One week after the fall at the Lakeland Trails race I was booked into the Bawtry Forest Trail Race along with my husband and son. I’ve done this race before (see here & here) and really like it so didn’t want to miss it….
I hadn’t run at all since Keswick. To be honest walking was proving difficult enough and dog walks were a very slow affair. Which makes it sound like the chances of running a trail race were very slim…. Which would be right. The plan was to have a very gentle jog around parkrun on Saturday to see how things went but Saturday morning I was still feeling very sore and didn’t think running was a good idea. I still went to parkrun, but volunteered instead – I think this was the right decision!
Sunday morning and we were up and dressed in time to head off to Bawtry. I still hadn’t made my mind up what I was doing but dressed in running gear to decide when I got there. We arrived in good time, which meant that parking was easy and very close to the start (just as I like it!). Loo stop, collect numbers, change to trail shoes and I made the decision that I’d set off and see how far I got. The route begins with a loop of around 3 miles, which brings you back round to very near the start – that was my get out. I’d set off and if I had to pull out that is when I would do so.
Now bare in mind that I hadn’t run even a few steps since last weekends fall. I will admit to having painkillers on Sunday morning to take the edge off the soreness in my ribs and was hoping it wouldn’t be too bad. It is quite a busy start and my aim was just to try and keep with the pace around me and warm up / settle down into some kind of rhythm. My ribs were sore, but not awful, when I set off, but my left quad was giving me quite a lot of discomfort. I really hoped that as I warmed up that would ease. At this point I was trying to decide if I’d been really stupid for even thinking that I could run this race and wondering if I could even make it around the first three mile loop.
As it is a trail race the ground is fairly uneven in places and that was making my quad worse, but still I hoped that it would ease off. I kept pushing on trying not to think about any parts of me that were aching or sore, and before I knew it I was heading towards the end of the loop and new that I was back near the start. If I was going to pull out, now would be the time to do so.
But I didn’t. I pushed on, hoping that I wouldn’t regret doing so. On the second part of the course there are lots of different ground conditions – rutted tracks, forest paths, short sharp hills, hard tracks, grass paths….. By this point my ribs were hurting and I was doing a great one arm swing to minimise movement on my right hand side (this is not a great way to run unsurprisingly!) and the worst point came on a section of forest path where there was only a single path that was relatively smooth through all the rutted area. The path was fine, but the person in front who suddenly decided to walk, without giving any warning or moving to the side, caused me to have to jump to the side onto the rutted area otherwise I’d have run into her. This jolted me and really pulled my already sore ribs. I wonder why people don’t have a little bit more consideration for those around them – a quick glance behind or step to the side to walk was all it would have taken.
A very steep hill is the finish at Bawtry, thankfully not very long ! I was amazed I’d managed to make it round – 5 minutes slower than last year, but I was very pleased with that. In hindsight it probably wasn’t a great idea to run and I should have rested up for longer.
- Official time: 01:06:38
- Bling: good tshirt
- Would I do it again: Yes, I really like this one.