I’ve been injured, folks. A couple of days after the Edinburgh Half, I could hardly walk. Putting weight on my left foot just wasn’t possible. By chance, I had a doctor’s appointment that week and after a bit of prodding and poking, I was dispatched to A&E for an X-ray. The X-ray found nothing, and I continued to hobble about. When it was still aching 2 weeks later, I went back to the doctor, who told me that it was probably a soft tissue injury and I’d be out of action for around 6 weeks. Which was frustrating.
In the end, I think I started back running after about 4 weeks off, but going slowly so as to not aggravate the scar tissue in my foot (doctor’s words, not mine). This all coincided with me actually properly starting working on my Master’s dissertation, rather than just fart-arsing and lollygagging around, so running became a necessary distraction but not my highest priority.
Anyway, I entered this race ages ago and I was quite looking forward to it. 10K seemed manageable, not too much to ask of my scar-tissued foot, and a quick distraction from the stresses of my day-to-day existence. I grew up near Harrogate, I spent many an evening as a teen traipsing around the streets, I should’ve known the profile of the course.
Hills. Hills upon hills. You turn a corner and there’s a hill. There were so many hills that I had Kate Bush singing ‘Running up that Hill’ on a loop in my head all the way round.
|Running down that hill|
When I was in the starter pen, the announcer said over the tannoy “how many of you are aiming for a PB today?”, and the lady next to me snorted and said “a PB in Harrogate? Not bloody likely, chump.” And that was the truth. My time was 1:03:50 (I think) but given the hills and the heat and closeness of the air, I was happy with that.
I also wore my Little Miss Sunshine running vest out for the second time, and it made me happy. I also enjoyed strangers complimenting my top as we ran past each other. That was lovely.
I was also accompanied by my support team, Mum and Andy. Mum was there to go crazy whenever I ran past (it was a looped course, I ran past them a couple of times) and Andy was on hand to take pictures. I think this has been the first race I’ve done since I got together with Andy where he hasn’t been taking part too. He’s just been away on holiday for two weeks- my dissertation made me stay at home alone- so was definitely not race fit. And he really doesn’t do hills. He is from York, after all.
Scenery: Mixed. Very mixed. Some lovely views over Hob Moor, nice bits running through the leafy centre, and we ran through Valley Gardens, although that coincided with a long hill climb so I can’t say I paid attention.
Weather Conditions: Cloudy but so muggy. I had a bottle of water after the 4.5km water station that I kept splashing over my face to try and cool down a bit. I hate running in the heat.
Atmosphere: Super! So many people cheering and being lovely all the way round.
Course: Well, I’ve already mentioned that there were a few hills. It was also properly multi-terrain; we ran on roads, grass, footpaths, gravelled bits, all sorts. I’ve never done anything like that before. I’ve also said it was looped. Did I mind that? Not really, no. Some runners were grumbling about it, but I thought it was quite nice to be able to gauge how far I’d got to go on the last, bigger loop. And I got to see my mum and Andy twice. Also, did I mention that it was hilly?
On route refreshments: There was water before the race, and at 4.5km. Some runners wanted more water stops, because it was so warm, but I think I’m better at being organised with my hydration after the GNR dehydration escapade.
Finisher’s pack: Technical t-shirt, a surprisingly tasteful technical t-shirt I might add; Lucozade Lite; 500ml water; Lucozade Elite cereal bar (no, I’ve no idea what makes it Elite, either); a 9Bar cereal bar; 10 Yorkshire Tea tea bags; seeds from Harlow Carr RHS garden; sample of Teisseire passion fruit sirop (I’ve drunk it already, it was tasty); a sample of Sanex for Men (what makes it for a man? Does it have added testosterone? Daft marketing ploy); a banana; and tonnes of leaflets. A pretty superb finisher’s pack. OH and a free half pint from Theakston’s at the end.
Tips: Don’t sprint up the hills. Enjoy the scenery.
Would I do it again?: Yeah I reckon so. The atmosphere was super, and I don’t do enough hill running.
So there! At the moment, my next race will be the York 10 mile in October. My dissertation is due at the beginning of September, so I don’t want to commit to anything while I have that looming.