Eeeeep, today was my first road race since my one and only attempt (which was hellish) 1.5yrs ago where I took 1:04 to run 10K. Today helped me learn a lot about marathon day and what to watch out for.
Basically, I’m going to be a total freaking disaster, simple as that. The reason? Well today was just a local, unimportant, FUN 10K run. It had 1600 runners instead of 40,000, there was no pressure at all and it wasn’t in New York. However, I didn’t sleep a wink the night before, I did no preparation this morning apart from total blind panic, I had no race strategy and I just “legged it”.
Things started badly when I realised I’d only left myself about an hour to get ready instead of 2 months which is what I needed. For starters, I had to pin my race number onto my top. That means I needed safety pins… did I have any? No. Arghghghgh. Paniccc. From then on it kind of got worse! Things culminated into a disaster scenario when I was sat in Bognor in my car whilst the entire contents of the sea emptied themselves onto me. Even Noah would have lost confidence and just started eating the animals if he’d seen such rain. But amazingly 30minutes before the race the rain stopped and blue sky appeared!
I stuck 6 safety pins in my number (and body) and then put all my months of preparation and practice into effect… by legging it and trying to occasionally breath. Terrifyingly, my heart rate in the early stages seems to have hit 204bpm… wtf? I’m hoping that was just a glitch in the sensor because otherwise I’m really going to have to calm down in New York or, you know, “die”.
My entire goal for the rest of the run was “try to catch up with the person in front of me”. It’s a good way to make sure you don’t slow down without realising and very satisfying to pass someone. I’m not sure if giving them the finger and shouting LOSERRRRR at them might have been a bit much, but ha, losers! Things were mainly a blur, I got water at the two water-stops but have you tried drinking and running at the same time? It’s unpossible, so I made the big mistake of just pouring it over my head. Now, I look truly like the creature from the black lagoon when I run, I get slightly “sweaty”, so pouring water on my head was my way of saying “no, no, I’m not sweaty, it’s water, ha, ha, ha”. Of course, I just looked like I’d sprayed myself by trying to have a wee at 8mph, but it made me feel cooler. Unfortunately immediately after getting water we turned onto Bognor seafront and it was WINDY. Shit was it windy! Was like running through treacle. So this made my shirt press against my chest. My wet shirt… and my chest with the nipples on it. Ouchhhhh. I’m sat here now trying to invert my ribcage so nothing touches my sensitive nips!
For the last 3K of the race I simply pegged it, that’s the most technical description I can find. I was pleased to see someone I knew (Ian) who gave me a cheer and that made a big difference up to the finish line. And then I saw my time, god I’m so pleased! 51:38, over 12minutes faster than my previous attempt! And apart from the nipples I feel fine. Of course the jumbo bag of doritos, crumpets, pork pie, pint of milk and 3hour sleep this afternoon did aid my recovery a bit!
Click here for the Garmin summary of the run (and playback of course). I’ll wear my medal with pride! Actually, the medal is truly terrible so I might wear it under my clothes (but away from my nips), but it’s proof… I R A Winner!
Actually, I came 537th. Bstds!