This morning I completed my 10k for the St Albans Race for Life! It took me nearly 6 months of regular running, with I must admit, the past month off following an injury and a new time consuming job. But, I did it! It was quite a scary prospect and it has been worrying me the past week quite a lot, not least because of the high temperatures we are experiencing here in the UK. I knew that there would be an uphill part of the course and i’m very used to running on the flat and so I wasn’t all that sure if I could manage it. I was also a bit worried that it might become a bit of a personal Race for Life, given my high anxiety levels, the heat and everything combined.
In the end when I finally dragged myself down to the park I was greeted with a sea of pink and lots of enthusiastic people. I realised very quickly that I didn’t need to worry about it being a really competitive event as everyone was just there to have fun.
Queuing up to start running I saw someone I knew and had a bit of a chat. This helped take my mind off things and I’d suggest that if you were considering doing the race its a good idea to get someone to do it with you. Once we set off, I forgot about being on my own and put my headphones on. I quickly released that this isn’t a competitive event at all, everyone seemed to be running quite slowly. In fact considerably slower than I normally run. The sheer volume of people also made it very difficult to overtake people until about 6K into the race. This was quite a good thing as it meant that I didn’t push myself too much in the heat. I even managed to run uphill (the pace was a good 3 seconds slower than I normally run though!).
By about 7K I actually began overtaking some of the people who were walking. I have to admit this was a great thing for me and really spurred me on. I also decided to take my headphones off and to listen to everyone around me. It was great to hear all the shouts of support! I managed to do the Race for Life 10K in just over an hour, I was pleased with this time because it was such a hot day and an unusual time for me to go running.
The marshals were brilliant, they were so supportive and encouraging and for me, flagging a little bit in the heat that really helped. So, thanks so much to all of them.
Would I do it again?
Yes! I’ve enjoyed all the training I’ve done for the race and this is something which I intend to keep up. although I’m not sure if I will run at a competitive race. My seven year old daughter was inspired by the day and we intend to do some mother- daughter runs and i’ve promised her that we will do a race together (more likely a 5 k).
I’m proud that I managed to raise a decent sum of money for Cancer Research UK, this is such an important charity which does really important work.
The Race for Life was an empowering experience, it was genuinely humbling seeing everyone pulling together and running in support of their loved ones. I spent quite a long time reading the notes on everyones backs to see who they were running for, some messages were upsetting and some up-lifting. It highlighted just how many people are affected by Cancer and how many people really care enough to try to make a difference.
Go along to the warm up- this is great fun and gets you in the mood
Find a friend- I think I would have found the experience much easier with someone to go along with (although I managed)
Drink plenty of water before the race. There are toilets so no need to worry!
Don’t worry! This is a supportive event, its not in the least competitive which is fantastic.
Practice the route- It just so happened that a lot of the route was on my usual running route. The familiarity really helped me.
Have fun! This is about raising awareness, money and having a good time.
There are plenty more Race for Life Events happening if you’d like to have a go then you can sign up here. If you’d like to sponsor me you can still do so here.