As I’m sitting here on a Sunday night, kids back from their break away at the grandparents, uniform at the ready for back to school in the morning, and thinking about work, I have to pinch myself that we actually took part in our first race of the year yesterday.
You see, we didn’t want to admit it, but we were actually very scared of our run yesterday. Although we have a long running history, training hasn’t exactly taken off in the way it should have done in the couple of months before. Last year we ran on and off, and vowed to pick up the pace in November. November came and went as then who gets anything done in December???!! Between nights out, too much cake, beer and general eating, multiple children’s Christmas shows, a broken shower, being ill, work and a very poorly cat, there wasn’t much time left at all. And we didn’t do the best job of motivating each other….!
Friday night for me was pretty restless. I kept thinking not only about the race but also my upcoming project of redecorating the girls bedroom (I do love a good project and once I get thinking, well I can’t sleep! And poor Matt never hears the end of it either). Saturday morning came and I had my usual having to force my porridge down my throat routine.
The days we race seem to be the only days, except for when we go on holiday, that we actually get our butts in gear and out the door without having to rush, maybe it’s the nervous energy. We made our way to the train station and started heading towards the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford. An hour later and we were walking towards the amazing Olympic Stadium for the first time since 2012.
We chatted away nervously and reminisced over the fun we had there with our then toddlers and how amazing London 2012 was. Thinking about those Great British Athletes winning all those medals and welcoming the world to our stage helped me to focus more on the task in hand.
The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park 10k is a relatively small race. It has an entry limit of 700 people but I would say there were maybe 500 of us there yesterday. It is also one of the cheaper races in London at only £17 per person. We picked up our race packs at the Podium Cafe, and made our way to get changed and drop off our bags. We didn’t have long to wait before we started heading to the warm up (which we never join in, party poopers, we have our own warm ups) and then onwards toward the start line, which was also the finish line. 3 little laps is all that stood between us and our first medal.
Then we were off. I felt a little self conscious to begin with, as I think I have already mentioned, I go for the slow and steady game, but soon after the start we were pretty much bringing up the rear. We looked on in awe at how fast some people can actually run, but kept encouraging each other that we were doing the right thing by taking our time and going at our own pace.
We have always enjoyed going at a steady pace, we like to chat and take in our surroundings. This race course is certainly one you want to take in, you are constantly surrounded by amazing sights, sporting history, and lovely landscape. The course is mostly flat with a few inclines here and there but they are very short. Perfect if you are a first timer or not as fit as you wanted to be when you cross the start line!
It wasn’t long before we started to catch up with some people that set off too fast, and we started to feel better about our game plan!!! The race was pretty much comfortable all of the way through, and once we were into our third lap we knew it would all be alright.
There were some lovely people cheering everybody on along the way, and they stayed there until every person had crossed the finish line. The supporters can never be underestimated in how much they help you get round.
We were feeling tired towards the end but it didn’t matter, the finish line was in sight and no amount of discomfort is comparable to what Graham had to endure during his time with us. If he could live with DMD then we could bloody finish this race!
We went for our trademark sprint finish, we have a rule that we must always finish strong and that’s what we did. 1hr 14mins and a big big smile on our faces…
Off we went to pick up our medal and to take some photos in our amazing surroundings. First one in the bag, 11 more to go!!!!
Our next race is in 7 weeks time, I think, and is the Hampton Court Half Marathon, on 21 at February. It fits in well with our marathon training as we should be up to 13 miles by that point.
This week we had some incredibly generous donations to kickstart our fundraising, and we have raised in total £155 towards our £3000 target for the Muscualr Dystrophy Campaign. If you would like to donate then please click here –
Big love and thanks for all the support.