I’m doing this a little out of order having not actually posted anything about the banana marathon yet, (the post is half written on my laptop at home) however due to a signaling error, I’m stuck, stationery, on the train on the way back home to Leeds. So here it is… my account of today’s Blackpool 10km.
When I booked this race in, the Banana marathon wasn’t even a passing thought, if I had known that I would have been running down the Leeds to Liverpool canal for 26.2 miles the weekend before, I’m not sure I would have signed up!
The FCR races are always well organised. Today I was surprised by how few running clubs there were there, I’m not sure if that’s a regional thing or not? I didn’t start running until I left university, so I don’t know very much about the running community in Blackpool. I think that’s one of the things that makes these races so great, the number of people taking part for the first time. There were so many runners battling for their own personal goals rather than just those competing against each other.
We made a conscious effort today to stay to the end and cheer every running in, it was very humbling watching all the runners pushing to achieve their own goals.
I knew today wasn’t going to be a PB, long before I even got on the train on Saturday morning. I haven’t done any speed work in a long time and my right leg was still niggling from the marathon. I think today’s issue was actually in my hip, causing a missalignment to my knee and consequently my foot wasn’t planting in the correct position, which in turn put too much strain on my arch and ankle.
A bad night sleep on a blow up mattress on my mum’s living room floor, also aggravated ongoing issues with my neck and shoulder. Oh well, these things happen…
The first two miles felt great, not PB pace but it would have been about 46/47 minutes if I could have kept it up. My heart rate was up and I was running hard but I felt in control, with plenty left in the tank to push through to the end. I started to lose control over my right foot plant just past 2 miles, slowing to around 8 minute miles. I decided not to let disappointment break me and slow me down even further, if I could cling onto 8 minute miles, which fitness wise wouldn’t have been problem, there was still a chance of coming in a chunk under 50 minutes.
At about 3.5 miles I came up on to my toes to charge up the slope back on to the top promenade and my ankle just went over and gave in completely. I stopped to try and rearrange my foot in my shoe to give it more support, it didn’t work, resigned to not being able to run at the pace I had hoped, I half ran half shuffled my way up to the finish.
Despite being disappointed in today’s effort I couldn’t help but smile as I ran down towards the finish, the support on the last 200m was brilliant. I finished in 50.18, 8th Lady. On a better day my PB would have had my on the podium, today actually finishing was the challenge I had face, not letting disappointment break me mentally and not pulling out of the race when it started going wrong.
I’ve heard a lot of bad things over the last few years from the running community about races not being supportive of slower paced runners, from rude marshals to inappropriate tail runners. For me running is not just about winning races and fast times but about encouraging participation; today’s event supported both end of the scale, with every last runner being looked after and cheered across the line. I would urge anyone discouraged by bad experiences at other races to come and give one of the FCR events a try.
Fingers crossed I’ll be back in Blackpool next weekend for another night on the blow up mattress before the Windmill half marathon… Hopefully at a slightly quicker pace than today’s 10km!