Last Monday I ran my first ever 10k!
I signed up for the She Runs Windsor 10k quite a while ago in January as one of my New Year’s Resolutions, and it rolled around pretty quick! I was feeling quite apprehensive about it beforehand, I hadn’t really done enough training due to being away with work and then on holiday and the nerves were really kicking in.
Plus I’d also decided when I signed up to have my race packet posted out for some reason, but by the week before it still hadn’t arrived. After emailing and tweeting the organisers I went to the Expo on the Sunday to try and sort it out. I spoke to a really helpful woman who fixed me up with my race number with timing chip, refunded the extra I’d paid for postage and apologised for the issues. She even gave me a She Runs Windsor necklace, a nice gesture and a great start.
I was also able to pick up my race tshirt on the Sunday – a white tech tee with a fun print, although I decided not to wear it on race day. “Never wear anything new” being one of the pieces of advice I’d read multiple times! Going to the Expo the day before put me a little more at ease though, as I knew where to go and what the start looked like.
On Monday my friend Rachel and Mark came along to support. I was also able to catch Leah and Laura before the race and say good luck! It was a hot sunny day, beautiful weather but a bit different to what I’d trained in over the winter. It was really nice to chill out on the grass with everyone before hand and soak up the atmosphere.
|Attempting to get some sun on my super white legs!|
|Enjoying the sunshine 🙂|
The start was organised by race numbers based on your predicted time when you signed up, therefore me with my target of finishing below 1hr15mins was number 2420, waaay at the back! But there were also pacers with balloons which was an awesome idea- I decided to try and keep the 70min (blue) balloon in sight as my goal. This wasn’t always possible due to the super hilly and windy course but it gave me something to aim for!
The course was really hilly and although I was prepared for the first incline after The Long Walk it just went on from there! Fortunately it was really lovely to run around the park with Windsor Castle in the background and the scenery definitely offered momentary distraction from the hills.
|The lead car|
|Speedy people at the front!|
|And a couple of minutes later, me!|
|Feeling cheerful at the start 🙂|
I managed to not walk until after the halfway point which I was pretty pleased with- from then on I incorporated short walking breaks whenever I needed of 10secs-ish, giving myself pep talks of only “walking until the next tree” and then running again! I gunned it down all the downhills too to make up for the fact that my uphills were so slow, which seemed to pay off. I was convinced that I wouldn’t make it in under my 1hr15 target time because of so much walking, but on the last straight I caught sight of the blue 70min balloon again and that really spurred me on to the finish!
There were water stations at 2.5k and 6.5k (I think) which was much appreciated on such a hot day, although the plastic cups were a little awkward. Next time I will probably carry my own bottle to sip from as I was quite dehydrated by the time the water stations came around and gulped the cup down so as not to waste too much time- consequently my stomach wasn’t happy and I got a stitch. Definitely need to practise that!
The support was excellent at the start/finish and there were a fair few people around the course too which definitely gave you a boost. There was one little boy in front of me who ran alongside his mum for most of the second half of the race and held her hand across the finish! It was great to see Mark and Rachel on the final straight when I was beginning to think that the castle wasn’t actually getting any closer- I should have expected it from the “Long Walk” but it was deceptively long!
I managed a final burst to sprint across the line and was then collecting my medal, along with Vita Coco, a banana, Luna bar, and a bottle of water- a great selection of refreshments and much needed!
The clock read 1:13:08 as I finished so I knew I’d made my target, and with the couple of minutes knocked off for being later across the start line, my official time was 1:11:09!! I am immensely proud of that as my first 10k 🙂
|Photo from marathonfoto.com|
|Photo courtesy of Leah|
I managed to find Leah, Charlie and Laura for a #teamnaturallyrun photo, before giving Mark and Rachel a sweaty hug to thank them for their support (sorry guys!).
I of course had to do some silly poses with my medal, and didn’t take it off for the rest of the morning! I’m still feeling pretty chuffed with myself 🙂
|Loving the medal!|
Thanks She Runs Windsor for such a great experience for my first 10k, and only second ever race! Great organisation, great course (despite the hills) and great weather 🙂
I’ve definitely got the bug, and can’t wait for Nike We Own The Night next weekend!
For other race recaps check out:
The Runner Beans – She Runs Windsor 10K Race Recap
Running Mum – Race Review: She Runs Windsor
Life Laura London – SheRuns Windsor 10k – race report
Diaries of a Marathon Widow – Race Report: She Runs Windsor 10k
Naturally, Leah – RACE RECAP: She Runs Windsor 10K
All photos taken by Mark Baguley.