I mentioned a while ago that I was going to take part in Juneathon – running every day in June. Well – as you can see from the lack of Juneathon posts, that hasn’t been happening. With the renovation going on, I just cannot bugger off every day for a run when there are a lot of boxes to pack and furniture to move around.
Instead of Juneathon, I’ve signed up for three 10k races this month and the first one took place yesterday. It was in Brockwell Park in Herne Hill / Dulwich / Brixton area. I haven’t run there before but for some reason imagined a nice flat park to stroll around in sunshine.
Turns out the park was rather hilly and the day rather chilly. Cool temperatures are of course ok once you get going but the hills were a b*tch.
As usual during a short race like that, I struggled for the first 5km – I take about that time to warm up so until I’m warmed up I hate racing… and I question why I’m putting myself through this… and every few minutes I want to just sit down… and I agonise over the weight I’ve put on even though I know it’s mostly muscle… and in general I feel slow and heavy.
After 5km however, I get in the groove and no longer feel like an elephant trying to race with giraffes. This time I practiced a tip from running coach Karen Weir when going uphill – I focused on lifting my knees up instead of reaching forward with my quads. Quads can start burning when going uphill but I find that lifting my legs works well – all I have to think about is lift, lift, lift and as my legs naturally fall downwards I’m pushed forwards. Try it next time – it’s almost like running uphill by doing ‘high knees’ (they never go as high as they would if you’re doing them on the spot for warm-up, so don’t worry, you won’t look silly).
On the downhill bits I was a bit too cautious but I didn’t want to totally bang up my shins. My right one felt a bit tight in the beginning and that’s a sign that I need to get back to properly stretching my calves again.
The final few hundred meters were uphill and on the grass :| I sped up but as soon as I crossed the finish line I made my way out of the crowd because I was not sure I wasn’t going to throw up. I have never felt like that after a race before, I guess it shows that I gave it my best :)
I sat down and felt ok in a few minutes. Whew.
Time: 48:21 – A definite PB.
Next race: Wimbledon Common 10k on Sunday – first 2km uphill but then flat :)