Training for this month was again on looking back an eye opener I only ran 4 times before the GSR but 4 different distances as well, the first Pieces of Eight this was make or break day all of my dreams hopes and fears were rolled up in this one race my longest run for over a year the run that would tell me if I was really ready for the GSR. I nailed it totally 100% nailed it. At this point I knew that my goal was achievable, the pressure was lifted off my shoulders I was at peace with my running self.
The other point worth noting is I achieved this result running on my own, battling those running demons pushing myself thinking for myself making the right decisions. (I rarely make the right decisions when I'm under pressure) If you look at the mile splits above never have I been so proud of a run than this one, the time groupings are amazing normally the are a lot slower in the second half of a race. I am very proud of this run and all the great new information it has given me.
The next run was my six and a half mile distance 2nd Training Run this run at the time seemed horrendous slow cumbersome its not until I download my garmin that I see it was a perfect training run it was just my head messing me about. The next run was a 4 mile run 3rd Training Run this really was the bad run the run from hell it would have been so easy to stop to give up, thankfully I don't know how to give up so kept going safe in the knowledge this was my bad run and it was ten days before race day, so grateful in the end to get it out of the way.
My last training run was also my first Parkrun 1st Parkrun Where have I been! these are amazing friendly easy to enter runs ideal for people starting or wanting to start running there is no pressure on time just turn up (with your barcode) and run or run/walk. My friend Del offered to run with me so I knew he would push me that little bit more than I would have run myself this being a 5k run means this is sort of a speed run a run to push hard breath heavy I beat my P/B by 52 seconds well pleased with that time although I need to mention that was so hard and it hurt a little as well, I need this in my training to help me improve as a runner, the only downside is I can only make 1 in 3 on a regular basis so will have to adapt my training around this minor setback.
The big event, all of my hopes and dreams for the whole year have been for this one day to run the perfect race, as I have mentioned before no matter what amazing things I have done in the past or will do in the future this is MY race, the race that matters to me in my heart. It was even more important this year as last year I run whilst injured GSR 2012 I needed to run and run well to achieve and improve on what I could have run last year. Mentally failing this year was not an option because it would have been tough to come back from the disappointment of not achieving what I know I have in me.
So on the day of the race I met some friends whilst wondering around which was really cool, it was good to see you all, I then met up with Becca Jones you look amazing well done I still struggle with the fact of how far we have both come since our journeys began and that first GSR in 2011. Not starting this race with Becca would just seem wrong, we have both evolved in slightly different directions and goals, we are now both experienced enough to run our own race without each other and meet up after the race. (I do miss not running together but am grown up enough (just) to know its best for both of us.)
This year I had the privilege to run with Lorraine Albon My Diabetic Doctor and her friend Peggy Field. Having set my goals for the GSR Lorraine said she would run with me and get me round in said time. I am more aware now of faster runners who give up their race time to run with me (in races or training) and what they are compromising in doing so. It was so great running with Lorraine knowing for the first I was able to give my all injury free and run the time that both Lorraine and myself knew I could. It means a lot to me so Thank You Lorraine and Peggy.
The race itself and my target time was 1:55:something that is a challenging target that requires hard work and a little luck. We all know about how windy the day was going to be and it did not disappoint so my target was realistically adjusted to a sub 2:00:00 Pressure is now off, just run the best that I can run is all I need to do, what will be will be. The race starts and we're off as you can see from the splits below the first mile's are fast but comfortable(ish) miles 4-8 are a more steady pace but still I am pushing myself to keep at that speed. At the 10k split time I am only 17 seconds slower than my P/B this really is on running fast feeling good this is running at its best.
The one thing I noticed about myself during that part of the race is how hard it was, surely running should get easier? Not if you're pushing yourself further than you have before it will hurt it will be tough but it will be worth it at the end. Then we get to the 8 mile marker 42 seconds faster than the pieces of eight what an amazing boost for me as we hit the wind head on.
To say this was not tough on me is an understatement it was very hard and mentally I struggled with it Lorraine and Peggy both stopped several times and jogged back to me as I was falling back this is where I got my time, had I been on my own I would not have been able to push myself that hard. The strong winds cost me about 90 seconds looking at my splits and being realistic in the end. So room to improve next year then!!!! I have no regrets about this race the weather is the weather it was the same for everyone I'm just glad to have been injury free and done myself justice. GSR 2013 My official time and placing is GSR Race Result 2013 Add Race Number 17080
Lastly I made it on to the telly live, running round HMS Victory which is kinda cool shame I did not tape it. I also made the local paper as well, Whilst I am pleased I did, take the me out of the story and replace me with anyone else it is a great piece about how the NHS does work, and how great Doctors are at helping patients and what an amazing person Lorraine Albon is, I am not the only person Lorraine has encouraged into running. I hope you can read it ok.