely in the car (she wasn't allowed to race) and I was putting my race number on, there was still 5mins to go (shocking!!). I headed out to the race start laughing at the (many) comments aimed my way by various clubmates and the race organisers about the fact that for once I'd actually made it there before the race start.
I slotted myself into the pack 5-6 rows from the front and with no intention of going haring off from the start as many people would. There were a couple of clubmates around so I chatted with them as the race started and we made our way through the early twisty section until we hit the road when we went our seperate ways and I started working my way past a few folks.
Mile 1 (6:34) was nice and easy, a reasonable paced first mile considering the slower than normal first 400m or so.
Mile 2 (6:13) was where I settled into my stride and started thinking about who was around me. People were generally running at or near my pace now.
Mile 3 (6:24) had the first water station in it and a couple of twists as we wound our way towards Pippacott Hill at
Mile 4 (8:20) I might be crazy, but I'm not stupid. I know I'm not in great shape and hitting a hill this hard early on would mean trouble later on. 350ft of climbing in the space of one mile is a tough climb in anyones books so tiny steps and an easy pace were the order of the day. NOBODY that passed me on this hill stayed ahead. It's
Mile 5 (6:13) is a nice (but slippery) steady road, descending steadily and giving you chance to stretch those legs out after the climb at Pippacott. Here I passed the people who'd come past on the way up while we headed to the next climb at Whitehall.
Mile 6 (7:40) Whitehall Hill, just over 200ft of ascent. Steadier and more consistent than Pippacott, still run easy I lost a place here but there was also a clubmate ahead that was within striking distance.
Mile 7 (6:04) A swift descent, a couple of turns and a small climb. The climbing was now all but finished and as we headed towards Ashford and Heanton along the ridge it was all systems go.
Mile 8 (6:14) Relatively flat now I reeled in my clubmate and the person who took me on the climb at Whitehall. Time to start striding out.
Mile 9 (5:51) Another relatively flat mile. Having the target of another clubmate ahead and not wanting to get caught by anyone I'd passed earlier it was just a case of keeping the screw wound up and hoping I didn't hit the wall.
Mile 10 (5:41) One final steep descent saw me catch another clubmate (who'd had an awesome race) and then there were just a few twists and turns as we headed back to the Finish Line at the athletics track. Luckily there was nobody around me so no need for a daft sprint finish, I could just cruise over the line.
Race all done and dusted in 1:05:24, good enough for 31st place in a field with 265 finishers. Outside of the 'top 10%' target that I normally set myself but and extra minute would have seen me comfortably in that range and considering the lack of training over the holiday period I won't be complaining.
So that's about it really. My training seems to have started again in the last week which is a bonus, the day of the race was actually my 6th consecutive day of training. Fingers crossed that it's not just another false dawn.