ten days. three races.
*(Sorry for the dramatic subtitle, I just thought it had a nice ring to it 😜)*
I guess the title is pretty self-explanatory. Over the past 10 days, I’ve had 3 races and thought I’d catch you up on how they went. The triad started on Wednesday 30th May with the 1500m BMC meet, then I had the Worthing 10K last Sunday and finished with Sussex schools yesterday.
#1: BMC (30th June)
You might be thinking “what is a BMC?”, and with good reason! It’s basically an evening of races ranging from 800-3000m, run by the British Miler Club. Each race is graded on ability and has a pacer which is running a specific time to help you get a PB. I was put into a race with my clubmate Lois, and we were both aiming for sub- 4:50. Since it was my first race with a pacer ever, coupled with the fact that it was at 8:30pm, I wasn’t sure what to expect.
breakfast for dinner
I’m used to morning or mid-afternoon races, so preparing for an evening one was a bit of a novelty. Immy (@thekeanbeanrunningmachine) came round to mine before and we stuck to what we knew: porridge. It definitely felt weird having it for dinner, but I think it was a good move. After arriving at the track, I did my usual pre-race warm up jog & drills with some music to get the vibe going. Unfortunately, I did have a pretty bad stomach ache, which I think was a combination of nerves and not being used to an evening race.
toeing the start line
This was the point where the nerves really hit me, as there were about 15 other people in my race. I usually only have about 4-5 others, so it was another new experience. I started right on the outer edge of the pack, and when the gun went I found myself quite near the back. With this many runners all going for the same PB, I inevitably got boxed in. However, after the first lap I managed to find my rhythm and started to relax a bit.
My favourite part of the race was definitely lap 3, when I overtook the other girls and found myself leading the girls. There were a few boys in front who I worked off, as by this point the pacer had stopped running with us. With 200m to go, I gave it all I had, and although one girl overtook me, I felt strong at the finish. I was thrilled to come in at a time of 4:46, another 5s off my PB from May. Probably one of my best races yet, although I did think I was going to be sick afterwards 😬
#2: Worthing 10K (3rd june)
Slightly different distance and terrain, as I headed to the road to try and break the 40-minute mark. I did this race last year, but it was just when my shin splints were at their worst so didn’t do as well as I’d have liked. I still had good memories from it though, so was very much looking forward to it.
warm weather racing
I didn’t have the best night’s sleep before this race, and waking up to what was already a hot day (at 6am), my chances of getting a PB weren’t looking strong. Nevertheless, I tried to stay positive , and on the start line I pushed right to the front of the 40-minute pen so I could a) run with the pacer and b) get the best possible start. I didn’t want to get caught up as I usually do in road races! I ran the first 2km with the pacer, at which point I pulled ahead a bit. Whilst it was a gamble, I’m glad I did because the pacer didn’t quite make it under 40.
pushing through the pain
The heat really started getting to me with about 4km to go, so I was very grateful for the cold water stations. When I came into the last 2km, I overtook a lady from Crawley and people started shouting out “3rd woman!” at me. There was no going back now, so I just dug deep and made sure I crossed that line without letting anyone overtake me. I had a lot of mixed emotions after finishing, namely: exhaustion, relief and exhilaration. I’d never got a podium finish in a road race before, and more importantly I’d done it. I’d broken 40-minutes. My official time was 39:21, a whole minute off of my PB from the Brighton 10K in April. Another fab race which I am still over the moon about!
#3: Sussex schools
I went into yesterday’s race tired and doubtful of a PB. Whilst this may sound negative, after the BMC and the 10K, plus a tough week’s training, I think I was just being realistic. It meant that I didn’t set myself up for disappointment, and any outcome would be a bonus. I realise that this post is getting quite long, so I won’t go into too much detail. Lois and I ran together again and tried to drag each other round, however the humidity really got to us. Whilst neither of us got PBs, we both came away with gold medals (Lois is Intermediate & I’m Senior) which is definitely something to be proud of!
My official time was 4:56, a whole 10s off my BMC time, but I’m not letting it disappoint me too much. I think the key with running is to recognise that you can’t get a PB in every race, otherwise you’d be breaking records pretty soon! I’m incredibly grateful for my other two races, and am now excited for the rest of this track season. As soon as A-levels are out the way, I’ll be able to stop feeling guilty for not revising and properly focus on my running!
I hope you’ve enjoyed catching up on my three most recent races, and I hope any that you’ve done have gone well too! Shoutout to my chums Beth, Alice and Immy who all medalled at Sussex schools yesterday too 💖