Last Sunday I did my first running race.
I’ve been running for over 18 months now and I felt like I needed a goal to work towards.
Either that or it may get to the stage where my motivation started to wane.
And the Scottish 10K felt like the right race to start out with.
The convenience factor was a big part of it.
It started and ended a couple of minutes away from where I live.
The Build Up To The Scottish 10K
I didn’t really know what to expect on the day of the race.
Sure I had the welcome pack, telling me where to go and at what time.
But I didn’t have a clue how things worked in practice.
I ran around the school grounds for 5 minutes to get warmed up and then headed over to the start.
I felt quite nervous.
You start in pens based on your estimated race finish time.
I was in the gold pen and there were two pens ahead of me and one behind.
I’ve been quite conservative with how fast I could run the Scottish 10k and estimated 55 minutes.
The black pen started first, followed by the purple pen, gold and then silver.
When the gun was fired I was still quite a way from the start.
So it was great that my bib number had a chip on the back which would record my time once I crossed the start line.
From the off, people were weaving in and around each other.
I had underestimated the speed I wanted to run the race at and got caught behind a couple of people.
With the adrenaline pumping, my legs felt like they just wanted to be let loose!
It wasn’t long before the runners ahead of me spread out a little.
I could then get ahead of them and go at the pace I felt comfortable with.
I had in the back of my mind that for this first race I wanted to finish in under 48 minutes.
I set off at around 7:40 min/mile pace to see if I could sustain that.
Feeling Good At Half Way
By the time I got to the half way point, I felt pretty good.
I had maintained my pace and had passed loads of people who had been in the purple pen at the start.
The race followed the same route there and back.
It was quite motivating to see the line of racers as far as the eye could see when I turned back to head for the finish.
It gave me an extra boost.
I took on some water at the water station which I don’t normally do for 10k runs.
I’m not convinced that was the right thing to do because I lost momentum.
I didn’t want to stop but also drinking from a bottle wasn’t without it’s challenges.
The Last Couple Of Kilometres
I had to dig deep in the last couple of kilometres of the Scottish 10K.
It’s surprising how even a slight incline can make you feel like you’re climb Mount Everest.
I did slow down a little to 7:50 min/mile pace in the closing stages of the race.
It’s good to be running around people because you can focus on someone ahead and try to catch them.
I managed to do that with three or four people.
And every place counts, right? Well, I was feeling quite competitive.
With the end in sight I did try and speed up a little.
But I think I’m destined not to have a sprint finish and be more of a plodder!
My wife and kids were waiting at the finish line.
I’d warned my wife it might be nearer an hour before I got back.
I hadn’t really got a clue how I was going to do.
So she was pleasantly surprised when I crossed the line at 47 minutes 50 seconds.
My daughter was standing on a picnic table shouting at the top of her voice:
Go team go. Have you seen my daddy?
It’s that which is making me smile in the main image.
She was my cheerleader extraordinaire.
Over To You
Have you taken up running? Do you plan to take part in any races?