The Almost 10k

Let me take you back to 2013. The year before my first ever marathon. Young Bean needed some races to give her some motivation, so she decided to enter the Edinburgh MoRun 10k.

She couldn’t run 10k. She definitely couldn’t run hills. So 2 laps of Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh would totes be an awesome plan. Ish.

It was a bright, bitter November morning. I travelled through solo, because at this point, I had yet to convince my friends and partner that running was a fun pastime. My parents would meet me in Edinburgh to support me. And I knew a Twitter pal would be there if I needed someone to hold my bag.

This bright, crisp November weather would remain the same each time I took part in the event apart from the one year I didn’t, when it fucking hammered it down. And 4 years on from my first EVER event, I’m now usually flanked by a friend or a Beardy or a Father-in-Law as well as my long-suffering parents. It’s lovely to have so many people support my adventures and join me in the madness!

This year, we didn’t head to Edinburgh due to a family bereavement. But we did get to Perth for their first go at hosting the event!

Beardy and his dad do Parkrun in Perth most weeks, so they were obviously up for the race.

The pavements were frozen solid, but the sun was blinding. The route would start and finish on the North Inch with 2 laps including a town centre section. I hadn’t bothered to look at a route map. Or my number. Or any info. A significant departure from Race-Neurotic Bean of races past. New-Age-Ageing-Bean prefers a more laid-back approach, apparently!

4 and a bit years into my fitness adventure, the enthusiasm for running in winter is yet to appear. I fucking HATE feeling cold. This usually means I wear too many layers and overheat but it was BITTER. I went for Adidas base layer, VLM tee and gloves with full length leggings. That’d do (it was perfect).

This year’s lazy approach to MoRun also involved not actually training for it.

I. Know.

I hadn’t run since Dramathon save one chilly, frustrating 5k and some treadmill sprints.

I have been working my arse off in the gym, however, while trying to drop some post-marathon-greed-gained kilos. So I have gained some strength back and my legs were feeling ready to go.

The route is nice and flat, I had a feeling that I could be close to PB territory if I could keep niggles at bay. I still placed myself quite far back in the pack, though, cause I HATE getting in the way.

Father-in-Law joined me and the gun went right on schedule.

The first few hundred metres were directly into the blinding sun. What a day to forget my Oakley’s! We wound down through the inch, under the Old bridge and down Tay street to the newly renovated council building. I encountered the first poorly judged race route choice here: a narrow path with two directions of runners and no cones with a lead-bike coming flying towards us with the winner of the 5km race on his back wheel. All while being blinded by the sun.

Not the best.

The route then wound round the streets of Perth before taking us back up Tay street, under the bridge and back to the inch.

As we approached the top of the inch, we were beginning to realise the course would be short. As it happens, we’d barely hit 4km before we were at half way and on to lap two.

On the second lap, I was firmly battling a stitch but FiL was pacing me at 6min/km and my legs had bags left in them. We thanked marshals and despite being at my threshold pace, I was able to hold a sort of conversation.

On the final turn, it was crystal clear that the course was VERY short. And I crossed the line at 8.6km. 1.4km short. But 50mins! I’d have been WELL under my 57:58PB. I felt cheated! I’ve tried a dozen times since my last PB to beat it and been struck by illness or injury or The Fear every time. And today TOTALLY could’ve been the day.

The explanation for the course shortening is flimsy at best. With varying reports of when it was actually decided. But it was at no point relayed to the runners. Hopefully they have a backup route next year if it’s icy! Safety first, for sure. But get your story straight before posting on social media.

Also, they’ve offered us free entry into an event next year, which is a kind gesture, but this is a charity event! I’d prefer they donated 100% of the entry fees to the Movember Foundation instead?!

All in, MoRun is a fantastic event with a good turn out and all for a brilliant cause. And it’s given me a confidence boost that I have sub60 firmly in my legs and lungs!

Many things have changed since the first time I ran MoRun in 2013, but primarily my fitness is wildly improved. After my first one, I couldn’t walk up or down stairs for 4 days. And yet right now I could go out and run the last 1.4km. (I won’t though, because it’s tea time.)

Onwards now to changed priorities as Lakesman training takes on its base phase.

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