Today is my birthday and this morning I ran my first ever 10k, in a race in Richmond Park, in 58’21”. I am quite ridiculously thrilled and delighted and it really is the best present I could give myself!
I’d not actually run a full 10k before today, though had got pretty close (8.5/9ks) in February. Things were put on hold when I had a small operation five weeks ago and I didn’t run for four weeks. So my first run back was nine days ago – I felt like I’d lost a bit of form, but managed to get four runs in before the race including my first Parkrun and a 5-miler last Tuesday. I did wonder if it was a bit soon but I really wanted to run the 10k on my birthday, particularly because I have achieved an age that puts me into the next Parkrun category of Veteran Women (ugh!) and I wanted to prove to myself that I’ve still got it!
The adrenaline of the race really does sweep you along. There were a couple of ks about halfway through where I stopped feeling like a middle-aged lady tortoise and more like a real runner, legs and arms going in perfect synch, body and breathing obeying, and just cruising along. I think this might be ‘panthering’? Unfortunately it didn’t last though! The route is quite hilly and the second lap was hard work, particularly as the sun started to sizzle. The final kilometre was really painful. I got over-excited and started to speed up too soon – I forgot the finish line was actually a zig-zag and not straight ahead. Felt like I was going to dissolve into a jellied blob for a couple of hundred metres, but then got all frantically excited again when I saw the race volunteers cheering everyone on, and managed a last surge.
I’d run before a bit in my 20s but not for years until I started the C25K last May/June. For anyone at the start of their own C25K journey - it really, really does work!
So tonight, a nice birthday meal with Mr Tortoise, and you can be sure I’ll be inhaling that 600-calorie dessert and feeling no guilt whatsoever!