A year to the day after I set of on my travels to New Zealand I was in the car with my friend, Sadie, again. Unfortunately this time I was only heading as far as Leeds City Centre. It was the day of Abbey Dash, a 10K run along a similar route to the Leeds 10K. I have never done this one before, last year I was somewhere above the Indian Ocean and the year before I had a near fatal dose of man flu.
My race number ready to go, well nearly, I forgot to put my emergency details on the back.
I was my usual enthusiastic self pre race, especially when I went to have my (specially purchased) fruity muesli and found that the milk had gone off. I had to make do with toast and marmalade. It was a freezing cold morning and I opted to wear an old hoody and abandon it at the start line, I heard that they collect them up and donate them to charity after the event. I hope that’s true or I’m guilty of littering.
I dropped my bag off and had to run to the Lakers’ meeting point so I didn’t miss out on the group picture. We made our way to the starting pens and were herded like sheep according to predicted finish times. I was in the last pen, I will move up a pen one day ! We had some fun in the pen, one of the Lakers Ladies was telling us the advice that her husband had given, find a sexy arse and follow it. We all agreed that we would have to run very fast to follow a sexy arse.
Lakers Group Photo
Lakers Ladies ready to go
Eventually it was time to get going and we set off at a nice steady trot, I had a plan and I was determined to stick to it. 10 minutes running and 2 minutes walking, I mostly kept to it until near the end. I managed to keep up with the other ladies until just after the old Yorkshire Post building. I shouted at Colette that I had found the sexy arse to follow, her’s. I assured her that it wasn’t wobbly, so did another lady running next to me. I think everyone around me had a good look.
It wasn’t long before the elites were passing in the opposite direction, I spotted the first Laker home but didn’t have the breath to shout or the blood in my brain to remember his name. It was Neil and he finished in 38:25, I would be happy to finish parkrun in that time. I saw a few others and some got a shout out if I had enough breath to speak and enough blood in my brain to remember their name. I missed a few while I was in the car park at Cardigan Fields running up and down the massive hills (speed bumps) and I had a nice chat with a friend of the twinnies and we both agreed that they are totally crazy, lovely but crazy.
I was breathing quite noisily on the approach to halfway and a lady was obviously concerned and offered me water, I politely declined. It was oxygen, not water that I needed at that point.
The rest of the first half was pretty uneventful. Colette passed me some water so I didn’t have to wait to get to the water station, she is a fantastic support. I turned the corner at the lights to be hit full in the face by the sun. It was hot and it was bright. I didn’t expect to get that warm if I’m honest and it wasn’t pleasant , sun in my eyes giving me a headache and wishing I had got a hat.
There wasn’t as much support as there is at Leeds 10K in the summer, it was eerily quiet in some parts. It was hard and I was tired, but it was mostly downhill. I “forgot” about the incline near the end until I was nearly there. The people around me were the same people that had been there for a while and were starting to look familiar. I was slightly surprised to find that the “lady” that I had been following actually had a beard.
As I approached the finish line my second brain located in my legs took over, I have no control over this brain during races. More specifically at the end of races, it takes over and makes my little legs go as fast as they can, sometimes faster than my lungs can cope with. I passed a few people, I didn’t count as I was fully focused on breathing. The finish line was a little bit closer than I have been used to so that was a bonus. Colette and Elaine waiting for me near the finish line helped too. I joined the Lakers in the pub for the usual post race rehydration session and spent the next day struggling to walk.
Beetroot face and frizzy hair.
Post run drinkies courtesy of Fiona.
It’s thirsty work, this running lark.