My final race of 2016
September 28, 2016
The last couple of weeks have been hectic. I’ve been trying to round off various projects at work and then Stuart and I have been doing loads of DIY at home. We’re having carpets delivered tomorrow, so we’ve been trying to repaint 4 bedrooms and our lounge (including the ceilings and woodwork). This has involved moving lots of large pieces of furniture, which has been quite tiring.
Having thought through the logistics, I realised that it would not be possible for me to fit in a parkrun on Saturday morning (before the antenatal class), which was a shame as I love running. However, it did mean that my legs were fresh for Sunday…
Sunday morning was the first CC6 of the season. This is the cross-country league for local running (and triathlon) clubs. Originally, the league consisted of 6 races (hence the name), but it has now been expanded with there being 7 races last season and 8 this year. The first race took place at Fleming Park in Eastleigh. This is not far from where I live and I know the venue well as it’s where Eastleigh parkrun takes place. It was also a course that was similar to what I’ve run before with a start section, two main loops and then a finish section.
Stuart rarely takes part in cross-country races as he is injury prone and doesn’t want to risk getting hurt, but he agreed to come along to this one (perhaps to see how fit he is, but more likely to keep an eye on me!) The big change at this event was that we had both agreed to run for Southampton Tri Club, instead of Lordshill Road Runners. Stuart collected his new STC vest, and I was very grateful that Coach Steve from the tri club had agreed to lend me a top. (I fully intend to buy an STC t-shirt/vest as soon as I’m back to a normal size!) It was a bit sad to see club-mates from LRR in their club vests, but I figured that there are many more runners in LRR, so STC needs me more than them.
I knew I would have to take the race easy and had accepted that I might have to walk some of the hills, but my aim was just to enjoy it (and hopefully finish).
I started at the back, which was a sensible move. We had a gentle start, which is good as I’m terrible at pacing myself and always start enthusiastically. My friend, Kathy, was out doing her first race in a long time as she has had severe knee problems following a cycling accident. She was also starting steadily, so we had a bit of a chat, which was nice.
I knew that I would be running with different people from usual, but it was a bit sad that a lot of the slower ladies that I know weren’t taking part as I had hoped to run with a few friends.
I spent the first part of the race tailing my team-mate, Rachel, but the cheers from all of the marshals spurred me to pick up the pace a little bit. Most of the marshals were from Eastleigh Running Club and Itchen Spitfires… but I know them through ‘Sunday Runday’, Southampton parkrun and Southampton Tri Club. It was great to see so many friendly faces.
Towards the end of the first loop, former LRR team-mate turned Southampton Athletics Club runner, Andy, came racing past. he’s an excellent runner, so it was great to hear that he had finished in first place.
The second loop was a bit harder as the baby decided to wedge her feet into my ribs, which makes running a little more uncomfortable. However, after a few rubs on my side, she moved around again and I was able to run as normal 🙂
Thanks to Marie for managing to snap a picture of me whilst I was running. If you’d like to read more about the CC6 from Marie’s perspective (or just want to look at her beautiful nature photos), please check out her blog.
Although I was running steadily, it was quite a warm day, and the STC tops are much darker than LRR tops (STC tops have black shoulders, whereas LRR vests are predominantly white). This meant that I was glad when I was getting towards the finish. Fortunately, there weren’t any other runners who were very close to me, so I didn’t have to resist any impulse to sprint.
The race was just over 6km long and I finished it in under 40 minutes, which wasn’t too bad.
At the end of the race, I was given a raffle ticket with my position number on it: 66 (out of 72), so although it wasn’t particularly speedy, I wasn’t last 🙂
I then had a bit of a chance to catch up with various friends, before a group of us from STC headed off to Costa for some drinks.
Monday last week was going to include a gentle bike ride with Dani King. I was really looking forward to it and had arranged various appointments around it, but then I received this message:
It was quite disappointing, but as I had problems with extremely low blood pressure at the weekend (73/33), it was probably better for my health that I spent a lazy afternoon at home.
Do you like cross-country running?