On race day, Saturday 4th August 2018, the temperature was 32 degrees Celsius – so what better way to spend my morning than running 10k at Queen Elizabeth Park, Stratford?
The week before the race, I went for a local run and took a fall causing injury to my knee. Because of this, all last week I was panicking about whether I would actually make it round the course. I had fallen over some bricks outside a supermarket, landed on my ‘bad knee’ which caused it to swell and was painful to walk on. I tested it Sunday and made it 2 miles before needing to stop - so Saturday's race was looking a bit daunting.
I set off with my boyfriend on Saturday morning for a 9.30am race start. Dan is an amazing runner and has really helped me improve my running lately and is a brilliant motivator. Part of me was thinking the temperature would be cooler at that time of the morning, but by the time I stepped off the train, I could already feel the heat.
The race consisted of 3 laps, which is never my favourite type of event but at least this one was scenic. It was quite undulating with a few ‘hills’. My view on hills is if it’s not flat then it’s a hill, I know most would disagree.
I always get caught up with race mentality but knew that with the temperature and not knowing how my knee would hold up I made my way towards the end of the start line. I have a habit of checking my pace when I’m running but I made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t this time. I left it to Dan to tell me if I needed to slow down or speed up. My pace felt comfortable and I was surprising myself that I was able to run up the ‘hills’.
We ran through the finish line to start the next lap which was a bit soul-destroying as you know it isn’t the end yet. The first lap took me 19:10 which I was happy with as I was running a 9.00 -9.21 minute mile. I haven’t run at that pace for quite some time.
As I started the second lap I was starting to feel the heat. The marshals were amazing and very encouraging the whole way round. As I was coming round to the finish line for my second lap I felt like I had nothing left in me. I finished that lap in 19:14, maintaining the same pace.
Now for the final lap. My legs felt like jelly, I was very hot and sweaty but I knew that this was the last bit and I was done. The last 400 metres I was very tempted to walk, and even mentioned to Dan that I wanted to walk, he told me there was no way I could walk that last bit as I was on for a PB. As soon as I heard the cheering I knew I was at the end and I only had to run the finish line and it was over.
I finished the race in 57:36 – a new 10k race PB. I was 35/117 for my gender and 27/90 for my age group so I was very pleased with the results.
It was a great event, very well run and organised and I would definitely do that event again.
Now for a rest until my next events in September which will be all obstacle course races.