From that day on, if I was ever going somewhere, I was running

Today I can cross another item off my Life List, as I only went and completed that pesky 5K race. It feels like I’ve done nothing but talk about running forever, but in actual fact, I only picked up the Couch 2 5K app in June.

Since then, I’ve built up my stamina, and my patience, and certainly improved a lot, but I can tell you one thing for certain: I was not built for speed.

The best way I can think of to recap the race is to go through my goals.

1. Get to the start.

Check. As per usual, I have my eyes closed in the photo. Oh well. I was number 27, which is fitting because apparently that was Gilles Villeneuve’s number in F1. I certainly was nowhere near as fast as him.

I was crazy nervous and found myself really quite stressed out by the time I got to the startline, which I don’t think helped matters at all. It was my first race, though, so I had no idea what to expect.

I found the group warm up quite uncomfortable. They had some personal trainers in from a nearby gym to lead us through it, and whilst the exercises were good (and it’s probably the most warmed up I’ve been for any run ever), I couldn’t stand the proximity to everyone else. There were elbows flying everywhere, and it reminded me far too much of school.

2. Get to the finish.

Check.

That’s me looking a bit more dishevelled, and totally being upstaged by a lion.

I got a medal though! Mostly just for taking part, but you know, sometimes that policy is a good one.

3. Get to the finish without falling over.

This was by no means a sure thing, as there were two bits that were on grass, and the ground underfoot was sort of damp throughout. I was also a bit wary of going around people as sometimes it meant heading off the path and that could have been my downfall. Thankfully it all turned out okay, and I remained upright.

4. Run the whole way.

I did do this, but I don’t know if it was the right thing to do. My timing app actually didn’t work at all, the coverage in the park seemed to be quite spotty and it just wasn’t at all impressed with being away from home. Neither was I! Nevertheless, from the time we started to a rough approximation of when we finished, I took about 50 minutes. That’s slow, even for me.

One of my excuses is that I panicked on the startline. I did not enjoy having so many people around me, and to get across the startline I had to move along with all these other people, at the same pace as them, and it was a few minutes before I realised I was going far too fast.

My second excuse is that there was a big hill in the middle of the course. The gap between seeing the 1km board and the 2km board felt like forever. Once I hit three, I found things much more comfortable, and really began to enjoy it, but by then it was too late. The slow coach damage had been done.

I kept finding myself alongside people who were walking, then they would take off running and zoom ahead, but I would catch them up again as they walked some more. It was very annoying, and I wondered if I was doing it wrong. I always assumed that running the whole way was a good thing – tortoise and hare style – but most of the people seemed to do plenty of walking as well.

5. Don’t be last.

I wasn’t last, I know that. But I can’t have been too far off it. I was, generally speaking, terrible. But I did it, and that’s all that matters. This time six months ago, I couldn’t run at all. This time three months ago, I wouldn’t have considered signing up for a race of any kind. This time yesterday, I was trying to find somewhere to hide so I would accidentally-on-purpose miss it.

I’m not proud of my performance out there, but I am very proud of what I have achieved today.

Once again, thank you to everyone who sponsored me. At the moment, the total is standing at just over £230, which is more than I could ever have imagined. You’ve all been very generous and very patient with me through the entire process.

I intend to keep running, I’m tempted to look at that Bridge 2 10K app. We’ll have to see if there are any more races in my future. For now, though, there will be less blogging about running.

What’s next on the life list?

11 thoughts on “From that day on, if I was ever going somewhere, I was running

  1. Very well done for achieving it, I think I would be happy if I ran all the way. I remember doing 1000m at my school not so long ago and since I’m more of a short distance runner, found it very hard to run all the way and maintain a good pace (finished 2nd to last too). So to run all the way, especially on muddy grass and inclines of annoying nature is something to be proud of I’d say.

    I think, maybe for your first run, time isn’t all that important. Just get a feel to what its like and then the next few times try and set a respectable time. Just wondering, do you not get some sort of chip which tells you your time somehow, I know those in the Great North Run get them.

    I’m not suggesting anything of course, but there is some 13 miles of running from Newcastle to South Shields next September 18th 😉

    Well done again, you raised a healthy amount of money and thats good in the end.

  2. Well done… You achieved all of the goals… And there was a secret extra goal… You were justifiably disappointed by your performance… This seems like a weird thing though, but essentially you know enough to know that today you a) did a 5 flipping kilometre run… that’s 5 and then 1,000 metres by the way… run… and then b) you said to yourself, “yeah well I would have done it faster except for the stress of my first run and all of those peoples elbows and so on” rather than the b) I would have had which was death or the b) you might have been worried about like not finishing or being last or being too scared to start*.

    How awesome to have got to the end and have basically gone, “yup did everything I wanted to do but I KNOW I HAVE MORE IN THE TANK”. Crazybonks!

    Well done and awe-flipping-some.

    *that’s not my usual start thing by the way but it’s neat to mention it 😉

  3. Well done! Big achievement to complete a proper race after only four months. And in reply to Ryan, there is also a Great South Run..
    Sort of know what you mean with the people, crowds are horrible to be in. Maybe if there’s a next time, if it is possible, deliberately put yourself at the back of the pack. Not so many people and if you are quicker you can overtake them.
    Diggin the shorter hair 🙂

  4. Congratulations!

    I’m pleased to see you wearing a Williams F1 cap! I hope that you are wearing it in a, “they are my favourite team and I love this cap and never take it off kinda way”. Rather than the, “I’ve got to find something old and skanky to put on when I am going to get all hot and sweaty running”

    The plain with subside and the sense of glory will swell. Before you know it you will have booked a plane ticket and be running the Great Ocean Road with me next May.

  5. Well done Christine!

    Don’t worry too much about the time, the point was to finish it. There are many factors that can affect the time anyway (you identified some above) so it shouldn’t be the thing you focus on.

    I do hope you keep this up as it is really enjoyable and challenging. Good luck with where it leads you and well done for raising so much money!

  6. I’m so happy for you, and really impressed. I have always hated running, but you make me think that if I wanted to, I could give it a try.

    You did a 5K!

    🙂

    Kai

  7. Christine,
    Well done on completing The Big Fun Run 5k. Have just read your article about it and like a typical runner you were not quite satisfied with your race. This is a good attitude believe it or not. The main thing is that you completed the course in a sensible time – and you ran it!. You were wondering if you were the one racing wrong because others were walking then running. You were in the right. You trained to run the race and that’s what you did. You paced it right, they paced it wrong. Competitors have their reasons for walking; some because of disability or recovering from injury; and…some because they have simply not trained right and have overestimated themselves. They can be a pain when they get in the way – but you can now put this down to experience and in your next race start further up the field avoiding all the people who could frustrate you by slowing you dawn…or you could just do a Schumacher and barge past!, no! no!, don’t do that!.
    At the start you said you panicked a little. We all do, it’s normal. When you train on your own you don’t have hundreds of people around you and crowds cheering you on, at a race you do and this can give you the he-be-gebies. To help control this get yourself a GPS stop watch ( this would be right up Mr C’s street, tech is his department, etc ) the watch will help you stick to training pace at the start. Other runners will pull ahead but if they have got it wrong then they will burn out and you will re-pass them, ha ha!.
    I use a Garmin GPS watch and it has never let me down – not even on cross country where it goes under water, lol http://www.amazon.co.uk/Garmin-Forerunner-305-Wrist-Worn-Personal/dp/B000FMQ296/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1287578862&sr=8-8 this watch is still the best, Garmin can’t improve on perfection. You can upload the dater to Garmin connect, once again Mr C would love this http://connect.garmin.com/activity/53461193
    Good luck with your next run – it sounds to me like you had your wings clipped by the slower runners, you got everything right yourself, just start further up the grid with the midfielders and focus on your pace.
    Keep running,

    Regards,

    Shaun.

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