May 19, 2013
Wow, Wow, Wow, Wow, Wow…what a night.
Yeeesshhh, I haven’t uttered those words for a number of years now, not since my young free and single days of going out Saturday and sneaking back home in the daylight on a Tuesday afternoon!!
Last night I took part in a phenomenal event. My first 10K of 2013, my first 10K in well over a year since having my daughter Rose. Nike run “We own the night” was billed as the Ultimate Womens 10K and it lived up to that in more ways than one.
It was a real novelty to be running at night, leaving me the whole day to get myself ready. Starting with a nail job to reflect the neon colour scheme of the race shirt which I had picked up from NikeTown a few days prior. On the subject of race shirts…why oh why do race organisers not for a minute think that they will have participants larger than a size 14. I opted for an XL hoping that my post pregnancy body would squeeze in…and it did just. But here is the problem, a top may fit and look half decent for your “I’m leaving out for my race” photo…but when you are running it starts to resemble a bloody crop top…and then you have two options
1. Let the whole world see your flab
2. Keep pulling it down every 2-3 seconds
I decided to put a neon green running vest on under the shirt in an attempt to cover my jelly belly which did help a bit…but seriously Nike (and other kit producers) us larger ladies tend to have large boobs and big bellies so not only do we need larger running tops, but longer ones too!!! Rant Over!! I also used a neon green fabric pen to scribe my Fatty Must Run message, I figured if I couldn’t look good, I could at least make people laugh (One of my much used Fat Girl techniques)
Just before leaving the house I realised my race headphones had broke…great, one ear still worked so I would just have to make do.
So…Victoria Park is just down the road from me…like a 20 minute drive, but I decided to get the bus as I was sure that parking would be a nightmare. Whilst waiting at the bus stop, two ladies in matching neon tops approached…I smiled…and they said “come on join us for a warm up” to which I responded “are you serious?” and they were. After a 30 minute bus ride, I arrived at the park with thousands of other neon orange clad ladies. My first observation was wow look how many fit looking, pretty looking, young looking ladies there are…they didn’t look like serious runners and neither did they look like your “race for life” clan.
I met up with my pal Kathryn who would be running with me and we checked out the runners village. It was fantastic with a stage and product tents and bean bags to sit on it was fab…and did I mention the fact that there were hardly any men? I did in fact have one little dalience with a man, he was one of the event crew I assumed, and he was desperately trying to weave his way through hundreds of skinny minnies doing their stretches during the group warm up, he stumbled upon me and kinda did a funny dance, it was like a scene from the children’s book “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt”…I can’t go over it, I can’t go under it…highly amusing.
The warm up was not that great if I’m being honest, too much jumping about…I was like come on I’ve got to run 10,000 meters in a minute. But it was quite spectacular seeing the sea of neon, the excitement was definitely building. We had a motivational speech by the one and only Paula Radcliff, and then after a bit of confusion about getting to the start and a little bit of a delay we found ourself at the start line, we were like three quarters of the way back in the “just want to finish” pen…and then the race was started by Perri Shakes Drayton, one of my favorite stars of London 2012.
Like most races the first mile was mayhem as people tried to find some space…the route was through the park on the paths but people were running off road behind park benches and generators, I’m sure that some of the regular park users had no idea what was happening, but they were having a whale of a time especially the drinkers…there was one little crew of middle aged, beer bellied white men with a tiny stereo pumping out UB40…that made me giggle.
The 2nd and 3rd kilometer went by without to much trouble…there were already loads of walkers and I had lot my friend Kathryn, but it felt good. I had one young girl determined to finish before me…it was a classic tale of the tortoise and the hare…she had speed I’ll give her that, but she kept stopping to walk and I would plod past her…much to her annoyance. I didn’t stop. My thinking was, let me see if I can get to 5K without walking and see how I feel, I didn’t actually stop until about 7K by which time it was dark and the lighting infrastructure of the event had really come into its own. I stopped to take on some water…only walking for a bit mind. The I started off again…just before 8K I came across the infamous RunDemCrews “CheerDemCrew massive…who I had the pleasure of running past in last years London Marathon…now they know how to get runners going.
My legs were starting to hurt now, I felt a twinge in my left knee and I knew that I would be approaching the 9K mark soon where the paths would be lined with spectators…so I took the opportunity to bring my heart rate down. The field was really spread out now, and it was really dark along this stretch…when all of a sudden I saw a figure walking at speed towards me, it was only when she was right upon me that I realised who it was “Come on girl, you have got this…pick up the pace for the last K” it was Perri Shakes Drayton…well that was all it took and I was off again.
The last Kilometer seemed to go on forever, but the support from the crowds was great…and by this point there were very few runners so I got a lot of encouragement. I crossed the line with an almighty sense of achievement. And the fun didn’t stop there, the village was alive with post race freebies including as much proseco as you could drink…but seeing as I am still breastfeeding I only had one!! But also Nike limited edition bracelets, VitaCoCo drinks, Eat Natural Bars and probably other stuff that I was too overwhelmed to notice.
One of the great things that happened at this race was the number of girls who came up and said hello, loads of people who said “I read your blog” or “ohh my gosh you tweeted me earlier today”, but also lots of random women who simply said “oh I love your slogan” or “Do you mind if I take a picture of your shirt”. So I will defo be putting my Fatty Must Run slogan on my race shirt from now on. This race was without a shadow of a doubt the most friendliest I have ever done, from the event crew…to the spectators and the other competitors.
So I arrived home at after 11pm, aching, stinking (did I mention I forgot to put on deodorant?)…I soaked in the bath for almost an hour checking the twitter feeds for the race and I think its easy to say that the event was an overwhelming success. I was far too tired to write my race debrief last night, and it took me close to 11am this morning before I had the courage to leave my bed…am I hurting?? Hell yeah, not so much my legs but my core, I can barely get off the sofa unaided.
I just checked my official time and check this, I completed my first 10K of 2013, my first 10K in well over a year since having my daughter Rose in wait for it….1 hour, 20 minutes and 35 seconds.
Considering I have a 10K PB of 1.06, and I ran my first ever 10K in 1.46 I am absolutely chuffed with my time. It gives me something to build on…in fact I have decided to bite the bullet and sign up for another 10K…I am looking for one in late July or early August…and I can’t wait.