I’d heard the Rothley 10K was a good event so I decided that after I found I’d no longer be going to the Goodwood Festival of Speed I may as well enter a race for June. This one differed to others I’d taken part in so far though in that this one would take place on a weekday after work. My hope though was that after failing to set a new PB in my two 10K races to date, that maybe I could do it for this one, if the weather conditions were right.
The problem though was that following Leicester’s Big 10K my knee had gotten worse, and my attempts at running during the two weeks that followed did not help. Eventually I gave in and started using a 110% Knee Compression Sleeve.
On the day of the race I went into work as normal, and tried to think about fuelling throughout the day, and then drove over to Rothley afterwards. It was a short walk from where they’d set up the car park to where people were gathering for the start of the race in front of the Royal Oak pub. I got there quite early, probably an hour earlier than needed, but there were still other runners there before me. As a bit of a warmup I wandered around the town for a while to see what the place was like and then made my way to the start line.
The start of the race was delayed due to an accident on the route, which meant my Garmin had gone to sleep during the wait. Although it was supposed to be a 10 minute delay after about 5 minutes they started with pretty much no warning meaning my Garmin hadn’t found a GPS signal at the start. However, I was able to use my watch to keep an eye on my pace throughout the run so it wasn’t completely useless.
The very start of the route takes you up a pretty steep hill, and I noticed I was doing it at just over 9min/mile, but then sped up a little too much on the way back down the hill which left my knee feeling like it was going to give way. It didn’t though, and I slowed down for some time until I was confident it was okay. Once off the housing estate onto a main road I then started to pick up my pace again to something a little closer to what I’m used to, but still not my usual pace.
Occasionally the best running line meant going up onto the pavement, which fortunately coincided with when there was more traffic about as the roads had not been closed off. The drivers however were mindful of there being a race going on and were cautious when overtaking. This did mean it was sensible to not use an MP3 player so you could hear what the traffic was doing around you.
The first water station was in the country side, somewhere between 2 and 3 miles. It was a little different to what I was used to as they handed out plastic cups of water, which means you lose half the cup when grabbing it. It wasn’t long before the next water station though as the half way mark was back at the start, and this second station was at the top of that first hill we’d encountered.
Before getting to the hill for the second time I was doing well, I wasn’t out of breath, my legs were fine, and my knee was okay. Going up the hill I’d started to pick up the pace a little and by the top of it my legs were feeling a little heavy. To avoid this ruining the race for me I slowed to a walk as I grabbed the cup of water, took a few sips and after a few steps discarded the water and went back to a run. I then repeated this when getting back round to the water station in the country side, though by this time my head was telling me my legs wanted to stop. I didn’t want to listen though and tried hard to carry on, but for some of this had to drop the pace slightly.
Once I passed the 6 mile marker I started to pick up the pace again and by the time the finish line was in sight was up to a sprint speed, probably going faster than I had done for the Leicester 10K, but without the Garmin it’s difficult to know with any certainty. It felt faster though.
It was a pretty tough 10K race, certainly harder than the Leicester 10K, though it was the hills that made this harder, despite it being cooler. As it was mostly through a town it meant the locals had come out and were watching from their drives and along parts of the street to cheer all the runners on. Once again though it was a race where they’d opted to give out t-shirts instead of a medal, this time it wasn’t a technical tee either, just a cheaply made t-shirt. It’s a shame as I’ve done four races now, and have so far only got two medals from it.
Following the run my knee felt surprisingly okay. To be on the safe side I applied ice to it in the evening, and in the following morning it was okay for the most part leaving me hopeful that despite what I was told, there was hope I’d be able to continue running.
Once the results were released I found I’d finished 129th out of 472 (top 28% of the runners) with a time of 46:16. Not the best of times, but I don’t think it was too bad considering it was a hilly course, and I was walking in places due to having issues with my knee.
Now I need to see how the next few weeks go, and maybe I can then begin training for the Leicester Marathon as I’d originally planned.