Just over 3 months ago I very randomly decided one night that I was going to book on to a 10K run, so I did!! At the time I hadn’t been to the gym for 3 months and I desperately needed dome inspiration to keep me fit and healthy! I was due to go back to work and I knew that I would not have time to fit in the gym so I decided it was running for me. I booked on to the Ivybridge 10K run and as soon as I clicked the confirm button I was scared. Could I do it?
The weekend after I booked on to the run I went shopping with my mum and brought myself a new pair of trainers. I was so excited. I had 3 months to train and I couldn’t wait to slip on my new trainers and go for my first run. That was just over 3 months ago now.
I started slow and used a walk, run, walk, run method of training. My first run (run/walk) was just 2K. I found it so difficult and such an effort at first. In fact the first 2K remained the hardest even when I could run further! At this point I never imagined I could run a whole 10K! I looked up various structured training regimes on the Internet and loosely followed one for about a week. However, I soon gave up and just did my own thing. For the first month I gradually built up to running 5K but I was still using the run, walk method, which is supposed to work well when trying to build up to a distance. It’s very hilly where I live so training was very hard as I couldn’t avoid the hills! Unfortunately at this point I got poorly with my asthma so couldn’t train for 2 weeks. This was really disappointing as I had done really well achieving 5K and was desperate to keep going, but I had to rest my body and get well. As soon as I was well I was back on the road and running again. It was at this point I ran my first 5K without walking! I even ran up the steep hill on my main running route! I was so proud of myself and the 10K run didn’t seem so impossible anymore.
After such a positive achievement and just 2 more runs of 5K I got poorly with my asthma again!! I couldn’t believe it!! I was out of training for another week and was beginning to panic as I only had 4 weeks to go! As soon as I was well enough I was back on the road. I really pushed myself and managed to run 6K. I was so happy I was able to run so far and increase my distance despite missing another weeks training. The next week I managed to achieve my 7K target and I planned to achieve 8K and 9K in the next 2 weeks leading up to the race.
Would you believe it, I got ill again, same thing, a mild cold from the kids and my asthma again. I was so depressed I only had 2 weeks until the run and I was starting to loose all hope of running all 10K and thus not achieving the goal I had set myself. I had to wait another week until I was well enough to run again and even then I wasn’t really 100% as I was still coughing. However, off I went on a run, not expecting to achieve much distance and to my utter amazement I managed to run 8K!! Wow, maybe I COULD do it after all!!?? I had one week to go and managed one more 8K run before the actual 10K run.
Then the day arrived, the day I had been so scared of but so excited about! I got ready super early as I was getting a lift with friends of mine who were also doing the run, so had to get to them first. My friends are super runners compared to me, they had run several 10K runs and a half marathon!
When we got there and registered the place was buzzing with excited runners. There were so many people I couldn’t believe it. I got in the queue for my running number and looked around at all the different people from running pros to novices like me. When we picked up our numbers we had a photo taken to capture the moment.
We then walked across the road to the starting line. There were lots of people jogging round the car park to warm up and doing lunges and stretches. I stood there completely overwhelmed and feeling out of my depth. I have never felt so intimidated as I did as I waited for the race to start. My mum had come to cheer me on and it was lovely seeing her just before we set off. For some reason my friend wanted to be near the front with all the pros, it was so scary I was literally shaking! When the start gun went off it startled me and everyone sprinted around the first corner (yes sprinted!) and I was knackered before I’d barely started as I had no choice but to go with the flow for fear of being trampled!!
After the runners split off a bit and I had been overtaken by quite a few, I slowed my pace right down and got in to my stride. Slow down I thought, you can do this if you slow down! After the first 2K there was a very long and steep hill. I was so glad I had trained running up hills! This hill seemed to go on forever and I noticed lots of people were walking it, but I ran it all! When I reached the top it was a slight up hill advance all the way to 5K. I really struggled along this stretch and it was such a relief turning the corner to a long flat stretch. This was the most enjoyable part of the run and I was enjoying myself so much I had time to take in all the scenery. The route took us past a Lamar field and a field full of horses. The views across the fields were amazing. The hardest bit of the route was between 7 to 8K as I was beginning to get really tired. It was great though as the people spectating kept clapping and shouting ‘come on you can do it!’ And it really spurred me on. I remember seeing the sign for 9K and grinning to myself as I then knew I was going to make it. But the last kilometre went on FOREVER! As I eventually turned the corner and saw the finish line I heard people shouting ‘come on Jess!’ and I saw my friends and mum on the side line all cheering me on! It was such a great feeling and I was even able to sprint to the end and across the finish line!
I was completely stunned and shocked I had made it. It was an absolutely amazing feeling. My legs were like jelly shaking and my heart pounding, but it felt so great. My friends and mum gave me a big hug and I felt so proud of myself. We all got a commemorative bright pink t-shirt at the end and we put them on for a picture.
I really had the most amazing experience and really felt a sense of personal achievement. Ok the training schedule hadn’t gone exactly to plan, and it was bloody hard work, but I did it! And I have gone completely OTT and booked on to a further 3 10K runs and am even considering a half marathon next year! There’s no stopping me now!