If there is one piece of advice I have taken from my Grandmother, and applied it right throughout my life, it is “listen to your body, it will tell you what it wants”. This has been particularly important since I started running.
My late Nana, who gained her wings some 41 years ago now, was a fountain of good advice on all manner of things, and these are now passed down through my Dad, to me and onto my daughter.
Last weekend was one of those “listen to your body” moments, when my runbud Pam and I did Alderley Edge 10k in 30 degrees heat.
Now don’t get me wrong, I absolutely adore this weather, it can stay like this until Christmas for me, but Sunday 1st July was not a race I am likely to forget in a hurry.
The start line was under trees, so that sheltered us for a brief while, but then the course very quickly became one long road of blistering, tarmac melting, energy sapping heat.
It became apparent, within the first 2k that if I didn’t apply my grandmother’s mantra, I was going to be in trouble, and I really wanted my T shirt, plus the medals looked awesome, and I was definitely going to finish this big boy, whether I liked it or not. So, armed with two bottles of cordial, I stopped running, and started to walk. It was a sensible option for me as an individual, my body was telling me, if you want to finish, reign it right in.
Pam and I had already agreed to run our own race and being by far the better runner out of the two of us, she ploughed on ahead, completing the race in an impressive 1:10.
I was soon surrounded by other runners who had obviously the same thought as me, and we power walked and chatted the first 5k. Once over the half way mark we then agreed that as we were now on the home straight, a mix of run/walk was acceptable, and after a water stop which consisted of the local cub and scout group squirting the contents of 2 bottles of water over us, we were sure that we would complete the race comfortably.
The elite runners passed us like gazelles in the desert, but it was obvious they were suffering. My ultimate respect and admiration for these people, truly amazing athletes.
The main problem on the day seemed to be widespread nausea, not surprising given the temperature. As I ran up to the finish line in 1:34 I could see someone in the back of an ambulance, lying down, not feeling very well at all. I do hope they were able to go home at the end of the day, fit and well.
Blistering heat aside, it was one of the most enjoyable 10k’s I have done in recent years. Very well organised, great atmosphere, and as always wonderful support from fellow runners. The event village was great, marshals encouraging and friendly, and of course special thanks to the paramedics from our tremendous NHS.
Certainly a race Pam and I will be doing again next year, but if we could wish for anything, just maybe a little cooler.