Last Sunday marked my return to the first ever race I actually enjoyed, it’s my ‘local’ 10k and takes place just over a mile from my house. It’s also cheap as chips. And it’s chipped. Winning.
Decided to be good this time and not drink at all the weekend of the race after dying on my backside during miles 8-13.1 of the Dublin half at the start of August. Because skipping alcohol is just no big deal. Didn’t bother me in the slightest. Tee total Judester. Yeah…so I found the not drinking thing a bit tough.
The Paisley 10k begins at 10am on a Sunday morning. I woke early and fueled up with 500 ml water, cup of tea and Nutella spread on a banana. And a Starbucks caramel waffle. Don’t judge me.
Then I was ready to go
Left the house and walked into Paisley. The town was buzzing for the race.
Headed towards the start area and ran into my friend and her hubby, who was also doing the 10k. Chatted to them for a while then saw Jay, with about ten minutes till the start of the race. Started to feel nervous, but not nervous enough to forget the pre race selfie. Sorry Jay.
With a few minutes to go the nerves reeeeeaaaallly kicked in. I had done my longest marathon training run (20 miles) only a few days previously. Legs felt heavy. I felt fatigued and stiff. I also wanted a PB and I had a few top secret goals for the race. Jay enquired as to my race strategy. Think my response was pretty much, f*** it – just run as fast as I can. Cool beans says Jay, I’ll do that too. (I may be paraphrasing a bit here.)
So the race begins, wee loop round paisley town centre, back UP the high street (who knew it was so steep?!) with Jay on my tail then out past the Sheriff Court towards Feeeegeeeee Park. It’s roasting hot and I become paranoid every time a tall chap passes me. Onwards we plough, through the wilds of Feeegeeee towards Asda in Linwood. It’s hot, exposed and no wind in the air, just like last year. Check once again that the guy passing me isn’t Jay.
Because I’ve decided I really can’t cope with CUPS of water during I race I bring my own bottle, think it slowed me down and the jarring movement of something in my hand meant my back was sore for days after. Won’t do that again. Ran past the water station, under the dual carriageway and back up the other side. Look back over at the runners at the other side – man it’s Jay!! He’s only like a minute behind me!!! Argh!!!!!
Onwards I plough in the relentless heat with stuff legs. Past the 6k marker. All energy seems to have left me by this point. Head towards the cycle track part of the race course. Noooooo energy. None. Convinced I won’t get my PB by this point. Legs feel like they are wading through jelly.
On and on down the cycle path. My god it goes on forever. I settle in behind a pair of Bella Road Runners. I try to concentrate on my music and keep going. I can’t believe I’m running so slowly. Definitely no PB today for Jude. After about ten years, the 8k marker appears. Realising the end is near I speed up a bit. 9k. Speed up a bit more. It’s really hot and sunny, I’m not sure if I mentioned this.
A burning stitch develops in my diaphragm, right between my ribs as I run up Paisley high street. Come ooooooonnnnnn finish line. I hear someone shout ‘GO JUDE!’ which helps slightly. After another month, the finish line appears.
Chip time 49.17, and with it a new PB but maaaaannnnn it hurt. Emotionally as well to know that in three months I have improved by…..18 seconds?! Ach well, Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Paisley 10k…I’ll be back.