So today I ran in the Leatherhead Rotary 10k. I signed up for this because I’ve really started getting bored with road running and I’ve enjoyed the last couple of trail runs I’ve done. The scenery is so much nicer than running through suburbia and you never, ever get bored with the run because you never quite know what’s around the corner – be it a hill, grass or track.
The race route was actually through Headley Heath – stunning heathland near Leatherhead. I knew it was going to be a challenging course as it was described as “undualating (with one hill on each lap)”. Undulating always translates as ‘bloody hilly’ and it certainly was, but I’ve realised that with my injury, the hills give my poor Piriformis muscle a welcome break and instead my quads get some action!
I felt pretty good and after yesterday’s uninspiring time, I had set my mind on running this in under an hour, despite being far more challenging than the Bognor 10k, which was the first ever 10k that I’ve run in under an hour.
I always used to run negative splits – always, but since having this injury negative splits are impossible (I have zero sprint left) so now I have to start strong, which is not easy when it takes me a while to warm up. The first half went really well and felt pretty fast – I checked my Garmin at the half way mark (5k) and it said 27 minutes and I knew that if I could keep up that pace (big if mind you) I could just about do it under an hour. Between 6 and 7k I could feel myself slowing down a bit and there were a few hills and long stretches of slight incline (I hate a slight incline as it zaps all your strength). I got my head back in order though telling myself it was only just over 2k to go so I started picking up the pace again. 1k off the finish I glanced at the Garmin again – 54 mins. I knew I had to dig deep and motor it if I wanted to make it in under an hour. I pushed myself as much as I could. I actually started to feel nauseous so I don’t think I had anything more left to give.
I crossed the finish line in 58 minutes 42 seconds. I am so proud of myself because I know that I tried as hard as I possibly could and gave it my all.
I can’t wait to have a go at another trail run. Now I just need to invest in some proper trail trainers.
Are you a road or trail runner?