Saturday, 18 May 2013

The Imminent Tri, Climbing and Dinton Pastures 10k Race Review

This week's training: PT session, 1km swim, 10k run, 30 mins bike ride

Seeing it written down, my schedule looks a bit light this week. I will confess, I did skip a run and two others I combined into the 10k. That said I hurt A LOT! I'm hoping I ache slightly less by the time Sunday rolls around and I tackle my first Triathlon. I'm feeling slightly underprepared now!

I've already written about my PT session on Monday and there's not much to say about the swimming and cycling but I did do something different this week and not on my plan (which is sort of why I skipped a run) which was indoor climbing. I took a beginners course on climbing a few years ago and absolutely loved it but haven't really had the opportunity (or made enough  effort perhaps) to go since. So on Wednesday my mate C met me a Reading climbing centre and very patiently literally taught me the ropes again and we enjoyed almost 2 hours of climbing. I skinned my knee but managed a 4+ and an overhang, which I'm pretty pleased with. My hands ached after but it's only two days later that I'm feeling the effects in the rest of my body. Last night's run (see below) probably didn't help, but I can feel all the muscles in my upper arms and across my shoulder blades more than I ever have in my life. It's a great feeling.

So on Thursday I ran the Dinton Pastures 10k... I know it's a bit close to the triathlon but I couldn't resist this local three month series, the chance to see myself improve over the same course and get some more bling. I ran the Yateley 10k series last year and saw a 5 minute improvement between June and July but none at all, not even a second, between July and August. Let's see if this year is different.

This is a small, local race on very well maintained trail paths around Dinton Pastures near Reading. The course is advertised on Runner's World as "pancake flat"... They need to eat more pancakes. Ok ok it is almost entirely flat, and rather pleasant to run around. There was plenty of free parking and plenty of very friendly marshalls on hand to guide you. The start area was small but functional with a bike shelter we reappropriated to shelter from the rain shower before the start. There was only one toilet for each gender but there wasn't much of a queue. Numbers and timing tags were given out on arrival, hot drinks and biscuits available before and after for a small fee, music, and an enthusiastic MC/organiser. There was a warm up, given as we had been herded to the start line, but there wasn't enough room to take part in it.

A 5k and 10k are run on the same course each month, with the 5k runners doing one lap 5 minutes after the 10k start. This worked really well. The course was well signed with km markers every km, water at the finish/lap point and a good number of marshalls. The course isn't closed to public access so we encountered some scouts and dog walkers but everyone was considerate. There were lots of midges too who were somewhat less considerate. I'm amazed I didn't inhale any. On finishing we got a medal, cup of water, banana and sweatshop voucher. There was also a nifty little machine that you could tap your race number into which printed out your gun and chip times... I got a new PB!

The 10k races work out to be £14 each if you book all three and aren't affiliated, which I think is pretty reasonable, or one race will set you back £16. The 5k races are £10 each if you book all three and on will cost £12, however if you're only running 5k, unless you really want to run somewhere different or to get race bling, parkruns are free and serve a similar purpose. I think they 10ks are good value for money, a great way to test yourself over a number of months and I'd highly recommend that you look out races like this in your area if you can't take advantage of this one.

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