The British 10km was the first 10km race I ever ran back in 2012 (have a read of #MyMoments from the event here) and then again in 2013. So when I was asked if I would like to run it in 2016, I jumped at the chance. I’ve run so many races since July 2012 (also the month I started this blog) but The British 10km will always have a special place in my running heart!
And you know what?! …I ran this race faster in 2012 than I did this time round. Four years later and I was slower. But I don’t mind. Here’s why:
1. I Didn’t Train Enough
Yup, even with my training plan for busy / slack runners, I still didn’t commit enough time to pounding the pavements (or treadmill). I started thinking a little too late about how to actually fit isn’t even just those two runs per week
2. I Was Dehydrated
And I know this because as soon as I started running I got a headache. I also used the bathroom twice in the 60 minutes before the race start and even needed to go again as I crossed the start line! The thing is, once you feel dehydrated, it’s kind of too late anyway! So I just ensured I utilised all the water stations (which were perfectly positioned and plenty for a 10km race) to help my situation as best I could.
3. I Had A Toothache But I Think It’s Psychosomatic
Since 2015 (at least), I’ve noticed that when I have a big event, I often wake up in the days preceding, or day of with an ailment of some sort. This time, it was a toothache. One that made chewing uncomfortable. I didn’t think I was stressed, but maybe I was tired. Who knows. I chose to ignore it and over the course of the day it eased.
4. It Was Too Hot And Slightly Overdressed
I don’t trust the weather so I dressed for it to be cold and rainy. Lucky for me, my jacket was so light I could wrap it around my waist without it getting in the way! The course did have a few water sprinklers though which were refreshing (…and annoying when the wind blew the wrong direction! haha!).
5. I Was Tired
Did I mention I was tired?! …In the days leading up to race day, I started going to bed late and waking up early. Although I went to bed at a reasonable hour the night before it doesn’t make up for the few hours I already was behind in sleep.
6. I Was Back In My “Comfortable” AKA Lazy Pace
If you’ve ever run with me, like a lot, you’ll know I’m not one to push my pace. So on days like this, I get into my comfy pace and stick with it. But my sprint finish at the end showed me that I really could’ve pushed harder. I just didn’t want to this day.
7. I Wanted To Enjoy The Route And The Sights
The route had been changed since 2012 so I was keen to take it in and enjoy it all. I loved the new route, it took us through Piccadilly Circus, Regents Street, Trafalgar Square, the Strand, Embankment and then finishing on Whitehall. A huge scenic improvement from years past in my experience. The course was also well lined with some musical ensembles, charities cheering and spectators (which was awesome considering the weather wasn’t that great for them!).
8. I Wanted To Stick With A Friend
Sometimes, it’s more important and enjoyable to have company than go it alone. I ran along with Helen (of HelsBels) and refused to leave her! We worked pretty well together pushing each other various stages to make it to the end of the course.
9. I Didn’t Have Music
And I don’t think I needed it. I was running with my TomTom Runner 2 which you can use with bluetooth headphones, but as I had chosen to run with friends and soak up the atmosphere I didn’t need music. The course itself was lined with a number of bands and singing groups which were all spectacular!
10. I Don’t Care About Time
So, overall, I didn’t care about my time. Although I wore my TomTom I just used it to keep an eye on distance, time (just to know) and my heart rate to see how I was feeling. Whenever my heart rate got too high (for a casual pace) I would slow down and walk for a short amount of time. I was also aware of being dehydrated and having a headache so incase my blood pressure was high too, I thought it safer to stay cautious.
Obviously, we all know I got out of bed for the medal! And it’s a pretty decent one! It was a nice quick collection after the finish line (which i sprinted through – did I already mention that!? haha!) Along with collecting a t-shirt and goody bag.
The race was spectacularly organised! The introduction of timed pens seems to have worked really well. Bag drop was a breeze and the queues for the portaloos weren’t too crazy (except the ones at the start line).
When you think about it, so much goes into race day that you really can’t beat yourself up if it doesn’t go to plan or you don’t get a new PB. I’m happy enough giving myself a pat on the back for getting out of bed and doing the distance then wearing my medal proudly all the way home to chill out on the sofa!
Did you run The British 10km too?! What race is next on your calendar?!