Race Review: North Tyneside 10k 2021

I hadn’t done the North Tyneside 10k before, but it was a while coming. Geth and I originally booked our places nearly two years ago for the 2020 race (it normally takes place on Easter weekend), but of course the race got postponed… three times. Anyway, we finally got to run it today, eighteen months later than originally planned. I wouldn’t normally schedule a 10k race a fortnight after a marathon (even though it did work out quite well once before), but due to all the COVID postponements and reschedulings, race season was not planned out this year – everything just had to fall where it fell.

There was a lot of hanging around before the start as the baggage had to be checked in really early!

On my gentle jog to parkrun volunteering yesterday, I found that my sciatica was playing up badly for the first time in years. (I was told years ago that it wasn’t sciatica, but earlier this week a doctor described it as such, so I feel vindicated… anyway.) I hoped that it was just a one-off as I have been absolutely religious with my post-run stretching and daily foam rolling for weeks and weeks now. However, I slept badly with it last night, and woke up with a fairly useless leg that could barely bear weight, so I was more than a little worried about today’s race. I took an ibuprofen just over an hour before the race, and that seemed to ease it up a bit.

Running in North Tyneside
My form doesn’t look too bad here considering how much my leg was collapsing under me! Photo from Coastal Portraits by John Fatkin.

The first mile or two were fine, but over the course of the race, my leg got weaker and weaker and I am amazed that I didn’t fall over at any point during the later stages. I used to call this ‘collapse-y leg’ when it happened a lot before I lost weight, because that really is what happens – my upper leg just starts to collapse under my weight. I generally avoid falling over by quickly shifting to my other leg, but obviously this isn’t great for my form or my leg health. I am hoping that a combination of losing the lockdown weight, physio treatment and an ongoing hospital referral will help to mitigate this issue.

I finished in 1:20:18, which is my slowest 10k time in years – but that’s fine given today. I do feel like I could run that race a lot better, so I expect I will try it again sometime – when I’m in better shape and not coming straight out of a marathon training block!

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