Polar Bear Hugs and Snow!

Today I was lucky enough to run the Cancer Research UK London Winter 10km run! What an amazing experience it was too. Especially as the night before I wasn’t sure I felt well enough to even walk the course let alone run it and getting there looked like it was going to be a mission as the trains were going to Cannon Street and none to Charing Cross. On top of that the Blue One woke up in a right tizzy, waking his sister in the process, and it took some time to calm him down which did not bode well!

The morning of the run I was waiting for the 07:34 train to London Bridge when I got a message that the friend I was going to meet couldn’t make it anymore as she had a bad ankle and she was completely right that it would be silly to run and do any further damage.  So I was having a think as I really don’t like going to these sorts of events on my own when I remembered one of my other friends (My Godparents son) had said he was doing this particular run. I sent him a text, to which I got no reply – so did one better and text his wife! Got a reply that yes he was running and she and their kids were coming too and we could meet at the Warm Up Zone which was near Downing Street. Huge plus point to this meant I didn’t have to try and navigate the Bag Drop or go back after the run to pick my bag up my friends family kindly looked after the bags!!! Yay!!!

London Scenery
London Scenery

Feeling more confident now that I knew I was meeting up with people I enjoyed the rest of my journey to the venue, getting off at London Bridge and then getting the RV1 (which is a Hydrogen Bus) to just by the London Eye and then a pleasant if rather chilly walk across Westminster Bridge. Beautiful blue skies and nice views.  I then waited for my friends – during this time I used the portaloos which weren’t too bad at all and the queues moved quickly. I had my first Polar Bear hug! Then I was getting rather cold standing around so went for a walk to see if there was a shop I could stand in and defrost – my toes and fingers were numb – instead I went down into the tube station – which was exceptionally well timed because within 5 minutes my friend and his family came through the barrier!

Check out that Bin Liner
Check out that Bin Liner

After stripping off my superfluous layers (my goodness it was cold without them) and donning my very fashionable bin liner my friend I made our way to the start.  There we waited for about 10 minutes, doing warm ups, as they needed to space out the waves of runners.  Then with a bleep of a Garmin we were off! I waved to my friend as he was going to be considerably quicker than me.  I settled into a pleasant jog listening to my playlist and enjoying the beautiful London scenery. Slight panic when I looked at my Garmin about five minutes in to see I’d only run 0.5km and I usually do 1km in about seven minutes – then went passed a sign which said 1km and with great relief realised my Garmin was in miles! Phew! Slowed my pace back down!

I plodded along quite happily, being overtaken and personally overtaking the occasional walker. I told myself once I’d run 5km I could have a walk, but I reached 5km and felt good to keep running, then I made it to 7km and felt I would be cheating myself if I walked but my pace was slowing. Though running through the zones of fake snow was quite fun! What didn’t help was that my music stopped with 3km to do. I was concerned the battery had died on my phone, but when I crossed the finish line it still had 50% left – so who knows!?!

I did chat to a nice lady for the last kilometre as were both jokily complaining that there’d been a sign to say ‘chill you’re near the finish’ to then pass the sign that said 9km!

Rounding that final corner and seeing the finish line was overwhelming – I was muttering to myself – “Come on legs you can do it” – unlike my first 10km there was no massive sprint finish, though I did go a bit fast for the last few metres and then finally it was over! I felt rather emotional – I’d done what I set out to do and run the whole 10km and according my Garmin (which I initially forgot to stop) said I’d run 10.10km in 01:09:20 – which was faster than my first 10km, just the icing on the cake! I got some cartons of coconut water, a polar bear hug and much wanted finisher’s medal!

I made it!!!
I made it!!!

A fabulous day with a great atmosphere and really great meeting up with my friend and his family. Met up with them after – felt great getting my layers back on – and he kindly treated me to hot cuppa and chocolate chip cookie, which was very kind of him and much needed! We then went our separate ways and I travelled back to London Bridge and there I got myself a very healthy meal, to replace my lost calories of McChicken Sandwich Meal Deal, – Yum! Yum! Only a ten minute wait for the train and my lovely hubby collected me from the station! Just the perfect end to a lovely day!

Medal & Results
Medal & Results

 

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