Wow. Seriously wow. I didn’t write the previous posts with any expectation of anyone ever really reading it, i hoped certain people on my twitter would, mainly because it contain them in a large way but i have to say i was amazed by the response that i had.
I left the last entry with me planning things to do in the next year or so, with the first being the Flint 10k on sunday. Now as previously mentioned i have never run a race, ever. i have never been to a 10k / half marathon / marathon to watch or observe let alone take part. so everything was a massive shock to me come sunday morning.
I woke with an upset stomach (i wont go into details) and can only assume that nervous had got to me, we packed up and made the short journey. first mistake made. we arrived way to early, crazy early, so much so that we were more or less the first ones there. I but this down to myself being eager / keen to get it over with, or at least start.
Thankfully the fact that we arrived so early allowed us to take a few pictures of me and my daughter posing on the course with my number.
Anyway, i wont bore you with the details of the actual event. All i will say is that I was told before hand the route wasnt hilly – which i would disagree with now, as it had one large bugger right in the middle and as the course was a 3 mile circuit you ran twice, you had to tackle it twice.
The other key issue for me apart from the make-believe hill was the fact that i got a bit carried away at the start. as mentioned this was all new to me but i was confident that if i paced myself i would be comfortable at a pace of 9.00 / mile and figured i would be happy with 56 minutes – not the fastest time in the world, but a target i thought i would hit given the novelty of the day and the fact that up to this point i had never actually run in the day.
my training / exercise regime is totally either in the house or early mornings / late nights in the dark (and usually the rain) i run alone apart from the dog and usually cycle alone apart from my lights.
Needless to say i got caught up in the moment, in the pack mentally of attempting to keep up with those around me, of enjoying the novelty of overtaking people, loving running in the middle of the road, in broad daylight.
my first mile was 7.30 – i have never, ever run a 7.30 mile in my life. i felt ok at that pace, but as i headed to the ‘hill’ i knew i had made a mistake at starting so quickly. and suffered as a result up the hill and for the rest of the lap. I managed to slow myself down and go back to my principles and the pace with which i was happy with; still faster than the original target put i wanted to give it my all and see what i could do 🙂
Seeing my wife and daughter on at the end of the first lap was amazing, seeing Zoe jumping up and down shouting ‘ go daddy go’ was a strangely emotional moment. originally i thought about running over next to them to give them a high-five or a cuddle but i think at that point i might have burst into tears if i had. I hope Zoe was as of proud of me at that point, as i was of her.
The second lap was more comfortable at what i thought was the slower pace, by that point i had forgotten to keep checking my watch against the markers on the road, but not many people were overtaking me and i was slowly closing down others in front and overall i felt pretty good.
the embarrassment of the amount of sweating i was doing subsided when i caught a man similar in age, but on appearances a thousand times fitter than me, and he looked like he had stepped out of a shower fully dressed. Again another lesson learnt – no one is interested in what you’re doing at that point, you are there to sweat / smell / spit / burp /fart / run.
When i entered the finishing straight and people were clapping and cheering us it again was a strangely emotional feeling – happy to be almost done, relived that i had come through ok, disappointed to be stopping. spotting Sue and Zoe just past the finishing line i attempted to but a bit of a sprint on for the final 100 metres, but didn’t really manage to sped up to much at that point. i will have to work on that!
it was something we had spoken about before hand, the fact that I wanted if at all possible to replicate Stuarts photo from earlier in the year in regards to carrying offspring over / near the end of an event. Shame I was to knackered to smile (will have to work on that to)
I was happy to discover that my time was:
50.43 jesus i would take that!
i felt smug, i had finished quicker than i thought i would, was reasonably comfortable and that had been the 6th straight day I had run over 6 miles or cycled over 10 miles. my legs were sore but no worse than usual and it was a strange high afterwards. I felt like I had achieved something.
clearly a six-mile run is not the be all and end all of the challenges I have set myself – i frequently run longer distances with the dog – but the fact that it was an organised event, no headphones, daylight etc etc I was proud of myself. And I don’t often say that.
As mentioned the vague plan which i have developed is to attempt to complete one event every month – originally in 2013. however when i saw the flint race advertised this moved everything forward by 3 months. So now i have booked in the following activities;
Oct – Flint 10k
nov – Conway half marathon
Dec – painbarrier 10k
Jan – due to being on holiday for 2 weeks i have struggled to find an event to actually compete in. So i have set myself the task of cycling 100kms in a single day – on and off road. this is mainly the result of seeing 3 people put something similar on twitter about doing 100kms in a day. (i think the furthest i have ever done is 45kms)
feb – hell runner in the middle
march – Ironbridge half trail marathon
April – Chirk sprint tri – not booked, as entry not open but i am crazy excited about doing this
May – Market drayton 10k
June – Coed y brennin trail half marathon.
The rest of the year will have to wait, till more events open but i am fully committed to doing one event a month.
i should mention i have never up to this point run further than 9.45 miles at once. The plan was today to take my new-found courage of running in the daylight hours and do 10 miles. However due to traffic issues and a lame dog i only managed 4.6 miles. Still progress though.
Still on course to smash the targets i set myself.
Only time will tell if the above targets are overally ambitious or not. Least i have targets for next year – no excuses.