As with most of my races, I love posting about them on the blog so today’s blog is about my most recent race with Mo Running that took place at Stormont in Belfast.
If you read my post about the Mo Running race last month, you’ll know that I kindly got asked to take part to cover it on the blog. Having done it two years ago, I was thrilled to be asked again because running posts are one of my favourites to write about. This time however, I decided to go for the 10K rather than the 5K, because I had been used to 10K distances.
Scott and I were doing the race together which is always lovely to have someone with you while racing, so we were training in the gym as well as getting out on the odd run together. In the middle of October however, I acquired an injury in my foot when I went on a longer distance run. I was so proud of the run but it came with consequences. My foot was really painful to walk on for weeks and we narrowed it down to my trainers being past their “best before” date and it was impacting my foot. Unfortunately, I was out from running for over a month and with a 10K coming up, I was worried about the lack of training. There was clearly nothing I could do about it and thankfully Scott was very nice and bought me new trainers for when I was able to run. We continued to go to the gym though, so I wasn’t completely out, but walking was pretty painful.
The day before the race was wanted to see where we would be running; Scott has ran up and down Stormont many times but I have only ever walked it. We thought it would be a great idea to go to the Stormont parkrun on the Saturday morning to see where part of the route would take us. I didn’t expect it to be quite a trail run, because I’ve never done anything like that before so it was a new experience for me. I really loved that particular parkrun and even though it’s a little further than our local one, we’re hoping to keep it up for a while. This run on the Saturday morning was the first time I had ran in over a month and while it might seem odd to run the day before, I wasn’t willing to go into a 10K race without having run beforehand.
Before the race, I posted on my Instagram stories that we made the decision to change from the 10K to the 5K. This was because my foot started to play up again and I had hurt my hip from the run the day before. We think my hip acted up because it was my right foot that was sore so the left hip was taking the impact from that. These things happen of course to every runner but I was very disappointed having to go down to the lower distance. I’ve learned since becoming a runner that your health and body comes before your pride, always!
The day itself was really fantastic, there was a good turnout despite the cold weather and there was a great atmosphere. Three races were taking place on the day; the Mini, 5K and the 10K. The mini one happened at around 9:30am, 5K at 10:00am and 10K at around 10:10am. It was quite accessible for the get-go, the grass was pretty wet so I was worried about slipping down the hill to registration but it was grand. We were able to change over the distance very easily and I was so glad that it wasn’t a hassle for the team because I would have felt terrible.
My foot and hip was getting worse towards the start of the race and I was starting to think would I not be able to run but I told myself I didn’t have a choice in the matter. Ten seconds after we start, my shoe lace becomes undone and I thought “is this what’s to come?” It didn’t hold me back too much but it was a little annoying because we had JUST started. We had to run up part of Stormont hill and I didn’t find it too challenging, it was more about taking smaller steps like Scott has told me but I eventually got into the rhythm of the smaller steps.
Having grown up in Dundonald, I didn’t live too far from Stormont Park but I had never been through the trails around it. I don’t know why but I soon discovered that there were hills longer and steeper than the one up to Parliament Buildings. It was then when I was thankfully that we changed to the 5K because if I had have known we had to run up them again, I would have cried. Lack of training is a huge factor in this but it also give me the momentum to start running through more trail areas rather on my regular clear paths. Of course, being around the Autumn season with the wet weather and the leaves being on the ground, it’s important to keep a look out on the ground at all times because a fall can be too common without even realising it.
For the rest of the run, I generally felt okay. My hips weren’t giving me much bother and I was really surprised by it. My foot was still quite sore but when you’re putting weight on it, it’s not that big of a surprise. What I was really surprised about what the variety in the route; we had the long clear hill at the beginning, the twisty trails in the middle and then we were able to run down the hill at the end. It was quite different to the route we had ran the previous day but I still really enjoyed it. I was exhausted by the end but I know that that was the lack of training that I wasn’t able to control.
I finished with a time of 37:07 which is in no way my best time, far from it in fact but I’ve had a massive mindset change when it comes to judging myself with timings. I was still injured and I still ran, and that’s the most important thing to me at the end of the day. I know I’m capable of being faster and I do plan to be at some point.
I had such a great time and thank you so much to the Mo Running team for inviting me along to take part along with Scott, we can’t wait to do it next year (and actually do the 10K this time!) Thank you for reading today’s post, I really do appreciate it!