This weekend I ran my first race of 2015 – the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park 10Km. In preparation for my Run Hackney Half Marathon I have been training and this week required a 6 mile run as part of my long run so I may as well just do 6.2miles and see how my times are doing.
8am – Dressed and had my morning banana. Do I take the bus or do I drive? Driving is cheaper than bus so that’s that decided then.
8.10am – Maybe I should eat some toast? Yeah ok, a slice of toast and off to the car I go.
8.30am: Parked up at the Aquatic Centre. Where is that Podium Cafe? I can see a group of very keen runners all warming up and stretching in the distance. As I walk closer I notice they all look very professional, most of the runners appear to look very fit and fast. Most of the women I see already have their club running vests on and one young lady is wearing an Ultra-Marathon shirt. Crap, this is supposed to be an equivalent of a long slow run!!
8.55am – Bag has been dropped. Majorly regretting that action right now as, although it is sunny, it is freezing! I go and sit in the sun in an attempt to warm myself up (if it’s good enough for basking lizards, it’s good enough for me!) and WhatsApp my mother (the only person actually awake at this time on a Saturday) to kill time. I try not to stare longingly at the other runners warming up with their jackets on. I go for a little jog (literally a shuffle, tortoises would overtake me at this speed) to try and relax myself.
9.25am – Everyone starts moving towards the start line and I’m convinced this is it! In fact, it was a warm up being led by a one lone person who I can’t see. At least as a group we are sort of huddling and the wind chill has decreased ever so slightly.
9.30am – We’re off! I aim for a slow pace to start with and it’s very congested as the speedsters take any small gap as a way to duck through the crowds and I do all I can to get out of their way.
- Mile 1 and 2: I settle into a good pace with a woman who is running with what appears to be a very FULL backpack. We do a lot of overtaking and weaving but after the 2 miles I end up leaving her behind and can’t believe I am running something like a 9.45min/mile. This is fast for me but I feel strong enough to continue.
- Mile 3 and 4: These are kept at around the same pace and I feel quite happy plodding along in the sunshine. I guess those intervals are actually paying off.
- Mile 5 and 6: Time to push as it was the last lap around the route I knew where to speed up and take my time. There is a small hill towards the end and I was psyching myself up for it all the way round. I knew it was time to run hard and aim for a sub 60min goal. My original aim for this whole run was 63 minutes as I intended it to be a slow run for training but I knew from about Mile 3 I could probably beat my record if I kept the pace even. A sprint finish for the last 100 metres and my time was 60mins……and 7 seconds! Damn those 7 seconds! Hooray that is a PB by over 2 minutes!!!!!!! (I also beat my 5k PB lowering it to 29.38).
Elation overwhelmed me so much that I forgot to even take any water at the end and immediately text Phil and my mother my new PB time. I picked up my bag and collected my medal before setting off and spending the rest of the day in bed snoozing as I was pretty much
dead spent from my efforts. I do ache a little today and am feeling the exhaustion but I am ready for my next long run next week and looking forward to 7 miles, but much slower hopefully.
The Race Organiser are responsible for co-ordinating this event and they did a stellar job. The volunteers and marshals were all extremely friendly and upbeat for a cold Saturday morning and the pick up for the race chips and numbers was very smooth and efficient. I’ve never had to use a bag drop before but this was my first race without any support but it went glitch free. I’d recommend their events as it’s very reasonably priced at £17 with a free goody bag and medal for every runner. First race of 2015 done and dusted, now it’s time to focus on upping the mileage!
Did you run a race this weekend? What are your tips for upping mileage and nutrition?
Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed the warm weekend whilst it was here. Winter is officially over.