Valentine’s Day is all about romance, right? Nah, it’s about parking up in an industrial park near Chessington World of Adventure at some time around eight in the morning for a 10k run. The only romance I was concerned about today was the supposedly romantic notion of running on the open roads.
Well, sort of open roads. It’s still within the M25 – they weren’t exactly free of traffic, passers-by and the like.
The Valentine’s 10k was only my second ‘proper’ race of the year (i.e.: one I paid for and got to haphazardly pin a number on my chest for), and was largely a warm-up to get back in the rhythm ahead of my first half-marathon next weekend (which is, in turn, a warm-up for this small event called the London Marathon I’m doing in April…). Even so, I was still keen to set a reasonable competitive 10k time, especially because the course was generally regarded as being quite good for quick times. There was a bit of undulating, but nothing too fierce.
It was a cold day, but pretty perfect for running: clear skies and not much wind. Me like very much. Everything went pretty well, and I managed to keep well within my target pace throughout. My finish time of 41m 16s was right in line with most of my previous 10k runs, and I felt reasonably strong at the end – which bodes well for next weekend, when I’m running substantially further.
Some random thoughts from along the way:
- My shoes actually dried out after yesterday’s Parkrun paddle. Result!
- My shoes dried out so well the mud on them was a little bit crusty when I went to put them on. Not such a result.
- Basing a Sunday morning run in a business park industrial estate thing: genius. Plenty of space for parking, and hardly anybody using the roads.
- Kudos to the marshal at the first turn of the course for playing the London Marathon music loudly as we went past. Nice touch. I wasn’t the only runner laughing – and I reckon I wasn’t the only runner who ended up humming it most of the way round the course…
- A lot of people in the Chessington/Epsom area drive BMWs and Range Rovers
- And where are all those people in BMWs and Range Rovers going at 0900hrs on a Sunday morning, anyway?
- Oh, garden centres. They’re going to garden centres
- There seem to be quite a lot of garden centres in the Chessington/Epsom area
- Am I the only person who feels guilty when I sprint past someone in sight of the line? It feels like I’m showing off trying to race them, when all I’m doing is trying to set my best time. Honest.
In all, a great way to spend a Sunday morning – a decent course that measured pretty much exactly 10k (not always the case), a well-organised run, plenty of friendly marshals controlling traffic and cheering the runners on, and a nice finishers’ T-shirt and selection of edible goodies post-race.
To celebrate, and because this is the kind of rock-and-roll lifestyle I lead, I stopped off at Tesco on the way home. And decided to go for a post-race treat at a place near the Tesco.
A Krispy Kreme donut shop.
Yup, that happened.
I didn’t mean to, but I couldn’t resist.
Still, I earned it. I think. I must have earned it, right?
Okay, I’ve done the sums. It only took about the first 4.5km of the run to burn off the calories contained in the donut…
Even so, I am now suffering from Krispy Kreme donut-eating guilt. It was good though…
Despite the occasional donut, I’m currently training to run the 2016 London Marathon for the South West Children’s Heart Circle. It’s a great cause, and any money donated will be very well spent. You can sponsor me by clicking the big ‘Just Giving’ button below. Thanks!