First up was Didcot parkrun on a local course post new year on 4th January. I wasn’t expecting it to be very quick as conditions were very wet on the foot and a 3-lap course it was hard to navigate around people. That said to be able to run 7min miles after such a long time off and no real speed training I was happy. The week after was Cliveden 10k and it was hit and miss based on fitness levels and also some back pain had resurfaced. We agreed to get a scan prior to the event to check it wasn’t anything else or re-fractured. A stressful week worrying but pleased to find out that it was just the pain from the past injury and called Synovitis which is from build up from scar tissue. What it did also show was cysts on my ovary so I decided on recommendation to book a follow up with a clinic.
Anyway, onto Cliveden and those mighty steps that would no doubt catch me out having done zero hill work and about 3 speed sessions to my name. I wasn’t feeling great about the race mainly from the fact I knew I wasn’t at my fittest, however it took the anxiety away knowing I was unlikely to make the podium. I knew Laura who my old coach trains was in good shape and a few other triathlon ladies on arrival. The weather was less than pleasant at the start and hammered down so not a great thought and hopeful that it wasn’t going to affect the course too much. I stood on my line in Inov8’s and raced as best I could, especially as I knew there was a little downhill section before the climbing really started and the 174 steps to climb x 2.
Laura came past me on the climb up for the first lap at the top, a tactic to run up the side as the steps are so wide and steep. Determined not to let anyone else past I continued to plough through the course and also the down hill sections run as fast as possible. I knew my fastest time was a few years back 40 mins and it was unlikely to be back there until fit again. Anyway to get the better you have to go out of your comfort so I knew to get back racing was the only way.
It took a lot out of me the 10k on such a challenging course and rocked through in 44:37 for 2nd place. On reflection after I was pleased I had made the podium and still managed a good speed as the course can be very tough and show up when you lack conditioning as I did… Laura ran a great race and like myself struggled up the climbs but ultimately my overall lack of racing I hadn’t the extra effort needed to chase down for the top spot this time. Also bigger races to come and every race was progress.