Mixed day out at Balmoral 10k yesterday...
* Arrived late, stuck in traffic at 1.40pm when race was due to start at 2 and I knew there was a long walk from the car park (field) to the start. Hopped out of the car as soon as we turned into the car park (field) and ran to the start (along with many others, I should add), arriving a couple of minutes before 2, then immediately had to stand in the queue for the Portaloo as I was desperate. Heard the announcer starting the race while I was in the Portaloo and tagged on to the end of the luckily slow-moving crowd. I fully accept that this was all entirely avoidable and My Own Silly Fault for not setting off earlier.
* Spent the first couple of miles really struggling to settle into any kind of pace as it was SO crowded. Was weaving in and out of runners, up on the grass verge, etc. First mile was 9:41 and second 9:33 so it could have been worse, but I know I can run faster than this in a 10k.
* THE HILL. Not a Bad Thing as such as I knew it was coming. I saw two Fetch tops ahead of me near the beginning and caught up with TQ and Nywanda (who was looking very splendid in kilt, socks and face paint). I walked up most of THE HILL, but fast(ish) and managed to overtake a number of slower walkers. The few people who were running weren't doing so significantly faster than I was walking, so walking seemed the sensible option. Managed this mile in 12:38.
* Not being able to find husband and daughter for ages at the end of the race. Mobile networks not working for ages. Gah!
* The long long walk back to the car park in the rain with a tetchy four year old.
* Managing to pick up the pace in the last three miles (once the crowds had thinned out). Did miles 4-6 in 8:35, 8:39 and 8:37, and overtook loads of people, which was quite satisfying. I was relieved to finish under the hour in 59:21, having thought at the halfway point that I would have come in well over the hour!
* Took more than 6 minutes off my Balmoral time from last year, and confirmed that I am MUCH fitter now than I was then, as (hill excepted) it all felt much easier this time.
* Gave the skort its first public airing (see pic), and no-one laughed. Or if they did, I didn't hear them. It was v comfy to run in.
* Wore my Fetch top and was encouraged by a few shouts of "Go Fetchie!".
* Lots of support towards the end, high-5s from kids, friendly marshals.
* Saw various people at the end, sorry I was a bit distracted due to husband and daughter being AWOL! I promise I will be better organised for Dunecht in two weeks.
* Got a nice new t-shirt (see pic).
Having done this race two years in succession I'm not sure if I will do it again. It's a nice run but it's just too crowded (there were more people this year than last) and the last-minute panicked dash from the far-distant car park (field), not to mention the long walk back at the end, stressed me out. Admittedly some of this is entirely avoidable if we were only more organised, but we never are when travelling en famille.
Well done everyone :-)
Comparison of 2010 and 2011 split times:
# 9:55 9:41
# 10:17 9:33
# 13:32 12:38
# 9:27 8:35
# 9:53 8:39
# 10:26 8:37
# 2:12 1:45