LAST 10K OF THE YEAR

SIGGY - MY 10th 10K RACE

Now I have the fever for Las Vegas Rock N’ Roll marathon in November. Fuelled with adrenaline and nutrition. I was feeling pumped and strong. Race day for the Worthing 10K had a good atmosphere, encouraging spectators and snap-happy photographers - plus my twin sister, Loulou, watching with our Jack Rusell, Kiki.

The mid October weather was a perfect temperature of around 13 degrees, sunshine with clouds, with a slight light North Easterly breeze challenging you at the halfway point, with the last 5k in sight and wind in your face to the finish line.

I took my essentials. These included: My own water bottle, so I don’t have to waste time stopping at the water stations; my favourite running outfit and Nike Pegasus trainers; my trusty Polar running watch and heart monitor to record my time/pace; plus my motivational bandana headband quoting, 'Born to run!'.

I knew the course well (as organised in my hometown, along the seafront), had a clear strategy, being advised not to go off at a 7 mnute mile pace trying to keep up with the elite pro athletes, eventually feeling the burn in my little toned legs. With this race, I took the advice and stayed back from the start line, as opposed to being in the firing line, sprinting off.

Running at a comfortable, consistent pace, alongside non other than my running guru, trainer, best friend - also known as my mum.

My journey has consisted of up and downs - cross country to flat road races..ups and downs, battling mind over matter, distance over speed and hobbie vs. competitive love of running.

With this specific race, I wasn't aiming for a PB, nor a PR, but one which I was grateful to be taking part in and appreciated the seaside views.

Touching distance from the finish line, I ran behind a man wearing a t-shirt saying “Run Happy”! This reminded me just how far I have come and just how far I have to go, not to give up and gave me the motivation, determination and the inspiration I needed to sprint to the finish line.

Seeing the results finalised in the 53 minutes bracket and having my PB and PR of Brighton 10k race as just shy of 50 minutes!(taking into account the slow start with the thousands of runners attempting), this was completed, accomplished and claimed as one of my best runs, to date.. Never settling for anything other than butterflies. Life is not a sprint, it’s a marathon.

ELAINE - GOOD START AND THEN...

Well, the plan to run together from the start, to slow Siggy down was a good one. I felt really strong after running up mountains for two weeks, and we kicked off at a healthy 8.30 mp, me slightly ahead of Siggy, preventing her from sprinting off at the start which ofter results in her flagging half way. 

So all was good for 2.5 miles along the seafront, breeze behind us; plenty of dog walkers on the path in front to negotiate.

And then, boom, I hit a brick wall. So I slowed to around 9.30 pace and struggled to the finish.

When I checked my Garmin Heartrate Monitor I had averaged 175 heart rate for the whole race! (And I'm 62 years old, so do the maths and, yep, it's way too fast).

So alarm bells were ringing. Back in June, when I ran the Bognor 10K it was a similar issue so I went to the doctor and had loads of tests: heart ECG, heart scan, liver, scan, blood tests. The result diagnosis was that I have an over-active thyroid. I'm currently on Carbimazole, reduced to 10mg a day. So back to the doctor for another blood test - and, yes, I need to up the meds to 15mg a day. She also said that, from a medical view, not to run until my blood test is back to normal. 

But, running with a heart rate monitor, I know exactly how much I am pushing it. And, yes, I shouldn't have run 10K at 175bpm but I stubbonly didn't want to drop out. From now on, though, I'm not letting it go over 169bpm. Even if, as Siggy and I joke, I have to become one of the 'walking dead' as in walkers!

Significantly, it was only because I wore a heartrate monitor back in June that I knew something was up. Apart from losing a bit of weight, I had no idea that I had hypothyroidism - but because my heartrate was high when running, I knew something was wrong and, as my doctor remarks, we caught it early!

Meanwhile, I finished in 56mins, which is slow for me but still not bad at my age. Siggy did it in a decent 53mins; exactly the opposite way round of our finishing times for the Littlehampton 10K in September!

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