Today my husband and I ran together in the Dumfries Run4Health 5k. He doesn’t run often. In fact he’s only run twice since we attacked Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh at the Great Winter Run in January. He has no ambition to run further than 5k and complains most of the time that I’m going too fast or that there are too many hills or that he’s about to throw up, but he’s actually quite fit and can put a lot of regular runners to shame.
We were two of around 500 runners/walkers/strollers. I would hazard a guess at there only being about 200 actual runners, not that anyone cares because the whole event is aimed at improving fitness whether that’s through running or walking. We did a hilarious warm up which overran by 10 minutes and started off at about 11:05ish.
As Grant (hubbie) hadn’t done any preparation we decided to run:walk at 4:1 intervals. I tried to keep the running pace to around 9:30 so that it evened out to around 11 minute miles which is comfortable for him. The course wound its way around the Crichton grounds, just outside Dumfries town centre. The Crichton used to be a huge mental hospital, but these days only a small amount of the gorgeous buildings are used for patients, the rest is set aside for business and university usage. It’s a lovely part of Dumfries, complete with a church and a fabulous event venue called Easterbrook Hall.
To begin with we were stalled by walkers who had started at the front (why?) and spent the first kilometre dodging them! As annoying as this was, we managed to quickly get into a steady running pace. The course zig-zagged across the grounds giving us long straights on the level and short climbs and descents. It was well planned.
By half way we’d got past all the walkers and slower runners and we were left tooing and froing with the people running at our 11 minute mile pace. It’s one of the more disconcerting things about running intervals, watching people you’ve just overtaken overtaking you as you stop to walk! I’ve gotten used to it, but Grant was less comfortable yoyoing back and forth! We pretty much kept to the 4:1 intervals although, towards the end, Grant found the longer climbs exhausting and we walked some of these.
As it was obvious that Grant was struggling towards the end I tried to get him to breathe more deeply, encouraging him to take a deeper breath every now and again, but he was convinced that he’d die if he did this. No, I’m not joking. He’d either die or throw up, that was my choice. Not wishing to drag a corpse to the finish or complete the course covered in sick, I shut up. My role as motivator had come to an abrupt end.
We ran the final half a mile. Seeing people at the finish line expecting to encourage runners, i.e. people actually running, through the final stages made us too embarrassed to stop! In the final few metres we overtook an older guy who I don’t think could believe our audacity at overtaking him. We finished in 32:19, a personal best for Grant. The course, according to my Garmin, was short of 3 miles, but near enough.
We collected our medals, bananas and water (in that order) and found a step to sit on so that I could inform my public. “You aren’t tweeting that already are you?” Pfft.
The Bling Wall is looking good! My first race was the Race for Life in July last year, so my haul is less than a year old! I might need to adapt my frame with medal hooks!