Hope everyone had a fab weekend- ours was really relaxing despite having to rush off Friday evening to drive up to Nottingham. I forgot my water bottle and nuun this time- ah well can’t have everything!
We spent Saturday taking it easy (the weather forecast was for rain so we planned to spend the day around the town instead of going out into the countryside, but in fact although it was cold and overcast, it was dry)- we went out for a late breakfast (I had some yummy home-made granola) and then wandered around the shops in Nottingham, went to see the castle and Robin Hood statue, had a soy chai latte for lunch (Andy is not teasing me about my addiction!), had an early dinner and went to the cinema- we saw The Ides of March, which was like an amped up West Wing I think.
This morning I got my race bits ready (clif bar for breakfast to eat in the car, banana for after).
Like the Thundercats style timer chip? It was a sticker on the back of your number which was a good idea.
Then we drove to Sherwood Pines Forest, where the race started. The parking was right by the race start- you had to walk through these lovely paths to get there.
There were real toilets (as it was a visitors centre) as well as port-a-loos. You can see the start/end inflatable arch thing in the field.
There had been a 2k kids run earlier in the day, and there was a duathalon as well, so lots of bikes around. The 5K and 10K races started at the same time (midday)- the 10K runners did the loop a second time.
I was hoping to beat my time from the Willow 10K (65 mins I think) a few weeks ago, as back then I was not feeling quite 100%, whereas now I am feeling back to my old self.
I kept an eye on my Nike+- I felt I started off a little fast as I was doing 9.20 miles, but I soon settled into a rhythm.
The scenery made it just fantastic- the first few km smelled so strongly of fresh pine trees.
Most of the trees were turning, the run was on wide tracks (sort of dirt roads) and there were lots of walkers and cyclists out too- perfect.
There were a few steep sections, but not for long (although one was quite mean at 4.5 and then 9.5km!)- going through the middle part was simple as the 10K and 5K runners had different coloured numbers, and there was a marshal directing us- the announcer even called out my name as I went past the middle bit!
Anyway, I was enjoying the run so much I had decided that I did not mind what time I finished- I was just thinking to myself that this was why I love running so much, and the fact that I was healthy and able to get out in the fresh air in the countryside and see the beautiful scenery.
Near the end my Nike+ lost the signal from my shoes, and then told me I was going at 15 min miles, so I really had no idea how I was doing for time. But I was steadily overtaking people and I felt like I was pushing myself quite hard although I wanted to save some in the tank for the last little hill.
I overtook a few people going up the hill, and put on an almost sprint finish at the end (didn’t quite catch the last person!)- there was no clock but when I stopped my Nike+ it said 61 mins (and looking on the computer it was 61.33)- I was so pleased with that- close to my best ever 10K time but still not breaking the hour mark. Ah well, maybe next time!
We wandered to pick up the bag from the bag drop, and then back to the car.
I was still very excited about my time!
I went back to change into the nice t-shirt we were given.
It has the list of the runs on the back- I think the kids run was the Maid Marian dash or something! It is a womens large, but proper cut so I might actually wear it as I rather like the colour too. We also got a £5 sweatshop voucher and some High5 samples.
While Andy was driving I took even more photos as I just thought it was so beautiful there.
They had no food on offer at the end, so we enjoyed the bananas, some coconut water and a clif Z bar on the drive home.
I loved this race sooooo much- I think it could be my favourite race ever! I pushed myself hard, but still enjoyed the experience and the scenery. It was busy so I was never running alone, but the paths were wide and it was never congested so I felt I could run at my own pace and never struggled overtaking people.
Home for a shower and a rest!
What is your favourite race (if you have run races)? Did you get out and enjoy the lovely autumnal weather this weekend?