Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Loch Ness 10k

I had originally planned to run the Loch Ness Marathon but training woes in the form of persistent ITB issues meant that I had to amend my plans and, as I had already booked a hotel, I entered the 10k.  With a few weeks to go and the strategy of resting not really working (largely due to my insistence on running during the rest periods) I took the decision to run with my wife, meaning going a slower pace than I usually run at.  I'm glad that I did this because, at about the 4 mile mark, I started to get the familiar ITB tightness.  I knew at this point that if I had tried to run the race fast I would have had to stop after about 4 miles.  Of course, it also meant that I got to run with my wife.

My wife works shifts and so often works at weekends and, while we both love our daughter to bits, it was really really nice to have a weekend away together (thanks mum and dad).  Having downgraded to the 10k meant that I could relax and have a meal and a drink on the Saturday evening rather than stressing about what I should be eating prior to a marathon.

We spent most of Saturday ambling our way up to Inverness.  We stopped at the Gretna Gateway outlet village where I raided The Gap's sale section (I'm really trying to consume less but I was on holiday!)

We had a pizza and a beer in Inverness.  Inverness is a great place.  A nice size but also in the highlands and with Loch Ness right there as well.  The only downside, which is also a great reason to live there, would be the distance from other places.  This part of Scotland is very much like the Lake District but more spread out and with less people.  We went for a powerboat ride on Loch Ness and I was really surprised that we were the only boat on the loch.  The equivalent place in the lakes would be Lake Windermere and you can't move on there for boats, people and other obstacles to tranquillity, peacefulness and navigation.

Sunday morning was rainy, raining with rain and raining it down.  We drove to the drop off point, dropped off our bag and then waited in the car for an hour and a half while it rained some more.  With about 10 minutes to go, we really had no option but to get out of the car and line up for the race.  Once we got started, the rain was barely noticeable.  The course was good, fairly level.  The only slight criticism would be the narrow roads at the beginning meaning that there was quite a lot of bunching.  This soon spread out and the last few kilometres were into town and along the side of the river.

Finish line = great, crowd = great, medal = great, t-shirt = great, goodie bag = great.  Really no complaints for a 10k.  Even got a tin of soup from Baxters, the sponsor.  We also had a ticket for a free soup and a roll after the race.

Our finish time (we both finished in exactly the same time) was 1hr 5mins and 59 seconds.  This was about a three minute PB for my wife.  We were in time to watch the elite marathoners come in which was inspiring.

We had dinner at Jimmy Chung's - Chinese buffet - all you can eat.  Not really our thing but it was ok and there were plenty of veggie options.

We stopped off for a tour of a whisky distillery on the way home.  Quite interesting and I liked the idea of being a whisky connoisseur until we tried it at the end - yuck.

Back home and onto the laptop to check the results.  I have to admit, although I enjoyed running with my wife, and it was good to run at an easy pace, I wasn't entirely comfortable with my position and time.  I'm very competitive like that!

Overall, it was a great race, really well organised and we had a wonderful time in Inverness and the highlands.

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