On 18th July 2010, I ran 5km non-stop in the Race for Life! It was an amazing experience to be part of such a great atmosphere, with thousands of excited and inspiring women all around me.
At the start of the race, we split ourselves into running, jogging and walking groups and I optimistically plumped for jogging. Plugging into my iPod and GetRunning app, I quickly realised that many others in this group jogged for the first 300m or so and then started to walk, so it was a case of weaving in and out to keep up my own constant pace. The first kilometre felt good and I started to feel confident that I could comfortably run the whole way, that was until I encountered the first set of hills. It’s true to say that during my last few successful 5km runs in the gym, the treadmill gradient started at 1, but I kept wimping out part-way as I got tired and was lowering it back to the flat. I regretted this previous laziness every time I encountered another steep part of the course, but the few downhills section were a welcome relief!
I had wonderful support from Other Half and the in-laws, they were there at the start line and to my surprise, popped up in 3 different places along the way to cheer me on. They also documented the changing colour of my progressively rosy cheeks through the medium of photography!
Despite all of the pre-race training, I still found the distance tough. There was no miraculous floaty feeling to get me round the course however, the thought of having to tell people that I didn’t run all the way was a constant mental boost to keep my legs moving!
At 4km I was feeling really tired and the next 500m seemed to take forever. I was jogging really slowly when suddenly, I turned the corner to see the finish line up ahead. From nowhere, a burst of energy appeared and I sprinted all the way to the finish line. My time was 41 minutes 52 seconds, no record breaker I know, but actually quicker than my best ever time in the gym, despite all the hills and lack of air conditioning!!
I collected my medal, goodie bag and hugs and kisses from Other Half and the in-laws. It was a great feeling to have run the whole way, as well as raising close to £100 for Cancer Research.
Would I do it again? Absolutely!
Is it the first step towards running a marathon? Absolutely not! 😮