It was a glorious Sunday autumn morning, the sky was clear and it felt very crisp, a great morning to run. I had been looking forward to this race. Road running is my favourite type of running and I had been training specifically for this race. My race plan was to run 7 minute mile pace getting me to the finish in under 50 minutes. I felt confident in achieving this as I had ran several training runs at this pace.
All excited with Graeme and Heidi in tow we drove 30 minutes south to the lovely village of Maltby. The village hall had only two toilets proved a little manic, but after a warm up and a one minute silence for the heroes we were all lined up at the start.
The race ran through the village and then turned left onto a country lane, before I knew it I passed a number 1 sign. I had to check my watch because I thought it was a km sign, delighted to find it was one mile already.
I found after one mile I was boxed in by some runners and after looking at my watch seeing a 7.30 minute mile pace I needed to speed up or my target of under 50 minutes would not be achieved, so I dropped back and then accelerated past the group, leaving a female runner behind which meant I was currently 4th lady.
Through the village of Seamer we took a left which was a down hill part, an interesting place for a drinks station.
Past the half way mark taking in the smells and sights of the country road enjoying the run, on target and feeling strong, a runners worst nightmare happened. My hamstring went. It had gone on Tuesday but I had finished my run, iced it and leg felt fine and I had strength trained Thursday so I had forgotten all about it.
I decided to keep running, I was sure I could still manage 3 more miles, but it went again. I stopped stretched it out, warmed my leg a little with harsh rubbing and continued to run. It was no good I couldn’t move my leg properly without pain. Female competitors started to over take me.
I still needed to get to the end, so I decided after a gut wrenching moment (keeping back the tears) and a small talk with myself ‘keep going forget about your time and just get back to the village, stop being a wimp it’s only a sore muscle!. I had to just keep going.
After trying various ways to move a bit quicker in a running like fashion without activating my hamstring I finally found a way I could move, a kind of Forrest Gump way, using my right leg as a the driving force taking all the pressure.
The 6 mile marker came along with a down hill part which hurt but I persisted with my new found gait, and then a lovely uphill part which I managed no problem actually over taking people. I had so much energy left dying to be used up! At the top of the hill I entered the village and as I ran along the Main Street the supporting people were brilliant. The end was here. Relief, disappointment and dread overcome me and as I approached Graeme all I could do was cry.
This race is an excellent road race, well marshalled, great prizes and a full goodie bag. I will be back next year to achieve the goal I set out to achieve this year, I hope some other striders will join me!