Thursday, 29 May 2014

The One Where I Run My First Ever 10k

I did it... 10 days ago I ran my first ever 10k. Yes, I'm overweight, no I'm not an athlete but I did it... on the hottest day of the entire year. At first I was disappointed with my time but given that I started the race with a bad knee and the addition of all of the other mishaps that happened along the way I am proud that I completed the race and even got up and did it at all.

This time last year I had just accidentally won my place on the 5 mile National Lottery Back to the Stadium run on Twitter. I hated running. I'd never run anywhere in my entire life. Running for the bus was a struggle. But that day... that day that I got the tweet... really changed my life. I HAD to get fit. Gradually I began to run a couple of times a week. I didn't enjoy it - I was running because I had to, running because I was going to be in a race. As the weeks past I got in to it... I went from running to train to running for me. Then somethnig strange happened.. after the race, I didn't stop. I carried on running a couple of times a week and I enjoyed it.

So when work were gathering a team to compete and raise funds for the NSPCC I didn't hesitate. It would be my longest ever run but I wanted to do it... for me... and and for the kids.. obvs!

On the morning of the run I was so nervous. It was hot... really hot and I didn't start until 12.30pm when the weather would reach 25 degrees. Being an amateur I wasn't sure on how much water to drink pre race. I took it easy and gathered at the start line. The atmosphere was fabulous and then boom... we were off.

The first 1k was slow and steady but as I jogged round a corner I was distracted by something going on to the side of me. Something kept coming in to my line of vision, just on the corner of my eye.... I ignored it but it didn't go away. Finally I glanced to my left, only to see that it was my dad trying to take a picture of me! I slowed to help him out but as he still struggled to keep up he ran straight in to a car park meter. I giggled and ran off.

Soon I spotted the 2k marker. I was happy with my progress but the heat was starting to take its toll. My mouth was dry and I felt desperate for some liquid.

The water station was just before the 5k marker, just after my run past Old Trafford. I grabbed a bottle with the intention of slowly sipping but my body told me to drink drink drink. BIG MISTAKE. After that I really struggled. I soon got a stitch in my left side and after that it was less of a run and more of a hobble.. jog... walk.. hobble... jog...walk.

I reluctantly headed for the run through shower at 6.5k and that spurred me on a little but the stitch would not subside. By the time I hit 8k I was virtually walking and that's when my extremely hungover - been out on the Razz in Leeds the night before - friend Emma, caught up with me. She was feeling ill, I was broken. We jogged, talked and walked.

At 8k we were met with what I can only describe as a hose shooting a jet of water in to the air. It looked refreshing and we figured that the cold mist of water that we could see would refresh us. As we ran through it was like someone had poured a bucket of water on to our heads from a great height. As refreshing as that was on such a hot day, it meant all of the sweat from my head was washed in to my eyes. The salty water mixed with my contact lenses and a hint of mascara meant I was temporarily blinded just before the 9k marker!

I slowly regained my vision only to hear my son, Mister A shout "Mummy". My emotions got the better of me and tears filled my eyes. We upped the pace, we were nearly there... we ran but slowed again when we were safely out of view.

As we neared the finish line we spotted Emma's family and upped the pace again to cross the finish line in 1 hour and 24 minutes. I'm pretty sure I looked like I was going to vomit as I crossed the line, it was hard work in the heat but we did it!

Here I am at the start of the Great Manchester Run with my friend Cat - I'm smiling because the sun and stitch hadn't 'got me' yet!!!
I'm so proud of my achievement and proud that some of my friends have been inspired to start running too. I do get asked a lot about basic kit  so look out for my post this Saturday where I'll share my reviews in some fantastic must have buys if you love your running.

3k time 00:21:26
5k time 00:38:12
8k time 01:05:28
Finish 01:24:30

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