Friday, 23 November 2012

So…..the 10k didn’t kill me!

I have been meaning to write this for sometime, mainly because some of you are convinced I had died in the run up to training for a 10k.  If you look through my previous blogs….I was trying very hard to become a runner and this 10k was the first race I had ever entered.

Well the good news (and obvious news I suppose), is that Wakefield 10k didn’t kill me.  I did survive and I managed to get round in one piece.

So…how did it go……

Wakefield 10k

Well first things first, never believe anyone, ever….when they say that races are flat, they are all, every single one of them, lying!  What is it with you runners and your inability to tell the truth about hills?  Mount Everest, just a mere undulation, K2, a little bump!!!??

Wakefield 10k is not flat…’s not hilly either, rather it has those long drawn  out slopes that aren’t really hills, so you can’t walk them, but it is not flat!

I was up bright and early that morning (I have since discovered that there is no lie ins on a weekend any more, it is parkrun on Saturday and racing on Sunday) and we set off with a whole load of people in the passion wagon ready to run and support at the 10k.  When I arrive at Wakefield, I find a whole load  of more people waiting to support me, which would be lovely if I didn’t know that secretly they are waiting to see if I will die on the way round!

A long queue to the toilet, means that we are slightly late to the start line, (something that continues to happen on a lot of my races, even though I now am the lucky owner of a shewee), but as there are quite a few runners at Wakefield, it still takes us five minutes to cross the start line.

Now I am lucky as I am running with the lovely Ellie Smith (also her first 10k) who is girlfriend to super fast Matthew Pierson, a good friend of mine.  So we start at the back and he starts at the front.

Now Wakefield 10k course is an out and back on the main (not flat) road.  Us ladies had been challenged by Matthew to make it to the 3km mark by the time he passed us on the way back…’s such a long time ago, that I am not sure if we made it, but as it is my blog, I am pretty sure that we did.  In fact all was going well with the running up until the point that I saw Matthew, in the lead, heading back down the road and started cheering and shouting encouragement, jumping up and down and totally knackering myself for the rest of the race.

To cut a long story short, I managed to run most of the way (a tiny bit of walking…sorry) and finish in a respectable first 10k time of 1:06 (aided by Jonny Cartwright coming back for me and gently beasting me across the line)….and I was pleased with that!
Matthew showed off and finished in 31:23……hmmm! And Super Ellie managed to finish under an hour on her first 10k, awesome!

Of course I was on the runners high for the rest of the day, fuelled by a great pub lunch and beer with the bunnies and was secretly looking forward to the next race.

BTW…..runners high…..awesome, if only they could bottle the stuff!

So….what has been happening since?

The next race I was entered for was by a friend….do friends enter you for races that include mileage over 10 and water crossings and hills that can kill you by looking at them?…..oh it seems they do!  The reluctant bunny Jonny Cartwright decided to up the ante and enter me for Bluebell Challenge, a 10.3m trail race organised by the lovely Stainland Lions RC.

At the time there was a very split camp within my running friends, those who would email and message me and tell me that I was silly and shouldn’t even attempt it as I would surely die and those who told me that I would be okay and it was only a bit of fun… right up until the day, I was unsure what to do…..amazing what peer pressure can still do to you! (to be fair, the doubters had a point, until the week before the race, I hadn’t run anything past 6 miles and certainly not a hilly trail race)

Obviously I did enter and was lucky enough to run this race with a superb bunch of friends, Rich McLeod (who was one of the people who thought I may die….but on the day was one of the most supportive), Chris Smith (also his first race) and the Amazing Amanda Crozier who had me running a pace along the canal that I never thought I had the ability to do! Anyone who is lucky enough to have these kind of friends to run with, will know that they can make a new challenge the most of fun.  I loved every moment of this race and probably laughed most of the way round….I also now know what would happen to me or any other runner who happens to die on a race, courtesy of Mr McLeod, something I will save for another blog, maybe! ;-)

If you are any where near Halifax in early May, you must enter this race, it has woods, canals, roads, Trooper Lane which you need to be pulled up by a donkey, jelly babies, moorland, and a waist height river crossing at the end…..oh and of course an abundance of bluebells to run through, all in all a fabulous race.

I completed this challenge in 2:15, was rewarded by chocolate medals and the biggest hugs from my children ever.  Fabulous!

Oh….and I didn’t die!

SO….what was next…...

Since then, there has be a load more 10k’s, a half marathon, some rather silly off road hilly fell thing (this time with three river crossings), an attempted wine marathon and a lot of parkruns….. (which I will blog about over the coming weeks…..if a race doesn’t kill me in the mean time).

……so what has this to do with parkrun……?

If it hadn’t been for parkrun, then I would have never met this bunch of crazy wonderful madcap people and been introduced to the world of races (and the runners high).  I would have never of attempted any of these challenges, never had the sense of achievement, never succeeded in the things I set out to do.  And certainly never laughed my whole way through a race!

So it has everything to do with parkrun, where friendships are made, challenges set and support given in abundance!   You should all try it!

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