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

 

Dedication is what you need…

So I made it! 31 days of exercise, 31 days of logging on running free and 31 blog posts… whew! It’s been an exhausting but also rewarding 31 days! Hip hip hooray for Janathon!!!

Today though I am feeling very full of cold, but knew I couldn’t end on a low for my very first Janathon, so went on a very gentle 2km run with Deputy Helen!

Janathon Day 31

The walk to meet with Helen involved mud, I have to say I am not keen when the ground makes squishy noises under my feet!!! Ewwww!!!

IMG_1272
Mud… Squelchy…

Squish... Squish...
Squish… Squish…

Disappointingly the Garmin I was so excited to use, I must have done something wrong as when I finished my run it hadn’t registered anything – but fortunately I’d set my MapMyWalk app running simultaneously, phew! Otherwise I’d have been very grumpy!

Didn’t want to over do it as I am facing a 10km run tomorrow – and feeling like I currently do I am not sure how I am going to make it – topped with the fact my journey up town is going to be a complete mission as trains are stopping at London Bridge! Urgh!!! Anyway – that’s enough ranting and complaining!!!

I just want thank everyone who has taken the time to read my posts, like them and start following my blog – it’s much appreciated! I enjoyed all the blogs I had viewed too – only wish I’d time to read more of them!

Well done to everyone who has taken part – you’ve all done amazingly!!!

😊️xxx

Today I did it for the first time…

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

Amazingly supportive friends - Post Race
Amazingly supportive friends – Post Race

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!

View from the DLR
View from the DLR

 

Attached my race number with my Event Clips – check out my friend’s blog where he reviewed various methods of attaching your race bibs! I love my Event Clips – so thanks to Graham for that blog!

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!!!

Time to eat cake...Mmmmm!!!
Time to eat cake…Mmmmm!!!

 

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

Post Race Selfie!!!
Post Race Selfie!!!