So I completed my first 10k event on Sunday 13th January and I have to admit I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Registering, collecting my race number and lining-up with hundreds of other competitors was a completely new experience for me but thankfully I saw a couple of clients who put me at ease.
My husband had spent the week prior to the event trying to convince me that this was a race for competitive runners as it was ‘The Draycote 10k Race’ not “Run”, that a ‘race’ was different to a ‘run’ and that we would be last, miles behind everyone else and would look foolish.
However, since I had already run 10K in training sessions I was mentally and physically prepared for it – he may not have been, but he wasn’t going to put me off.
So, there I was at the start line (well some distance back as there were quite a few of us). It didn’t take long to cross the start line and we were off, taking it nice and easy to begin with and yet still overtaking a number of runners.
It wasn’t long before I saw someone walking and I thought to myself “I’m doing well at least that wasn’t me, I’m still running and feeling good”. I repeated my affirmations, or mantras if you prefer, in my head… ‘my legs are as light as a feather’…‘I run as fast as the wind’…‘I do not stop running until I have crossed the finish line’ and ‘I am strong, I know I can do this’.
It was around the 7k mark when I felt my legs become heavy so once again I started to repeat my affirmations. Then at the 8k mark I caught up with a gentleman running with his coach and as I approached them I got a sense of comfort and security so I decided to run with them.
The coach asked if I was ok and we started chatting, it turned out it was also the man’s first 10k race so as I started to flag and become weary, she (the running coach) picked me up and encouraged me along. She even had some music playing and asked us to run to the beat, but I just couldn’t get these thoughts of self sabotage out of my head. I even lassoed her visually so that I was “being pulled” by her, but the more I saw people walking the more I wanted to give up and this was slowly undermining my positive thoughts even with the encouraging words of the running coach.
However, I didn’t stop and I didn’t give up, crossing the finish line in 59 minutes and 46 seconds, a PB for me and one that I was very pleased with as it was sub 60. I collected my medal and a goodie bag that contained an orange juice, a bottle of water, a chocolate bar, some Haribo star mix and a head band.
My first competitive run was over and although I felt great, I had to ask myself whether I could do it all again as this is what the half marathon will consist of… (2 of what I had just done)… I thought to myself… a lot more training is needed but I’ll get there!