I have been running for 6 years and I have done over 40 races ranging from 5k to marathons. I have never had to stop during a race to jump into the bushes or the portaloos but – hashtag – theresalwaysafirsttime.
Tuesday: I had had some leftovers for lunch and as I was eating I thought something was a little bit off… I didn’t finish it all. Then I was in a meeting from 3pm to 6pm with no water and then rushed straight away to Tower Bridge with some colleagues to Run the River.
We were all given heavy cotton t-shirts to wear and I started to suffering as soon as I put it on. The evening was hot and muggy and even though I felt a bit off, I was certain that once I started running I’d be ok.
The 10km race started and even though it was crowded and we ran on roads and paths that were not closed to the public, I did the first 5kms in 23 minutes. Then the cramps started.
I slowed down and started looking around for somewhere to do – portaloos, cafes, bushes, anything! But we were in the city of London, at night, no cafes were open and no bushes in sight! At the Tower of London the marshalls pointed me to toilets when I asked them if there were any nearby but those were closed! I then just ran into a little restaurant that was closing and upon seeing my miserable face they let me use their loos.
2 minutes lost I joined the runners for the remaining 2kms. I thought I’d be able to speed up now but I was zapped and just feeling off overall. I crossed the finish line in 50:12 and just felt terrible – cold sweat and shivering and grabbing all the water bottles I could find.
So this ‘just a 10km’ race totally beat me. My stupid t-shirt was soaking wet, I tore it off and just sat down and swore I’d never do an evening race again. Or if I did, I’d drink a lot beforehand and only eat things I knew my stomach could handle – plain chicken and plain rice.
I somehow crawled to the tube and got home. I couldn’t fall asleep for ages, my body felt like it had run a marathon in the desert.
P.S. If you think that it’s embarrassing how I just wrote about this, then you’re not a runner ;P
P.P.S. I would much rather write about the 10k race on Clapham Common at the end of August where I got second place but they didn’t tell me that until I looked up the results myself (even though they kept shouting out men’s names and places as they crossed the finish line before and after me) and my trophy that was supposed to arrive by post still hasn’t arrived.
So there. Some races are good. Some are bad. Some are terrible.
Such is the running life.
In fact, such is life in general.
Next race: London Duathlon. For which I have not trained at all.
Should be interesting :D