Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Buchlyvie 10K and beyond

Saturday found me in the small town of Buchlyvie, which is just outside Stirling, apparently.  Thank goodness for satnav because my running calendar would be pretty bare otherwise.

I had been to parkrun in the morning to carry out marshalling duties so walking to one of the further away marshal points and back was my only real warm up as the weather was terrible once we reached Buchlyvie.  I was accompanied by Strathclyde parkrun event director and fellow Sunday squadder Ally Robb who used the heating system in the registration hall has her warm up.  This would be her first race since the New York marathon.

I asked myself a number of times on the way to Buchlyvie, 'why am I doing this' as the rain and wind hit the car on the long journey but as soon as we reached the starting line I remembered why.  As the 225 runners all huddled together at the starting line and celebrity chef Nick Nairn sounded horn, I remembered why.  The camaraderie of the run, exploring the back and beyond of tiny little towns that you have never heard of, recognising those runners that you often find yourself running along side in more than one race and the will and determination of moving up the field rather than slipping down it.

I was originally not going to run at race pace with this run but before I knew it I had completed the first KM in  4.34 and felt comfortable.  The run started off on the faithful tarmac roads, firm underfoot and minimum risk of going over on an ankle, but that quickly changed.  With a sharp turn off the main road after a slight incline the route followed a disused railway line.  This had conveniently been covered in a clay substance which when wet, turned into thick, deep mud.

The weather was completely against us on the day, strong side winds which was forcing the horizontal rain right into my face and making it difficult to look ahead.  This along with trying to avoid the deep mud puddles made the next 8 KM more than difficult.  The trail underfoot was heavy and hard to run on.  If the mud and puddles were not as bad it made it even more difficult as there seemed to be more rocks and boulders to contend with, I went over on my ankle twice as did most of the runners around me throughout the race.

I had reached the turning point which was a sharp turn around a traffic cone and the long road back along the same path, if you can call it that, that we had just run along.  The wind had now turned also and it was a complete head wind for the next 4KM, thankfully the rain had calmed down.  I had found myself maintaining my pace through the whole race, completing the 6 KM in 4.37 and 7KM in 4.34.  This was my fist race since the Strathaven 10K which I paced pretty poorly so I felt strong and confident that I had managed to maintain a steady, consistent pace throughout the race.

Finally coming off the trail path and back onto good solid tarmac I found I was pushing myself up the field, in fact this is the first race that I never actually had anyone pass me and managed to crawl up the field quite well.  There was a small incline on the way back and I took this as an opportunity to make my break from the 3 - 4 runners that I had been running along for the last few KM or so.  This worked well and before I knew it I was turning passed the school and onto the home stretch.  I hadn't even glanced at the official timer as I passed it and I had even forgot to stop my Garmin so was unsure of my time.

I stood at the sidelines and cheered all the runners coming in with a special well done to Ally as she crossed the line.

The official time was 46 min 27 sec and came 68th out of a field of 225 runners.  That makes a new PB for the 10K distance, shaving 30 seconds off my time, not bad in the conditions.

No comments:

Post a Comment