My first race in over two years! For some reason I was all nervous, partly because I’ve not been feeling too great: sore throat, coldy and very tired after a week of (very) early risings with the little one. Off we went on the tube anyway, and gradually we saw other running ladies getting on with their race numbers, water bottles and the like (I couldn’t help noticing some rather unsuitable pumps though, not very supportive 😦 )
At the park, Hector got excited by all the dogs, ‘diggers’ (little sort of golf buggies that the park staff use) and he quickly spotted a playground, so Edward and he went off to have fun while I squeezed myself in at the start with all the other ladies. Now, I did a quite fast (well, fast for me) run last weekend, and had a figure of 25 minutes in my head for this one, so headed to the front. The marshall who was letting people through looked me up and down and said ‘where are you going?’ I said ‘in there’. ‘What’s your fastest time?’ he said ’26 minutes’ said I, ‘but I aiming for 25’. He gave me a look of disgust and pointed me towards the next ‘wave’. The spectators around also looked me up and down. So, I joined the 25-30 minutes group and realised that’s where I should have been in the first place, but he could have been a bit nicer about it. It was very cramped and I couldn’t get a signal on my bleedin’ Garmin, and I felt rubbish and fat after the grumpy marshall had literally put me in my place. There were lots of jolly women around me, chattering away and one women told her friend, as she fiddled with her IPod, ‘If I finish before George Michael starts singing, then I will have done it in 24 minutes’. I wonder if she did.
After the elites and ‘celebrities’ were announced, the foghorn thing sounded and off we went. Blimey, it’s hair-raising trying to run in such cramped conditions, and I was carefully trying not to trip up, and no doubt looking all frowny and grumpy as we passed various cameras. It wasn’t too long before I was able to find a bit of space and stretch my legs a bit, but was reminded how horrible it is to inhale a lungful of cigarette smoke when you pass smoking spectators. Urgh!
I felt good initially, running at a good pace and enjoying how quick KM markers come round when you are used to counting miles in your head. I passed other runners and enjoyed the cheering that you get from the charity support groups but started to feel heavy and laboured. All around the course there were lots of men standing with little children: support dads, this made me smile.
I was breaking it all down in my head and thinking the KMs seemed to be getting further apart, then I saw the 4k marker – I had missed the 3k marker! Hoorah! This is a good feeling, but was diminished slightly by the fact that I now started to feel really sick, like I was about to throw up. Oh no! The crowds were now far deeper and louder and looking at the runners more intently, I couldn’t stop and throw up in front of them! How lovely that would look on the official photos!
I kept going and a woman next to me said ‘come on, not long now!’ – I must have looked bloody awful! Just towards the end there was a little hill, how cruel, but I stormed up it and managed to find it in me to do a sprint towards the finish line where Jonathan Edwards was filming for the BBC. I decided to keep running slowly to pick up my ‘goodie bag’ then headed off to meet the boys at the Serpentine Gallery. Before the race, i had been enthusing and saying I will enter a 10k next, but now I felt rubbish and wondered if this was a good idea. During the last Km I lost the signal on my Garmin and the course timer said 27 something minutes, I’m not sure of my exact time, but the marshall was right to shoo me away. Maybe I need to work on looking more like a runner and cut down on the cake 😦
Distance: 5.27km (?!)
Average Pace: 5.15
Best Pace: 3.08