Slay the Dragon 10k

The Slay the Dragon course takes you in and around the villages of Hinton, Dinnington and Allowenshay. It’s an undulating 6 mile course of multi-terrain with country lanes, rough tracks, stiles, gates, fields and hills and breathtaking country views.

About the race
When: –
Sunday 25 February 2018 @ 10.30am

Where: – Hinton St George Village Hall, Hinton, TA17 8SB

Cost: – £11.44

Organisers website: –

The Church of St George includes 13th century work by masons of Wells cathedral. Hinton St George is regarded as one of the best kept villages in Somerset and is known to have been a settlement as far back as the 12th century.

There are 3 distances at the Slay the Dragon; 10k Slay the Dragon, 4k The Dragon’s Tail and 2k The Baby Dragon.

Race Aces
Got to the race very early so managed to park on the grass right in front of race HQ.

The race promises to be a scenic one and it didn’t disappoint. It was mostly across country fields and over churned up mud, thankfully the ground was dry so I didn’t get as muddy as I’d anticipated.

I always enjoy it when someone different starts a race and the town crier started this one.

This race is very good value for money at just over £10.

There were photographers around the course taking race photos and they were very reasonably priced, so much so, I actually bought my first ever race photo (this isn’t the one I bought below!) and the Facebook page also had lots of photos of runners too.

Race Unlaces
The ground was VERY technical underfoot. The race was held in between two weekends of heavy snowfall and areas which should have been muddy were frozen solid and difficult to navigate across. Obviously if you enjoy this kind of terrain this would be a plus point for you. I was very worried about twisting my ankle in these areas and the impact on my joints was immense.

The races takes you around country fields and there was one section in particular where you have to climb over a stile. That’s no problem for me, this is the kind of trail runs I enjoy, however, one stile had a huge long line that you had to queue in to get over. I probably had to wait over 3 minutes in a queue before I got my turn to get over it! Which isn’t great if you’ve got a time goal in mind.

At race HQ they were selling bacon baps, which is always great, but for some reason they’d stopped selling them after the race was done and I was pretty devastated that I didn’t get to have one. Perhaps I should have run a little bit faster.

My Race Stats:
Time: 1:12:21 | Mile splits: 9:21, 14:37, 10:33, 11:59, 10:09, 14:14, 1:39
Position: 163/197

Total runners: 197 | Fastest Male: 38:03 | Fastest Female: 48:56 | Slowest: 1:28:05

Organisers’ Social Media Information
 Slay the Dragon Run | Twitter: @slaydragon10k

Distances from Major Cities
London: 2hr 48min ~ 137 miles | Birmingham:  2hr 38min ~ 154 miles | Bristol: 1hr 25min ~ 45 miles | Cardiff: 1hr 46min ~ 94 miles | Exeter: 1hr 04min ~ 42 miles

Overall star rating: 

This race was a lovely scenic trail run which, I personally found very difficult as a beginner to trail running. The weather the previous week didn’t help much with that and that’s obviously nothing to do with the race itself it’s just one of those things. Might I have enjoyed it had it been more muddy and soft underfoot, perhaps. I was very worried about twisting my ankle because the churned up mud in the fields was very difficult to run on and I walked several times because of it. It always fascinates me how amazing some of these technical trail runners are, I always think they must have very strong ankles!

This was a lovely small town race and I enjoyed the town crier starting off the runners and it was definitely good value for money. The medal was a cute dragon sticker which one of the local children had drawn.

Race HQ didn’t hold much entertainment for spectators but it was only at a village hall so it was as entertaining as would be expected.

Personally I wouldn’t do this race again only because of how difficult I found it but I would recommend it to anyone that is experienced in running across difficult terrain as the views were really lovely.

Please note that the above opinions on the race are my own and based upon my own running skill level (I would consider myself to be an average runner) and while I’ve made every effort to ensure anything contained within this post is accurate, please check the race organiser’s website for full information.

If there’s any more information about the race that you’d like to add or ask, please leave a comment below


Need For Speed | Week 4 | 10k Training | Diary of an Injured Runner | Race Day!

Hey everyone! If you’ve been reading my need for speed journey, you’ll have noticed that I didn’t actually post this back in May (which is when the race was) because it’s been in my draft posts this whole time! And I have a lot to say about this race so I’ve got no idea why I didn’t post it. Anyway… let’s jump back in time and relive the final week of the race that started it all.

Disclaimer: This post has affiliate links, which means if you choose to buy through my links I receive a commission at no extra cost to you! I’ll only ever link products that I absolutely love and use, thank you for supporting me.

Monday | Rest Day

Clearly I was going to take a rest day today after running races on Saturday and Sunday last week! And rest day I had!! I had real trouble sleeping on Sunday night (perhaps from all of the excitement) and didn’t get to sleep until pretty late. Thankfully it is a bank holiday so I was able to have a nice lie in (ignoring the fact I was awake and up at 6am feeding the animals).

I spent a bit of time watching some YouTube videos about ‘maintaining’ your body during rest days and it inspired me to try some stick rolling. According to The Run Experience, you should be doing something every day to help combat injuries and I’m terrible at actually doing this. I spent most of my time rolling my hips because that’s where it felt particularly bad but I am hoping it’s going to help most with my shin splint pain.

Tuesday | Day Off

Wednesday | Unintentional Day Off 

Thursday | Rest Day

Friday | Unintentional Day Off 

Saturday…. you can see where this is going
I kind of gave myself the week off, mostly because I’m really worried about aggravating my shins and I really didn’t want to make things worse with the big race tomorrow. Getting injured is just the worst and I’m so jealous of anyone that manages to get away injury free. On my running Instagram I’m following many other runners and some of them are just running crazy distances consistently without injury, but there are probably 5 times more people suffering serious injuries that have put them out of action and that really scares me. This is always a problem when you sign up for so many races, if you get seriously injured, you obviously shouldn’t run and I sign up for A LOT of races!

One reason I bought my spin bike for home was that, depending upon what kind of injury I’d had, I could still get some pretty decent cardio in but with less impact. I did find that when I was suffering from plantar fasciitis, this still aggravated my foot, the pedals are pretty sturdy and it didn’t like being in that position, but luckily I’ve not been suffering quite as bad this year.

Sunday | Race Day!
Waaaaaa, the day is finally here. Do I feel like I’ve done enough work to beat last year’s time? No, I do not. Was that all my fault? No, you’ve been suffering through some injuries but perhaps could have tried a bit harder… There’s nothing that makes me hecking mad with myself as much as knowing I could have tried harder. But anyway!

Woke up to a dry and sunny morning but it wasn’t too hot so I was hoping that the early start was going to make sure we were home and dry before it got scorching. I’d rather run all day long in the rain and cold weather than the heat, I’m just terrible at it!

One criticism I have of big races like this are the crowds. I’m used to doing races with around 300-500 people but this is literally thousands of people running and around the course. This means that instead of having one ‘3-2-1-GO’ you get several and it takes FOREVER to even get up to the start line. I was in the white wave this year and I think it was the green wave behind us, because there are so many people in the pens all of the groups get jumbled into one and by the time we set off (at least half an hour after the warm up!) I was starting with mostly green people. I thought ‘this is no problem, once we set off I’ll be able to overtake anyone that might be slower because the roads are pretty wide’. Well I was wrong about that! I think for the first mile I was struggling to get around slower runners, my pace was all over the place because I was trying to compensate for my slower start, it was just a bit of a disaster!

Also, I had another mishap with my watch. Because it took so long to get past the start, it sort of happened all of a sudden and I hadn’t set my watch up as I didn’t realise we were setting off. That meant I pressed start on my pacer a good time after we actually set off and that was the one thing I was counting on to help me achieve my 55 minute dream (I don’t know if I’ve already mentioned, my 2017 time was 58:19 which was my PB for that year, so I wasn’t looking to take too much off but my race times so far this year haven’t been close to that).

Once I managed to settle into a pace I felt a bit better but I was definitely struggling. It was getting pretty hot and I found myself walking for a couple of seconds at water stations just to compose myself a little and get my head back in it. I love watching The Run Experience on YouTube and I’ve watched most of their videos, one piece of advice they gave for a 10k is don’t stop at water stations. The race isn’t long enough for you to give yourself much benefit during the race and you’re ticking off major time by stopping, however, while I didn’t drink much at the water station, I did pour some water over me instead.

So, all of that aside, I finally found myself staring down the road towards the finish line. (Another thing I hate is long finish lines – Dublin Half Marathon…. just wow). I looked down at my watch and I was at 54/55mins ish and I thought I really need to push at this last bit, I’d be gutted if I took a leisurely pace and it ended up I could have got 55 mins! This was quite possibly the worst part of the entire race for me. There were so. many. people on that final stretch. Some people were walking at this point (probably because the waves were so jumbled up) but mostly people seemed to be out for a leisurely stroll toward the finish line and it gets narrow here as you go past the centre towards At Bristol. The frustration of trying to have some sort of sprint finish while having to try and weave in and out of so many people was enough to make me feel the angers. I love the Bristol races but I’m not so sure I’ll be doing this one again next year, I just find it all a bit too stressful! Does anyone else find this?

Pushing the stop button on my Garmin was both a relief and a disappointment. My watch time said 56:33 (which I knew wasn’t right due to my failure to press start crossing the start line) and I was gutted. While this was a PB for me by just over 2 minutes, I couldn’t help but kick myself for walking those couple of times and generally having a grumpy run because of all of the people.

My official time was 56:57 so I barely managed a 56 min race let alone getting close to the 55 mins I was after. I know that I’ll get there though but it definitely won’t be at a big race like this one. I longed for for the smaller races of Glastonbury and the Clock Change Challenge, which do have their own downsides, but not being able to push yourself to your ability because of crowds just isn’t what I’m looking for in a race. It’s funny though because I don’t recall it being like this last year. Were there more runners? Was I just unlucky in my race wave?

While I didn’t get the time I was going for, I have changed my whole mindset when it comes to racing. For some silly reason I was never pushing myself because I was worried I’d burn out and running races for me isn’t all about PBs, it’s sometimes about going to new and exciting places and getting to see them and explore them. Finding my Garmin pacer though has changed the game for me and I can’t imagine running a race now without it. It gives me the reassurance that I can slow down if necessary or that I need to push myself a bit more whereas before it was just sheer guesswork especially on that final mile.

I’ve got so many more exciting races coming up this year and I know I’m going to achieve that 55 minute PB and who knows, perhaps I’ll be looking to a 50 minute PB this time next year!

Did you race the Bristol 10k this year? I really would like to hear from other runners who have done it and your personal experiences with this race.

Need For Speed | Week 3 | 10k Training | Diary of an Injured Runner

Things I thought I’d never say… ‘I’m writing this on a Bank Holiday Monday, sat in the garden in the glorious sunshine… in England’. ‘I have two 10k races in 2 days, one of them is a trail run’. ‘I lost 11lbs in 5 weeks’. And yet, here I am saying all of those things!

Disclaimer: This post has affiliate links, which means if you choose to buy through my links I receive a commission at no extra cost to you! I’ll only ever link products that I absolutely love and use, thank you for supporting me.

The Bristol 10k is now a week away and I’m feeling pretty optimistic that I might be able to pull a further PB out of the bag. While I’m obviously going for a course PB AND an all time 10k PB, I’m wondering whether aiming for a 55min PB is out of the question! I don’t want to crash and burn by running outside of my actual ability. There has to become a point where I physically cannot achieve a certain time which is nothing to do with how hard I push??

Monday | Shins Shins Shins
I’ve been really really suffering with my shins lately and foam rolling was just way too painful to try and ease it off so I ordered this body roller which is like a big stick with little wheels on that you use to roll away your aches and pains. I’m a little sceptical but I’m getting desperate at this point and need to feel like I’m doing something. I’ve watched more YouTube videos than I can count on how to ease the pain and this was one of the things that was highly recommended. It’s such a difficult area to try and stretch out, I find myself trying to contort into all sorts of positions to try and get a stretch there but nothing really works.

Tuesday | Cardio Day
I’ve been embracing these ‘non running cardio days’ these past couple of weeks and my legs are definitely feeling the benefit of it. That doesn’t mean that I didn’t do this workout in constant pain on the inside of my shins though! I wanted to do a little longer but I thought I’d be silly to push it, especially with 2 races this weekend so I did just over an hour.

Wednesday | They See me Rollin’
The ‘body roller’ was delivered today, hooray! I gave it a little test on my legs, they’re still sore, and I can’t say they felt any better afterwards but I’m assuming persistence is the key here. The Labrador was also very interested in this new contraption!

Thursday | Rest Day
I’m feeling nervous about Saturday’s run because I feel very under qualified to run it. I always imagine that there’s going to be runners there who look at me and think ‘she’s definitely no runner, what on earth is she doing at a trail run’. And while they’re right, to date, I’ve never felt like this when I’m at a run. There are always many different abilities at races and everyone is encouraging. I’ll admit that I have thought about not going. It’s such a long way and I really don’t want to fall over ahead of Sunday’s run and do myself an injury.

Friday | Out Out + New Trail Shoes
I had the day off of work today and my main goal was to get some much needed new trail shoes. The guy in the running shop was very helpful and I sauntered around the store trying on as many different shoes as they had and running up and down stairs. I was surprised that I ended up with a size 4 as I am actually a size 4… and I know running shoes are usually bigger than your normal shoe size. Anyway, they felt comfortable and I went away new shoes in hand – also knowing I was going to commit the sin of running in a brand new pair of shoes… ah well, what was I going to wear, my battered Nikes or my toe crippling trail shoes!

The evening followed by a trip into town to say goodbye to a work colleague but I had to leave fairly early because of the lovely early start tomorrow!

Saturday | Brecon Beacons 10k Trail Challenge
This race may have taken over as my most favourite one yet! Before that, I’d like to share a fun fact about myself that, if you don’t know me, you may not know. I am rather silly. Which means that silly things happen to me… A LOT. While I’m the kind of person who cannot fit any more information into my brain until the last possible moment, I do like to have a general idea of how far away a race is ahead of time, which means I’d looked to see how far away the Brecon Beacons were and my sat nav reliably informed me that it was just under 2 hours away from home. The sensible part of my brain said ‘that’s weird, it’s only across the bridge into Wales and up a bit’, but I reasoned that perhaps the roads into the Brecons were slow and winding which is why it was going to take so long.

So we’re at race day, hopped into the car at some stupid o’clock, and I’m following the sat nav to get on our way. What I thought was really strange was the way that it was taking us, up through Gloucester and onto the M5… weird, I need to be on the M4 and I know this isn’t the right way. I pulled over on the side of the road and instantly realised why we’d gone so far off course… my sat nav was set to ‘avoid tolls’! So we weren’t going across the bridge into Wales we were going ALL THE WAY AROUND IT! Great start to the day, I could have had an extra half an hour in bed!

Crisis averted, we eventually made it to Race HQ, which was a tad troublesome in itself. Because there was also an Ultra, Marathon and Half Marathon on the same day spaced an hour apart, we’d arrived during the half marathon set off and we had to wait for all of the runners to cross the start before we could get into the car park and we were sat there for quite some time. Phew, we made it. The views in this part of the world are stunning and I was feeling a little nervous as to what these trails were going to be like. I’m 100% no technical runner but the views on trails cannot be matched which is why I come back to them time and time again. During this race I had a very brief discussion with another runner as to the fact that we were both here for the ‘experience’ and not the PBs, which is how I feel about nearly every trail run I’ve completed.

We had to gather for a race briefing 15 mins before the start and I’ll be honest, it wasn’t great. They were using a tannoy system which didn’t seem to be working and I couldn’t hear a thing. People were shouting that they couldn’t hear but that didn’t make the instructions any clearer to me. They held up signs which I assumed meant that we had to follow them… easy enough.

The puppers set off 5 minutes before the main race and then we were off. As soon as we started I felt knackered! Even though the race started early, it was already pretty hot. Because I have the Glastonbury 10k tomorrow, I’m not going to push myself today that’s for sure because that IS a time I care about! The views on this course were absolutely stunning and I’m not even ashamed to say that I stopped on multiple occasions to either take in the views or to take photos of the views. The terrain was great and not very ‘technical’ in my mind, with the exception of a couple of rocky places towards the end. Had it been raining and more muddy, it might have been different (that’s not to say there weren’t some muddy parts as there were).

My new trail shoes held up well, they could definitely still do with some breaking in, but otherwise they felt okay (not like my last pair where I actually thought my toes might fall off after wearing them) and I was a teeny bit upset when they got mud on them, not gonna lie haha.

Coming up to around mile 6 and I thought I was on the home stretch but my watch clocked a final distance of over 7 miles, and it’s usually pretty accurate! (Reading some peoples’ Instagram posts after, the Half Marathon was more like 16 miles – eek).

Overall this was a great race, I loved it and I’d love to go back again and not race as I wanted to really take in the stunning views instead of running away from them! The medal wasn’t too shabby either, one of my favourites. Also worth noting, I had zero pain, niggles, nothing. My shins didn’t hurt one tiny bit.

Sunday | Glastonbury 10k
This was the first ‘race’ I’d done (since 2012 when I ran the Bristol Half Marathon) in 2017 so I felt there was a bit of pressure to get at least a course PB and then under the hour was my goal. I adore Glastonbury, it’s such a unique place. Unfortunately last year I didn’t get a chance to look around much as I felt absolutely horrible after and wanted to get back to the car and home as soon as possible.

Glastonbury, as you might expect, is also a very chill race and it doesn’t start until 11.20am which is the latest start time I’ve ever had. This also meant that the temperature was absolutely scorching by the time we set off at around 24 degrees. I couldn’t remember much about the course, although I vaguely remember thinking it was pretty hilly the first time around, and there’s ‘Heartbreak Hill’ on the very last 1k of the race, which I didn’t manage to run up in 2017 (I think I may have said a curse word when I saw it around the corner then too).

I’d set my pace time on my Garmin to 59:30 (definitely not going for any kind of 10k PB after running trails yesterday and it being so hot), getting around in under an hour was my number one goal. I set off quite well and managed to get 1min lead time fairly quickly so I just needed to hold onto that pace as long as I could. Last weekend, at Bridgwater 10k, I only stopped at the water stations for mere seconds because I knew that was going to make a massive difference to my overall time but today, I couldn’t run past them I really needed that few seconds break and a bit of water intake.

I managed to maintain my pace right up until mile 5 but by this point, someone had notched up the temperature and I was absolutely boiling! I scraped by this mile, managing to hold onto about a 50 second lead but it was tough. The photographer (also, free race photos at Glastonbury!) takes a photo of you with the Glastonbury Tor in the background, which is a great backdrop and I knew that Heartbreak Hill was just around the corner from here. There is even a sign ‘Welcome to Heartbreak Hill’ at the bottom. I looked up (mistake), did a little internal cursing, and ran up the whole flippin’ thing, which already meant I was better than last year. Then it’s a nice little downhill to the finish line and boom you’re done! I looked at my watch and it said ’58:44′ and I was over the moon with that time! 5 minutes faster than 2017 which (to me) is a huge difference. Another sub 1 hr 10k in the bank, which makes this the 3rd run so far.

I’m so thankful that I found the pacer on my Garmin, I honestly don’t think I’d be able to get the past sub 1hr times without it. Before, I’d look at around mile 5 and guestimate whether I’d be able to get in under or not but with this, I know my estimated finish time and whether I’m on course or not – it’s absolutely brilliant!

After the race, I felt horrible. I’d been feeling sick since yesterday and the heat didn’t help but I’d also had completely blocked ears. Every step I took, every time I breathed in, I could ‘hear’ it and I felt like I was on a plane. We had ice creams and a wander around the Abbey and then came back to the start to watch the drummers and then headed back to the car. I must have sat in the car for around 20 minutes trying not to feel sick – nonetheless, great day, great race and I may come back again in 2019 we’ll see. I did get a bit sunburned though, being a pale English Rose hahaha. How silly of me not to wear any lotion! I also had no pain at all during or after this race, which I didn’t even realise until I’ve sat down to think about it now! I’m really hoping that it stays pain free as this is the only way I’m going to continue to get better race times. (Pray to the shin gods).

Next Week – Week 4
The week of the BIG run, which I’m looking forward to but also I’m going to be so nervous trying to get that ‘need for speed’ and all time PB. The weather forecast is showers and definitely cooler than this week, so I’m feeling better about that! While I will never, ever, ever, complain about it being too hot in England, I may complain that it’s too hot for running.

Need For Speed | Week 2 | 10k Training | Diary of an Injured Runner

Wow what a week! I had a highly anticipated (by me) race on Sunday 29th and I’d put a lot of pressure on myself to get under that elusive hour and I pushed myself HARD on race day but did I get a sub 1 hour time… let’s find out!

Disclaimer: This post may have affiliate links, which means if you choose to buy through my links I receive a commission at no extra cost to you! I’ll only ever link products that I absolutely love and use, thank you for supporting me.

Monday | Yoga Day
Yoga is something that I’m always sure I need to do but because it’s not cardio, I’m not interested! I’ve heard for years that yoga is the perfect accompaniment to running and I can see why. I’m terrible at not stretching enough before and after a run (I’ve been working on it) but I wanted to dedicate a day just to yoga.

I searched through YouTube (there was no way I was going to do my outdated workout DVDs that go on for hours) and found a YouTube channel ‘Yoga with Adriene – 30 Days of Yoga’ so figured that would be a great place to start. I wasn’t wrong, she’s a really great instructor and it’s not boring like some yoga workouts are. I’m considering next month doing a 30 day yoga challenge and I just might use this series.

Tuesday | Fast 5k (that didn’t count)
I ended up in a full on rage today. I went out with the intention of using some kind of pacer on my watch because I need something to keep me on track during races and I really can’t be doing any kind of adding/ subtracting in my mind while I’m running (let’s be honest I can’t do any kind of math even when I’m not running) and I found an add on app for my Garmin Fenix 5s which is called ‘Peter’s Pacer’. Great! Let’s test it out.

I set the time for 30mins for a 5k run and it alerts you when you are under your target time and shows you how many seconds you’re over/under. Amazing. Except, I was having some kind of internal struggle and went off way too fast thinking in the back of my mind I might get a PB and pushed myself so hard I crashed and burned.

I paused my watch several times but the longest time I paused my watch was when I had a major wobbly… the last stretch of my run is on a very long, pretty straight pavement which has got lots of grass on either side. There are lots and lots of dog walkers in this area as well as runners and, unfortunately, cyclists, even though the pavement is fairly narrow. So I spot a cyclist pretty far down the way and so I did that thing that EVERYONE on the planet does, you move to one side of the pavement well in advance (try this out and you’ll be surprised how far away you’ll do this when you’re walking in the opposite direction to another pedestrian). However, this particular cyclist was on his mobile phone looking down. We’re getting pretty close at this point but he’s sort of moved to the left hand side so I go to the right side. At the very last second (while still looking down at his phone) he swerves to the right side and nearly hits into me! I had to put my hands out and say ‘hey’ so that he doesn’t cycle straight into me. His response….?? Now you’d probably think he’d say ‘sorry, I wasn’t looking where I was going’…. no. He shouts back at me ‘hey’ as if I’d just run into him and then cycles off proceeding to look back and shout stuff at me. What an absolute total idiot! If you know me, I’m the least confrontational person on the planet so I was shocked at myself when I was so angry at his response, I turned around and shouted ‘look where you’re going’!

There are not many things that irk me as much as people cycling on pavements, especially if they’re going fast. You perhaps might think ‘maybe it was dusk’ or ‘perhaps you weren’t wearing bright enough clothing’ and both of these would be wrong. I was wearing my BRIGHT PINK LEGGINGS, people could have spotted me from twenty times the distance that we nearly collided. If he had looked up for even 1 second, he would have seen me! So that put me in a pretty bad mood and I nearly abandoned my run entirely. Investing in a treadmill looks more and more appealing than braving it out in the urban jungle.

Anyway… enough of my near death experience, back to my watch. I was using this app to pace myself and when I reached 5k, finally, I stopped my watch but it didn’t actually record like it usually does so I was not happy about that!

Wednesday | Rest Day
Went to Cardiff today with work so today ended up being my cheat meal day (which was amazing), but I was definitely feeling it later on in the evening.

Thursday | Blah Day
Considered doing some kind of cardio workout but I was feeling super tired so had a rest instead. Out here living my best life eh!

Friday | Cancelled Day
I had an easy run on the agenda today but I was in a bit of a grump and still super tired so I skipped it but I did find a really useful Garmin tool. After my failed run on Tuesday with the Garmin add on I reasoned that the Fenix 5 is a pretty amazing watch there must be a way for me to do the same thing on the main watch functions. And Son of a Gun there was! And it was even better than the other one.

If you go to ‘run’ and hold the menu button it will take you into another menu. Select ‘training’ and go down to ‘set a target’. Here, you can set a distance only, distance and time or distance and pace goal. On these data screens it will show you your time ahead/ behind, an avatar to show how far/close you are on pace and your estimated finish time. I can’t wait to go out and test it!

Saturday | 5k Using Pacer
The Garmin Virtual Pacer is going to be a game changer for me, I can tell already. I tested it out today for my easy 5k run with a 30 minute goal. Even though this isn’t too difficult a time for me to achieve, it was pretty windy so I had to work much harder but it did keep me on track. I have a race tomorrow and I am definitely going to use this tool to get by sub 1 hour time.

Sunday | Bridgwater Bolt 10k
I was feeling really pumped for this race and I was feeling nervous, which is unusual for me, but I knew I was going to be going for under an hour as opposed to turning up and ‘trying my best’. I have to say, this new mindset of mine is helping greatly with my running! I think I’ve realised that actually I SHOULD be improving after running consistently for over a year and, apart from injuries I’ve had, there’s no good reason why I shouldn’t be smashing those PBs.

This was such a great race, I really enjoyed it. The course was pretty much flat with a couple of hills around 4 miles and 5.5 miles but I was so determined to run them and I’ve slowly come to realise that if there’s a hill up, there’s bound to be a lovely hill to run down!!

So, armed with my new ‘trick’ up my sleeve, I set my Garmin for a time of 59:30 (just to doubly make sure I was under the hour). The first mile or so of the race was really frustrating because there was a narrow pathway that you have to navigate, but so too do a couple of hundred other people. My time was dwindling before my eyes and I was starting to panic that I’d never make up this time further in the race so the first opportunity I got I tried to dash inbetween the other runners ahead of me and get my watch ahead by a couple of seconds.

As I eased into the race, I’d managed to get around 1 min ahead of my race time and logic told me that if I could keep this 1 min buffer time I’d be able to finish in under an hour easily… The hills did have a bit of an effect on me but by this time I’d managed to get around 2 mins ahead! Whoop go me! This was when I started to get a little excited when it dawned on me that not only could I get under an hour, I might actually hit an ALL TIME PB!! Once that thought occurred to me there was no stopping me and I pushed myself right to the end, finishing with a time of 57:15.

Obviously we had to celebrate with our first ever McFlurry too!

There you have it. Change your mindset and you can change your whole world! Hoping you’ve all had a great week and that you too can change your whole worlds.

Need For Speed | Week 1 | 10k Training | Diary of an Injured Runner

It dawned on me the other day that it’s only 4 weeks until the Bristol 10k. While there isn’t anything particularly spectacular about this, as I’m running multiple 10ks this year, it’s a massive deal for me because this is where I got my race PB last year. I’ve never come close to hitting or breaking this record of mine and I’ve been continually frustrated that I can’t even get under an hour in alllll of my races! It’s the only race I’ve ever run and got under an hour. What I find most frustrating about this is that I’ve been training for the past year (with the exception of December / January where I had the flu and did no running at all) and I can’t seem to improve my times.

So I decided to make it my mission in these 4 weeks to try and increase my speed so that when I’m at that start line, I’m all set to smash my course time and perhaps even pull an all time PB out of the bag!

I’m going to talk more about what I’m going to do to increase my speed in the next few weeks but for this week, let’s just look at what I’ve been up to.

Monday | Yoga Day Turned Sick Day
I did not feel good today, which is never good when you’re trying to start a new regime! After the Frenchay 10k yesterday, I was going to do a long yoga session to try and keep my injuries at bay and give myself a great stretch out but it wasn’t to be.

Tuesday | Easy Run ~ 2.5 miles
I wanted to go out and get some miles in the legs so there was nothing too strenuous about this run, although it was super windy which I HATE.

Even though this run wasn’t a particular victory, I am feeling great and injury-free which is such a novelty for me. I’m really hoping that if I can keep any niggles at bay I’m going to be able to keep training so that I can put the miles in, as this is where it’s all gone wrong for me in the past. I need to be able to run, otherwise, this just isn’t going to work out.

Wednesday | Strength Training
Strength training is something that I’ll always avoid. I’m a cardio junkie, always have been, and I find anything other than this a tad boring. I didn’t want to go mad though so I kind of cheated and did an old workout DVD of mine which had a ‘toning’ section which was pretty tough but, to be fair, it could have probably been better.

Thursday | Rest Day
No workouts for me today but I did manage to squeeze two walks in today so not a total rest day. It was also my cheat day and I had an amazing takeaway.

Friday | Hill Work + Lamppost sprints
It was pretty hot today, I guess we’ve skipped spring and gone straight to summer! Don’t let that fool you, apparently there’s more snow on the way. Get it together England!!

After a dance workout in my living room (waiting for my Garmin to charge) warm up, I tried to do a little bit of everything and push myself, I did an easy run followed by my ‘nemesis hill’ for miles 0-2, lamppost sprints for mile 2-3, and then the final mile was a nice easy pace. I had the best Spotify playlist and was really feeling The Saturdays’ Greatest Hits Megamix.

Saturday | High Intensity Workout
The plan was to do Davina McCall’s newest workout DVD, however, I really wasn’t feeling it so I opted for the 2004 Nell McAndrew Ultimate Challenge Ultimate Results instead. Wow, I forgot how intense this workout was! My legs were literally on fire doing this and my arms felt like they might actually fall off. I can’t believe how unfit I am now, even with all the running, I still have noodle arms but that’s all changing!

I dug out one of my Labrador’s tennis balls from the cupboard and used it as a mini foam roller for my legs. I’ve had some pain down the side of my shins for the past few months so I was hoping that it would relieve some of the pain I’ve had there and I’ll say this, it felt great! The only downside is that I bruise like a peach and now I’ve got bruises all down my legs!

Sunday | 7 Planned Miles Turned into 5 (also the London Marathon!)
I did contemplate not going out for this run after the intense workout I did yesterday but I felt pretty good so I went out with 7 very slow and easy miles in mind. They’d predicted that it was going to be the hottest London Marathon ever so I don’t know why I was so shocked that it was absolutely boiling at 8am…

I started off ok, my legs felt good and I was loving the quiet roads, however, I turned the corner and there was a long stretch of headwind and it just knocked me for six. I kept running but my energy had gone from an 8 to around a 3 and that was it for me, I was done. I was walking for literally no reason. Yes it was warm but the majority of my races are in the summer months so this isn’t something that’s new to me. I tried to claw it back with a really slow pace but I just couldn’t get back to it.

So I’m struggling on my final stretch of road and the end is in sight, and this woman was running in the opposite direction towards me and she had the most amazing body I’d ever seen on anyone in real life, she was awesome, and suddenly I’ve never felt less in shape in my life. Then I was kind of annoyed with myself for feeling like this, why do we have to compare ourselves to others when it brings us down so much? Let’s not just be kind to other people, let’s also be kind to ourselves too.

Weekly Roundup
While I had a bit of a pants run on Sunday, I was pretty happy with my efforts this week. I know I need to incorporate some more speed work in my runs so next week that’s going to be the number one goal and everything else will have to work around that. I may even have to suck it up and break out my torturous foam roller.

I have a race next Sunday and I’m already hoping that I’m going to be able to get under an hour ahead of the Bristol 10k as it’s predominantly flat and I’ve got the mental determination to do it.

If you’ve managed to shave some significant time from your PB let me know how you did it, I’m looking for tips for sure!

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