I was quite nervous about today’s race. I felt I had a lot to prove after running it in 50.38 last year…
Whilst this was my 4th run of the Bupa 10,000 it was the first time I’d have to run it alone without my good friend and running buddy Kirsten. Kirsten is one of my oldest friends (in terms of length, not age, as she’s ‘very young’ like me although we will admit to being at uni together in the 1980’s, enough said). Anyway, when I got into running 5 years ago, she encouraged me through my first 5Ks and has run all the Bupa 10Ks to date with me at my pace. As a more experienced (and faster) runner and knowing me well she has brilliantly known when push the pace when I’m able and hold me back when necessary.
However, Kirsten was away this May and it was time for me to go it alone. Aggh help…
So it meant a lot to me to be able to meet up with fellow janathon/juneathon runners, abradypus, fortnightflo, shazruns, runorgocrazy and plustenner for a chat and a coffee and while away a few nerves before moving onto Green Park for baggage drop and queue for the loo before the race.
I was feeling grateful for the cloudy, dry, cooler day… but by 10am I had no need for the moth-eaten cardigan as a pre race warmer and was grateful for grabbing my sunglasses. For what we all assumed would be a cooler day was turning out to be very warm and the sun was very strong!
I started in the red B wave so was lucky to start only 3 minutes after the gun, however even so there was a fairly long wait in the pen trying to decide whether to join the queues for the loo and whether to drink loads more or not to drink loads more! I didnt do either but in hindsight should have done both…
As we went over the line I keep repeating the mantra I’d planted in my head, ‘I must not start off too fast… I must not sprint’ but my wave started at a conservative pace so going along with the pace of the group was pretty good for me without having to hold back a bit.
I didn’t feel horrible but I was certainly not flying and knew by 2 km that the 8.10 pace I was actually running was manageable and the 7.57 pace I dreamed about to beat last year was unrealistic. By 4km I was questioning matching last years time as my km split times were dropping gradually each km. I went through 5K at 26m (a minute slower than last year) and at this stage gave up clock watching and relaxed into just running the race regardless of time. The rest of the race passed uneventfully, there were a couple of good music groups which helped spur me on and a farily good crowd, I generally ran with the pace of the group. Just after 7Km as we turned downhill to rejoin the embankment I was very tempted by a large sign saying “PUB” but just managed to force myself onwards! (next year I’ll carry some cash just in case!) The stretch between 8k and 9k felt like a marathon had been squeezed into that long straight and hot stretch of the embankment. It was that part, mile 6, where my pace slowed the most to 8.58 and I was aware of people passing me, regardless of how much I was trying to get mind over matter and push on for ‘just the last km’.
My finish time was 53.06. Average pace 8.21. (6.36 miles)
For the fourth year in a row it was a very well organised, great race. I’ll be back next year chasing 50 or 49. Maybe I might even do all the training I should and plan to do before hand!
Well done everyone who ran it yesterday.