Tour of Merseyside: stage 3 Sustrans cycle trail 10 mile race

Sustrans cycle trail 10 mile race, Tuesday 4th July, 10 miles, 29/52 miles

This race was the only race of the whole week that I thought it might be possible to get a PB in. But I was still really unsure. I last ran a 10 mile race in December 2014 and finished in 1.30.47 so if I could average 9 minute miles I would get a PB. However, my training hasn’t been great this year, I found the half marathon and the multi terrain the day before really tough and my legs were beginning to feel very tired.

All I could do is try! It’s very rare that I would run 10 miles midweek, except for a few times during marathon training, but I also love the longer distances where I can get into the zone. The route goes along an old railway line so is very flat and straight – ideal PB conditions! The race is ran in a loop, you head out towards Aintree and turn around after 2.5 miles. You then head back to the start/finish line which is 5 miles, then head out for a further 2.5 mile and back for the finish. Because of this you see a lot of other runners along the way on the loops, which does help distract slightly from the pain.

ralla 2
Approaching half way

I started off pacing the first half quite evenly, 8.21, 8.25, 8.25, 8.27 and 8.37. The second half was where it really started to hurt though. The last 2 days of racing were catching up on me and I honestly felt like I was in the last few miles of a marathon for the second half. I mean, I suppose I was as this race was bringing my total for 3 days up to 29 miles. It was really hard, but I pushed on through and although my pace did drop a little bit, I didn’t finish a single mile slower than 8.45 which I was made up with. I even managed to overtake quite a few people!

I loved the finish – I was so happy to get a PB! And it wasn’t just by a few seconds either like I was maybe expecting, I finished in 1.25.29, taking over 5 minutes off my previous PB (albeit set 2.5 years ago, but still!).

This race taught me that I really love longer distances and flat tarmac. I’m not quite a masochist who would do anything crazy like a track marathon or boring loop races, but flat races of 10 miles plus are definitely my thing.

I love that tempo pace where you’re still slightly comfortable but then your legs start to hurt in the final few miles. Give me that any day over a lung-busting 5k.

ralla ice cream

And another great thing about the Tour – ice cream after every race! Well, the ones where I could stomach it. After this race I was so buzzing that I didn’t go to bed until after midnight – crazy for someone who is usually tucked up in bed by 10pm. Thankfully the day after was a (much needed) rest day. Other Tourists also experienced the same thing – crazy insomnia and weird sleeping patterns for the week. It must be all the adrenalin from racing!

10 mile race strava

And finally for the splits/stats geeks, here are my splits. I’ve ran faster 10 miles in half marathons (my HM PB is 1.48.52 and strava tells me this was only my 3rd fastest 10 mile time) so I think I definitely need to find a few more 10 mile races to run.

29 miles done, 23 left to go! Over halfway.

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