I’m in between races this week, I ran as part of the Write This Run team at the Women’s Running 10k on Saturday, then this weekend it’s Stampede, a 10k in and around London Zoo.
My training had gone fairly well, considering it was the school holidays, I think the knowledge that I had a 10k just two days after the kids went back gave me that extra little nudge to get my running shoes on and get out there.
I did my final training run on the Friday and included a loop of Finsbury Park, where Saturday’s race was happening, to remind myself of the ups and downs – more of that later. There were people erecting a marquee in the middle of the park, which had to be part of the event, and it gave me a little tingle of excitement.
I had a bit of a panic about what to wear ahead of the race, after enjoying a fabulous summer, the temperature was set to drop and rain was forecast. I got home after my run on Friday cold, with soggy shoes.
At five in the morning, I was woken up by the rain absolutely pelting it down outside my window. The idea of running in Finsbury Park suddenly didn’t seem so appealing. By the time I got up to get ready, it was blue sky and I was all smiles again.
I really enjoyed being part of the team for the race, meeting up before to chat and reassure each other, then, at the end, a bit of post-match analysis and a glass of Prosecco courtesy of Write This Run – all races should end that way.
The course itself was two laps round Finsbury Park with a few twists and turns to make up a five-mile loop. This meant two things, there were several opportunities to spot your fellow runners, in front or behind, and cheer each other on (all good) and it was extra hilly (not quite so good). Still the latter could be easily sorted by a bit more hill training on my part.
Because I hadn’t fully prepared myself for the hills, I had a bit of a mental battle with myself at one point. I’d stopped to grab some water at the drinks station and walked to drink it – just can’t seem to run and drink. It was the start of another uphill stretch and I found it hard to get back to my pace. That was the moment I lost it.
Write This Run’s Laura shouted some encouragement as she passed me, which gave me a bit of a push. She then called out when there was 10 minutes left to hit the sub-50. So, so close.
I crossed the line at 50:21, not too shabby, outside my target, but I was happy given my lack of hill training. It was definitely one of my favourite races so far, a great atmosphere, cheery marshals and friendly faces, so huge thanks to Women’s Running for organising such a wonderful event and Write This Run for having me on the team, I’m up for it again next year.
I’m sure London Zoo will be a completely different experience. It is flat, so you never know, it might be my chance to get that goal, maybe I’ll have to imagine they’ve released the tigers.