Monday, August 13, 2007

My First 10km Race

I know I didnt let on I was running this race but I wasnt so sure I would turn up for it too. I'd been getting these email reminders 6 weeks before the race about it being my 'last chance to register' which I had been ignoring dutifully since I felt I wasnt ready for a 10km race yet but last weekend, I got worn out and threw caution to the wind and registered. (They were offering me half price registration afterall and my august was free as the races I had lined up next were all in september.) LOL!!

That was how I started preparing for a 10km race - a week to the race when I hadnt yet been able to run a 5km race non stop yet. I aim to achieve too much too soon right?!?! You're not far from the truth. Our training run that week went well though. We ran 6km steadily and unwavering 3 times that week on Monday, Wenesday and Friday and finished in 53, 48 and 51 minutes respectively on those days. I figured I would start slow and then try to run 6km without stopping like we did during the week and then see how it goes from there, probably rest between the 7th and 8th km mark and then run the rest of the way to the finish line. With my Running Partner's last words of advice to me still reverberating in my ear just before the gun went off signalling the start was "Make sure you start slow" and me nodding in reply, the race began.

First of all, whoever charted the race course and then described it as a fast and flat course will be sued by moi for misrepresentation! LOL!! I felt since the course was a flat surface with no hills, then maybe I could manage it as my daily runs are on a flat surface. How wrong I was! The start alone was an inclination! We ran uphill! I think I followed the crowd and went along with their pace and when I tried to take some deep breath like I usually do and didnt succeed, I knew something was terribly wrong. I was somewhere in the middle of the crowd at the start line but pretty soon, everyone had gone past me. I was cursing and ranting to myself - "This isnt a flat course, OMG, what have I done to myself? This isnt a flat course." LOL!! By the 2km mark, I was already walking. Hills arent my thing at all. Havent mastered them yet. Then this elderly guy went past me at such a slow pace, I knew I had to step up. It wouldnt do well at all for him to get to the finish line before me - I was way younger than him and supposedly full of energy. LOL!!

Mustered all the energy I could garner and began running again. Went past him but couldnt keep it up and was soon walking again. Note to self: Let go of Lucozade Boost and stick to ur Diet Kick. Lucozade seems to do nothing for me. The advice was to drink it at least an hour beofre the race as the drink will enable you focus better, react quicker and delays the onset of fatigue. It did absolutely nothing for me. Maybe there was something else I didnt do right? LOL!!

Back to story - Well, when I began walking again, he went past me one more time and the humiliating thing was that it wasnt as if he was running particularly fast - more like a gentle jog. It just made me realise I need to do more speedwork. My so called running speed is almost non exsistent if not zero. (smile) Went past him one more time and then got to another hill where I simply refused to run and decided to walk up it instead. Self realisation came when I heard a little boy who had come to stay on the roadside with his family and cheer the crowds on ask his parent very loudly indeed: "Why is she walking, mummy?" In my mind, I was like YEAHPAH!! I am in real soup. Little boy is questioning my capabilities. Embarassment couldnt even let me turn round and look at his innocent face - just kept on walking as fast as I could with the intention of sprinting down the hill when I got to the top of it. But he was saying the truth - Why was I walking when other runners had just sprinted past at top speed before his very eyes? LOL!!!

The rest of the race was a mixture of running and walking - next to the elderly man who had been overtaking me previously. I decided to run next to him rather than engage in a mini comeptition with him. When I complimented him that he was quite fit, he smiled and said that he had run a marathon some days before and was quite tired and would need to get a 'tow rope' pretty soon so I could pull him along with me. Yeah, right. When I was struggling to keep up with him. (smile) He swamped me with tales of his younger years in the army and some of the piloting work he was doing currently. It was nice to have someone to run with especially as the batteries in my mp3 had given up 15 minutes into the race. I should have charged them the night before just to be sure but I foolishly assumed they would see me through the race.

Next thing, during one of my walks, the 'end car' or 'sweeper bus' as it is known in most races was behind our little group and I just told myself I had to do something drastic. I couldnt afford to come in last or let the car overtake me either and leave me behind. LOL!! So I started chasing the lady ahead of me and just when I got to her, she said she was trying to get to the lady ahead of her too and did a little jog away from me too. LOL!! Finally, we all made it to the finish line. Did I mention I got to the half way mark - 5km in 44 minutes? Finished the race in about 84 minutes I think. Was aiming to finish before 90 minutes and at least I achieved that. I was petrified of finishing after 90 minutes. Will try and work harder for my next 10km race - whenever that is. This made me realise even more that running a marathon which I have been thinking of doing is really, really hard work. I had even been contemplating half marathons, 13 milers and 10 milers recently and just enjoying everything generally about running as well as delving into that need by runners to always search for new distances to conquer. Will step down my search several levels and concentrate on 5km races now. LOL!!

Was intending to take part in the London Pride Run - another 10km holding this saturday in London but I've shelved running any more 10km's for the mean time to allow for further training and speedwork. Running a 10km isnt beans. LOL!! Some pictures from the race can be seen HERE.

I'm not sure if my eyes were deceiving me but I could swear I saw a 'naked guy' standing akimbo on Waterloo Bridge this morning at about 5.30am on my way to Bluewater. The car went by too fast so I really cant say if that was a man or a statue. He was standing really still and naked as in really N A K E D on Waterloo Bridge. Surely if it was a man, the police would have arrested him for 'indecent exposure'? LOL!! Maybe it was a statue - can someone help me out pls?


  1. You go girl! That little boy was funny - he was telling you that you are supposed to be running not walking! Congrats on finishing within your target time, that's good. I don't think I'm fit enough to attempt these long distance races yet. I get out of breath withing 10 minutes, can't imagine 90 minutes! But I'll get there one day. In the meantime, I'll keep cheering you on.

  2. CG, well done. So proud of you. Put me to shame :) Will change my philosophy from why run when you can crawl to ...

    Naked man on waterloo bridge is a Statue by Antony Gormley. Quite a few in London. I think he created the Angel of the North.

  3. i cld identify ya in the picture lol.....

  4. Kids have the most uncanny way of telling it like it is.
    No worries though, you finished the race abi?

    About the naked akimbo guy...I...Dont...Know o

  5. Calabar gal's palAugust 13, 2007 2:39 pm

    Good on you gal. However i won't be taking you up on that race offer. I no get power abeg. As per the naked looney...i mean man...would look out in the news for any new suicide stories...LOL

  6. You try wellu wellu, Me, I no fit try am.... naked man? Abeg run beside your friends o! LOL

  7. 10km no be beans abeg!
    If na beans eh,people like me go don run 100 km sef,lol.
    Keep it up CG but i hope u aint becoming a race freak dear.

    U have been MIA on my blog o!

  8. Well done- saw the Gorman sculptures this weekend

  9. Wow..10km!! Well done babes.

  10. the important thing is that you did it....Awesome stuff....

  11. Will send u some choccies later. Well done CG.

  12. Talk abt super sister... u go girl!!.. i might just join u for the next one as long as you dont get carried away showing off your act like u wont)

  13. Ol' girl, I am glad you finished the race in less than 90 mins. But, mehn...dis your tory was toooo funny!!

    Racing with an old man! Anyway, for those who know, running is not easy especially when you have to do inclines. So, we are proud of you, my sister.

    They are organizing a 5k race over here and I keep thinking of you. Not sure if I should do it...

  14. @Everyone: Thanks guys for your encouragement. The elderly guy is 78 years old and still running. To anyone thinking of running - take the bold step. I did and I'm enjoying it every bit of the way. (smile)

    @favoured girl: Thats how I was cheering LB last yr from my sofa too and cant believe I'm running with her this yr. Who knows. You could catch the bug and join us unceremoniously next year too. LOL!

    @solomonsydelle: Go for it!!

    So that was a statue on waterloo bridge huh? Whew!! I was quite perturbed that it could be a human. LOL!!

  15. CB don't mess with elderly ppl tht run. I hope to be like them when am older. Apparently alot of them have been doing it for ages and have built that stamina. There's this old guy that runs around my neighborhood "every" day as long as the weather is bearable. He's old to be my grandpa.

    Anyways, congratulations on the effort. Even if you didn't do as well as you hoped, u gave it a shot. Thats what counts. Don't give up entirely, dear.

  16. omg...did those kids run too?
    wow! proud of you
    lol @ the "naked guy standing akimbo"

  17. Well done sista gal!! One day, I might join you on this one...maybe. Until I read that the naked man you saw is a statue, my thot was well, with those crazy people nothing is impossible. Take care babes.

  18. Lol @ the little kid. If only it was that easy

  19. Lol! Calabar Gal you are hilarious. But seriously, well done on the race!! I can't get over how dedicated you are. I've been reading your blog by the way, since that time a few weeks ago when you read through my entire blog! Hehe... keep up with the running girl! My fat arse is living vicariously through you, and applauding you all the way Xxx

  20. Well done CG! You're being so good by constantly challenging yourself .. you should be proud.

    Are you still not eating carbs? What I eat before a race is a bowl of porridge made with semi skimmed milk and I grate an apple into it.

    Well done again!!

  21. @Everyone: Thanks. I read in runners world magazine that what happened to me at the race is referred to in runners terms as 'crash & burn'. Some others complained too that the caffiene in the lucozade makes u go faster than u actually intended to. I'm now forewarned for future races.

    @kokolette: There was a 2km run run. There always is a fun run at most races these days where other members of the family can race too after the 'proper' runners have started but for a shorter distance. It provides a food family day out.

    @Vickii: I stopped being faithful to my Atkins Regime the week of my 10km race and have been steadily unfaithful since then. Noticed my ticker has moved in the opposite direction in retaliation too? Eating carbs now - just in moderation. LOL!!


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