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July 15, 2009
Recently (5th July) I ran my first proper 10k!! Race stylee and everything!!!

It was an early race starting at 9:30 so we had to leave at 7am to make sure we could get onto the complex before they closed all the roads!! I was really suprised by the venue itself….mainly because it was the venue for the 2002 Commonwealth games…but it all just seemed very basic!! I know its been 6 years and is maybe just a bit weathered but I just couldn’t imagine top athletes competing there!!??

There was a great vibe though….although the commentator really did need shooting!!! He was rambling on and getting a little over excited by the total non-celebrity soap actors running!!? He nattered on…and on….and on…and on….

….and on!!!!

We had sat a little out of the way….and I spotted a few rows away a very lean African runner!! Turns out he was something of a professional from Kenya…and the rambling commentator informed us that he had a PB of something like 28 minutes for the distance!! 28 minutes!!! Geezz!! There were a few elite runners there, and boy….could they run!!!!

I didn’t even notice the race start….I just became somewhat aware of a large swarm of runners moving on the other side of the course….we had begun!!! Then zoooooom….flying past in the outside lane were the elite athletes…..the scary thing is….they keep that pace up for the full 6 miles….we huddle of ordinary folk had barely taken their first steps…let alone built up to a jog!!!!

As we leave the stadium to head out onto the streets…..

It was boiling hot weather…but to begin I didn’t really care!! It was just so strange running down the middle of a main road…surrounded by police and onlookers!!! Felt really good to be one of the crazy runners…braving these mean streets (they really are!!)

At first I was pretty intent on catching the hour marker…but I had started quite some way behind….and I realised in this heat the sprint really wasn’t worth it…and I figured if I kept a steady pace I should be able to hit about an hour anyway!! So on I jogged!! About 3km…the heat really hit me….and I hadn’t taken my water as I usually run without and was desperate for the drink stop!!!! However 5k came and went with no sign of a droplet of water….and I was really starting to struggle!! And then…eventually at about 6.5km a big neon yellow sign “DRINKS AHEAD”….and yes there it was the drinks table to my left…empty!!! And another…empty!!!! And then nothing!!!! But then….a little hand popped out to my right…WATER!!!!!! Oh the joy!!!!!!

7km took us back into the complex before the final lap….as we soldiered on up you could see another little group…veering off sprinting into the stadium….how can they run like that…I am seriously impressed!!! I spotted Darren sitting at the top…poised with the camera….and I gave him a big cheesy thumbs up….

I don’t think I really look like much of a runner….not very athletic at all!!! But at least I’m still smiling!!! 🙂

The last 3k was pretty hard work….and there were quite a few hills!!??? Oh the torture on the thighs!!!

But I ran (well jogged) it all!!!! Not once did I slow my pace…there were alot around me who seemed to be employing some sort of ‘stop…start’ technique!!!??? Walk…walk..SPPPRIINNNNT…walk!!!! I am much happier to keep it slow and steady and finish knowing that I kept pace all the way….I’m really proud that I didn’t walk…yay me!!!!

I finished in 1 hour 4 minutes 48 seconds on the clock…..I was a little gutted that I was so close…but so far from the illusive hour mark!!! Afterwards though you could go online and get your actual time of the shoe chip….1 hour 2 minutes 48 seconds!!!!!! In 1329th place!!!

Sounds quite embarrassing when I say it…but when I think there were over 2000 runners….meaning that 700 people finished after me….that feels pretty good!!! And I was ok after the race….I didn’t feel the need to curl up on the floor and pant for dear life which I think is an achievement in itself!!! It was a really fab day…well morning actually…I was done and leaving by 11am!!! I can’t wait to sign up for my next race….and Darren said he wants to join in too!!!! I’m so glad I’ve re-found my love for running…hmmmmm maybe time for a wee jog now!!!!?

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