It’s been a little while since I posted a running update on the blog, hasn’t it? I’m not down and out quite yet, in fact I’m getting my running mojo back slowly but surely so today’s post is all about the Lisburn 10K and Half Marathon that I completed on Wednesday 20th June.
My last official race was the Titanic Quarter 10K on Sunday 8th April so it’s only been two months which is shorter than I first anticipated. I had been eyeing up the Lisburn 10K for a while and originally, I thought Scott would want to do the half marathon, so completing the race on my own didn’t seem too daunting. Luckily for me, he was interested in doing the 10K along with me, so that was lovely.
Despite Lisburn being very close to Belfast, it’s not somewhere I would think to go. I’m not sure why but it was labelled as a “fast and flat route” (Side note: it was not flat) so I wanted to give it a go because Scott said numbers wise, it always gets a lot of participants. Based on my past experience with crowds I was initially very hesitant but I feel like I’ve come such a long way that I wasn’t too worried about suffering a panic attack (unlike the Connswater 5K if you remember)
The race didn’t start on time but in my very small experience with events like this, I wasn’t too surprised but when you’re standing around in just a t-shirt because you know you will get warm during your run, you start to get a little chilly at the start line. We placed ourselves in the middle of the crowd but it didn’t make much difference because everyone is free to run around you if needs be.
It was advertised as a flat and fast route and while I appreciate it’s not as steep as certain parts of the older Belfast Marathon, it certainly wasn’t flat. There were a few hills on the backroads of Lisburn and while I don’t know how many there were, the last one was the biggest struggle but that is no surprise, is it? The last hurdle is always the hardest.
It was nice to run with Scott again because we hadn’t been for a run together in a long time and admittedly, this is completely my fault. By the time I get home from work and my constant tiredness, I really struggle to go out for a run and I know he tells me it’s okay, I feel like I’m letting him down. I run on my own when I feel like I can so it was nice to run with him again. Unfortunately, at around 1.5K Scott started to get uncomfortable and his calf started to give him trouble so he pulled away to the side and told me to run on. I wouldn’t have minded waiting with him as he stretched it but he insisted. I hadn’t brought headphones with me because I knew we were running together but in the end, I’m glad I was forced not to listen to anything but my own breath. In the past, I’ve struggled controlling my breathing and because it’s such an important aspect, that’s when I tend to have panic attacks. Thankfully, I managed okay with zero sound in my ear and even though I was on my own, there were always people around me so I didn’t feel left behind by the crowd.
I started to get uncomfortable at around 7K which is a huge achievement for me because not only was my body able to hold out for that long, I was able to do so mentally too. If you’ve read previous running posts, you’ll know that the mental capacity of running is something I used to struggle with quite a lot. My body never gets tired first strangely, it’s always my head but at around the 7K mark, they both hit me at the same time and it was tough because at that point, I had just seen that there was another hill upon me. Thankfully the block didn’t hold on for too long but it did come back at just after the 8K mark and it didn’t seem to shift from that point. I’m proud of myself though because before I would have let that get to me and I would start to panic but it wasn’t the case this time.
(The complete route on Strava.)
I powered through when I seen the corner to the finishing line and I wish I would have had the strength to steam through faster further away from the gate but I just couldn’t. However, as soon as I entered the finishing gates, I bolted for my life and once I crossed it, it was endorphins that came out of nowhere. I became exhausted and I could feel it was the hardest I had ran in a long time. I stopped my Strava as soon as I crossed the line to see 01:04:18 and I can’t describe how happy I felt. Did I really just do a 10K in one hour and four minutes? I managed to beat my Titanic Quarter 10K time by three minutes despite all the hills that were added to this race. I was over the moon and I knew that I earned that time.
(Scott and I with our medals!)
I really enjoyed this race and I would be very interested in taking part next year because it was such a lovely atmosphere, it wasn’t overly competitive from where I was and it certainly put you through your paces but in a good way. Thank you so much for reading!