Tuesday, 25 September 2012

First race highs

On Sunday 9th September I completed my first official 5km since my very first one, 7 years ago.

To say my life has changed since then is somewhat of an understatement, right?!

As I am always playing catchup on my blog, here are some insights and things I learnt about myself, running, life during the course of the 5km race.

Always be sure of the race date.  For weeks before the race I was preparing for the race to be on Saturday 8th.  I'd been on the website, the race was on the 8th right?!  Wrong.  As we were looking up where to park on the Friday, my face fell.  It was actually on the Sunday.  Needless to say I felt really stupid (but secretly pleased as it meant I got a lie in on Saturday which was badly needed.)

Learning new crafts.  I learnt to tie a metal magnetic timer into my shoe laces and feel very sporty in doing so

J had already promised to stay with me for the whole race.  He had not trained at all for it, maybe going out with me 3 times in total, his longest run 20 mins at Emmy pace.  He is just one of those annoying sporty people who is naturally fit and let's face it, he could have ran ahead of me with sure ease.

It was a gorgeous day! (J actually ran ahead to take this not so flattering photo of me. Show off)


We lined up with the other 5km runners at the back as practically everyone in the race was a club runner.  This is another point, although I already kind of knew this with the lack of 5km races in France...

5km is serious business.  Everyone was there to win!  I still am not used to this and I don't think I want to be.  I run because I can, and I am truly humbled every time I watch the marathon and see all the interviews with the amazing people running for charity.  In France, this does not happen.  As a result, the runners were practically all club runners.  Meaning....

I was almost last!  Out of about 90 people doing the 5km, I came a very honourable 82nd!  And I was dam proud!  J came in just in front of me.  I was incredibly proud to say I overtook about 5 people in the last 1km!  It was a killer though. 

I'd totally lost my bearings with how far I had left to run and what with the hill at the end I wanted to give up.  J said it was just round the corner and when I rounded it I heard my name being called out by the compere who had read my race number.  It felt very cool and gave me a huge boost and a buzz!

Never trust an ipod + sensor that's not been calibrated.  I had lost my bearing because I rely heavily on the ipod + app telling me my progress.  I realised during the race that it was waaaay out.  It actually told me I'd finished the 5k soon after we'd gone past the 4km marker.  I was totally gutted and disppointed to think that all those time I thought I'd ran 5km without stopping, the time I almost did it in 30 mins, all those times, all those time I was no where near 5km.  This is why the last 1km was difficult for me.

When I crossed the line and heard my official timer beep merrily at the finish line I had the sense to press the calibrate button on my ipod. 

My official time was 34,24 and I'm ok with that.  I didn't get a stitch which is a miracle in itself and I didn't stop running once and I had enough in me at the end to overtake others and sprint(ish) to the finish line.

My time was about 6 minutes faster than my original 5km race in London 7 years ago so I'm good with that.  I'll never be a fast runner.  After all, I don't call them my dodgy legs for nothing! 

I learnt a lot from the experience and I can't wait to do it again!  In fact, I'm doing another one in the UK this weekend.

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