October 9, 2010
Here is a Blog post I wrote about this time last year on the forum of a weightless camp I attended. It makes me smile every time I ready it, and also reminds me of how fit I was back then. I have to get back in shape, and stop making excuses.
So here goes…
I have always had this bizarre philosophy about running…sign up to a race and think about the training after (or not as often is the case) My first race was the British 10K a few months before Fitfarms, which as it was in central London I thought if worse comes to worse I can always stop and get on the tube back home. I half ran, half waddled and half crawled the route….but finished with a great sense of achievement.
So post fitfarms, almost 3 stone lighter and with 6 10Ks under my belt (including one at Leeds Castle when I got knocked over by a transvestite driving ambulance driver and finished in tears) I signed up for Run to the Beat, a half marathon in Greenwich. It was a scorching hot September day, I had done no training what so ever, in fact I had been in the party town of Aiya Napa for the week before, with the only running being that of chasing down fit looking men. (They don’t call me Tent Girl for nothing)
Anyhow, the first 10K was great, I ran the whole way including some massive hills around Blackheath, then at about 11K the hills started to take their tole and the following 5 or 6K were awful, with pains in my hips and knees…I managed to run the final 1K but only because there were crowds and I felt too much shame to walk. I felt proud after finishing but also a sense of dread knowing that I had signed up to the PAris 20K and only had 2 weeks to recover.
The pain did not subside for the following 10 days, I had shooting pains in my hips and was walking around like a granny for days. I was not looking forward to Paris.
However…I had an amazing time, mainly as a result of being around the girls and Kim’s fantastic hospitality, but even the race itself. Sharon, Alison and I lined up a few hundred yards from the start line surrounded by thousands of very serious looking French athletes…I mean runners!!! I have never seen someone looking so nervous (This was Alisons very first race).
The first 2K was crazy with people overtaking and having to dodge discarded clothing and binliners, with runners running in and out of parked cars, on the pavement, through spectators etc etc. I stayed with Sharon who went off very quick, we stayed together for the first 4 and a bit Ks and then she went to join the French men in the forest for a call of nature!! I thought I would take my chance with the French men on-route (hehehe)
I got to 10K still feeling strong…I had managed to chat up 2 French guys who were commenting on Whisky whilst passing a scottish bagpipe player….they said they would be waiting for me at the finish line with a Jack Daniels (There was no sight of them I may add)
At about 13K when we turned back into the city and saw the Eiffel Tower I realised that I was going to be ok, by this point there was a great atmosphere with the french runners all singing (I later found out the lyrics were “We’re not Tired, We’re not Tired” Well I bloody well was!!!
I had a few moments where I walked, to get at my jelly beans and to take on water, but all in all I reckon I ran about 90% of the race. I also had an incident where whist swinging my arms to try and loosen up, I managed to grab a young boys french jewels…I don’t know who was more embarrassed…but it made for a great dinner story!!
At about 17K I made another friend (There’s a bit of a theme going on here). He was trying to tell me to slow down and save myself for the final K, he was massive and looked more like a Rugby Player than a runner, I ran with him for a while and then got bored and upped the pace.
I crossed the finish line in 2 hours 28 minutes which I am absolutely chuffed with, and more importantly by the time we went home on Monday afternoon, although I was tired my body felt in tiptop condition and I had no aches or pains like the previous race. I was on such a high and really looking forward to getting in the gym and actually doing some proper race training in prep for the Richomnd 10K which I have signed up for in November. Unfortunately (as always) life has taken over and I have only managed to get to the gym once and that was for a swim to stretch out my muscles.