Inspiration and Eastleigh 10k

Here is today’s IDEAfit photo a day image:

Inspiration - Graeme and Kat
Inspiration – Graeme and Kat

The topic is ‘Inspiration’ and these two are some of the most inspirational people I’ve ever met. (N.B. The photo isn’t mine – I think it was taken by a member of the Embrace Sports team).

I’m also continuing the theme of sharing one of the Team SOAS Brand Ambassador’s images each day. Sue’s quote seemed particularly apt:

sue soas
I’m with fellow Brand Ambassador Sue on this one!

Talking about women and inspiration, I’m hoping that I’ll get to see this movie when it’s released: It’s outrageous that in this day and age, such inequality still exists. The film features Chrissie Wellington, who is another inspirational figure for me. Whilst I was away, I read her autobiography (“A life without limits – a world champion’s journey“) and was blown away by her journey. She’s also a patron of GOTribal, so that’s a common link for us!

I’ve now got a Facebook page: – please feel free to pop over there and follow me 🙂 I’ve been doing really badly at keeping up to date with my blog – I’m determined to get myself back on track, but if you want some brief updates, Facebook will let you know what’s happening!

Brighton marathon info

I’ve also realised that it’s now two weeks until Brighton Marathon. I feel more stressed about this marathon than any race I’ve ever done before. I guess this is for several reasons – my illness and workload mean that I’ve not managed to keep up with a good training schedule and I’m not feeling fit and healthy. I also don’t know anyone who is running at my pace, so I will have to do the whole 26.2 miles without chatting to anyone. Can I remain silent for 5 hours?! When I entered the race, I was feeling strong, so I’m in the blue corral with the 4:00-4:30 hour runners – I’ve only managed that time once and I was on form then! I’ve booked the Friday before Brighton Marathon off work, so that Stu and I can go to the marathon expo to pick up my race number (and maybe do a bit of shopping). I’m hoping it will give me a chance to relax before the race, so that I’m not rushing around doing everything on race day. It is possible to download an app to follow me – just search for ‘Brighton Marathon’.

Anyway, today’s big event was Eastleigh 10k, which I planned to follow up with a run home, so that I got my final long run as marathon preparation in. I arrived at Fleming Park leisure centre nice and early, which gave me a chance to pick up my number, chip and tshirt.

My Eastleigh 10k number
My Eastleigh 10k number
This year's 'vibrant' tshirt design
This year’s ‘vibrant’ tshirt design

The unflattering photo below shows that I wasn’t feeling particularly enthusiastic about the race.

Preparing for Eastleigh 10k
Preparing for Eastleigh 10k (Paul A. Hammond)

I pinned on my number, but then had a lot of time to kill before the start of the race.

Pinning on my Eastleigh number
Pinning on my Eastleigh number (Paul A. Hammond)

I aimed to complete the race in about 55 minutes. I think I did it in about 53:30 last year and it’s the race where I got my 10k PB of 51:06 back in 2012… one day I’m determined to get back to that!

I started the race with Teri and did about 3.5km with her, but it was quite warm and I didn’t want to hold her up. As it’s a local race, there were quite a few spectators who I recognised and conversely they recognised me. My favourite local photographer (Paul Hammond) was in attendance, so I blew him a kiss as I ran past.

Eastleigh 10k
Eastleigh 10k

At about 7km, I saw Luana, one of the ladies from my running club up ahead. I know that I run better when I have a challenge, so to make myself push I tried to catch up with her. I was starting to feel better as I’d been able to take on some water and also threw two cups over myself, so I was no longer over-heating. Eventually, I managed to catch up with Luana, but she wasn’t going to give up without a fight, so we ran almost 2km neck and neck. Finally, I was able to edge ahead as we made it to the last stretch of the course which is in the grounds of the leisure centre.

I wasn’t particularly pleased with my time as I came 1551st today in 55:48, but I don’t think this week’s travelling, unusual food and lack of sleep were ideal preparation for the race.

After the race, I met up with Teri, Luana, Steve, Sarah and Loraine who all wanted to extend their run. The images above show that it was a sunny day, and as I mentioned, I was worried about overheating. This all changed very swiftly on the way home, where we were pelted with hail – ouch! I was still wearing the same outfit (minus my race number), so I was absolutely freezing. Fortunately, the sun came out again, just after Loraine and Luana left us.

Long run after Eastleigh
Long run after Eastleigh

We headed up to The Common where we did a little circuit before heading past Teri’s house and down towards my home. I had intended to run 24km today, but I was feeling tired and the sky had turned black again, so I decided that the 22km that we had done when we got to my house would be enough. It was definitely the right decision as it hailed again. The hail stones were enormous and Teri and Steve had to find shelter as they were still running.

The rest of my day has been spent unpacking and recovering – I feel shattered by today’s race and although I’m disappointed with my performance, I know I put some effort in as my chest muscles are aching and it hurts to breathe, which only happens when I’ve been trying hard!

My final thought for today… If you’re interested in learning more about stretching, check the videos that my coach has made:

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