I am officially naming this run the one in which I gave up chasing a Personal Best.
I didn’t do the Marriots Way 10k in 2014, despite having paid for my spot, because I was exhausted after having organised Norwich Cocktail Week and had failed to book a spot on the shuttle bus, which made life a bit tricky as it’s a point to point race. The previous year, 2013 still stands as my 10k PB, and the only time I’ve ever run a 10k under an hour.
When I booked this one I had pretty high hopes actually. I’d be part way into my Half Marathon training, I’m much fitter this year than I’ve ever been, and the Marriots Way is a lovely flat trail run, so surely I would do much better than my slightly disappointing Run Norwich time?
In the 2 weeks before the race my runs had been patchy, I’d been for a run while on holiday in Munich, but had been too tired for a long run on the Sunday I got back, then the following Sunday my husband had a cold, it was Cocktail Week, and we ended up skipping another run. By race day I was a bit tired after a long week of Cocktail based fun and a Roller Derby game the day before, but still hoping for a half decent time.
Race day dawned all bright sunshine, which was a relief after torrential downpours the day before. So we headed off to Reepham to make that shuttle bus I’d remembered to book this year.
This year there were waves of runners leaving at 11am, 11:10 and 11:20. I had no idea which one I’d booked, and after standing patiently in 3 different queues it turned out it was 11:20, meaning we still had an hour to wander round the garden centre and drink coffee. Which was my second mistake of the day. (I’ll tell you about the first in a bit!)
Necking a double espresso might have perked me up a bit, but it also meant I really needed the toilet when I got to the start line, which is never a good idea with an hour run ahead of you!
The start line was a lot quieter with the first 2 waves having gone. A lady I was waiting with told me that the previous year she had gone in the 11:10 wave, and found faster runners from the 11:20 wave getting all irritated when they caught her up, so maybe the last wave was a good choice!
And then we were off.
And after about half a mile is when I can officially state that my competitive nature took a thorough back seat. I could have run faster, but it was a beautiful day, the sun was shining, it was fresh, and the scenery off the Mariotts Way is beautiful, so I didn’t. I ran at a comfortable pace. I kept my eye on the person ahead of me and tried to keep up, overtaking someone about once a kilometre, and yeah, I didn’t want them to pass me again, so maybe my competitive nature was in there somewhere, but mostly I just had a beautiful, sunny, Sunday run through the countryside.
About 6k my first mistake of the day caught up with me and I was suddenly starving hungry, having not eaten breakfast as I’d woken up still stuffed after a big dinner the night before. Still, I pushed on, knowing that in 4k there were toilets, bananas and medals
Despite starvation and a desperate need for a wee I finished feeling fairly fresh, really enjoyed the final sprint up the hill, and was looking forward to a lazy Sunday afternoon.
I have to confess a little twinge of disappointment when I saw my chip time. At 1:03:48 I was about a minute slower than Run Norwich, and that had HILLS, but I enjoyed every second of it. It’s great to want to get better, to improve, but sometimes it’s important to remember why you do it at all and just take a step back and enjoy it.
The Marriots Way 10k is definitely staying on my race schedule, even if it’s just for the scenery!