So I successfully completed my first race 🏁 yesterday and Loved it ❤️ !!!
It was 'The Escalade' A super well organized annual event in Geneva Switzerland 🇨🇭. There are many different races 🏃🏃♀️🚶♀️🚶🏻throughout the day and evening, of different lenghths, for different ages and different abilities. The final race of the day is a fancy dress race for all. 🐭👑🎩⛑
I joined the 2 lap, 4.8km less serious mixed race for people new to running or those who wanted to run in a group.
We headed into town early to pick up my race bib. The atmosphere was Fantastic 🎉💃🎊. I had two hours to worry about whether or not to wear my running jacket. I always start with it on, and then tie it round my waist 5 or more minutes into the run depending on how cold it is. I hadn't considered though, that if I pin my running number to my jacket, then I wouldn't be able to take it off. I can't tell you how much concern this caused me!!! I knew I'd need to take it off, but I feel the cold terribly and was concerned that I'd get frost bite before the starting canon fired if I headed to the start line without it. In the end, my usual 5 min warm up walk became a 10 min warm up walk, it was much warmer in town than at home part way up the Jura mountains⛰ , so I bravely discarded the jacket which in the end was absolutely the right thing to do!
I felt quite emotional ☺️ waiting at the start with thousands of other runners, thinking that twelve weeks ago I couldn't run for two minutes. The fifteen minutes went by quickly, with loud music playing, encouraging us to leap about and dance to warm up. 💃 There was a fun and convivial atmosphere, and it was dusk 🌜as the starting cannon fired.
It took me a while to reach the start line, we were all shuffling rather than running for a while, my focus was completely on the running in front so as not to tread on them! I was impressed by those eager runners who managed to flit in and out of runners to get ahead, I'm sure they were moving through spaces where there really was no space! My fears about pushing and shoving were alleviated, the runners were all very respectful and after a short steep hill 🎢 into the old town we spaced out a bit and I was able to really run. I was really taken by surprise at the amount of people lining the course cheering us on. I happily high fived children 🙋 as I passed and felt as though I was flying! ✈️
My Hill work really paid off as the several short hills seemed irrelevant compared to the long hills I am used to by my home. They came as a welcome challenge where as I could feel many of my fellow runners bulking as soon as they hit the incline. I was also able to fly ✈️ down the hills at speed, simply because I am so used to them. Those who had not yet made hills their friend were understandably tentative on the down hill sections.
Close to the end of my first lap I miraculously saw my husband in the crowd and was able to high five ✋ him as I passed, it really gave me a spark of joy as I powered on, with his grin to fuel me.
After my first lap I was overjoyed, Though after the first steep hill of the second lap I developed a nasty stitch in my right side, something I hadn't experienced in quite a while. I was a concerned that I may have overdone it, what with my enthusiasm and the energy of the crowd. I heard Laura 😇😇😇 tell me to slow down and breath deeply into my belly. I did as she told me and after a minute or so it subsided to my delight. It's amazing how Laura still talks to us even when we're no longer listening to the podcast!!! ❤️😇❤️😇❤️😇
It was now dark 🌜as I headed down my last hill towards the home straight. Once again I felt like I was flying ✈️, as I hit the flat I realized I was tired and round the bend with huge cheers from the crowd I ran under a barrier which said 'final sprint.' 🏃♀️🏃🏃♀️🏃🏃♀️🏃
I gave it my all (which wasn't very much by this point) and ran as fast as could towards the Finish line🏃♀️🏃♀️🏃♀️. When I graduated a month ago I wondered if I could get to the point of completing the Escalade in 30.somehing minutes. As the clock ⌚️on the Finish line came into view, 👀 it was indeed on 30. Something!!! I ran as fast as I possibly could 🏃♀️ and the seconds seemed to tick by so quickly yet at the same time so slowly!!!!! As I pushed over the line 🏁, I made it, Just, with a time of 30,54.5 🏆🎖🏅!!!
After the finish line 🏁 we were drawn on a warm down walk towards the exit where we were given a beaker of water in a souvenir cup to keep, a souvenir rucksack, hot drinks ☕️🍵 and a banana 🍌 (for those who are not allergic!)
I then headed, on an absolute high to a warm tent to meet my husband 👫with all my warm clothes. Next year he says we will run it together 🏃🏃♀️which will be lovely.
When I got home I checked my Nike+ running app which I started and stopped as I crossed the start and finish lines and discovered I'd run it in 30,06!!! 🍾🎉🍾🎉🍾🎉🏁 I ranked 494th out of 2031 women. (Very respectable as far as I'm concerned!) I felt very proud to have achieved this seeing as 12 weeks ago, I could get a bad stitch from walking and running for more than two minutes just wasn't possible. I always had the saying that 'life begins at 40' ingrained in my brain, I'm so pleased it's true!!! I'll be 42 in a couple of weeks and I'm now eager to see just what I can achieve next year!!!
Thanks all for being there, 😇😇😇 I'd never done that race yesterday and had such a great and memorable experience if it wasn't for C25K and the support and comraderie of this forum. I Love and appreciate you all. 😘😘😘❤️❤️❤️😍😍😍XXX