Race recap: The Rye Ancient Trails 15k
It feels like is has been SO LONG since I last did a race recap. It feels good to be back.
Up at the crack of dawn today to head over to Rye for the Ancient Trails 15k. I was just so relieved and happy to actually be going - having asked to defer until next year a few weeks ago, only to feel better and ask a few days "please can I still run this year?!" Luckily, the answer was yes!
It felt like quite a small field, which was nice - no toilet que battles! I had my usual 1 mile warm up and then it was time to start.
We set off from the town centre and after a bit of road, it was soon up and off onto the trails. I felt like a race like this was perfect for me and what sort of shape I'm in at the moment - hills and trails feel more fun and less pressurised than road racing and I was hoping to use this as a confidence boost after a rotten few months with injury.
I kept it steady for the first few miles - here comes the shin splint pain, and of course my left knee will always join the party - just trying to find my rhythm and assess what sort of shape I was in. The miles flew by, the course was so varied and fun with loads of styles, hills, fields, nooks and crannies.
The course split at about the 10k mark and it was then I decided to push the pace. I felt nicely warmed up and ready to test the legs a bit.
There were some glorious downhill stretches after this point and I just decided to peg it, passing a handful of people as I bombed it down. We were treated to quite a tasty hill, alllllllmost wanted to walk but managed to haul myself up (to another style to climb of course) and then on to a final, windy field section with one last turn onto the finish.
Made it home in 1 hour 20 and was freaking delighted to find out I was 1st in my age category, 7th lady and 28th overall!! Not too shabby!!
Importantly, I managed to find my groove and with it my shin splint pain subsided and my confidence grew. Running, for me anyway, is based so much on confidence and belief, two things I have been lacking since London Marathon earlier this year. So, today has proved to be a step in the right direction and will go some way to getting my mindset sorted for my next challenge...
..See you in a week, Richmond Marathon!!