Race Running

Vitality London 10,000 2019

Recently I posted about training for my first 10km road race.

Here is the outcome of my training:

The night before I was so nervous. I felt sick. I couldn’t sleep.

I packed and re-packed my bags and soon I found myself on the platform ready to head to London. In my new shoes. I know, I know. I did get a blister to serve me right… but they were pretty awesome.

Off we went! Most of the journey was spent trying to affix my race number, I use magnets at the moment but they don’t seem to work well for me. I am going to try some press style clips instead – I am just trying to avoid making holes in my lovely club tops.

So thanks for putting up with that / helping, guys!

We arrived at the event village and I was overwhelmed by the size of it. There was stuff everywhere. As we were all in different waves I was bidding farewell to my friends one by one and was soon on my own.

I made friends with a few fellow runners, and took some photos for them and helped someone affix their chip. I dashed to put on factor 50 and a visor as the sun suddenly decided to appear just before my bag drop time.

One of my favourite things about races is everyone is generally so lovely.

The queues for the bag drop were massive. Not much else to say about that situation really. It was very well organised once you got in there, but yikes. It was hard to get in. I think either it wasn’t well organised to actually get in, or people turned up at the wrong time, it’s hard to say which.

Once that was overcome it was time to head to the start. I bumped in to 4 fellow goats, one of which I chatted to until the start. Not so lonely!

I appreciated the music choices and wiggled a bit to The Proclaimers. This bit didn’t take too long and soon we were on our way. I may have uttered “what am I doing” and “oh no I’m doing it” as I crossed the start.

I really enjoyed the crowd support from the first step of this race. There were drums, singers, cheer squads… it was all great!

As soon as we set off I knew the heat and was going to be my biggest enemy, plus the pollen. But I trucked on, trying my best. The pollen made breathing that little bit more difficult. I also avoid running in the heat (early mornings and evenings for me, so I was not used to it).

The first 3km were great and I grabbed water at the first station. I debated a loo stop, then decided against it. I really enjoyed this section of the course, with the runners coming back at you, doing their 6th / 7th km.

I still haven’t perfected drinking and moving at all so I got a lot on my face. I hope no-one noticed?

I took a couple of videos of the music stations and annoyingly my watch was about 500m out compared to the signs at half way, but I did some maths and was set for a sub 90 finish. Amazing!

At 6km I had more water and at 7km I decided that I should probably pee. Thankfully no queues but I had put myself behind schedule.

I pushed to 9km and I was really done, the last km was a struggle, the pollen meant I was finding breathing hard and I felt really dizzy.

But I did it, face in hands as I crossed the line, super duper emotional.

I was feeling pretty sure I was over my hoped for time of doing it in less than 90 minutes, but proud to have finished, hot, dizzy, about to cry… deary me. Yes you can feel all that at once!

Then I got the text, I hadn’t got sub 90 as I suspected – I was seconds over. My Garmin said I’d done 10.7km, so I consoled myself with a Strava best effort of sub 90, haha. Take what you can, right? It was that damn wee stop!

Then I realised I still had a PB. I’d knocked 22 mins off my 10km time since I started training for this at least!

It took me a while, but I am now so proud of my effort.

After I crossed the line I was unsure where to go once I got my bearings, but got there eventually and picked up a medal and a t-shirt that’s a bit on the small side.

There were no finisher bags left, so I left without one. I have emailed and asked if I can have one, I will let you know the response. It’s a shame as I really, really could have done with some water! I was surprised water wasn’t at the finish line.

It turns out I was quite lucky as medals and t-shirts also ran out for people behind me, I’m sad on behalf of my fellow slower runners that they had to walk away with nothing.

My chip was cut off quickly after exiting this area, and bag reclaim was super quick and efficient. After the queues at the start, it was a pleasant surprise.

I bumped in to some Instagram friends, had a chat and then went to find my friends I came with, who were so lovely to wait for me.

After this I then went on to a nice lie down and the Lucozade from my friends goodie bag. And half a bottle of sugar free mountain dew. And some hydro left in my kit bag from earlier. Parched!

We then headed home, after watching the world record pace massive treadmill thing. That was great, but I would’ve been on my face in seconds. Plodding suits me just fine.

For the whole race I was always under 9 min/km. I was a very consistent plodder today and very proud of it too.

A lovely route and race, but organisation let it down a little for me.

5 comments

  1. Well done Kaz! Great summary of the day. I too found the bag drop horrendous and I’m horrified they ran out of medals – often for those who take longer the medal has more significance – I would have happily given mine to someone without and waited for a medal in the post as it was just a day out for me.

    Liked by 1 person

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