Happily Ever After

Life in The Rural Retreat with a beautiful wife, three cats, garden wildlife, a camera, a computer – and increasing amounts about running

Earlier posts can be found on Adventures of a Lone Bass Player, where this blog began life. Recent entries can be found here.


Nairn 10k 2023

by Russell Turner - 21:59 on 06 March 2023

The road to my second Nairn 10k could have been smoother: after returning from London on Friday, the cold took hold again on Saturday. I held off the worst long enough to play that night’s wedding gig but was in full flow on the Sunday. I definitely couldn’t have run that day or played that night.

Fortunately (and much to Matchgirl’s ire – she always has 10-day colds) I was over the worst on Monday and just about recovered on Tuesday, although in no mood for the 12-mile longest long run I had in the diary; instead I settled for a cautious 5k followed a day later by an easy 40mins. Preparation for the Nairn run ended two days after that with some respectable intervals, which left me optimistic for a good time. Maybe too optimistic.

The forecast for race day was cool with a 50% chance of rain; I hedged my bets and donned shorts with a long-sleeved top (plus T-shirt underneath). I was lucky. The cool remained but, despite showers on the way, Nairn stayed unrainedupon for the afternoon. (It was a 2.30pm start.)

The 10k is a modest affair, organised by Nairn Roadrunners, and without even the inflatable start/finish arch used last year. The 255 competitors milled around in the High Street before an amplified voice called “3, 2, 1, go!” and we were off.

Snapped at the start and already looking grim.

My minimum target was a sub-1hr finish (I’d been 16secs over when I ran injured last year) but harboured hopes of 55mins (3mins more than my PB) on what is a mostly flat course through, sadly, rather boring countryside. Clearly, I’m not up to that yet. I passed 5k in 27:55 but during the second 5k took five 30sec(ish) walk breaks.

I could blame lack of fuel before the race, or the pre-race energy strip I lost, or my usual gripe of poor sleep, or disrupted training, but being a wuss is the most likely reason. All the mantras and self-motivation advice were forgotten and I walked. On a flat 10k. Shameful. (Although the hill under the railway bridge in the final kilometre is a bugger.)

My chip time was 57:19, which I’d have been delighted with if my pacing had been better, and I’d run the second 5k in under 30mins, which is OK too. Several much younger people finished around me (I was 202nd of 255) but several older ones finished ahead. Such is running. At least I wasn’t one of the 41 DNSs.

A day later, I’m less disappointed with my finish. After all, I’m training for a run/walk ultra, not a speedy 10k. I’ll try to remember that on Sunday when the going gets tough at the Inverness Half Marathon.

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