🎶 Hot in... So hot in hurrrr!’
So hot in... OH! 🎶
On Sunday 10th July 2022, I took part in Run North West’s Wilmslow Summer 10k event, and it couldn’t have been anymore... Summery.
The sun didn’t just have its hat on; it had donned a full bloody suit made of sheer scorch and was dancing a relentless jive across the sky!
You would think that the sweat-fest that was the Lisbon Half Marathon would have given me some practise in running – and indeed running well – in the heat, but apparently this was not the case!
As someone who shares their life with anorexia, I am, naturally, always absolutely freezing. So basically, you know it’s really hot when even I’m wafting myself down with the underside of my race number. And Sunday... Sunday was BOILING. 🥵
So far this year, I have managed to smash my PBs in both 5k and half marathon distances, but I am yet to even get close to my 10k PB. In August 2021, I ran the Run North West Alderley Edge Bypass 10k in 40:24, then a few weeks later, the Tatton Park 10k in 40:30 (placing me first female – the BEST day of my life!). For some reason, I am really struggling to touch these times at the moment.
Every time I race on the flat, I dare to dream that I might one day go sub-40, but it just isn’t happening right now. It’s frustrating, but you know me – I won’t rest until I get there, even if it takes years!
Although this was my first time doing the Wilmslow Summer 10k, I have run the route before, at the Wilmslow Festive 10k back in November.
(In contrast, that was probably the coldest I have ever been. I think it was something daft like -2 degrees. The snow started not longer after I’d got round the course.)
I remembered that the route included a hill at around 9k (lovely! Just what you want! 🤣), so I took that into consideration when setting my time-goal.
Given the heat, combined with the hill and my recent tendon injury, I knew a PB was pretty much out of the question. Didn’t stop me creeping around the 40 minute pacer at the starting line though, ha! Always the optimist!! 🤦🏻♀️🤣
Back to road running after a few trail runs! 😁
A sub 42 minute 10k seemed feasible and would be proof that I was regaining some form in this distance, which appears to be my weakness at present.
... This ambition was decided upon before I started running and realised just how warm it actually was!
I resisted the urge to set off too strong. While I so badly wanted to chase down the 40 minute pacer, I know it was absolutely not a good idea.
In Lisbon, I ploughed through my first 12k, prioritising speed and turning a blind eye to the rising temperature. The result was that I was totally burned out for the remainder of the 21k. I cried and everything. I had been on course for a PB, which quickly evaporated as I made it my mission to simply finish without frothing at the mouth or turning into a five-foot-one slice of pure sunburn.
So this time, I knew to preserve my energy and distribute it evenly across the kilometres. After all, it’s better to finish slightly slower than planned then not at all.
I think I kept a pretty even pace throughout.
Forlornly waving the 40 minute pacer farewell, I found myself settling next to the 42:30 pacer instead. Aside ParkRun, I haven’t ever really run with a pacer before, but it was massively motivating! The 42:30 pacer was amazing! He must have been feeling the heat as much as we were, and yet he somehow managed to keep us going with constant encouragement.
He didn’t even seem to mind when I accidentally drenched him while clumsily tipping my water bottle over my head in despair at 8k.
“Thanks for that!” He laughed.
When you have hair as long and thick as mine, any temperature over three degrees feels like the equivalent of wearing an Old English Sheepdog as a hat. I would love to be one of those girls who can wear their hair down for a run and still look beaut by the end of it. If my hair isn’t in its trademark pigtails, I usually end up looking like the underside of an electrocuted foot.
I finished the Wilmslow Summer 10k with a time of 42:20.
My overall placing was 313th out of 2,681.
I came 38th out of 1,161 females.
In my age category, I finished 18th out of 274.
Not my best, but not horrendously bad, either.
Obviously, I was hugely disappointed with my time, but I know I did the right thing in not pushing myself too much. Annoyingly, I think I could have probably given a little bit more and wiped those pesky 20 seconds away, but you just never know when you’re out there. Overdoing it in that heat would have been unwise.
Looking back, I don’t think my pre-race diet did me any favours either, tbh. Josh and I went to the Foodies Festival on Saturday. I had a Jammy Dodger blondie for breakfast, some Pad Thai for lunch, and a wood fired pizza for tea. This highly nutritious meal plan was broken up by pick & mix, Turkish Delight, and a blueberry Slushie...
My early night didn’t exactly go according to plan, either… Simon & Lee from
Blue were performing at Foodies Festival, and well, that was it, really; as soon as I’d got ‘All Rise’ I my head, I couldn’t get it out again. Our nostalgic noughties disco continued way into the early hours back at home 💃🏻 (How MINT were Liberty X back in the day though?!)
… And so given the all night disco and the copious amounts of sugar I consumed on Saturday, it’s not really any wonder that I wasn’t on form on Sunday! 🤣🤣🤣
Side note: You should see some of the times that were produced on Sunday! Literally insane! Imagine being able to run that fast – it’s legit like a super power! The overall winning time was 30:27, I mean what on earth?! That’s not possible on human foot, surely? The guys’ got to have secret wheels in his heels!
Despite the blistering weather and my disappointing time, I really enjoyed the Wilmslow Summer 10k. In fact, the last three events I have raced at have left me floating on that euphoric endorphin-fuelled high. The Marple 10k was the best race I have ever had the privilege of running, and the Run North West Lyme Park 10k Trail Run still renders me love struck whenever I think of those views!
Run North West always put on professional and seamless events, and check out my gorgeous new medal, too!
I’m absolutely determined to shave some time off my recent 10k results. Even if I just manage to go sub-42 again, I’ll be happy. I have a few familiar courses coming up, so I’m going to give my all to training, keep up the foam-rolling on my gammy tendon, and hopefully reap the rewards soon!
Cara Jasmine Bradley