Red Wine Runner

A Scottish Running Blog

Tag: 10k (page 2 of 3)

Baker Hughes Battle Plan

“No battle plan ever survives contact with the enemy” Sun Tzu

The 2012 Baker Hughes 10k will mark my 2nd anniversary of road racing and will be my 21st race! As documented earlier in the year this race was to be a goal race and my plan as I set it out a few weeks ago was to crack the 50 minute mark at the 10k distance. For me this is not an unsubstantial goal, especially coming off the back of an Ultramarathon where I was training happily at an ultra-pace of 10:30 minute miles. To finish a 10k in under 50 minutes meant shaving that pace right down to a minimum of 8:01 minute miles and applying the mental stamina built at the start of the year to conquer 33 miles, into transcending the pains of running fast. I used to laugh in disbelief when friends like Dave and Mike would say that racing a 10k was harder work than completing an ultra, but believe me my friends; it really is.

These days I would happily take a 6 hour running journey over a 50 minute suffer-fest. What I grew to love about ultradistance running was the time that you have alone to think over, strategise, travel, and transcend the distance. In a 10k race you don’t have a second to dawdle; if you’re going into it well-trained then you should be running purely on muscle memory from the moment the gun goes off ’til the second you cross the finish line. No day-dreaming, no appreciating your surroundings and certainly no mid-race cake. Shame!

As recently documented, my body hasn’t taken too kindly to my requests that all my miles be quick ones. Initially I found my pace creeping down easily and my interval sessions and attempts at tempo runs seemed to be making a difference. Unfortunately I hit a glass ceiling towards the end of April when ITB problems reared their ugly head and I found myself in a lot of pain. Perhaps this is my body saying it’s not ready to run so fast – when I pick my speed up one of the first things to go is my form; I feel like a bag of spanners when I run and I probably look like one too; with a marvellous heel-strike to complete the image! I’ve had two session of sports massage with a great therapist at the SPEAR clinic at Aberdeen Sports Village, but I continue to get pain after 3 miles of running and the day after a run it hurts a lot even to walk.

I didn’t mention this at the time but I also caught a cold at the end of April which went straight to my chest; I missed about a week of runs when the weather was cold and I was coughing up green sludge. I followed the rule that if your sickness is above the neck then you’re ok to run, but when it goes below…you stay on the couch. The cold has long since gone but for a week or two afterwards my chest felt so tight whilst running – perhaps I was sicker than I thought.

So when considering my plan for Sunday’s race, the above quote by Sun Tzu is painfully appropriate. In my case, the enemy is injury. I find it very doubtful that I am going to achieve my sub-50 minute goal on Sunday, but do you know what? I am ok with that.

On Monday night I ended up squeezing in a run between 9pm and 10pm after a work commitment and enjoyed 3 fast miles before the tightening in my ITB started to give way to pain; not enough pain to stop me running but enough to keep my pace down and make my heart sink. I completed 6.5 miles in about 56 minutes and came home and sulked. I sulked most of the morning the next day until I told myself to man up and figure out exactly how I felt about my troubles and how I was going to deal with them as by this point I was even pissing myself off.

Running is too important to me to spend half my time on the bench injured whilst trying to hit an arbitrary speed goal. In the last year I’ve developed my endurance and skills at distance running and found what I love most about running. It only occurred to me this morning that the last 10k I did…was actually last year’s Baker Hughes! I am not a particularly fast runner and I don’t even like running fast that much; there is no need for me to push myself to meet certain goals just for the sake of them. Sure, I’d feel like a bit of a bad-ass if my 10k PB started with a 4 …but I’d get far more satisfaction from training for and completing another ultra.

So that is why I’m setting the bar lower for Sunday’s race. I’ve got lots of fun running things coming up this summer such as the Ythan Challenge and being a support runner for my friend Vicki at the West Highland Way race so I need to keep myself in good shape. I’m sure I’m capable of a small PB so I’ll be happy with anything under 52:30 which will mean a rather chilled 8:26 minute per mile pace:

My ‘Happy Pace’ currently is about 8:30 minute miles which feels great – that is until my knee starts hurting after three miles. So I’m just going to play it by ear (knee?), run as hard as I can and take the pressure off by ditching the big sub-50 goal. Speedy Kynon will be starting with me and we may well run together for a while, but as far as I’m concerned it’s every man for himself once we’re over the starting line. Hopefully my competitive side will be engaged if he pulls ahead though, and I’ll be hot on his heels.

Whatever happens it looks to be a huge race and a great day out with so many of my friends joining me including several first-timers. Best of luck to: Kynon, Scott, Niall, Fiona, Morven, Emma, Claire, Adam, Ryan, Mcaulay, Rachel; and of course the Fetch massive: Corrah, Hamster, Mother Duck, Dawdles, Lesley C, Lou C…and all the rest. See you on the start line!

 

My First DNS

This has been a bit of a tricky blog post to write. My feelings are kind of all over the place regarding this and I’ve been putting it off, but I can’t do that forever. I suppose it was only a matter of time until this happened – every runner has to experience it eventually – but unfortunately I DNS’d (Did Not Start) my race on Sunday; the Petrofac Challenge 15 mile Trail Race.

For the last two weeks or so I’ve been having mild-to-moderate ITB pain in my left leg. Not enough to stop me running, but enough to have me spending concentrated time with my foam roller and using an ice pack when I can. Since I’m getting well-versed in dealing with my problematic left ITB, I was happy to just keep training and running as normal and manage the pain myself as I saw fit. This Saturday however, I completed my progressive run as planned by running to Parkrun and then running the 3.1 mile Parkrun route hard (I finished 5th lady in a time of 24: 58) but was feeling pretty acute pain in my knee when walking around after I finished. I took advantage of a lift home from a friend to avoid running home again and quickly got ready for the Brewdog AGM which I was attending that afternoon.

I was quietly concerned about my throbbing knee but took some ibuprofen and hoped that like it had done after  other recent runs, it would calm down within a few hours. Unfortunately the AGM involved a lot of standing around and as the afternoon went on, my knee became increasingly sore and the familiar ‘creaking’ feeling of an incredibly taut ITB became more acute when I bent my knee. I realised I was going to have to make a decision – was running a 15 mile trail race for fun the next day really the best decision I could make for my body?

It was obvious really – of course it wasn’t, but I was reluctant to accept that this was the case. If I ran the race then the chances are it would either finish me off in terms of being able to continue training hard for Baker Hughes, or I would end up injured on the course and face the prospect of a DNF (Did Not Finish) and the end of my sub-50 hopes. Also as an Aberdonian, the notion of wasting money entering a race which I wouldn’t run was galling!

My furrowed brows and deep thoughts had not gone unnoticed at the AGM and my friends wondered what was bothering me but I was embarrassed to admit what was going on in my head. How does the saying go again? “DLF (Dead Last Finish) is better than DNF (Did Not Finish) which greatly trumps DNS (Did Not Start)”. Great, thanks. Now, I’m at a Brewery’s AGM – where’s the damn bar?!

That is not a real tattoo unfortunately, but does anyone want two tickets to the gun show? The Fitness Yoga classes and weights I’m doing have been shaping up my arms very nicely recently I feel!

Here I am with three of my best buddies and fellow Aberdeen Brewdog regulars; Scott (my flatmate), Fiona and Niall.

Representing Brewdog Aberdeen.

Needless to say I enjoyed the rest of the AGM very much – as a shareholder I’m proud to have been able to invest in a brewery and attitude I believe in and am a proud, card-carrying Equity Punk.

The next morning I was wide awake at 7am, brow furrowed again wondering if I’d made the right decision. One step out of bed when I put my weight on my knee confirmed it, and I promptly slathered the joint in ibuprofen gel, turned my alarm off and went back to sleep.

I spent the rest of the day in a tremendous huff; disappointed in my body, embarrassed to admit that I didn’t run to my friends and parents, and gutted at how my training was falling to bits so quickly. (And also trying to figure out how to blog about this disappointment). I KNEW it was the right thing to do, but to not even start something goes against everything in the standards I set for myself in life – always try your hardest, always give it your best, don’t wimp out in the face of adversity… In this case I have to adapt my train of thought however; it was a preventative action, I have to keep my sights on the bigger picture and my goals for the rest of Spring and beyond.

So what now? Well yesterday I returned to the SPEAR Performance clinic at Aberdeen Sports Village who treated me for my ITB issues after the Loch Ness Marathon, and had my first experience of Sports Massage. I had booked an hour-long appointment and I have to say I was a little unsure of what to expect at first but I really enjoyed it! I knew to expect some discomfort to say the least, but I found the pain to be good pain – a release of sorts. The whole experience was oddly exhilarating and I left feeling totally flushed out and about 10 feet tall! I have not experienced any pain so far today and I’ve been advised to train as usual, with religious foam rolling and icing after runs, and to come back in 10 days for a follow-up. This will allow my therapist to examine the muscles in more detail and perhaps establish whether this is an injury related to something to do with alignment or whether it’s just a reaction to my change in training.

Tonight I’m going out for 6ish miles in between day work and evening work, and will hopefully be able to throw in a few tempo miles in the middle depending on feel. It’s safe to say the wheels have come off my previous training plan entirely, but I refuse to let go of the sub-50 goal yet! Perhaps it won’t come as easily as it might have done, and it may even be a fluke on the day; but it’s happening. 17 days.

Sub-50 minute 10k Plan

After a fair bit of thought and time spent mulling over my options, I think I finally have my training plan sorted out for my sub-50 minute attempt at the Baker Hughes 10k in May. For me this is a tricky time to try and push myself into targeted training as I’m terribly busy both at work and socially. One glimpse of my calendar for the next month proves this!

I’ve been concentrating on how to train efficiently and effectively around various engagements; thankfully a key ingredient in building speed are interval sessions which for someone at my level, don’t need to be any more than 4 miles. This means I can squeeze in workouts where previously in ultra training I’d be struggling to find time to do so.

I’m working on the basis of three speed-based sessions a week, one easy run and one ‘long’ run, and one day cross training. I still have a great fitness base from the Ultra so I’m forgoing hill training for now and just focussing on getting my legs moving faster. I don’t have a great deal of time at all so I’m hoping for the best; if I don’t reach my goal at this race there are a couple of other options later in the year to have another go – further afield either the Crieff 10k or perhaps the Forth Road Bridge 10k, or closer to home the no-frills and flat Beach 10k in June which takes place along the oh-so-familiar Beach Promenade.

My planned sessions are as follows:

MONDAY: Cross Training – fitness yoga/core/weights
TUESDAY: Intervals* – either at the ASV track or in Stonehaven with Kynon (who is FAST)
WEDNESDAY: Easy run – a short 45 – 60 min run to shake out
THURSDAY: Tempo* – 1 mile warm up, X miles at tempo pace, 1 mile cool down
FRIDAY: Rest – probably with beer
SATURDAY: Progression – Early miles getting faster and finishing up at Aberdeen Parkrun.
SUNDAY: ‘Long’ Run – 1.5 – 2 hours depending on feel. Mainly indulging my enjoyment of long runs.

*: – These sessions are interchangeable depending on work commitments.

The training plan itself looks like this:

I feel somewhat uneasy looking at this – it’s a bit alien to me and I’m really not looking forward to the tempo runs. Tempo Pace for me will be at, or as near as I can get, to 8 minute miles. I need to run 6 x 8 minute miles to get a sub – 50 10k so on race day ideally I should be knocking out 7:5X miles. At the moment my easy pace is 8:30 – 9ish. Makes me feel a little sick just thinking about it…!

I wish I could say that the plan got off to a good start but last week was somewhat patchy. I had a great interval session on Tuesday in Stonehaven with Kynon, who quite frankly kicked my ass with his speed. We ran up and down the beach front in Stonehaven doing 0.25m sprint / 0.25 recovery; I think I need to be more controlled at my Sprint sections though as towards the end I just could not maintain a decent speed for the full 0.25. It was a good workout though and puke threshold was definitely reached at times!

On Wednesday I had an hour to squeeze in a run between my day at work and a work commitment in the evening, so I rushed home and was out of the door within 10 minutes to try a new trail by the river I’d scoped out on Google maps. It was a sunny evening and I was really enjoying myself – the trail was interesting and new to me and I was very reluctant to turn back at 2.5 miles. I completed my 5 miles in 46 minutes and somehow got myself to the Town House for a civic reception, dressed smartly and looking appropriately glamourous (through probably with mud still between my toes!) by 7pm.

Due to work I had to shift my Thursday tempo session to Friday, and then when the time came we were experiencing monsoon-style Spring rains – the weather was absolutely atrocious. I took the opportunity to use this time to write my training plan before heading out for the evening, trying to convince myself that it was a worthy substitute for running. Close, but not quite…writing training plans for a sub-50 10k does not actually get you a sub-50 10k!

On Saturday I was all set to return to my new trail for a longer recce run and wanted to go for about 2.5 hours, or around an estimated 14 miles. Again there were more monsoon-style rains but I forced myself to man up and get out of the door for my run.

So close to the city yet five minutes in and you could be miles away.

Spring has not quite sprung here – I expect that this could be quite overgrown in Summer.

About 2 miles in I began to encounter some problems – all the rain did not come without consequences…

I sucked it up and got wading. If anything it washed all the itchy mud off and the icy water rinsed out the scratches and nettle stings that were accumulating around my ankles. The trail ends at the border of Cults/Bieldside but you can continue on to circumnavigate the Deeside Golf Course which I did. I don’t think this route would be possible in summer at all – it will be far too overgrown. The trail is pretty technical with a lot of rocks, dips, climbs, low hanging trees, and muddy embankments. It was on one of these muddy embankments that I felt a painful wrench in my left quad as I swung it forward to take a big step… My quads have been quite tight the last few weeks and I’ve been attempting to foam roll this tension out but I still feel it on each run.

I decided to walk for a bit and try and loosen the muscle out. At this point I really wasn’t feeling the run – I was tired, soaking wet from top to toe, sore, and grumpy. I just wanted to go home! I even toyed with the idea of phoning a friend to come and get me – I’d been out for an hour and had only covered 5 miles out of my planned 14 and had that horrible helpless feeling of ‘How am I ever going to survive another 9 miles of this?!’ that you can only truly understand when in the middle of a bad run. The trail had pretty much come to an end and I actually didn’t know where I was. I figured I was somewhere near Bieldside/Milltimber and if I ran up perpendicular to the river then I would eventually hit the Deeside railway line. I really didn’t want to double back and go back over the flooded muddy path again…

I had a jaffa cake and looked at some cows. They seemed happier in the rain than I was! I headed North to try and find civilisation again and eventually found myself in the Newton Dee Special Needs community and located the railway line. My quad was aching and I had had enough – time to head for home.

I made it 8.5 miles in 1hr 36 minutes… not exactly what I had planned, nor anything like the speed I wanted to be running at but these tough runs are the making of us. This weekend’s long run will be the Petrofac Challenge 15 mile trail race which I’m looking forward to. It is taking place out at Balmoral Castle as part of the RunBalmoral events (I did the 10k last year) so it should be a very scenic run. In terms of time I have no idea what to expect – probably somewhere around the 2.5 hour mark perhaps but I won’t be racing hard.

City of Aberdeen Baker Hughes 10k – RACE REPORT

City of Aberdeen Baker Hughes 10k

22.05.11

Official Time: 52m 36s

1366th out of 3341

“I am building a fire, and every day I train I add more fuel. At just the right moment; I light the match…” Mia Hamm

Sunday saw the 25th running of Aberdeen’s largest race, the City of Aberdeen Baker Hughes 10k. My day dawned bright and early when a cat landed on me at 05.50am and I shot out of bed thinking I’d overslept. As it turned out of course I still had an hour to enjoy in bed, so I tucked myself back in and tried to relax.

When I got up, there were already butterflies in my tummy; I was almost scared to look out of the window to see what the weather was like. Since we live under a mile from the start, whatever was out there was what I was going to run in. I peeked in between the curtains and saw what looked like sun and bold, blue skies. On closer examination there were some clouds and it was a bit blustery but either way things were looking good.

I made a classic pre-race breakfast – cashew butter and sliced banana on toast with a triple espresso, and got online to see how everyone else was getting on so far. I knew a lot of people running this race and some of them were first timers, so I stopped by some facebook pages to give final good luck wishes before I realised I needed to get a move on.

I had layed all of my gear out the night before, but I needed to make two final preparations: to write the cumulative mile splits on my hand for the minimum time needed to beat my personal best…

…and one more affirmation on the back of my bib that today was going to be my day…

Once dressed and with race-face applied, at 8.30am Badger and I set out on the brief walk down towards the starting area by the beach where I immediately got in line for a portaloo and Badger set out to find some of our friends.

There was  small tented village with local running shops, sports physio, health clubs etc all having stalls.

We found Jo, whose girlfriend Emma was running her first 10k.

She actually works for Baker Hughes, so was running as part of their team with their highly noticeable orange race tees!

It was  bit chilly so I kept my sweatshirt on as long as possible.

By this point I was working hard to keep my nerves in check – I felt a little silly; I’ve ran the distance and more hundreds of times, I knew I had finishing it in the bag but with the pressure I was putting on myself to run fast there were so many things which (in my head) could go wrong. What if it’s really windy and I can’t keep up my speed? What if my knee goes again? What if it’s too crowded to break away…? What if, what if, what if…

At the end of the day I just had to shut my head up and trust in my training.

A couple of last snaps and it was time to get on with it.

At 9.10am it was time to get in our corralls. I went for the 51-55minute predicted finish and Emma headed off to the 60+ minute finish. It felt like we were waiting in those corralls for ages…thousands of people standing so close to one another with a shared goal – you could practically taste the anticipation in the air. Keeping warm wasn’t a problem since we were packed in so close that body heat was being easily transferred and I was sheltered from the wind. Whilst we were waiting I tried to warm up my calves by rising up and down on my toes repeatedly. I’ve been having problems with very stiff calf muscles after a few miles recently so I wanted to make them adequately prepared for the beating they were about to take.

Whilst we were all corralled up, Badger and Jo had made it to a good place at the start line to view the proceedings, and had also met up with Ian and Donna and the dogs!

They are running a half marathon next weekend so didn’t think it wise to run this race. Instead they came in to town to do a training run and then support the runners once the race had started. Bob (on the left) is looking smart in his new doggy panniers – the dogs come with them all the time on long runs so Bob is being trained up as a fuel carrying dog! Utter genius if you ask me!

The first race to start was the wheelchair race – there was only one entrant.

Then second to start was this blind runner and his guide. I think this is absolutely amazing – I saw them at the Run Garioch 10k and I felt so stupid for never realising that you could be blind and run. They have a very short rope looped around their wrists and the chap in black is just ahead of the blind chap in yellow. the amount of trust between them must be phenomenal – what a bond to have with someone. I passed them later on in the course and on the back of his vest it says “I support sport for everyone”. What an inspiration; I looked up his race number in the results and they finished in 58 minutes 16s.

Then of course, the main event started. The guy who won the race was the third from the left in the white vest with red stripes; Ben Hukins. He is a local legend and won many of the races I’ve taken part in, including last year’s Baker Hughes.

It took me about 6 minutes to cross the start line.

Unfortunately I didn’t see the support team; I was far too deep in the zone anyway.

A few minutes later Emma passed by as well

As well as some other amazing people – this guy was running in full fire fighting gear with a life sized human weight doll (the kind firefighters use for training).

And this guy/gal was just too cute not to include!

The first half of the race went pretty smoothly for me. It wasn’t too crowded, but unfortunately in some places the course was inexplicably narrowed to one lane in a two lane road that was fully closed. I can only imagine that must have been to do with emergency access to the harbour perhaps? Anyway at points I felt a bit constrained and worried about keeping my pace up, but I really needn’t have. I was just concentrating on running as smoothly as possible and keeping my upper body as relaxed as I could so I could just chill out and enjoy my music. There were hundreds of harbour workers that had came out of their warehouses to cheer us on – and sailors on their boats too!

I found it relatively easy to maintain a good sub 8:40 pace – easier than I thought in fact and I found myself running a lot faster which was giving me a good head start on my minimum cumulative time to get a PB. I ran mile 1 in 8:20 and mile 2 in 8:39.

Once everyone had got over the start line, Team Redwinerunner had headed up to the 4km point to continue their support and caught the leaders pack streak past.

The speed these guys run at is just unfathomable to me.

But not long after them, came DAVE! Dave was out to try and get a sub 40 and at this point was totally cruising.

He’s number 113

A wee while later I showed up – but I didn’t see Badger at all!

And I thought MY orange headwear was an offensive hue…

I did however see Ian and Donna here who snapped a couple of shots…I look awfully smiley, I didn’t feel smiley though.

Incidentally, I think I’m going to revise ever wearing that top again to race. I love it – it’s so soft and fits really well over my sports bra; but like so many things it’s just a couple of inches too short due to my extra height and extra bust…I’m not a fan of how much of my tummy is exposed in all of these photos. Hmm.

Emma was doing well a little while behind me – and even had a smile!

So I’m careering down towards the first water station at 3 miles and grab a bottle on the run and keep going. Unfortunately the same stitch in my tummy which bothered me at RunBalmoral started niggling again so I decided not to drink too much. I wasn’t really thirsty anyway but I wanted to swill my mouth out and just take a few sips. At this point I was past the initial high that I’d coasted around on so far and was having to work to keep my pace up, and it was starting to hurt. I realised how tense I was and concentrated on loosening my arms and letting them fall lower to my sides, and keeping my chest and head up and pushing my shoulder blades further down my back. This position really relaxes me as it forces me to keep my core and spine stable and just let my legs hang from my body  and do their job going round and round. It opens my chest up and makes me breathe more easily as well. I ran mile 3 in 8:17 and mile 4 in 8:26.

When I completed mile four I began to have to get tough with myself, it was tiring to keep pushing and my lazy side I kept on starting to think “I’m ahead of myself, maybe I could just ease off a little…”, “NO DAMMIT NO! There’s no room for walking in this race Mitchell, every second you slow down is a second off your goal. Keep pushing, you’ve earned this! Now fight for it! Fight! You’re a fighter, come on!”. The crap I shouted at myself during that race was quite remarkable! Never the less it kept me going – the end was within my grasp and I knew if I maintained this speed I would crush my personal best. No room for slacking here.

Mile 5 – 8:45, mile 6 – 8:23.

To my surprise and delight close to the end of mile 6 I spotted Ian and Donna again! (and there’s my tummy again dammit)

I think this is the greatest race picture ever taken of me (minus tummy) – I was trying to convey to them that I was doing great and that I was beating my target. I look so delighted!

This photo is a little out of sync – but they also caught a snap of Dave continuing to utterly hammer the course. After this you have to climb a horrible hill and then sprint down the other side and along the final quarter of a mile to the finish. In the end he finished in a whopping 38m 53s which is a new PB for him. WELL DONE DAVE!

(Also, do you recognise the stadium? That’s Pittodrie, where the Aberdeen Santa Run was held last year)

Badger was standing a little way up the hill and looking out for me amongst the sea of struggling faces. Look at the emotions in all of those guys; they are all working so hard.

I was really starting to struggle here – my stitch was bugging really bad and it was making me feel quite nauseated. Just knowing I was within spitting distance of the finish was all that was keeping me going as my chest ached, my legs screamed and my stomach contents grumbled ominously.

God damn tummy! This is why I don’t run in just a sports bra – I can’t hold my tummy in when I run!

And another surprise that kept me going up that hill were the people on the left – that’s my best pal Erin and her parents! Erin is a runner too, but she’s on hiatus right now as she’s going to have a baby in a few months! It was great to see them – Erin’s husband and sister were running too.

And up the hill I went. Ugh, it hurt. By now I was just repeating the word ‘fighter’ and ‘finish’ in my head every few steps as I pushed with the last of my reserves. When I got to the top I felt so awful and my legs were wrecked – it was so hard to try and accelerate down hill! But I must have done something right as the last 0.2 was finished in 1m 53s, which is a 7:29p/m pace.

When I placed my foot over the finish line and hit stop on my Garmin I felt like I’d been hit by a bus. I could hardly put one foot in front of the other in a straight line and had to reach for the barriers to steady myself.

I dared to sneak a look at the Garmin which confirmed what I’d been fighting for all along – 52 minutes and 36 seconds. I was overwhelmed with emotion and burst in to tears as I made my way up the finishing chute!

Then I spotted Badger on the other side of the barriers and I was hopeless – I wanted to find him, show him, tell him how well I’d done – but there were thousands of people and barriers in the way. I collected my medal and water, deposited my timing chip and wobbled out on my exhausted legs to try and find him.

I actually found Ian and Donna first and got big congratulations from them and the dogs. Bob and Rosa were a bit narked that everyone else was getting to run and they had to stay on the leash! Hopefully Canicross will come to Aberdeen soon – I bet they’d all love it!

It didn’t take long to track down Badger and I got plenty more congratulatory hugs. He told me how proud of me he was and there might have been a couple more overly emotional tears 😛

I also got hugs from this big soft cheetah! There were two of them but I’m not sure which charity they were supporting – they ran the 1k fun run.

Not long after this, Hulk Hogan got in on the action and a bit of spontaneous live WWF was staged much to everyone’s amusement – he clothes-lined the poor bears!

Strike ONE! Strike TWO!….

Entertaining 🙂

Anyway, we caught up with Emma who had finished in a very commendable 1hr 06m and made our way to the food tents. I was so hungry and inhaled a bag of crisps, an egg roll, a tracker bar and a milky way within 10 minutes, all washed down with isotonic juice. As it was getting cold we decided to head into town for some decent food and some well earned BOOZE!

Cider for me. I then ate a huge Sunday Roast – pumpkin, sweet potato, mushroom and herb roast with yorkshire puddings, dumplings, carrots, peas, broccoli, roast tatties and loads of gravy. I was too hungry to pause to take a picture but I can assure you it was as good as it looked!

We then parted ways with Jo and Emma and headed to our beloved Brewdog for some more beer and board games.

Sidenote: now’s not the time to preach the gospel of Brewdog, but if you have the slightest interest in craft beer then check them out. Born and bred in the North East of Scotland, they are taking over the world one city of the time spreading their message of top quality beer. And their very first bar opened last year half a mile from our house!

Of course – I wore my medal all day. It’s pretty sweet actually 🙂

So two days later I’m still delighted that I exceeded my goal and am happy with my performance. I felt that I gave it my absolutely best and wouldn’t have changed a thing about my run. That’s all I could have ask for really – that, and not injuring myself. I’m glad that I can give the speed training a rest now and focus on bigger goals in the future and my first half marathon in 6 weeks time. In all honesty 10ks are a bit on the fast side for me; I much prefer running at my ‘happy pace’ of 9m30s per mile rather than pushing to go faster for an hour. I look forward to exploring this new challenge in the next few weeks – my next race is a local 5 miler on the 18th June at the Oldmeldrum Highland Games just for fun, and then it’s the legendary off road, multi-terrain Ythan Challenge on the 26th of June with all the gang – Mike, Annette, Ian, Donna, and another good friend Graeme who is yet to make his RedWineRunner debut!

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In other news – it wasn’t just me who kicked ass this weekend – check out what my other running pals got up to around Scotland:

At the Cateran Trail 55 mile Ultra; Pyllon came in first place and UltraMikeR came in third place!

At the Edinburgh Marathon Festival; RunWithMark completed the amazing challenge of running all four races over the weekend – the 5k and 10k on Saturday and the half and full marathon on the Sunday. Not only was he the only person to ever have attempted this, but he came 5th in the 5k, 12th in the 10k, completed the half in 1hr 30m and the full in 4hr 08m – what an achievement! He did this, along with all of his challenges this year, to raise money for Funding Neuro. If you think this is ace why not stop by his blog and follow the links to donate a few quid. Also at the EMF, my pal the inky genius Johanna Basford completed the half in 2hrs 18mins even though her knee gave up on her after 5 miles.

Great achievements all around 🙂

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