On NYD 2012 I found myself in Hyde Park at the Serpentine 10km race about to embark on my first ever proper race, a timed 10km. Last time I did a run in Hyde Park was a Race for Life and I could ran 3km, walked 1km and jogged the final 1km. It was great seeing the variety of runners, all shapes and sizes, all levels of sobriety. I wasn’t feeling great, having been woken up by fireworks but looking forward to it. For some readers this may not be the most interesting of blog entries but hey this is my blog 😉
Since this was my first proper race I was guaranteed to set a PB (Personal Best) but the previous day I had set myself some levels:
- Amazing Day: sub 1hr
- Great day: 1hr 15
- Good day: do my best and get to the finish line
To get an accurate time you have to attach a timing chip to your ankle. I felt a little bit like a prisoner, even had a number to identify me. I used to be a prisoner in my own body. I wanted to be active to get out and about but the fat was trapping me.
The first km was busy due to the mass start but after that it settled down. I had my running watch set to auto-lap every km so knew that to do sub-1hr needed to run each km in less than 6 minutes, as the kilometres ticked down my kilometers were all around the 6 minute mark so I was feeling hopeful and revised my “great day” to 1hr 5minutes. I was trying to relax, breath and enjoy. There were marshalls cheering and directing the whole way round which was much appreciated!
Race rules said that you weren’t allowed headphones so I was just listening to my breath and my feet. Some runs I find I just stare at my feet and even though I consciously try to keep my head up, it just constantly drops, but in this run my head was up to the end. In the second half of the run I was running at a similar pace as the people around me, there was the women in pink shorts with a black hat, who I don’t know and will probably never come across again, but somehow her presence kept me going.
When I saw the finishing flags I couldn’t believe it. The run had gone really well but I still wasn’t sure what my overall time was. They had a clock at the line and it was almost at an hour, I wasn’t sure when it had started, from somewhere I found some extra energy and raised the pace. As I crossed the line I stopped my watch and was asked for my timing chip back – I am really glad the marshal removed it as I don’t think that I could have done it, my brain was a little addled. I couldn’t think straight.
Eventually could think slightly straighter and changed the display on my watch and couldn’t believe what it said, 58:50, I had to stare at it for a while, not only was it sub an hour but it was over 1 minute under, I couldn’t believe it. I found that you could print out your results, I was very confused after printing out the results for 327 as that wasn’t me, then I realised I was 329. My offical chip time 58:49 and a few milliseconds 🙂
On the way home I popped into a Pandora charm shop to buy myself a new charm, I had promised myself to buy one when I did a sub-1hr 10km. My pandora charm bracelet is really special to me. As I was losing weight I bought myself a charm for every half a stone I had lost, if I was having a bad day it reminded me what I had achieved. Unfortunately when I seperated my shoulder the paramedics removed it in order to give me morphine and it went AWOL it had over 16 charms on it and meant a lot to me but it was just one of those things. My brother & sister-in-law bought me a new bracelet for Christmas last year.
Whilst on the way home I think that God was trying to tell me I needed a shower thanks to the almighty downpour!