Today was the day! After two months of training I ran my first 5k race this week. I never thought, when I first started training, that I might be able to run 3.1 miles by the end of June. Gary suggested I should sign up so I could give myself a focus for my training and boy was it the right thing to do.
The Race For Life is held all over the country and is aimed at raising money and awareness for Cancer Research UK. It’s a walk or run event and has 5k or 10k options, and only women are allowed to take part. Everyone is encouraged to wear LOTS of pink! I, of course, opted for the 5k as it’s my first race EVER! My friend Tash also decided she would run it with me, and so together we began a two month training plan – we wanted to kick Cancer’s butt!
This morning I woke up at 8am and had myself a yummy breakfast of granary toast with honey and sliced banana. It’s so tasty, it tastes like dessert! I had my running gear all laid out from the previous night so all I needed to do was gather my stuff and hit the road.
Once Tash and I had arrived at Campbell Park we pinned on our numbers and were eager to get moving. The first thing we did was find my Sister who was volunteering at the event and go and have a chat. Then Gary found us. We applied lots of sun-cream (the weather was HOT!) and had a look around. The place was packed with women in pink, some in tutus! We found the portaloos and then headed to the main area where we were taught how to do a dance for our warm up. There wasn’t a lot of room to stretch though so I ended up just doing my own stretches after a bit of a dance! Then we were asked to move into one of three areas Walkers, Joggers or Runners. We started off at the joggers section but then moved to the runners so we would get a faster start off – hopefully!
Nerves kicked in as we waited behind the start line and then we were off! We started off very very slow as the people (4,000 of us!) filtered onto the trail. A steep hill down and then we were running. I felt good. Having to run the first mile behind so many people was a little frustrating but by 1.5 miles I was at a good pace. I started to feel a little tired by 2 miles (did I mention it was HOT?) but my music kept me going. I was really pleased that Tash and I managed to keep together for most of the run. We seemed to take it in turns bunny hopping around the lots of, now, walkers and always ended up next to each other in the end. Then the BIG hill appeared. We had heard we would hit a very steep hill near to the finish and we had tried to run it in our trial run on Wednesday but had struggled. A few words about how we would tackle it and we were off. I had to walk after I had finished it, to let my legs recover. Just after I started to run again I came across Gary and my Mum cheering us on with a banner!
I knew the finish line had to be near and when I saw it I found some energy and legged it to the end! I grabbed my medal and gave Tash a huge hug. Then we had to visit the portaloos again – what can I say? We’d drunk a lot of water 😀 I was a tad annoyed that my Nike+ app told me I had only run 3.04 miles when I’d done 3.11 – but whatev’s, I know I ran it!
Reunited with our families we had a sit down and some photos. I downed a whole carton of coconut water – it’s great stuff – and put on my flip flops – so glad I’d brought them!
I felt so good afterwards, and was so pleased I have my 1st running medal! As of now we have raised £220 for Cancer Research UK – over double the target we set. We’re both so grateful to everyone who has sponsored us and supported us in doing this. Next year I’ll do the 10k for sure!
And this isn’t where it ends. In 3 weeks Tash and I will take part in the MK Fun Run, another 5k race. It takes place around a local lake and is fairly flat for most of the way. I can’t wait to get back into training. The Race For Life was fun and for a great cause and I know it’ll feature in my running calendar every year from now. The fight against cancer will continue, so I’m going to keep running and help show it the door! Cancer, we’re coming to get you!