In my first year of learning to run and running I have been drawn to the bling and some high profile races.
I think that being part of these high profile events really highlights that as a collective runners are amazing and you do see all different people from all backgrounds, young, old, super fast, starting out, part of a group and solo. I love people watching at these events whilst soaking up the atmosphere.
My recent big event was mid December where the Olympic Park Mo 10k took place. The lead up to this event was shaky to say the least with health and work issues taking over the running, as a result I had done very little to train towards it so it was with apprehension that I set off on a damp chilly morning.
There were a few people from the club coming along, some doing the 5k, some were in the elite 10k and some like me doing the normal 10k. I knew I was going to be in good company.
Once up there the weather did not dampen our spirits, yes it was raining and chilly in the breeze off the waterways but we were happy smiling and joking around.
The 5k race started first and I was so proud of my friends and their children as they completed the 1 lap of the course, its always great to see children running, a perfect pastime to burn off the pressures of school.
The elites then went off, hubby included. They looked good and strong as they made the first lap, and hubby and our friend from the club finish with excellent times. At this point I had seen the medal, the bling counted this time!
At 11am I took off my track top and the cold air hit my uncovered arms for the first time, this was not going to be pretty I thought. The four of us made our way to the start line to join the hundreds of others, I know my place an headed towards the back of the crowd. Nerves that had been there all morning now really kicked in, I felt sick, I wanted to back out but then it was too late we were off.
Shockingly, living so close to the Olympic Park I had never seen it before, it was a chance to check it out as I made my way around the course. There were some lovely parts to the course, nice gardens and of course the iconic Olympic buildings but then the course went out into the back areas, not so pretty but not much time spent there either. Initially my legs were screaming, they felt tight, sore and really resenting me pushing them. They felt like tight elastic bands just waiting to ping. After the first KM they eased off and I felt comfortable. My breathing was in check and my running buddy was keeping me positive. As I finished the first lap and at the halfway point I saw my friends up ahead cheering me on, I was still running at this point and maybe enjoying it would be me pushing it but it felt good. At the 9km mark my friend said we were on track for a PB but we had to keep going, that was the push I needed at that point. With 800 metres to go my buddy and I kept going and we agreed that if we had it in us we would finish with a sprint. As we rounded the corner we could see the finish line and the big clock ticking up the time. A quick glance showed that if I pushed it I would be on for a PB with some time to spare, my brain and legs worked in synch I didn’t have to talk myself into that sprint I just went, I think I may have screamed out as I pushed myself but it was such a blur.
I crossed that finish line and wanted to cry. 2015 would be the year I won’t forget, it was the year I learnt to run, ran races in the sun, pouring rain and cold and completed three 10ks, the final 10k had a PB that was 3 minutes better than my first with little training in the lead up to. 2015 was also the year where I discovered so much about myself and made great new friends at the same time. I will be looking forward to 2016, whatever that will bring and facing those fears head on once again.
If you fancy taking part, the event is opening for 2016 here.