When I went to bed on Saturday, after running through my checklist (pasta dinner – check, running kit lais out ready – check, snacks all prepared and ready – check, alarm set for the ungodly time of 6am – check) I thought I’d see what the weather forecast was for Sunday. Big mistake. HUGE as Vivien would say. The weather app on my phone opened up, and there was that innocuous little picture – OF A BLAZING SUN!! With the moniker – 24 next to it. Oh Shit, I thought – SHIT! I can’t run in the heat, I can’t run if it’s hot, oh god how am I going to cope with that heat, I’m going to need to drink lots of water, then I’ll need a wee and Alma said you wait around for an hour before you even start and what if I need to go? How will I get a PB if I have to keep stopping? Sod that how can I get a PB in 24 degree heat…gggggaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhh.
After nearly imploding with what ifs, I calmed myself with deep breathing and poured out all my stresses to hubby. We talked it over and he pointed out 3 things that chilled me out on the spot:
1) I am doing this for charity. The point is to do it, not to win, or get a PB just to do it.
2) I CAN run in the heat as I proved when I ran on holiday even if it was only 3 times, it was still in 25 – 27 degrees.
3) 6 months ago I couldn’t run at all so it doesn’t matter if I walk a bit, or don’t finish faster than the last one, the point is to enjoy it so that I want to get up the next day and run again.
He’s such a calming person. So I went to bed relaxed, and when my alarm went off I jumped, nay LEAPED out of bed and into the shower. Once I got to the train staton, I texted Alma to let he know I was en route and check she was too. BTW for me, the best thing to come out of Janathon and Juneathon is the friends I have made that I have met up and run with during and since then. Back to the run – I think I was spoilt by the BUPA 10k which was extremely well orgnised; we had starting pens based on our predicted finish times, toilets by the start and the baggage bays right by the finish. This was quite a bit different. Alma and I eventually rendezvoused at the baggage drop sites and made our way down the 1.5k walk to the start. We were then waiting for 30 minutes before we started moving, it took us a further 10 minutes to cross the start line. Because there is no staggered start, for the 1st half of the race I was barged from the back, elbowed from the side and in some cases actually pushed out of the way by faster runners behind me. I get that people want to be quick, but if they had read the magazine that came with their number they would have noticed that the organiser instructed slower runners to run on the right which Alma and I did – in fact we were almost running on the cones in some places we were so far over yet people STILL pushed past us on some cases barging through the middle of us! It’s just rude. That’s my only moan.
We started off at a steady pace, I didn’t want to make the same mistake as BUPA when I started too quickly and ran out of steam. Alma was an excellent running partner – we are at very similar speeds (although I think she could have gone slightly quicker as much as might protest not) and were happy to chat or not as the mood took us. The first 3k seemed to whizz past, I felt good, my breathing was OK and my legs felt nicely warmed up. By the time we got to the blackfriars underpass I was feeling good, and so as we ran through I led a chant of OGGY!! It was amazing – I shouted at the top of my voice – OGGY OGGY OGGY, to be answered by about 200 OI OI OIs. It was a seriously hair-raisingly awesome moment and I completed the chant (and the run through the pass) laughing my head off with Alma joining in next to me. From now on blackfriars underpass will forever be the Oggy tunnel for me, and if you were one of those runners than answered me thank you!
Alma and I kept on plodding away, the 5 and 6 k markers went by quickly, then before we knew it we were heading down embankment towards Westminster Bridge. Alma had told me beforehand that she always struggled on that section so I was determined to help her break that and we tried to keep a steady pace. About 400m before the bridge tho, the wheels fell off a bit for me. I was hot, busting for the loo and my breathing was getting ragged. I tried really hard not to, but I just had to take a walk break. I tried to be the heroine (Alma – go on without me, save yourself, don’t worry about me!) but luckily for me she refused and we only walked up til the bridge then started our plodding again. We kept running all the way til the end – Alma was very good with me saying not long now, keep it up etc etc, as with Shaz before her that was met with a grunt; finally we made it to the end and even put on a bit of a sprint.
All in all, I was really pleased with the run as I took only one walk break and kept a steady pace throughout, although it was a slower time than BUPA (1hr 12m – 2 mins slower). Alma made a fab running partner and I’m really looking forward to running my next 3 races with her – we are the awesome twosome!
Here are some pics of us crossing the line:
Haha!! Aren’t they brilliant! Thanks to Nige and Loz Swift for painstakingly building me the diorama!
Here are the real pics – I don’t think you can actually tell the difference…