I've stayed true to a few of my new years resolutions. I've kept running and two weeks ago I took part in my first 10km run! I kept up with my training plan and two weeks before the race came down with every virus available so I had to put off training till I was better! I did manage to go for a run 4 days before race day. I only managed to do 5km but it was a good 5km in which I ran a good time, didn't stop at all and felt comfortable, so I was fairly happy and confident going into the race.
Race day was a very early start on a Sunday morning! My friend and I were doing it together and had to travel to Greenwich Park. We'd heard that the course could be hilly but weren't really sure what to expect and we hadn't trained on a hilly terrain. Boy, was that a mistake! On our journey to the park we had to go up alongside the park to the entrance and by up I mean UP! The hill was extremely steep. We wondered what we had let ourselves in for.
As it turned out, we had let ourselves in for a really tough run, for hardcore serious runners. It started well, I was all excited and pumped up and ran my fastest kilometre ever. Then the divide was noticeable. As us Tortoises approached the 2.5km mark, the Hares were passing us nearly finishing their first 5km lap!
I enjoyed my first 5km lap though. There were people around me and I felt a part of something. It was very tricky though, the hills were killer but I was determined not to stop. Even on the really big hill at the end of the lap, I took it slow and managed to run the whole way. I was also taking pictures of the nice scenery (taking more pictures as part of my new years resolutions)
Second lap was a different story. All the runners at my pace finished at 5km and I carried on around the course solo. I have to say the second lap was very disheartening, especially seeing as I fell over.
I had to ruin the experience didn't I? I thought I would try and make up some time going down the hill a little faster, something which I knew better than to do the first time around but I am too proud and didn't want to finish last. So I went a little faster and tripped over my own feet, on gravel.
I dramatically clambered to the ground hoping that no one saw. After realising that I was on the floor and feeling soar I looked up and around me and a runner (not a part of the race but on his normal Sunday morning run) stopped to help me up. I was actually really grateful for this but he was really good looking and that just made me even more embarrassed. He was so friendly though and asked if I was ok which I said I was. He then said "Are you in that race over there?" (after seeing the massive number printed on my front) "You've come a long way" or words to that affect which just set me off. My eyes started to fill up and I said "yep" tried to style it out and start jogging again. He didn't know what to do, he started running backwards bless him and said "maybe best to sit down for a while." I bit my lip, nodded and gestured for him to carry on, which thank God he did.
I tried to run and nearly tripped over again! This got me and the tears came, I felt like a failure, everything hurt and I was completely on my own. It was at this point that I noticed that I had scraped my hand open and there was a lot of blood. This was sort of my turning point. I had to continue on until I finished the race until it got seen to and if I ran I'd get there faster. All those runs in the dark after work in the cold were for this moment so I had to finish, it didn't matter how I did it. So I carried on. I did walk on occasion for around 30 seconds but I was mainly jogging. Except the last kilometre. I'd given up, everyone who had finished the race had walked past me at this point smiling with their medals, my hand hurt, my feet hurt. So I walked the horrific hill then stupidly decided to sprint the last 100 meters, especially when I saw the clock. I finished the race feeling sick and relieved that I had done it.
My hand was seen to and I waited at the finish line for my friend to cross the line. We then confirmed to each other that it was a horrible experience but at least it was all over now and we had done it.
I thought it would put me off running but after a few days I was thinking about booking another 10km run for the summer, on a flat course! I'm looking at a few so I'm sure by Spring I will have one or two runs booked. I'm making sure they're fun runs though, can't deal with them serious runners again, I just want to have fun and enjoy it! I can only go up from here.
I got a giant cookie and cool medal out of it though. I will start a collection. Of medals.