It was really nice being back to do the Blaydon Race for the first time since 2019 (it went virtual in 2020 and 2021 and I didn’t bother doing those), but I wasn’t expecting much from my own performance. Eleven days after Edinburgh I still had a slight bit of marathon in my legs, and I never feel quite right physically at Blaydon – because it’s always on the 9th of June to match the song, it’s usually a weekday evening, and I’m a morning runner. Evening running doesn’t suit me due to my eating schedule!
This year was no exception and I had a semi-stitch all the way round. I also had stitch-like pain in my neck and shoulders for a good mile or two around the middle of the race, which was a bit alarming. Nausea issues not gone yet either – I didn’t take any water at the midway water station because I knew it would make things worse, and I felt really sick again on the way home. Clearly something is a bit wrong at the moment seeing as I can’t run more than four or five miles without feeling nauseous!
Nevertheless, it was really nice to experience the Blaydon atmosphere again (and also a bit tedious to be reminded of all the usual Blaydon issues, such as starting 20-25 minutes late – plus a new bonus issue for 2022 in the shape of the race numbers being made out of a type of paper that disintegrated easily). I’m also really proud of myself for keeping up a bit of pace the whole way round, despite my issues. I went off too fast, but didn’t slow down too horribly, and I kept running even when things were tough (which gave me a bit of much-needed confidence after what happened at Edinburgh). I finished in 1:11:42, which I’m pleased with considering recent paces. It’s a longer course now too – 6.11 miles according to my Garmin (it used to be about 5.7 miles).
I won’t be done with Blaydon until I can get my sub-hour on it (and the course is so close to 10k now that this goal will have to go hand in hand with the sub-hour 10k goal, probably). I expect that’ll be a few years off, but it’s nice to have something to aim for!