It’s been a while since I had a chance to write a post, it’s been bloody busy! I did a training course in work all last week and I couldn’t do any of my exercising at lunch time… So all of it had to be done in the evenings, what a nightmare!
I had my first race last Saturday… I was so nervous, especially having missed a week of training due to sickness two weeks before. And it wasn’t just any race, it was 10 miles. 10 long miles. 16k!!! I felt so unprepared, but I kept looking at this picture and repeating the words to myself:
The evening before the race I started googling what you should and should not do before a race… That was just about as good an idea as googling any strange symptoms you have during pregnancy!
Race day 7am, the alarm goes off. What?! Did I not just fall asleep 2 minutes ago?? Get up, sunshine! At least I had packed my bag and put my gear aside so I didn’t have to start looking for those. Next breakfast. That was the stickiest and most difficult to get down porridge I’ve had. I never eat that early in the morning…
I had decided to take the bus so I don’t have to worry about parking as I was going on my own. I ended up walking about 2 miles to the starting line but I actually think that was a good thing. I was too busy looking around (I wasn’t 100% sure where to go!) to be worrying about the race and it actually worked as a good warm up! Getting closer to the start area, I could see all these groups of people running around, I presume they were warming up. But it was like an hour before the race would even start. All I wanted to do was to spare any energy I had!!
Start time approaching, time to get in your place. I had been told by many people to be careful not to start off too fast, that you are tempted to go too fast as everyone else just seem to power on. As we started the race, there were these two ladies in front of me who seemed to be going at a good pace for me so I decided I’d follow them. I don’t know what the norm is, but these two were some chatterboxes!! First water station was at 3 miles. Plastic cups are definitely not the easiest… I think I was gulping down air just as much as water!
5 miles down, another 5 to go. I felt incredibly good! Chatterboxes were still chatting away… I don’t know how they did it, I need to concentrate on my breathing, posture etc. These two were like they were on a nice and relaxing Sunday stroll!
I was enjoying the race course as I wasn’t very familiar with the surroundings. Even though I still felt really good having gone beyond the halfway, I kept telling myself that if I can manage to run until the last water station at 7 miles I can walk the rest if I need to. I knew there was about a one mile climb from 7 to 8 miles.
Last water station at 7 miles. My drinking skills hadn’t miraculously improved along the way. But amazingly, I still felt like I had only started a few miles ago!! I said to myself “right, if I still feel like this after the climb with only two miles to go, it’s time to pick up the pace”. By the way, the chatterboxes were still chattering away, surely they have to stop soon?!
I thought the hill was going to be bigger and the climb would have been harder. It was tough at one point, but I recovered very quickly. At 8 miles it was time to pick up the pace. I started to feel strange happiness as I realised that I am going to finish having run the whole 10 long miles. And they hadn’t even felt that long!
Coming around the corner, organisers telling us we’re only about 500m from the finishing line. Time to pick up the pace again! I actually sprinted the last 500 meters and it felt like I had won the bloody race. Check my time: 1:51:45. ECSTATIC!! I did it well under my goal, which was to finish in under 2hrs, having run the whole time. Oh, anyone wondering about the chatterboxes? Yeah, they did stop talking at about 8 miles!
Now I would be lying if I said I wasn’t sore afterwards… My poor old legs again! I recovered very quickly though and even though this week has been a struggle in terms of finding the time to train, I have felt so motivated after the race. So much so, that I decided to do this whole Marathon madness for charity. I joined the Team Temple Street so I am hoping to raise money for Temple Street Children’s University Hospital. If any of you my readers would like to read more about the cause and sponsor me, please check my fundraising page.