Thursday, 18 July 2013

The Great Edinburgh Run 5k Race Report

Hello again Fudgey Friends

As promised my race report from Sunday's 5k....

Pre Race Preparation

We had planned on taking our little princess with us but when we gave this some thought, especially given how hot & humid it has been, we decided that it was better to let her stay overnight on Saturday with her Grandparents.
After dropping her off, I got my kit ready, this was quite straight forward as I didn't need any gels or foot taping with this being a much shorter distance than I had previously been running. I made sure I had factor 50 on hand as I burn really easily & knew it was going to be hot, made sure Mr Garmin was charged & that my race number, safety pins & timing chip where all ready for Sunday morning.

On Sunday morning I was up at 6.15am, earlier than Bug who apparently slept in till 6.30am at her Grandparents! Normally on a race morning I have porridge but with this being 5k I didn't feel I needed my favourite M&S apple & cinnamon porridge, so it was tea, toast & about half a litre of water.

We left the house about 7.20am to get the bus at 7.34am - thankfully on this occasion First Bus didn't let us down.

We arrived in Edinburgh about 8.15 & walked up to the Royal mile & down Canongate. We had to wait for Starbucks opening at 8.30am. It was very strange as on previous occasions that I have started a race at Holyrood Park it has been really busy but on Sunday morning it was actually very quiet.
Quick coffee at Starbucks & use of their facilities & then down to Holyrood Park. Again very quiet, though did see some of the celebrities who were running the 10k later. Very pleasantly surprised not to have to queue for the portaloos. Then it was over to the start area.....

I have to say I was really unimpressed by the warm up, in my opinion it was too long for a 5k & though the music got me motivated I can't say the same for the warm up leader.

The Race

I can't begin to describe what it felt like to go over that start line after 15 months of pretty much no running - I wish someone could have captured the big smile on my face.

I had looked at the course & the elevation profile & knew it was hilly.

I always aim not to go off too fast at the start but it is inevitable when you get carried along by the runners around you & the crowd. There was very good support in Holyrood Park & the race announcers were very energetic & enthusiastic - in fact they should have done the warm up.

The first km was fantastic & as we got to the top of St Mary Street I knew I had the downhill of Canongate to look forward too, 2nd km was slightly faster & I actually held myself back a little as I knew that there was the climb up Abbey hill & regent road to come but it would have been so easy just to free 'wheel' down that hill. 3rd km was where it hit me hard, combination of the hill & the heat, I tried to tuck in under the trees on Regent Road to try & get some shade from the sun. Apparently at the start in the park at 9.30am it was already 22c.

At about 3.5km there was a 'shower' which was a very welcome relief. I can't believe some runners chose not to run through it. I liked it so much that I was very tempted to cross back over the road through the tape & use it again on the way back to the finish! The only downside of the shower was that between the fine mist of water & sweating my sun cream started to run & made my eyes sting, a small price to pay though.

The last km unsurprisingly was my fastest, it was downhill & I knew the finish was in sight. Was running really well at the 400m to go, held off at 200m to go but when I turned into the finishing straight & saw the line with maybe about 100m to go I let the legs just go......sprint finish :-)
Think I surprised some other runners as I overtook them!

I had the Fudgey gritted determined face on - I was finishing strong & I loved it.

In training I had only 'run' 5k twice, completing this in 38 minutes 40 seconds on my first attempt 3 weeks before the race & 36 minutes 27 seconds 2 weeks later 1 week before the race.

Looking at the conditions & the course I had told myself I'd be OK with a time between 37 & 40 minutes & I'd be happy with a time between 35 minutes & 37 minutes. So I was absolutely delighted to have an official time of 34 minutes 56 seconds. Yes this is about 5 minutes slower than my PB but when I consider everything that has happened since 2012 I am super proud of myself. It would have been so easy to say 'oh I've had a baby - I can't run anymore' & for some people that is the right decision for them but not for me.

Post Race

One of the things I love about Great Run events & the main reason I keep coming back is the organisation. They are so well organised throughout & as usual the volunteers in the finish area were great.

The race bag this year was probably not one of the best I've had in terms of volume of items & I think the medal wasn't as good quality as previous years but it was still a really lovely treat at the end. I would actually rather pay less for my race entry & just get a medal, a bottle of water & banana, yes I am cheap date than a bag full of things.

One criticism I do have is that the medal was in the bag, one of the things I love at the finish area is having my medal hung round my neck - again this is a personal preference.

Some observations about the event in general & some feedback to Great Run.....

Why was the date changed from October to July? I think a poor choice was made of the date clashing with T in the Park weekend & the start of the school holidays. I know several running friends who chose T in the Park over the run as TITP is once a year, there are loads of running events & I also know a number of people who took the first 2 weeks of July as holidays.

In general there was the usual great atmosphere & organisation that Great Run have always provided but it seemed numbers were down on previous years? Maybe due to the change in date?

I think runners are cherry picking the races they take part in now due to the cost & in general people watching what they spend. I don't think many people can afford to take part in several races anymore.

So post race we watched the start of the 10k & said hello to some of my running friends & wished them Good Luck & then headed home & to pick up our little Bug.

Coach Bug quickly claimed all the credit for my performance & the medal!

I have to say Thank you very very much to Granny & Grandpa for watching her for us.

BUT last & most certainly not least I have to say the biggest Thank you ever to my ever patient, super supportive, amazing, lovely Mr Fudgey. I couldn't have to got to where I am 6 months after having our girl without his love & support. It hasn't been an easy 6 months with me being seriously ill & us adapting to our new responsibilities as parents, & I haven't always been the easiest to live with. Those who know me well are probably reading this & smiling - yes I'm stubborn, determined, sheer bloody minded & a control freak who would also cry at the opening of an envelope - add into that all my post pregnancy hormones whizzing round - poor Mr Fudgey. Thank you for everything babe - love you lots xxxxx

Take Care all
Fudgey x x x x

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