At the beginning of November I ran my first ever 10K at the Mornington Chasers Regent’s Park 10K Winter Series.
Having (unfortunately but sensibly) forgone friends’ parties respectively celebrating 40th birthday and hen do the night before, I turned up at Regents Park at 8am in preparation for a 9am start. A valuable lesson I learnt from my first ever 5K.
The weather was heinous. Super cold with torrential rain.
But it didn’t matter really. It just added to the excitement of my task that lay ahead. Besides, I had psyched myself up sufficiently. Luckily Chris, my trainer, had bestowed a few words of wisdom the night before when the panic in me began to rise as a head cold suddenly developed.
Runners (of all ages) started piling in to register their number. The feeling that I had been internalising became a shared group experience as more than 250+ people gathered and excitedly talked to friends and strangers alike. The atmostphere was thrilling. There was a real buzz. Everyone was so friendly.
And that’s one of the things I love about this new hobby of mine. The running community.
I didn’t really know it existed. Or rather, I wasn’t fully aware of it’s magnitude or reach before I spontaneously decided to run the London Marathon.
But I love the running tips you receive from different people – either online or face to face – as they share their own experiences of the sport (a reason why I started this blog)
I’m indebted to:
- the woman who registered my number and advised me to only wear a vest top and waterproof jacket (3 layers she said was overkill – and she was right);
- the 45 year old man I met before the race began who broke down the race into laps (that got me through the difficult second ‘already halfway there’ lap and gave me an unbridled energy for the third ‘practically home’ lap); as well as
- the unflinching encouragement of the stewards who stood in the pouring rain and spurred me on when I felt like stopping.
Running is a strange beast. You get a sense being truly part of something and yet we all have to run our own race. Even amongst all those runners, the only person we are truly running against is ourselves.
When I crossed that line at 1: 09 the feeling of achievement pumped round my body with the same robustness as the blood in my arteries (and I sprinted the last 200m). Although I did stop three times to stretch my calves with each lap, there were even times where I entered into a meditative state. (albeit briefly)
The next one is on Sunday 2nd December. Will you be joining me?