Today was the day! Me and the guys from work had signed up for the Movember Mo Run to raise money for men’s health. The weeks leading up to the race were a little shaky on the training. No one really had a lot of time for training, I’d hurt my knee whilst doing my long runs and suspected an ITB injury, and another in the team, my friend Jen, was suffering with VERY painful shin splints.
We turned up this morning, all taped up, dressed for the freezing weather and raring to MO. We had to wait a while to start running so we got our numbers, timing chips and our fetching Mo Running headbands and headed back to the gym nearby to use the loos and keep warm. Time for photos!
Don’t we look fetch? So back to the start line and off we went. I’d taped my knee up but the cold weather was making all my muscles tighten and I could feel it grumbling already before we’d even started. Time for mental blockage. At the start line I turned my music up loud and blocked everything out. I was able to think about the music and the direction I was running in. I’d made a conscious effort to slow my pace for this race, so that I didn’t put too much strain on my knee.
It was a toughie. The first 5k I was able to keep going and all that was stopping me was fatigue at points (I also bumped into an old school friend who was running the race. Seeing a friendly face was just what I needed at that point!) Then we hit a hill and my knee struggled. And then we came down the hill and my knee actually hurt. Two of our team had noticed I was behind at this point and held back at the bottom of the hill to wait for me. The rest of the team weren’t too far ahead. I carried on and then felt something twang. I think I actually yelled out in pain because they all turned around and Jen held back for me. At that point I could have given up, but Jen’s mind is über strong and she talked me through it. I turned my music off at this point and just listened to Jen’s words of encouragement. She kept me going all the way, and I totally wouldn’t have finished without her. The last half of the race was made easier by the team. I was in pain and kept getting bad twinges but everyone rallied together and kept me going. The guys sprinted the last 0.2km but I kept at my pace. I really didn’t want to snap my leg in half, which is what it felt like by this point.
Finishing the race I stopped my watch and saw I’d hit a PB! 3 seconds faster than my last 10k, and with an injury! The annoying thing was that my body felt great. Without the injury I know I could have kept going, and now I know I can definitely run a half marathon.
There was more time for photos once we’d finished, and we wrapped up in foil blankets to keep us from getting too cold in the freezing wind. I was really overwhelmed by the team spirit and support from the guys, and I’m amazed I managed to finish. My knee stiffened up fairly fast and I couldn’t bend my knee so ended up walking like a bit of an idiot (still am!) but I have my moustache shaped medal and the memory of a tough race made better by an amazing bunch of people….
especially that girl there! We all did so well, and now I’m ready to prepare for the MK Half Marathon in May. Let me at it!