Regents Park Summer Sessions 10K
It was race day yet again and waking up to a glorious morning of sunshine was a good start. Despite my urges to press the snooze button one more time I rolled out of bed and headed straight to the caffeine. In the past I have focussed more on the prep side of training but with so much on at the moment, I felt as if I may not have done enough for this Regents Park 10k Summer Sessions Run. As I sipped down the effects of my second cup of coffee, I guessed that it is always natural to have doubts before a race -so- as I am not one to give up, my positive attitude told me just to go for it and I jumped into a cold shower!!
Feeling refreshed, I pulled out my gorgeous Cyclodelic Sports Dress, stepped into my trusty leggings. Then. Aghh!! Hairy legs! I had been in legging hibernation for too long. Before I realised what I was doing I had the shaver out and was dry shaving in a last minute fashion….hmmm I do not advise!!
Zipping down from Highgate on my new fixed gear, through the Heath, Camden and Primrose Hill and into the park, I was starting to feel warmed up. Congregating at the starting line, the crowd gradually growing until the countdown began and we were off. The first of three laps and I felt slow and low on energy. The fact I was getting over taken may have been a large contributing factor but then in my half awake state I had gone and started right at the front of the pack! For this reason, my advice is not to start at the front of the line unless your name is Paula Radcliffe, because you will be overtaken which is not good for your mental state in a race!
Second lap in and I was running at a good constant pace, aware that I was almost on time. I needed to run at 15 minutes per lap to reach my goal time of under 45 minutes. I was not far off. Everything was in check and I was feeling great turning heads in my Sports Dress.
After keeping a close eye on a runner ahead of me through out the race, I was NOT going to let her beat me to the finish line. I kept this on my mind and she became my pacer, my challenge, my goal. The fact she was tall, and skinny with toned arms and a physique to die for egged me on even more. If I could beat some one so fit looking then I would be happy with that if nothing else! So kicked into gear I gave it one final push and overtook the whippet of a woman I’d been chasing, reaching the finishing line in my record time of 47 minutes. It may not have been the goal time I was hoping for but it was still a personal best.
So if your already hooked on running and ever have the great opportunity of running in a race keep these few things in mind along the way….
- If you have a goal time in mind, wearing a stop watch and timing each mile really helps.Most races have the miles and kilometres clearly marked along the way for this exact pourpose. Then you can have a clear idea of were your at and keep tack of your progress allowing yourself to make up time or give yourself a break accordingly.
- Running can be a solitary sport, participating with a friend is fun because then you can analyse and banter about the journey of the race together, there is always a story to be told and it is nice to compare notes with someone! Not to mention coffee and breakfast to look forward to afterwards 🙂
- Having a cheer squad to rally you on each lap doesn’t hurt and may inspire the non converts amongst your friends to give it a go next time!
- Save some energy for the final sprint to the finish line, there will always be a whippet woman wanting to beat you to it!
- Finally, DONT EVER WALK!… EVER!