Sunday, 10 April 2011

Run, previously fat girl, run

When I first started going to running club in January I had one simple aim: to keep going to running club so I didn't lose face. Additional aims were to lose weight (in combination with a diet) and, if I didn't injure myself horribly, to perhaps run the Standalone 10K in October. So I didn't really expect to be running a 10K race in April. But today I did.
 My aim before I started the race was to finish in just under an hour, since I ran 10 km a few weeks ago with the running club in that time. But that time was set in the cool evening, and I was racing in daytime heat (I think it was about 20 degrees today), so I wasn't too hopeful. Furthermore, the Flitwick 10K course is described as "undulating", and I can safely say, there were a couple of hills!

Check out my new red hair!
As I set off I kept repeating various tips I'd picked up at running club: don't set off too fast, keep your strides short, take the downhill sections easy. It was quite difficult to do anything other than follow the crowd for the first 2 km. The first noticeable hill was around 3 km but, because I spotted a photographer was snapping away, I took it at speed (and overtook a couple of neighbouring runners in the process)! 

Around this point I was aware of a lady running in a thick T-shirt and long trousers, panting like she was about to collapse (I imaginatively nicknamed her panting woman). I targeted and then overtook her, only for her to speed up and retake me. Damn, she can't do that!

There was a water station at 5 km (roughly 3 miles) and I gratefully took a cup, only to almost drown myself by inhaling most of it. This is why I don't drink while running. At 7 km there was a rather daunting looking hill and at this point I sneaked one of my two secret weapons (a jelly baby) from my back pocket, and the energy boost/placebo effect got me up the hill without faltering. And I (finally) shook that blimin' panting woman!

There was another horrible hill around 8 km (another jelly baby consumed to help) but by this point I knew I was nearly at the end (and that it was mainly downhill). Ignoring the advice I'd been given, I upped my pace and overtook dozens of other runners. THAT is a fab feeling! As I saw the village green come into sight I knew I was almost finished. A spectator shouted "Come on Stotfold!" (YES!) and I managed to find a bit extra to get me over the line quickly.

Rear shot because I have a nice ass now, apparently ;)
And my time: 57 minutes and 18 seconds! So I achieved my aim by quite a lot really. The summary from is below; I was really pleased to see those steady 9 minute miles, ending with a fast "sprint" (times not 100% accurate though, iPhone not up to the job as usual).

The pain wasn't quite over for me; both my kids wanted to run in the children's 1-mile fun run. I told my 5-year-old son to stay with me and his sister, but he sprinted off into the distance! My husband spotted he'd got away from me and I have never seen him run so fast to catch him up so he could run with him! Son finished in less than 10 minutes (future runner I think [Stotfold juniors?!]) and me and my 3-year-old daughter in about 20 minutes (she said "Mummy this is really hard!"). But neither of them stopped for a moment, so I was very proud. And we all have a medal to show for our hard work.

Proper medals!

Roll on my next challenge. Any ideas what I should do?!

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