At the weekend I ran my first 10k race of the year. Actually I think it was also the first time I’ve managed to run 10k this year.
One of my New Years resolutions was to run 10k in under an hour at some point during the year. A few weeks before the race I was confident that this could be the race to do it. I had time to up my training distance and I knew the course was pretty flat. I also hoped that being 1 March the weather would also be better.
However, if I’ve learnt anything in my 31 years, it’s that life often doesn’t go as planned…
Being dark (and bloody cold) at night meant I didn’t get in as much training as I’d liked. My last proper run before the race was 5k, ran the week before, with a raging hangover! I’d planned to go out on Tuesday but finding someone to run in the dark with or sorting childcare so that Simon could come with me proved impossible!
On the Wednesday before the race I developed a cold and sore throat, which is still lingering now.
So, on Sunday morning, the morning of the race, I wasn’t feeling very confident. In fact, I was feeling rather sorry for myself and was a grump (sorry Simon). I questioned whether running when feeling rubbish and full of cold was the best idea, but decided to just run and not worry about time. My aim had become just to get round!
We arrived at the race about 45 minutes before the start and it was windy and absolutely freezing! So much for the nicer weather… Simon had come with the kids to cheer me on, so we found a tent where they were serving cakes and drinks to shelter from the wind.
By the time the start time arrived, I was ready to run. I wanted to warm up!
It was a very busy race, so the first 1k was slow. At least the pressure was off!
Once I managed to get going, I actually felt pretty good. A quick glance at my running watch revealed that my pace was 9:30. I was running 9 and half minute miles! If I carried on at this pace, I’d finish in under an hour. There was a chance I could do this..!
I kept running and it felt amazing! My pace increased to around 9 minutes per mile at one point. I was feeling good. Could today be the day after all?
At around the 5k mark I saw my lovely family standing waiting to cheer me on. I felt proud.
After I’d ran past them, I hit a bit of a low. I’d do so well, but I had to do it all again – the race was two laps.
My speed started to slow down a little. I needed to make sure I had energy to make it to the end.
At 6k I saw Simon and the kids again, which gave me a boost.
I manage to speed back up to my 9 and half mile a minute pace. I remember seeing the 7k marker, but missed the 8k one. It seemed to drag and then out of nowhere the 9k signed appear. Only 1k to go and I had plenty of time to get across that finish line before I reached the 60min point – I was going to do it!
But, that last k was hard. So, so hard. I was running directly into the strong wind. I felt like I wasn’t going anywhere and I was tired. Somehow I kept going and finally I turned to run the final stretch to cross the finish line.
As soon as I was over I checked my watch 59 mins and 20 seconds (my official time was 59 mins and 5 seconds)! I had done it!!
Races like these make me realise why I run (plus I got a medal!)! You simply can’t beat those runs that make you feel anything is possible.