Me crossing the finish line! (I'm the one in the fanny pack and base-ball cap... you know, the one with no fashion sense whatsoever!)
You could have been forgiven for not knowing that I was running a 10K yesterday. I didn’t spend all of last week frantically cleaning the house and having full ‘head-between-the-knees’ panic attacks at the prospects of eight thousand lyrca clad bodies in one place at one time. I didn’t make lists of lists of lists. Instead, I sat with my knees elevated watching trashy television. I also ate my entire body weight in maltesers- not easy to do when they are only 100 calories per bag! The reason for this reckless pre-race behaviour? Last Sunday’s run!
Sure it felt good at the time. It even felt good for a short while after (see the ridiculously peppy blog I wrote for proof). Unfortunately, the day after and the day after that, my body had a little tantrum! Every single muscle in my body cramped and ached in protest at being forced to run 8 miles on a damp Sunday. As a result of this action, I could not move!
So my race training was, well… non-existent! During the week of pain, lots and lots of carbs were consumed. I also drank lots of fluid (cups of tea count right?) as well as a few ‘extra’ fluids (beer, for pain relief obviously) I knew I should be worried, I knew I should be pacing the floor having crisis talks with my butt muscles but I found it really hard to care. My response to any queries were simply, “I survived a half marathon last month. I’ll be fine!”
And do you know what… I was right! (Cue banners, dancing, songs and cheering!) I don’t know why! Whether it was the vast, gigantic calorific intake of the week prior to the race, the daytime naps and early bedtimes, the long, muscle soaking baths or the litres and litres of sugary tea I will never know. But on Sunday morning, after coaxing my reluctant body (and my three reluctant supporters) from their beds, I went to
Leeds in the damp November drizzle and I rocked it!
When I registered for the Abbey Dash (heralded as the fastest, flattest 10K in
) I was asked to give a predicted time. Now you might have noticed that I am a modest creature- so, despite the fact that I can run 10 minute miles (with the wind behind me on a good day) I plumped for 90 minutes. This meant that I was at the back of the pack. The pack held 8500 people. The queue for the toilets was insane. England
It took 15 minutes to get to the start line! Just as I set off, a cheerful voice over the tannoy informed us that the club and elite runners had all just reached the Abbey and were heading back into the city. I hadn’t even set off yet! The first 1K of the race went down a narrow road and then opened out onto a wide, flat dual carriageway and this was where the fun began. After being a little frustrated being stuck behind people, I could finally get going. I hopped onto the empty pavements and went for it.
I had resolved after my near death experience at the half marathon, not to be a lemming and follow all of the other runners. To make sure that I stayed in ‘Kelly’s land of under achievement,’ I wore my baseball cap (it’s not just there to make you laugh, it had an actual, genuine purpose) and my headphones. Me and Christina Aguilera were best mates- I was Dirty, then I was a Fighter then I was Beautiful! And all in the space of 2k!
At around 4k, I really found my va-va-voom, I forgot where I was entirely and just pushed myself forward. I remember rounding the corner at the Abbey and starting back towards the City and thinking, ‘Hey. I’m over half way.” And I felt disappointed! True, watching the ‘elites’ passing us on their way back was a bit demoralising. Being overtaken by a guy dressed as bananaman was also pretty distressing but apart from that, it was a really good run!
Heading back into
Leeds, I could see the Finish line. I could also see the hundreds of people lining the streets cheering and waving. I knew that somewhere in that tangled crowd of supporters were my kids, so I decided to make a sprint for it. Approaching the clock, I saw that it read 1.09… but I hadn’t set off until that clock read 15.00 which meant that I was on track for completing the race in under 55 minutes! Suddenly I was determined to make it. I launched myself forward. My legs were weak and I felt sick but I raced flat out through the finish line and had a grand time of 55 minutes! HURRAH! Best. Race. Ever!
This morning my legs were sore so I took them to the gym for a relaxing stretch. While I was there I did some arm lift thingies and I have to say that I’m in danger of getting some actual muscle. The message of this story has to be that before a race, you shouldn’t panic. Just sit on your booty- eat, drink and sleep and come race day, you’ll be able to pull of a personal best worthy of an Olympic athlete!
HURRAH! Reindeer Run 10K next! Can’t wait!
Hurrah! Now we can go and get some breakfast!