A while ago I decided to sign myself up to the Nike Womens 10k, known as We Run London. I did it as I wanted a goal to aim towards to help myself get fit. I had already started running again after a long 18 month break but without a goal I knew I would slack off! I’m not a natural runner, in fact I hated running and remember struggling to do 1500 metres at school, but 4 years ago I signed myself up to my first 5k and after initially dreading the training runs I found myself quite enjoying running and the satisfaction of getting a distance under my belt.
This time around I decided to stick to the Nike + app and used the ‘10k beginners’ which is a program designed to build up distance, pace and strength over 7 weeks, I ended up skipping most of the first week though. The program starts quite slowly and I didn’t follow the tasks on the exact days as I wanted to fit in my yoga and dance class as well, but all in I think I only missed about 4 training runs. With work, the commute, walking Huxley and everything else fitting in a training run when I got home of an evening was quite tough and left little time for much else. However I started to feel better in myself, actually had less bad headaches and my body shape changed rapidly, I very quickly lost weight from my belly area, while my legs started to look more toned.
Me; pre race – wearing my Nike We Run London Dri-Fit tee, Lululemon shorts, Asics trainers, Apple Watch & Beats headphones (the strange lump around my belly is my asthma inhaler and tissue in my short pockets)
So Sunday was the big ‘race‘ day, I had done one straight 10k run before the day at a time of 1hr 10:37 so I had a goal to beat and hoped I could beat it as training around Guildford means lots of long hill runs! So as I got to the race start line, which felt as if it took forever, I hit start on my Nike app and my Apple Watch fitness app but both totally failed me! The Nike app just crashed and I have no idea what went on with my Apple Watch so I just put The Chemical Brothers – Push The Button album on and ran.
Not having any real idea how fast I was going was pretty tough, so I used the album tracks as a rough guess, when the Apple Watch did start working I was averaging under 7 mins per 1k which was my goal, but half way round it seemed to think I had done 12k already, and I tried to re-start the Nike app but nothing. So I plodded on, when I got to the 7k mark I started to get a stitch, so I slowed down a little but as soon as it hit 8k I speeded up and sprinted the last 600k home and had Mr B there to watch me cross the finishing line. That last 1k just felt so good and I flicked the music back so I could finish up on ‘Hold Tight London‘ which seemed appropriate and that tune gave me goosebumps all over as I put my foot down for that last 600 metres.
I didn’t feel too bad straight afterwards, just glad it was over, but annoyed I didn’t know my time. I had a feeling it was less than 1hr 5mins, but I had to wait for the official Nike time via email….. So I headed straight to the fizz and to meet my cousin Kat, as everyone was wearing the same top it was hard to spot people, I was stood right in front of Kat for several minutes before I actually reconsigned her. After chilling out in the festival area for a bit and admiring our race pack and ‘medal’ designed by the London based jeweller Alex Monroe we headed to a nearby pub for a very well deserved Sunday roast and a jug of Pimms!
I’m so glad I did it, if you’re not sure running is for you give it a go, just don’t expect to run any sort of distance to start with. Use a program, follow it and build up slowly. I could barely run for a minute when I first started out nearly 4 years ago, but as you get fitter and stronger you actually start to enjoy the run, unless thats just me being a total werido! Today I haven’t had much chance to take it easy, I’ve been on 3 walks with Huxley as well as doing dance class and surpringsly the old legs aren’t too bad!
Will I sign myself up for another run? Maybe…. maybe I will do another Nike We Run… but in one of the other cities listed above, just for fun!