So I was supposed to be doing the 15km but my back has been playing up since Race 1 and I just haven't been sleeping well or training as a consequence. The only thing I have been doing is Anti Gravity yoga to see if that helped my back.
So with 1 training run on the Wednesday of 7km (in probably a month) I felt a little more confident about the 10km run on the weekend. Although the day after that training run I could barely walk. I felt my back release in Anti Gravity on the Thursday night, and although my legs were killing me that night, I was walking pretty much normally on the Friday. Although I had tight calves and less noticeably tight hamstring. Friday night I managed to bruise the top of my foot opening the freezer drawer so that too added to my list of issues.
Sunday woke up and felt like crap. Everything was sore. Had some fresh bread and jam, and a protein & banana smoothie. Really unmotivated. My running shoes applied annoying pressure to my bruised foot. Left about 30 minutes later than I had planned but still arrived in plenty of time. Completely forgot to buy a couple of gels (that I'd also forgotten to buy the day before).
Race time and I spent the first 2km feeling awful but focused on the fact that I always seem to feel awful until I find my stride. At about 1km I saw an old-frail looking guy running in front of me, so I overtook him thinking that he'd just be pottering along. At around the 2km mark he caught up to me and we were pretty much running at the same pace of 6:18. Which is fast for me given I hadn't been training. So after a little while I was struggling to stay with him. I think I lost him about 5km in as he took off, but then overtook him as he was walking later on. Around the 6-7km mark I had a massive stitch which I breathed through and thankfully got through. At about 9km in I was seriously struggling and tempted to have a bit of a recovery walk (due to a slight feeling of nausea). At this point the guy ran up to me and told me to lift my head up (I hadn't been paying attention to my posture - just trying to shuffle my way to the end). So from then I tried to keep up with him, he got me close to the 9.8km mark when he seemed to falter so I think we were helping each other by the end. Around the corner from the finish line I picked up the pace and so did he so we finished close to one another.
It was funny as during the race I wondered if he had noticed we'd been running together most of the way. When I went to thank him after finishing for getting me through the last km he was talking about how I really slowed down at 7km and how I needed to start off at a better pace and keep that same pace. I mentioned that I'd been running faster than normal to keep up with him earlier and he actually apologised. Was such a nice man though. So it reminded me that you can't judge people by their looks.
So race 2 I was about 4 minutes slower than race 1 but I ended up running the whole way (apart from the short water walks), and had done bugger all training, had a sore back, legs and foot! Now to keep training (and stretching) to finish off the series with a 15km run!