The Three 10s.
No, I’ve not been for a tarot reading. In the last four weeks, I’ve taken part in three 10K events. They varied in difficulty, but all equally enjoyable and helped me learn to love running again.
Hitchin Tough 10K
First up was the Hitchin Tough 10K. Initially I had entered the Hitchin Hard Half Marathon. Following on from the Trail Half in Snowdonia the week before, however, I decided it was best I drop down to the 10K, try to run the whole thing, not walk, and also enjoy it!
The race started and finished at Hitchin Priory. Beautiful place. I’d love to visit again when I‘m not running.
Now the start, I did not enjoy. Not one little bit. SO…..I walked it. It was thick grass. Freshly cut. Uneven. I just couldn’t find my feet. So I walked through it until into a small wooded area and then onto some tarmac.
The 10K took a different route to the half marathon at the beginning and was off road for part of it. Always a joy. Small climbs, lovely views. Wonderful.
The race continued and then all of a sudden it came. The hill. There was one particularly awful climb in both the half and the 10K which was just relentless. It seemed to go on forever. I knew it was coming. Hit the bottom. And I walked up it.
If I’m walking, I am striding. I am pumping my arms. I want to get to the top and figured I could walk faster than I could run at this point. And so up I went. Up up up it went and then finally I hit the top. Thank goodness that was over! The usual dread entered my head - how was I going to complete Snowdonia? None of that now, Jen, let's focus on finishing this one first.
Following that climb it was mainly down hill to the end. Slightly undulating. But good. I really enjoyed it. Had to walk a couple more times.
Got to the grassy bit at the end which I had to run as everyone was watching. Obviously. Sprinted down. Finished. Yes. I wasn’t expecting a great time. I thought may 75 or 80 minutes. Went to get my print out. 68 minutes! Not too shabby! Good comeback, Jen.
I’d love to come back and conquer that hill…..maybe the half next year. I was with my club friend, Matthew, who completed the hard half marathon and did a great time of 01:33. Happy Days.
Women’s Running 10K
The following week was the Women’s Running 10K at Willen Lake. I’ve taken part in this 10K since 2015 when I started running. It’s a firm favourite.
It’s also a firm favourite with the club and there was a good showing of the LFR ladies for the day.
I didn’t really enjoy the race this year though. I was tired. For no particular reason. The day before had been spent wandering around Milton Keynes with JB. Early night. Just tired.
It was also a very very VERY hot day. Not great for running.
The race is two laps of Willen Lake. The first lap seemed to go on for a long time. The second lap was much easier...probably because I knew what was coming. I had to walk slightly on the first lap as I was having major short chafing issues! Pain. The rest of the day was spent walking around like a cowboy. Terrible.
I then joined some of the club for the second lap and stayed with them for the rest of the race. I wanted to stop again, but being with people does keep you going. Especially when you all get on so well!
One of the ladies, another Jenny, came up behind me towards the end so we had a sprint race to the finish! Lots of fun.
I managed 64 minutes for this one. I was quite pleased with that considering. Positive thoughts. Onto the next!
Chicks Chase 10K
The latest 10K was the last race in the Chicks and Chaps Chase at Willen Lake again. The course does not loop the lake there, and instead goes into Woolstone and Milton Keynes Village before looping back to the lake. It’s a two lap course.
I didn’t have an aim for this race. No time in mind. I almost didn’t go. I’m good at giving up, but I didn’t give up. I put on my running gear, I went, I ran.
Again, I was not aiming for a time. I’m trying to get back to love running. So I just ran. I had tired legs. That week I went out on the club run and also tried fartlek for the first time. That was great fun. I’ll definitely go again. That was also with the club.
So off I went. I went off slowly. I didn’t do my usual run off with anyone all guns blazing which causes me to cough, splutter and inevitably walk.
The legs were heavy, but I just carried on. I didn’t follow anyone (another usual tactic) and just carried on by myself...something I am enjoying more.
The first lap came and went. I walked once just to drink some water at the water stop and then carried on going.
The second lap seemed easy. Legs still heavy. But plodded along. Final kilometre came. And quickly went. And that was it. I finished. PHEW! Time? 62:57! Super pleased with that. My PB is 62:31. How fantastic!
Some other members of the club were doing the race, including Julie who smashed and got herself a PB! Amazing!
What happens now?
I am so pleased that there was improvement in these three races. It shows the work...not yet hard work...is paying off and that I can run. I can run without stopping. I can run even when I don’t want to run. And keep going.
I say this, but then I was supposed to do a cycling event today. I didn’t as I couldn’t get there. I decided I should do a slow, hilly 10K. BUT, I didn’t fancy that either.
This is no bad thing though. I’m at the beginning of my training. I’m not going to beat myself up. As long as I don’t make a habit of it. I’m still learning. I’m enjoying it more. I’m going to carry on and try my best.
The next three months are going to be gruelling. It’s going to hurt. I’m going to cry. But...it will be worth it. So so worth it.
In other news...I’m off the booze again. Day 21. And counting. I can do this.
And tarot reading?
Well a quick Google search tells me that having tens in your reading suggest goals are reached, your potential is realised and the hard work is paying off. Three or more tens suggest great change like moving house - this is also happening!
On the other hand, tens in a reading can also symbolise negative change. And 10 often suggests death.
I think I’ll stick to running.