I'd wanted to get into double figures. I felt that if I can do 10 miles now, then 13 in September is more than just a possibility.
It was a beautiful morning and the views as I got up towards Standish were excellent. I tried out my new water bottle belt, carrying some diluted orange and 4 Asda fig rolls as an energy top-up. I'd remembered that I used to eat fig rolls in my younger hill walking days and that they were excellent for giving me an energy boost. I don't really fancy buying and eating gels, which are expensive anyway. Fig rolls might be a bit dry but they are easily washed down with a mineral replacement drink. I could feel the benefit of both.
So that was one personal best this week - furthest distance, longest time, most calories. And my average pace was pretty good too, slightly less than 12 minute miles.
Yesterday was my second big event of the week. I entered the Hawkeshead 10k. It was my first race in 9 years. I'd thought of doing it a little while ago but dismissed the idea. As the time drew near I gave it more thought, so with Linda's encouragement we decided to do an overnight so I didn't have to drive back.
All day long I was feeling nervous. It was a very hot day - 25 degrees. Because of the nerves I had a jippy stomach. I tried to convince myself that position at the end of the race didn't matter, but I certainly didn't want to come last. Within the last 6 would be ok and a possibility in light of the results of previous years and having finished training 10k's in an hour and 2 or 4 minutes. Race pace is always quicker. I read that the course would be 'undulating' so I allowed for that. I needed to stoke up so had Cumberland sausage and mash at the Red Lion in Hawkeshead at 5.30 and 2 pints of orange and soda for hydration. I still felt a bit rough by the time the start came round and had had to go on the toilet twice.
The race started. It was still a very warm evening. I'd put myself at the back because I didn't want to get in the way. I was a few places in from the back. After half a mile the hills started and they were relentless, one after the other with hardly a flat section of any decent length to get your breath back. I was passed by one young woman and then that was it. I let a woman a few yards in front of me pace me as I could see that she might have been marginally stronger than me.
At 2 miles the stomach pains began and were with me all the way round. Not bad enough to stop me but not good. I managed to keep up. The woman stopped for a drink and I passed her but then let her by again because I didn't want to be in front. It's easier trying to keep up with someone else than trying to stay in front of them. Half way came and a drink station which was very welcome. The woman stopped again and then I let her past again. About a mile or more from the finish she stopped for a drink again and this time I couldn't hear her behind me so I pressed on in front of her to the finish.
The scenery all the way round was lovely but on the return leg there were stunning views of the Langdale Pikes. As I approached about 9k I could hear the cheers of people on the finishing line. I was on my own when I came to the finishing chute with Linda waiting for me. I'd done it. It was hard but I'd done it and felt very proud of myself. 1 hour 7 minutes. A very good time in view of the hills and the heat. I wasn't last. I was in the last half dozen which I'd predicted. I'm still waiting to see the results. It's whet my appetite for more.