A race report shouldn’t start with feelings of disappointment, should it? Shouldn’t end with those feelings, either so I’ll do my best.
A time of 56:39 for a 10K shouldn’t be a disappointment, even if you were hoping for faster, and even hoping to beat last year’s time of 55:20. In this race in 2012 I was delighted to get 59:26 which was my first ‘road’ 10K that was below one hour.
The disappointment is not just because of my time. The race was going well, I started off too fast (doesn’t everyone?!), so slowed myself down, then realised I’d slowed down too much and had to speed up again. This meant overtaking the couple who had just passed me. Sorry – I know how annoying that is. Kept it nice and steady, but with enough effort to know that I was pushing it (it was a race, after all). In the back of my mind I knew that after we passed Great Chalfield Manor (very pretty) at 8K the route then went up a long steady slope. Not steep, but a drag at the end of a race when I was planning on using this stored energy to power up the hill and overtake people on the way up (I can dream).
Just after Great Chalfield Manor however, I got a stitch. In fact not a stitch, but the worst stitch in the history of stitches stitch. I felt like I was being stabbed in the side. I tried my breathing exercises, my ‘pushing-a-fist-into-my-side’ trick and even the ‘arm-in-the-air-looking-like-I’m-asking-for-help’ but nothing helped. As the two ladies behind me overtook me, I slowed to a walk and felt like crying. I walked, breathed on alternate sides, pushed in with my fist and finally felt able to run again – just as the slope started. I felt sluggish and it was slow, hard work but I made it up that slope, and even managed a sprint finish.
Lovely Mr B&T had cycled over to be at the Finish line, and I’m afraid I wasn’t very cheery as I was just so disappointed.
Later on I sat, clean and dry after a lovely shower, with a plate of lasagne, a glass of red wine and a medal around my neck and tried to think of what I’d learnt from this race.
I learnt a 10K is hard if you haven’t run much over 4 miles for the last couple of weeks. Any race is tough going when you’ve not slept properly all week. And lasagne, red wine and a medal make many things much better.
So now I’m feeling more positive, does anyone have any foolproof ways to sort out an awful stitch mid-race?