Race for Life - 15th July 2007

Hi all

It was Race for Life on Sunday, the 15th July, at Blackheath in South East London. Despite a tourential downpour in the morning which looked like it might wash out the whole day, the sun came out on que as we arrived at Blackheath Station. The remaining cloud cleared leaving the day bright and hot.

After a watching the Nivea Men's cheerleading squad, a minute slience was held and then it was on to the warm up. After a few stretches, the important decision had to be made - are you a runner or a walker. Since starting the sponsorship campaign I have been told that I have to run rather than walk so I decided that I did not want to let my sponsors down and joined the running catagory but towards the back of the running group so I wouldn't get in the way of the serious runners who could run the whole distance without even breaking a sweat! Once we had walked round to the start line, we were held for a bit and then the heads in front of me started to bob up and down which signalled the fact the race had started. In order to conserve some energy I did not start running until I was actually near the start line but I started off at a steady pace and before I knew it, I had passed the 1KM mark.

Feeling confident I continued at the pace I had started at and eventually made it to the 2KM mark. At the half way mark I spotted PM with the camera so slowed down a little so he could take a picture but did not stop running. Once I reached the 3KM mark I was feeling super confident that I could complete the whole race without walking any part of it. But not long past the 3KM mark I got my first stich and started to get short of breath. I took my asthma pump and a swig of my Lucozade drink and pushed past the pain and continued on. At this point though I stumbled on a hole in the grass and went over on my ankle. It hurt a bit but I carried on and the pain went away.

I saw the 4k mark ahead and realised that I was on the home stretch. Just after the 500m point I saw a guy I used to go to school with, Mark. I later found out that his girlfriend was also racing.

The last 100m or so was on the tarmac and the minute I hit it, I felt short of breath and wasn't sure I could do a sprint finish. I could see the clock in the distance, well the last three digits and thought I had finished in around 45 minutes. However when I got closer to the finish line I saw that it in fact was at 34 minutes so I put in the extra push to make sure I was over the line in under 35 minutes.

My final time was 34minutes and 48 seconds. I was really pleased! Bearing in mind I have always been pretty useless at running (400m was always a struggle at school), running the whole thing and in a pretty good time is a massive achievement for me. I am already looking ahead to the next race though. Next I plan on doing a 10k run, followed by a half marathon and then eventually the London Marathon in 2009 (I figure I should give the half marathon a go first to see if I can actually run half the distance before I try and take on the 26 and a half miles of the marathon. All I have to do now is find a half marathon to run.
So the training will now continue. I have taken my bike in for a service this week and I am having lights fitted so I have no excuse not to continue once the nights draw in. I am also getting a bell fitted so I can alert people that they are walking out in front of me (It amazes me how many people step out into the road with out looking, especially on corners - Its bad on a bike but it is even worse when they do it when I am in the car). If the bell doesn't work, I might get an air horn and try that!


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