So yesterday I undertook my first non Race for Life 10k. In other words, the first 10k I was actually taking seriously. To say I was nervous was an understatement. Would I finish? Would I be last? Would the sweeper pass me? With all this going through my head I didn’t get any sleep the night before but I was prepared hydration and carb wise by being very sensible on the Saturday. We left early on the Sunday morning to get to Bristol and boy was it worth it! We got there, the sun was shining, music was playing and there was a great atmosphere. I started to relax and get into the atmosphere.
I’d initially signed up for the run with one of my best friends but he was in a different wave to me because he’s quite quick (he finished in about 57 minutes) so I met up with one of the girls from The Too Fat to Run? Clubhouse and we made our way over to the pink wave start. After a bit of nervous chatter we were off.
I’d decided from the get go I was going to that I was probably going to do run/walk intervals and on the day I was so glad because it was so hot and there was no shade at all (apart from one part of the route that was through a tunnel). So I decided early that I just wanted finish, regardless of time. This run was the Great Bristol 10K and I’d be told the Great Run series was always really well organised with amazing routes. I definitely wasn’t disappointed. The route was mostly flat and as it was my first road race to be honest for me the hardest thing at the beginning was getting used to running on the tarmac of the road. One thing that I found really helpful with the organisation of the race was the confidence built in the first 2k. I thought I was going really slow because I hadn’t yet spotted the 1k marker but then all of a sudden I saw the 2k one! Those cheeky organisers! I was so happy and I felt I’d hit a good run/walk pace. The markers came past and I was feeling good, if a little hot, soon I saw the 5k marker, I was halfway there! Getting up to the 6k marker I really needed to wee, probably because of all that hydration! It was really warm and I knew I could either carry on and not keep taking sips of my hydration drink or go to the portaloo stop and waste a few minutes. If I’d been doing this run last year I probably wouldn’t have stopped but I knew from what I’d learnt from The Fat Girls Guide To Running to have a chance of finishing the race in a healthy way that I would benefit from in the long run I needed to sacrifice those few minutes. After the wee stop I didn’t really get back into the same pace that I’d been in before but I was still feeling confident. Then the 8k marker came and then suddenly 400m, 200m and then I was crossing the finish. I couldn’t quite believe I’d done it. In my mind I’d kind of wanted to do it under 1:40 even though I’d been saying I just wanted to finish but I ended up with 1:32:34! I was in complete disbelieve.
I had the best support on the day not on,y knowing my best friend was running it too but knowing my husband was somewhere along the route (he actually ended up being just after the 400m mark and got a video of me running. I’d also had major support from the Clubhouse ladies. To me this will always be a very special run for me because, almost by accident, I ended up doing the run without headphones. I just wanted to soak up the atmosphere and it was great. I know really know what people mean when they talk about ‘race atmosphere’ and ‘race adrenaline’. I’m still getting over the fact that I only started running in January with the Too Fat to Run? 5 weeks to 5k programme did my first 5k in February and just completed my first 10k! I mean, it just sounds silly!
So what’s next for me? Well funnily enough another 10k! On May 29th I’ll be doing the Women’s Running 10k in Cardiff with a group of women from Too Fat To Run? and I really can’t wait. I’m hoping to get into the 1:20’s. I’ve got a few more 10k’s through the summer along with training to prepare for:
- September – Lee Valley Race for Life Half Marathon
- October – Royal Parks Half Marathon for Epilepsy Action (please sponsor!!!)
- November – Freaks events Half Marathom – Western Super Mare
- April – Paris Marathon!!! (also for Epilepsy Action).
I look at that and it’s like ‘wow! That’s a real runners timetable’. I’m still getting used to referring myself as a runner but it’s getting easier the more distance I cover. So thank you to everyone for their support both pre and post race. You’ve all been amazing helping me in my running journey.
Run and have fun!