I woke up this morning to the sound of heavy rain pounding on the windows. “Great!” I thought. I hadn’t factored in adverse weather conditions! Fortunately, the rain eased off by the time the race started.
My strategy was to plod round the track in my usual, casual running style. I’d never run 10k before so I didn’t want to burn out early on. My friend D gave me some great advice, which was not to be tempted to set off at the pace of the others. It was only last night I realised that I’d accidentally entered a serious race (part of the Wiltshire Championship series). When I entered online, I hadn’t read the blurb, but had just seen the words ‘suitable for beginners’. I now think this meant ‘beginner competitors’ rather than ‘beginner runners’. I tried not to panic though and kept reminding myself that I was doing it for Jodie and Macmillan, and it didn’t matter if I came last. In fact, I should expect to come last and any other place would be a bonus
So everyone sets off and I start my plod.
Everyone soon deserts me. It doesn’t matter though; the main thing is to enjoy it (this is what I keep telling myself!) I do pass a couple of people that did set off too fast
Already I’m being lapped by the guys. I need to learn from their running stance because it’s far more effective than mine
By lap 3 I’ve got a humongous stitch. A guy who’s running past me asks if I’m alright. When I yelp that I’ve got a stitch, he tells me to “push it in”. I’m not sure exactly what he means so I try pushing my hand into my ribs where the pain is. It doesn’t seem to help much, so I decide to just get on with it and use it as an opportunity to practise a bit of Tonglen
I even tried to smile for the camera, although it was more of a grimace than a smile :/
I finished the race in 58.22 which is far, far quicker than I’ve ever run in my life. You wouldn’t be able to tell from the photos, but I didn’t come last either! I came 156th (out of 182) It doesn’t really matter where I came though, because this is what it was all about…
A big thank you to everyone that sponsored me and offered words of support and encouragement. I am very, very grateful. At last count, the total raised was £295 which has far exceeded my expectations! Thank you so much for the very generous donations xx