With the Staines 10k less than a week away we were close to completing our 5210k training. The last few sessions were getting longer leaving us with an hours non stop run before tackling the Staines 10k course in a pre race recce.
It has to be said that during the training sessions one thing that we’ve had in abundance is laughter. I will say no names but some things just tickle you, whether it’s people’s wind power (and that’s not the fartlek training we did) giving them that extra push or just general innocent comments that you get endlessly reminded of. During one final run, Jim and Dave decided that we shouldn’t finish by going up Heartbreak Hill, but instead go left up the bridal path which is steeper with uneven footing and a lot harder. I innocently said “why aren’t we running up the flat hill” meaning the nice tarmac road! Jim and Dave found this highly amusing, “a flat hill” if only.
I didn’t think I would be nervous about running my first 10k Race, I had nothing to prove to anyone and just completing the course would be an achievement bearing in mind back in January I couldn’t run around the block. But as with previous sports whether it be sitting on the start of the 8’s head of the river race in rowing, or playing in a cup final in football, nerves start kicking in.
I had my new Runnymede Runners kit ready with my number pinned on (not straight according to Arun), collected my timing chip to fasten in place on my shoe, I was pretty much ready to go. After using the facilities more than once (nerves) we were called to gather for the start. As we walked over to join the masses it started to dawn on me that there were a lot of people running this race. My goal was to try and beat the hour mark, but looking around I was thinking “just don’t be last!”
We rounded the bend and ran over the timing mats and we were off. I had missed the pre recce run on Tuesday and went out on my own, I didn’t know the course and knew that my training 10k took me 1.01. I could do the distance so just needed the time.
As always, I ran with Jimmy, who has been great getting me round our 5k park runs the club handicap race and now the 10k. Looking at all the photos I was pretty much on Jimmy’s shoulder for the entire race. When I started to drop off he would encourage me to get back on the shoulder which truly helped me achieve my goal. During the race I was passed by a lion and what seemed like a lot of other runners. We had the highs of seeing our families en route along with other club members and friends who marshalled or cheered.
As we neared the end of the race we started to pick off some other runners. This felt good and even inspired me to try my sprint finish again. The joys of finishing were amazing, I had just run over 6 miles (without stopping), in under my 1 hour target. I went to collect my medal which my daughter wore with pride and got my official finish time of 54.33. In my own terminology I SMASHED IT.
As always a massive thanks to Dave our 10k coach and Jimmy for helping me get my time, along with all the C25210K couchies.
What next is to be sorted short term, but long term I am waiting to see if I get a London marathon place through the ballot which I’ve now entered along with my other couchies…..