Monday 15th September, 2014
To my Future Self,
I had the most amazing life experience yesterday and so, I wanted to record how I felt in that moment. Yesterday, I ran my first ever ten kilometre race. This race is unique in its nature, given that it gives you opportunity to listen to different current music acts along the running route. More than the music though, I want to remember how happy I felt during the race.
My story starts six months ago, when my friend asked to me sign up for the event. Naturally, I was rather apprehensive (as I am about anything this big) but I agreed. Over the summer, I trained reasonably regularly, trying to increase my distance and pace. My favourite places to run were the canal in the early morning and in the park. Now, as I am sure you can recall, I am not the most athletically minded person; the training was a big challenge and I owe a lot to my mother for pushing me out the door. The week leading up to the race was especially busy, so I’m surprised I even m
anaged to fit in those last two practices!
So, then, race day arrived. I was number 6444 in the Red Wave, which started at 9.55 am. There were over 15,000 competitors and the entire place was buzzing. The route would take me round to Preston Road, Kingsbury, Fryent Country Park and quite a lot of Wembley. It was quite hilly (I had trained on relatively flat areas) but for each climb, there was a downhill section provided to relieve my tired legs. Three things that I realised, namely: kilometres are a lot longer on race day, it is possible to run through the pain, and the presence of the public can really uplift you. Overall, I did not walk at all. In training in the last two weeks, my feet had been cramping a lot (blame those flat feet) and walking it off had been my only option. By the time I had passed four kilometres, I realised that if I hadn’t stopped already, I was unlikely to in the remaining distance. I crossed the finish line in 1:33:50, a time that I am immensely proud of. The organisers hung a medal round my neck and I couldn’t stop beaming.
For my first race ever, I have to say I did pretty damn well. I was on my own for the entire race and not once did I feel lonely or tired or emotional. I was smiling and happy, revelling in the camaraderie of the running community. From this experience, I have learned that I can commit to something for a long period of time and succeed in my goal. I need to apply this lesson to other parts of my life and not let things hold me back. It’s been a really enlightening time.
Have you continued running? I can’t imagine ever doing a half marathon any time soon. I know that I’ll definitely do this race again next year!