So another weekend passes with another race – the British Heart Foundation Olympic Park 10k.
Training leading up to the event was fantastic. I managed two great runs that week. 7 miles on the Tuesday then 4.8 miles on the Thursday in 47 minutes. Instead of throwing myself into training the day before, I actually took advice in, had a rest day and an early night.
Typical English weather moved in on race day. It was cold, windy and wet. Waiting for the race to start was the most agonising lead up ever.
Just after 10:30 we set off. 2 laps round the Olympic Park. From the beginning I pulled back to a pace that I felt comfortable with; gentle and allowing myself to get space between the crowd of runners. It was not an easy one. What I expected to be a flat route turned out to be very undulating. We were directed up and down hills around the Velodrome within the park. Pair this with the weather conditions and we had a challenging 10k run.
As with every run there is the constant battle with mind and body. My legs were going, but my mind was saying “lets just do the one lap.” I did think about finishing at lap one. Races with laps have always been tough for me – probably due to the fact that you see the nice big FINISH line and then think “crap, I have to do that again.” You also know exactly what’s coming. I find that with these races the battle continues all the way to the finish.
But finish I did. My eyes were streaming from the wind, getting a breath was difficult but I pushed through. I got to the home straight and opened up my stride.
Finishing in 55:06 according to my fitbit, which I still don’t quite believe. But I will damn well take it. As a runner you are constantly learning. With this race in particular I have learnt that you cannot compare your time from race to race. No two are the same. Every race, every terrain and every performance will be different. All you can do is keep training hard, keep putting in the effort, keep moving forward.
Accept the days when running seems impossible. The days when it is effortless, just welcome them with open arms.
With no scheduled races until April, I am going to keep pushing through, keep working on my pace and try to believe in myself a little more.