Well, it came and went, and I finished it, running all the way…. For a new runner, I can’t even begin to say how chuffed I was at the finish line, although the last couple of K were quite tough for me to keep running, especially after pulling a muscle at around the 8k line.
We rocked up around 9am, to see lots of women making their way to the side of the Ice Arena, where there was a stage set up for everyone. As usual, when I’m doing anything, there’s a complete lack of photographs to show me doing it, as my nearest and dearest aren’t the best at taking photos for me.
I raised £262 for my run, which I was happy with, given that my circle of real life friends is pretty limited these days. As a carer, I don’t get out terribly much any more and I really have to thank everyone who donated from the bottom of my heart. I gave a show of strength against cancer for my mother in law, who was taken too soon, both my mother and father who are cancer survivors and my friend, who is about to start her second fight against the disease.
I’d no idea what to expect, and half thought I’d be the only old huffer on the route, but I had nothing to worry about. I’d done some training, and although the furthest I’d gone before this was 8k, I was hoping to get to the finish in one piece.
There’s a group warm-up at the beginning, but as an older runner, and one who used to be very unfit, in hindsight, it wasn’t enough for me. If I do this again, I’ll do my five minute walk beforehand, to ensure my leg muscles are ready for getting feet off the ground.
Before setting off, nerves gathered in my stomach, but once we were in the starting area, they eased off as he began to hike it up the little hill from the field to the beach boulevard. It was a fairly easy route, but I’d expected it to be completely flat, which was a little misleading, as at the Bridge of Don end of the route, it’s a slow climb back to the level and flat run for the rest of the way, right to the roundabout beside the Beach Ballroom, and back to the Bridge of Don route for a full second cycle of running. It’s effectively 2 rounds of the 5k circuit.
Water was handed out at around the 5k mark for us, and with only around 600 entries for the 10k, our route was very pleasant indeed, after the first kilometer, when people began to find their place and the crowd opened out. There were some cancer uk supporters helping to chivvy us along and it did raise a smile, as in general, running is quite a lonely pursuit.
Starting off, I went too fast for me, but not at all fast for many others. I think it was the need to find a bit of space to run in, and when that happened, I settled into a steady pace, getting around half way in around 32 minutes, which is ultra good for me. At that point, I realised I had to do it all again, so I slowed down more and took longer for the second half of my 10k. I’m new at running, so pushing it would have been daft.
In the second half, I suspect I could have speed walked/partially run in cycles and been faster, but my goal was simple… Just to finish and still be running, from beginning to end. And I did it, as my show of strength against cancer. It affects us all, so if others can go through chemo, pain, uncertainty and misery, surely I could finish a 10k, somehow!
I’ve run at the beach before, but the pavements are definitely easier to run on than the road, which has a fair few stretches of uneven tarmac. The pavements were reserved for the general public, so running on the road it had to be. Apparently, I ran past my family and never saw them at all. With my headphones in and music blaring into my ears, I think I had no idea what anyone else was doing, for almost all the time.
By the end stages, I heard my app get to around 8k, and I signed in relief. I still felt ok, and my legs were fine, then I landed awkwardly on a rough patch of tarmac and slightly pulled a muscle. Determined to keep going, I sort of hopped for a few steps until it eased, then slackened off my pace a bit more. Keeping my legs going was all I cared about at that point. 9k was announced in my ears, and I knew I’d finish it by still running. It was slightly disheartening to hear 10k announced, and realise I still had to go from the roundabout to the finish line, so in total, my app told me it was 10.44km.
I was about 75-80 minutes, not counting the forgetting to switch off my app when I’d finished, and it added on a few extra minutes where I walked over to meet my sister in law who was running the 5k after me, and my boys.
I’m chuffed to bits about finishing it. Time was never a goal for me at this point, but distance was.
ps: Remind me never to let anyone take a picture of me mid step again!