Last weekend something wonderful happened (well, mostly wonderful!), I finally ran my first ever 10k race Mallorca style! The Sol Magaluf race, which I was invited to take part in by the ME Melia hotel group – the main sponsors of the race – was set to test both my mental and physical strength. I know a lot of people run a 10k with their eyes closed, but with the issues I’ve had over the years with my knees, this is such a huge achievement.
Magaluf isn’t somewhere I’ve ever been to before, but I haven’t been living under a rock, I’m very aware of the ‘shag-aluf’ stories we all heard as teenagers and from what I knew it hadn’t changed much. You can imagine my surprise when we turned up to the extremely swish ME Mallorca hotel, neighboured with Nikki Beach, both right on the beach front. Our Chic Suite was light and spacious… with the bath sitting to one side of the bed. I think it’s cool to have a randomly placed bath in hotel rooms these days?!
Despite the lack of sunshine we made the most of our time at the ME Mallorca hotel, just relaxing in the room and eating a lot of food… Apparently carb & chocolate loading is a thing both before AND after a race. Or am I getting that wrong?
Saturday, race day and both Rob & I weren’t really feeling it. I’m very much an early morning runner, either before I’ve even had breakfast or about 90mins after I’ve eaten breakfast. I’ve always struggled with going for a run after a full day of food, so I was slightly concerned about the 5:30pm race start time. It turned out that I didn’t have much to worry about, as I had a light salad for lunch, which filled me up perfectly, but my mistake came later when I first decided to have a bath pre-race and then feel asleep for 40 minutes and woke up feeling like I had a hangover!
The reason I say that having a bath was a bad idea is because the soles of my have been in pieces lately and not wanting to make you feel sick, there has been a lot of raw and ripped skin getting worse and worse with each training session I did. On the Thursday before the race I ran 4k and at the 3k mark my feet were really sore, so you can imagine how worried I was about having to make it a full 10k. I know many of you will be thinking I must be wearing the wrong trainers, but I’ve tried many brands and many styles (currently wearing the asics Metarun trainers) and after having a full 2.5 hour analysis in the asics running lab, I have now found out that it’s all because of the way I run…. think dressage pony with flicking out hooves! Some of the other things that I found out from the analysis are that I’m a forefoot runner (which I knew), but I over-pronate too, which is apparently less normal for a forefoot runner. I also have externally rotating tibia bones in both legs and a dropping hip on my right side. Basically a bit of a running disaster! I won’t lie, getting all of this information 10 days before running my first ever 10k was pretty scary and just made me doubt myself even more. Just what you want on top of having torn meniscus in your left knee and infrapatella fat pads in both your right and left. Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea!
Even though Rob is a much better runner than I am, he wanted to stay by my side… probably in case I had a breakdown! 😉 Though I don’t like talking while I’m running or having any motivational/encouraging things said to me, just knowing that he was by my side helped so much. Here’s a little breakdown of how I got on throughout the 10k race Mallorca:
Start Line: At the start of the race we were waved off by some extremely bizarre men dressed up in hideous troll costumes, banging at drums and throwing fire around, but we just carried on as if this were totally normal.
1k: The sunshine came out, I was feeling pretty positive and the weird scary troll men were out of my life forever… or so I hoped!
3.5k: My feet really started to hurt, but rather than stop, I decided to change my running style slightly into more of a flatfoot run. Where doing this may have helped fractionally with my sore feet, it most definitely made my knee pain come on much quicker. I’m guessing it being down to the way my ankles and legs were shock absorbing every time I pounded the road.
5k: It had been raining all morning so even though I was pleased it wasn’t wet, it was just typical that the sun seemed to get even hotter as we ran uphill.
6k: I can totally remember my feelings at this point. Such a mixture. Part of me was thinking I’m over half way, I can totally do this and the other part was thinking that my feet are throbbing and my knees are really starting to get sore. I turned and said to Rob “If I stop, that’s it, I won’t be able to start again” and he just replied with “You won’t stop”. I’m glad he had faith in me!
6.5k: You’ve got to be kidding! I could see those sodding masked troll men up ahead of me, jumping in the road. I’m not quite sure what the organisers were thinking, but these things we far from motivational… although they did make me run ever so slightly quicker to get past them!
7km: OUCH. I’ve felt this pain before. My knees were really starting to get bad and I thought I might have to stop. My pace had been slow from the start, as I’m not a quick runner in the slightest, but now my pace was just ridiculous. I’m sure I could have walked faster than I was running, but I was determined to keep prancing along on these trusty mangled legs of mine.
8.5km: My knees buckled and I really thought I was going to stop, but some kind of crazy inner motivation told me that I needed to get to the end.
10km: So many mixed emotions happened at this point. Rob hugged me and I started to cry… I’m still not sure if I was crying from the pain or the fact that I’d got through it. We got some ice for my knees and had a drink with the wonderful Sol Wave House hotel team, which is where the race ended.
And that was that, the 10k over and therefore only one thing to do… eat! We all headed back to our hotel to shower and then met for dinner in the hotel restaurant. I went for a vegetarian paella followed by a rather large helping of ice cream! Just what was needed after all of that hard work!
A huge thank you to the amazing staff at ME Mallorca and Sol House for having us – my first 10k race is something I’ll never forget. I look at that medal and feel so proud.
Now I’ll be going back to basics, strengthening my legs and working on my technique so that hopefully the next time I run a 10k I won’t be in agony. Here’s hoping!
Love, Cat x
We flew from London Gatwick to Palma, Mallorca with Easyjet and stayed in the ME Mallorca Hotel. Flight prices for the coming weeks start at around £370, but if you book further in advance they’ll be much cheaper. We stayed in one of the Chic Suites at the ME, but cheaper room options are available here and at the Sol Wave House.
The official 10k race Mallorca hotel was Sol House Trinidad, Mallorca, located just 50 meters from Calvià beach. Room rates at Sol House Trinidad, Mallorca start at €152 for a double room including breakfast.