Who experienced the rain this morning?
The whole of London was stuck under a huge, F-off rain cloud this morning. When I woke up at 7am it was raining and when I peeked through the blinds the sky looked like it had been at it for hours already. Not exactly great conditions for a 10K race, but definitely character building.
My running club, Mornington Chasers, host a series of 10K races throughout the winter. On the first Sunday of each month, October to March, we descend upon Regents Park in central London to run a chip-timed, officially-measured (but surprisingly friendly) 10K race. I marshalled at the October race, delivering generically encouraging cheers and claps (all very genuine though!), and so today’s November race was my first of the winter.
What a start! I lazed in bed until 7.20am, shuffled around my saucepan of porridge, sipped my tea, and casually dressed, totally unable to muster any enthusiasm for the outside world. I rocked up at race HQ at 8.50am, just 10 minutes before the race start, completely soaked and in a state of panic!
I was still pinning on my race number as I ran to the start line (Warm up? Check.) and was clipping back my hair while walking to the timing mats! This, my friends is the most disorganised I have ever been before a race!
I wasn’t really in a racing mindset this morning – I had registered for the race at the very last minute, stayed up late watching a movie, and completely forgot to pack hairbands (indicative of my rather blase attitude to the whole event) – and I’ve had a crazy few weeks, settling into my new jobs and new home. On top of that, the furthest I’ve run in weeks is 6km, so today’s race was supposed to set me a start of season time that I will aim to improve upon over the winter months.
I seriously didn’t expect to do as well as I did. Despite very irregular training since the Cardiff 10K (my most recent PB) I came home just seconds over my best 10K time – 48:49 by my watch! My early morning tempo runs have paid off.
I could definitely have run faster though. My glutes tired out long before they should’ve and I started getting a stitch and feeling sick way too early. However, my lungs never quite felt like they were going to burst and my core remained in pretty good form. Verdict: I must get back into the strength training and get in some hill work.
Here’s a quick run down of my experience of today’s 10K…
1km: Feel fine. Feet are wet.
2km: Still feel fine. Hair is wet.
3km: Totally in the zone. Legs seem to be moving of their own accord.
4km: Still in the zone. It’s nice here.
5km: A stitch is setting in in my right side. Ouchies… Concentrate on breathing out properly and making my breathes even.
6km: I pass a friendly marshall. She tells me I look good. I tell her I feel sick. Hello nausea… Didn’t expect to feel you so soon.
7km: Nausea passes surprisingly quickly. Perhaps I could run faster… Nope. My arse is definitely aching too much right now.
8km: The glute-aching continues but as I clock another decent split I managing to loiter just outside The Zone, like a rejected groupie.
9km: Well I’ll be damned… I’m set to go sub-50.
9.5km: Can I muster anything for a sprint finish?… No. But that’s ok.
Apologies for the lack of photos of the race. It was too rainy to stand around after the rain, and I was cold.
Huge thanks should be extended to the hardy marshals and organisers who endured the weather so that me and the runners could get our kicks. For more info about the Regents Park Winter Series visit http://www.chaser.me.uk