Here’s how NOT to prepare for a race:
- 3 weeks before the race, cycle 40miles and knacker your knees
- Then, go on holiday for 2 weeks to a festival – eat lots of chips, donuts and jump up and down crazily, sleep on an uncomfortable inflatable mattress, but don’t run at all.
- Walk 5miles around London in heeled boots the day before the race, getting some lovely blisters.
- Eat a lot of Vietnamese food for dinner (yummy), and stay out late drinking a lot of gin.
- Get to bed around 2am, despite having to wake up at 7:30am and travel 1.5hours across London to the start line.
- Eat flapjack for breakfast because you don’t have your usual pre-race food in the house.
- Drink copious amounts of water and tea on the journey to the race to combat drink-related dehydration, arriving at the race village busting for a wee and have to leg it to the portaloos!
I ran the first lap taking in the motivational signs and soaking up the cheers of the spectators. There were a few bands along the route too, as well as a water station and people giving out orange slices.
I loved my orange Nike Dri-fit tshirt, but although I knew quite a lot of people running the race the fact that everyone was wearing the same colour did make it hard to spot people!
Although I didn’t hang around, the Race Village looked pretty awesome with a Pip and Nut toast bar, a Birchbox create-your-own-box stand, Vita Coco coconut oil, Nike clothing (of course), a braid bar and free champagne (which I may have skipped!)- all of these things did have immense queues, so what with my lack of sleep and aching feet I collected my bag and took myself home.
My official time was probably a personal worst, but in a bizarre way I’m proud to have still got up and made it round the course- and still enjoyed myself! I definitely won’t be implementing my strategy again though!
In terms of the race, while it’s a more expensive 10k (£28) I’d recommend it purely for the extras, the (much improved) organisation and the amazing atmosphere. 60% of the runners were completing their first 10k and it was pretty incredible to be surrounded by so many women taking on that challenge, and to share that sense of achievement.
Have you ever taken part in a race after a less than ideal pre-race buildup? Would you pay extra for a women’s only race with a “festival” style race village?