That is I ran my first timed 10km race (and my first solid – with the teeniest bit of walking – 10km ever to be honest!)
What an amazing experience I had! This will be the pinnacle of my Janathon efforts. It took place at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park (QEOP) which initially made me feel disconcerted as when I’d registered it was meant to have been at Hyde Park – but obviously had a venue change!
Firstly I have to thank Deputy Helen and Jo for their unwavering support as I was feeling exceptionally nervous and not at all confident in my abilities and they told me I’d do great! They themselves did superb efforts Helen getting a course PB – see Helen’s Blog, and Jo got a 10km race PB – check out Jo’s Blog
So the day started nice and early, leaving the house at 6.30am, with a 2.34km walk to the station, a good warm up, where I met up with Helen – what should’ve been a straight forward journey of a train to Lewisham and then the DLR to Stratford, ended up being a case of DLR musical chairs with a change at Canary Wharf and then the next train terminated at Bow Church and we had to get a bus the final part of the journey but finally we were at the venue with plenty of time to spare and were able to pick up our packs and go and get a hot beverage!
Having now met up with Jo we headed back to where the race was starting to do our bag drop with all our unnecessary clothing – fortunately we weren’t waiting in the cold for too long before it all started – took us by surprise to be honest as there was no noise or starting pistol just suddenly the people in front of us started moving quicker!
I made sure I ignored all those around me and didn’t get caught up in the initial rush of the race starting and completely out pacing myself, I kept pretty much at the back and took this very gently as I really had no clue what I was facing, what I was doing or how I would cope. For the first time in ages I listened to music whilst I was running which was pleasant – though I couldn’t find my usual headphones so had my apple ones which did occasionally annoy me by falling out of my ears and by the third lap my hands were so numb I could barely feel to put them back in, but this was just a minor thing!
Managed to do the first lap with no walking, second lap I was still managing to keep my breathing even but the course was quite undulating with numerous inclines, so I gave myself permission to walk for a short amount of time up one of these inclines and then started running again. I think I did one more short walk on lap two but can’t remember where exactly. At the start of Lap 3 I still felt relatively good, though was saying the odd mantra of “I can do this” and “one lap to go” etc, so anyone near me I apologise if I seemed like a mumbling mad women!!!
On the third lap I decided to walk in the same place as I had on the second and when I started running again I knew I couldn’t do anymore walks otherwise I wouldn’t get running again as my glutes were suddenly feeling very tight. This final lap felt tougher, to me it seemed the wind picked up and it felt colder and though my legs felt reasonable my arms were aching! I kept plodding on, my mood picked up when I heard the Baywatch theme tune on my playlist (Thank you hubby).
Suddenly the end was in sight, it was near and yet so far, people were now starting to speed up and go past me as we were nearing the finish, but I kept with my slow and steady pace as I wanted to hold on to the last of my energy for that final burst on the home straight and that is exactly what I managed to do. Coming down the last straight a lady I had managed to overtake slightly earlier I could hear coming up behind me and starting to go past me when I heard the marshal on his megaphone “I want a sprint finish ladies” and I knew I still had some reserve energy and sprint is exactly what I did and suddenly I was over the finish line and I had done it – I couldn’t stand up straight, I was shaking – but I had completed my first 10km!!! Whoop! Whoop!
How to celebrate? Go and have some cake and hot beverages with my two lovely friends! Obviously it was the only thing to do!!!
I completed my first 10km timed race in what I think is a respectable 01:10:38 and I am pretty chuffed with that! Some room for improvement so I better sign up for my next one, think that’ll be the Bupa London 10km in May… now where’s that website…