Sunday, 14 August 2016

South Shields 10 (S)Miles!

This morning I completed South Shields 10 Mile run. I’d been poorly earlier in the week and had decided I’d only be running today if was sure I was 100% well as I’m going on holiday on Tuesday and didn’t want to push too hard. I missed a planned training run on Thursday as although I was feeling much better I felt that additional rest was more of a priority.
I had a relatively early night and woke up feeling refreshed. I felt very different to last Sunday when the alarm went off and staying sober last night was a very wise decision. I had my usual pre-race breakfast of porridge with Nutella, before leaving the house, and a banana when I arrived in South Shields.
We arrived in South Shields in plenty time and joined the queue to pay for parking. Ten minutes before the race began I suddenly decided I needed the toilet. I joined the queue and kept my fingers (and legs!) crossed that I wouldn’t be doing a sprint start. Luckily the queue went down quickly and I was on the starting line with Tony in plenty of time.
Pre-run Selfie :)
Me and my boyfriend Tone
I was feeling good this morning and think the extra few days rest did me the world of good. I love running near the sea and South Shields is one of my favourite beaches in the North East so I was excited to be running there this morning. The first mile or so were much easier than expected and I was extremely grateful that the weather was perfect for running.
And we're off...
Thanks Patricia White for the photo
Tone and I chatted most of the way round, enjoying the experience and really taking in the beautiful scenery. The sky was often beautiful and dramatic on the backdrop of the gorgeous coastline and I felt truly alive breathing in the sea air.  Tone also kept me laughing telling me some funny jokes which also helped to take my mind of the fact that I was running.
It was a lovely route, with a part 2 lap course around Souter Lighthouse, enabling us to see other runners at different points of the laps. It is always lovely to wave and cheer on running friends and spotting people we know.
My feet got numb and after trying to run it off I decided to stop and readjust the laces on my trainers. This was a break well spent as I could instantly feel the difference once running again and it certainly made the rest of the run more enjoyable (and less uncomfortable).
At around 8 miles in my knees were beginning to niggle and I was looking for ways to distract my mind from my legs. I focused on lifting my feet and also began chanting under my breath (a chant I used last time round after reading it in a magazine.) I change the chant a little each time I run to keep me interested and to fit with what I am doing.. today’s was ‘I am fit. I am strong. I like, this South Shields Run’ – it’s amazing what difference this can make and I would definitely recommend it to help get you through the tough moments.
As we began to approach the finish we discussed whether we had a sprint finish left in our legs. We weren’t sure but I never know until I see the finish line and my competitive streak kicks in. As we approached Gypsies Green Stadium Tone began to pick up the pace, so I increased my pace too. As we were running down the hill and into the stadium I was concentrating on ensuring my feet were hitting the ground as I felt like I was gathering momentum and could end up on my bottom at any moment. I heard lots of people cheering us on as we picked up pace. Just as we reached the track someone said the dreaded words ‘just round the track to the finish’. We’d peaked too soon. We sprint finished before the finish. We slowed our pace but continued to run and although we were both struggling to breath and I didn’t know how my legs were still moving we ran the whole way round the track. We didn’t sprint finish but we crossed the finish line holding hands which was extremely special. I met Tone through running and he’s the reason I’m doing the Great North Run again. It was lovely to cross the finish line holding hands after we’d encouraged and supported each other the whole 10 miles round.
When I trained 2 years ago I did my 10 mile training run solo and I very clearly remember coming home and crying – with relief it was over and pride that I’d done it. Today I finished a 10 mile run with a smile on my face and love in my heart. I was so proud that we completed the 10 miles and feel like my legs have more in them too.
Post-run Selfie - complete with lovely new medals!
I do have sore legs (from my hips right down to my calves) and I know I need to stretch more. I can feel the real benefit when I stretch and foam roll and am really going to prioritise this over the next four weeks.
I loved this morning. It wasn’t pain free but the scenery and the company definitely made it achievable and I am so proud of us both for doing a good 10 mile run! I can honestly say after today’s run that I know I can complete the Great North Run again. I know deep down in the back of my mind I’ve known this since I signed up but I still had ongoing doubts every time I had a bad run or my legs hurt. I don’t expect running to be easy but lots of things require hard work and the sense of achievement is definitely worth it.

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