Monday, 18 November 2013

Mornington Chasers Regent's Park 10k: 3rd November 2013

On the morning of my very first 10k race I woke up fresh as a daisy and fully rested after a blissful night's sleep.

Oh wait, no I didn't.

I can safely say I have now learnt that it is simply not possible to go to a party the night before a race, even if you are super well-behaved and drink nothing but Appletiser. Although I did manage to leave the party before midnight, there was of course then the fun of a night bus to endure. Or two as it turned out as I managed to get on the wrong one the first time round. Nice one.

By the time I'd got back to my flat and faffed around a bit, I didn't actually end up getting to bed until around 1am. Considering I was meant to be up at 6.30, this wasn't a great start.

I was SO prepared the day before...shame it didn't pay off on the day
But wake up at 6.30 I did and although I was still pretty knackered, at least I was hangover-free. It looked like it was shaping up to be a pretty nice day, so at least I wouldn't have to be dealing with my lack of waterproof coat issue (yes, I know, I still need to get this sorted).

I did all my usual things to get ready: PB on a bagel and a cup of tea for breakfast, same kit as usual, etc and yet somehow I still managed to end up running late.

By the time I'd made it to Baker Street station, it was five minutes until the start of the race and Google maps was telling me it was at least a fifteen minute walk to the start line. So rather than calmly strolling to the centre of the park, I had to prematurely get my run on. By the time I did make it to the start line, I'd already managed to build up a bit of a sweat.

Luckily for me, the race had actually been delayed by fifteen minutes. So after calming myself down, dropping my bag off, picking up and fiddling around with my chip and doing a few final stretches, I was ready to go.

The race course was three laps of Regent's Park - thankfully a nice flat course. It would've been nice to have a little more variation but Regent's Park is a great place to run, My favourite section was past the zoo and although I was a little disappointed not to see any of the promised tigers, I did get a good look at some camels. Better than nothing  I suppose!

Lovely weather for my first 10k!
The Regent's Park 10k is obviously a favourite for running clubs and those looking for PBs (probably due to the flatness of the course), so most people taking part were either in their running club vests or very swanky-looking lycra. I did feel like a bit of an amateur plodding away at the very back of the pack but at no point did it feel disheartening. The course was well signposted with plenty of marshals, many of whom were cheering us on and at points when I did find myself starting to feel a little tired this was a real encouragement, particularly as I didn't have anyone there for support.

I had been a little worried that since I'd never actually done more than 8k, I'd find the end of the race really tough, but aside from an increasing ache in my glutes and feeling understandably weary, I actually still felt like I was running fairly strongly.

Definitely didn't document this well - my one pic of the actual race!
Even though I was definitely in the last group of finishers, there were still plenty of people waiting at the end to cheer everyone on. I had visions of being the last one to stumble over the finish line while a tumbleweed blew across the park and I had to get a drink of water from the lake. But luckily all was well and there was plenty of water, bananas and chocolate biscuits waiting at the finish line.

Everyone was able to queue up to get their chip time straight away and I was really chuffed to have finished in 1:09:09. It may not sound like much to any of you seasoned runners, but considering Goal A had just been to finish and Goal B was to finish in 1:10, this was a really nice surprise. I had been timing on Map My Run but apparently despite having a certificate of course accuracy, a lot of apps and Garmins show that the course is actually longer (apparently due to the twisty-turny nature of the route. As a result I didn't really know what my time would be at the end of the race.

Overall I'm really pleased with my result. I wasn't even sure I would make it round the course and so to have finished in the time I did was really encouraging. But of course that raises the question: 'What next?' I already have another 10k lined up at the Write This Run conference at the Running Show, so we'll see what happens then, but I guess it's time for another goal after that - maybe cutting down my 10k or 5k time?

I also wanted to say thank you to everyone who sent me messages of support or tweets on the day - it was so great to know you guys were rooting for me!

Harris x

1 comment:

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