Last weekend saw me participating in my local 10k race. Took a lot of ‘self talking to’ for me to go for it but I signed up and went for it. The hubby was away all weekend on a lads trip so it was my ever supportive mum that came along to watch the kids whilst I spent an hour in my trainers. I would be lost without my mum.
The morning started typically ok, I was up, my boys were up, my gear was ready. Then all of a sudden plans changed and I was running late! (No pun intended!) I had wanted to walk to the event as its only 3km away but I ended up having to drive and I had my youngest in his buggy whilst I registered – one person asked me if I was running with him so I had to explain I was waiting on my mum coming. I chose to believe they didn’t ask snidely, but I may be wrong. My mum arrived with my daughter who had stopped at hers the night before and my little nephew – ‘are you going to win auntie Ella?’ Not likely I’m afraid! There were loads of people wearing official running club tops. This was going to be a fast race! My knee had been niggling for over a week so I set my mind to go steady. The half marathon I had entered was only 4 weeks away so I didn’t want to risk injury.
We were asked to move to the starting line and I placed myself about midway in the pack. There were about 450 runners – quite a number for a small town but I could see by the running club tops many had come from other towns. As usual the shakes started, the heart started racing so I just looked at the ground and waited for the gun. Put my music on and off I went.
Quite a few passed me as we started – I’m really not one for pushing through at the start, I wait until there’s a clear gap before going, and, much to my surprise, there were gaps for the first 2km. I passed quite a few people and I was keeping a much faster pace than intended. The route was one I regularly run at the start anyway so I was very comfortable with that. It was cool to start off with though but got hot very quickly so I knew I would be taking on water at the station. And, because I knew the route well, I was able to predict where the water station would be also. Yes I could have just looked at the map but it felt good to know without looking how far 5k was!
Past the water station and down into the housing estate where I live. I had hoped my eldest, who was at home, might have come out to cheer me on but I was only kidding myself. He was in his room on his Xbox! Typical teenager. Round the big street that goes the length of the housing estate and as I turned back on to the path that takes you back to the river I passed my friends house. I looked up at her window and there she was with her young lad waving away! What a boost! With a stupid grin on my face I continued on and sent her a text saying thank you! I wouldn’t usually text away whilst running but it really gave me the boost I needed in the race! I pushed on until I could see the finish and looped round to the final straight. I could read the clock now and realised I was coming in in good time so I pushed that little bit more across the finish.
I collected the ‘bling’ and the complimentary fudge and water and started looking for my mum. I couldn’t see her anywhere. The panic started creeping up and I started to feel like an idiot standing there out of breath, not knowing anyone. I was about to go hide under a tree when my daughter and nephew appeared from no where and my mum was behind them with my youngest. I had to sit down for a minute to get rid of that feeling and checked my strava. I had a feeling it was a pb but my word I was pleased with the result! 51min 17 – I’m getting close to the elusive sub 50min!
There were a lot of people around so I thanked my mum for watching the kids and coming to support me and scuttled off home – yet again forgetting to go and get my preliminary race print out! I really need to stop that and just calm the …. down. I just ran the same race as all those people, I don’t need to run away home! I can relax and take a moment. That’s the aim next time.
I got a great little medal and unusually a long sleeved t-shirt from the day along with the fudge. It was a great event and I will be doing it next year too. Tomorrow is another swimming lesson! Hopefully taking in less water than last time!