Sunday, 7 June 2009


Unlike last week when I awoke on race day to glorious sunshine, today I awoke to glorious rain! The race is taking place at the Dorney Lake, which belongs to Eaton College and is the site for the 2012 Olympic rowing events.
I booked this race just after the marathon as one of my runs to keep me on track.

All the way there in the car the rain is chucking it down, even walking from the car to the race start is a hazardous affair, Rob holds a brolly over the two of us and I have two rain coats on, my running one ( which ever really keeps me dry) and my street one I keep stashed in the back of the car for just such emergencies! I am being a bit of a wuss considering I am just about to run in the rain and here I am hiding underneath a brolly, oh well, praise the Lord for natural hair.

It all seems a pretty well organised, a annual affair run by the Dachet Dashers a long established running group, as usual not much colour and I guess being a bit further out of London that some of my usual races not surprising, did see two brothers and one sister, but that's it, really need to encourage some of the runners I know to travel a bit further a field to race.

The rain shows no sign of stopping, so the plan was to run with my jacket for the first 5k, to keep warm then hand it to Rob. To get in under 60 minutes I need to run each kilometre under 6 minutes.

I start at the back again, usual plan, start at the back and work my way through the field, but I may have started a little too far back as I spend a quite bit of time weaving my way around other runners. There are about 700 people running and a lot of congestion at the back, but that’s cool, it is wet,very wet and with a little ache in my achilles I am not looking to blast away.

It takes a while for me to warm up, my body has got used to running in the heat and this wind and the rain is a bit of a shock. I can’t lie I do not find my running rythmn straight away but I keep going, running is now second nature, put one foot in front of the other and move. The course is flat and so great for a good time, we ran along the outside of a lake, but the rain made the whole place look rather bleak.

I am managing to keep up my desired pace in fact I am a little quicker, try not to look at my watch too much, eager not to slip or run into the back of another runner. I get to the 5k mark, hand Rob my jacket, I manage it in 28 minutes, that is two minutes slower than my 5k pace last week, shit I could not even run a 5k in less than 30, look at me now.

It’s hard, I can’t lie and the thought of running the same again is not inviting, but I keep going, I have had my Ipod on from the beginning, to help me keep my pace, today I have Missy Elliot, Alliyah, Beeny Man, Stevie Wonder and others keeping me company, they bring me a little sunshine even if the weather doesn’t.

My pace is good , a bit of a stitch starts to bite at my left side, not my usual right side, but I breathe it out, and tell myself to relax, the rain seems to be getting worse. There are water stations every two and a half km, but I keep sloshing it over my chest, can’t get this drink from a cup thing as I run at the same time right, I either have to stop or not drink at all, now I am sweating, damp and cold, so I give up, and sip on the lucozade bottle I've been holding from the start.

For some reason just before 8k I think I am at 9k and speed up ready to attack the last Kilometre, I soon realise my mistake when I spot the 8k sign, I must have been delirious, I slow down and try not to despair, this is a lot harder than last week’s 5k, I think I prefer 5k’s!

I visualise my boy Rob running on my right hands side encouraging me, and my girl Simone on my left also encouraging me. I chant a little mantra “I can, I do, I will, I am”. Over and over again until I believe it. I focus once more, my breathing becomes easier, my legs and arms are pumping and I am in the running zone, no longer struggling just pushing forward. The magical zone does not last long but it is long enough to drag me close to the finish, I know have no doubts that I will make it. It is still raining and my top keeps riding up exposing my belly, not a good look, I have lost weight but not enough to be showing off
belly,well not yet anyway, but one day…

The finish line is upon me and I am more relieved then happy, the constant wind and rain was very jarring. I finish in 56 minutes dead. Rob is there to greet me, a tiny kid hands me a goodie bag and I receive my medal, it feels like schools sports day. Rob takes some pictures and we head straight back to the car, no need to hang around and anyway I am bloody tired, plus the rain makes it a bit miserable so there seems no point. I quickly change out of my wet clothes in the car, and snuggle down under a blanket, I try hard not to fall asleep as Rob takes me on a mini tour for Slough, pointing out the two houses he grew up in and the nursery and primary school he went to.

It will be a good few weeks before I race again, I have a RACE FOR LIFE 10k on July 5th and a half marathon on the 26th July but that is it for June, unless I do a few 5k time trials which are free timed runs which take place all over the country run by a group called park run, they are a great way to test yourself and free which is even better in these hard times, Plus my left Achilles has started to niggle again, so I need to be very careful and take it a little easy, I am terrified of getting a serious injury.

I am satisfied at the moment as I have recently surprised and surpassed myself with my running, but I still have more to do, so much more. I am not as fit as I would like to be, that is not taking away from what I have achieved, but I feel as if there is a lot more to come. I need to start pumping weights, doing some speed work and doing some yoga a few times a week.

I also need to get on top of my food situation again, I have not been as strict with myself as I should be and with my sisters birthday and my own birthday coming up it would be very easy to let it all go to pot, so as of Monday I will be back on the food and hopefully the scales will start moving again, time to shifting some weight again.

I’m a little tired now, so I think I’ll go and slob out on the sofa for a bit,

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