Today I ran in the Innovation Sports 5k race on Clapham Common, my home park. It's the first time I've run 5k, and my first race. It was also my first run in a month (!?!?).
Now, before anyone (rightly) falls off their chair at this blatent lack of preparation, I should clarify that since graduating at the end of July I’ve gone back to doing British Military Fitness bootcamps three times a week with a focus on losing weight. These sessions have also been great for all over body conditioning and running at faster speeds (I tend to cover 2-2.5km in a session). I’ve not lost a lot of weight yet as I’m building muscle but it’s slowly but surely dropping off.
Regardless, I was a bit nervous. I went in with an injured big toe and sore hamstrings which was a worry, but my main concern was that I hadn’t been in the running headspace for a while. What if I was so out of practice I'd forgotten how to run? Eeek! But of course it was fine. It ended up being quite fun!
I didn't have the greatest of starts. The organisers started the race five minutes early and I was caught napping! I took off with my headphones still in my hand and my playlist not lined up. I ran at a good, steady pace but wasn’t quite settled, so at the halfway drink station I walked for one minute to have a quick drink and put in my headphones before picking up the pace again. A good idea as I was more settled in the second half. The marshals were very encouraging and smiled and clapped as I chugged past, which was nice and really helped in the last 200 metres when my legs started to give way. Mr Pollypanda finished ahead of me in 27.32, and doubled back to different points in the course to give me cheeky grins and high fives.
I ended up finishing in 42.21, which I’m pleased with. My average pace was 8.26, which is a better pace than when I finished off the C25K programme. My first km was completed in 7.34, which is my fastest split yet! So I’m confident I'm on the right track. I thinking of dropping a BMF session for a weekly run, but I'll see.
Once we’d recovered, of course Mr Pollypanda and I signed up for the next race on Clapham Common, which is on 12th October. It shouldn’t be too difficult to improve my time if I just make sure I’m prepared for the start! Lesson learned