I’m so excited to share my first ever 10K race recap with you guys! When you run a distance for the first time you’re guaranteed a PB, regardless of your time. My goal for today’s race was to finish in under an hour, and use it as a practice for my ‘We Own the Night’ 10K in two weeks time.
I was lucky enough to be given my race packet, and a new pink bra from Shock Absorber. I already wear their bras for running, spinning, weights and bootcamps (ie, all my workouts except pilates!). I tried out the new RUN bra in a pink/purple combination. I love that Shock Absorber make bras in big sizes and in bright colours. All too often the big bras are only available in black or white, so this pink was a great change! It will also be perfect for my Race for Life 5K in a couple of weeks time. The RUN bra has two clips at the back, making you feel like you are securely strapped in without being squashed, and there is NO bounce!
The race was held in Windsor Great Park, with the expo and start/finish line on The Long Walk. With over 2000 runners, there was a great turn out. I think the weather helped encourage a number of spectators too. I was really pleased that my friends Leah and Laura were running too.
There were plenty of loos ( a must at a race start), a small expo, along with a race day sign up, a couple of food stands and a goody bag pick up. Sadly the race tees weren’t very long, and they’d run out of some of the sizes, so we all opted to run in our own tops.
I was pleasantly surprised that there were corrals for our bib numbers/predicted time, as well as pacers. As I haven’t done a 10K before, I wasn’t sure there would be pacers for a shortish race. After settling ourselves in Leah’s corral, we got ready to race!
The first kilometer was really congested, and uphill. Not ideal. When my runkeeper informed me of our pace (I couldn’t find my garmin 🙁 !) 10.40min mile, I knew that we were going to have to pick up the pace and lose the crowd. For my next race I am going to over-anticipate my pace so I don’t have to dodge so many people!
The three of us ran together for the first 2km, checking to ensure we were all there. We ran past Jason, Leah’s boyfriend, who got some awesome snaps of us…
After the slow uphill start we turned left, speedy Laura took off, and Leah and I settled into a decent pace of about 9min miles, thinking the hills were behind us. Unfortunately, that was not the case.
‘The course profile is undulating, and when you reach the top of The Long Walk after having mastered that first hill you will be rewarded with spectacular scenery and sweeping views of the Royal Berkshire countryside all round.’ source
The course was certainly undulating, HILLY would be another way to describe it. They just kept coming! The scenery was stunning though, and we reassured ourselves that each uphill had to come back down.
Leah and I managed to keep running whilst many around us were walking. We were overtaking people throughout the race which is always really encouraging.
There were two water stations on the course, and by the second one we decided to walk through the water station. I hate water stops with cups rather than bottles, as I find it tough to drink and run (I spilt my cup all over myself at the first station), and you can’t take it with you. As it was such a hot day, I expected the race organisers to add another water station into the course, and I think people struggled with the lack of hydration. I had drunk a Nuun on the way, so didn’t suffer too much with dehydration, although I did wish that I had a bottle of water with me!
At this point the castle came into view and we knew there was only one uphill bit left then the final stretch to the long walk kept us moving. My thoughts throughout the race were that I wanted to be running at an uncomfortable pace, that I wanted to give it my all and leave everything behind on the course. With that in mind, with the finish line in sight, I really picked up the pace.
I gave it my all during the final stretch, although unfortunately the Long Walk was a LONG way, and the finish line looked much closer than it turned out to be! I kept pushing though, knowing I wanted to finish strong.
As I got closer to the finish line, I could see that we had made our sub 60 min target- the clock said 57.01 and my goal became to finish with the clock under 57.30 and sprint it in.
I crossed the line in *56.54* official time, and couldn’t have been happier.
I also managed to snap a pic of Leah crossing the finish line just behind me- congrats on her PB by 52 seconds!
We all agreed it was the hilliest race we’d ever completed. I have actually run a 8K in Windsor Great park before, it was my first ever race about 5 years ago. I hadn’t done any training and ended up walking at least 3 or 4 times. It’s amazing to see how much fitter and faster I am now! She Runs Windsor is billed as good for beginners, but I think the hills can be really off putting. We agreed it was the hilliest race we’d ever done, and it is safe to say that I will be avoiding any courses in the future that have a hilly profile!
|running/walking my first ever race!|
After the race we met up with Becki to pose for a photo- #TeamNaturallyRun! We all finished in our goal times, and were proud of our hard earned medals!
Did you race this weekend? How did you get on? I’ve got another three 10K’s in May, now I have a goal time to beat and I’m still chasing a sub 55min 10K!!