Towards the end of Operation transformation we had to set goals for ourselves to achieve in the following months. As I had unearthed a new found love of running I registered for the Vhi women’s mini marathon. I had walked it several years ago but I was hell bent on running the 10k this time round.
Once the programme finished I set about my training for a 10k. While I had no problem with the shorter distance, I found it very hard to keep focused on the longer one. There was a fortnight when I didn’t do any training. Before this if I had fallen off the wagon I’d have given up completely. This time I had a good talk to myself and started back at a lower level and was soon back on track.
Bank holiday morning arrived and I set off for Baggot Street. I still hadn’t run 10k or anything near it. I hadn’t decided whether to run 5k and then run/walk the rest of it, or to walk 1 min and run 5 mins for the full course. During the week as I basked in the glorious sunshine I worried that it would be too hot for running on the Monday. As I drove up towards the darkening clouds I figured that wasn’t going to be the main problem. Sure enough as I joined the throngs of women walking towards the starting line the heavens opened. I was wondering how on earth we were going to run in soaking clothes when suddenly I was hit on the head by a rain poncho! The lovely people in Dublin’s Little Museum were standing on their steps throwing out the rain coverings to all the passers-by. That has to be the nicest idea ever.
As I had never run a 10k before and had no personal time to enter on the registration form, I was in the walkers group. We were corralled into an area and waited for our starting orders. The rain stopped and the atmosphere was fantastic. After a short delay the crowd started to surge forward and we were off.
I soon realised that running was not an option as we were so close together. My heart sank a little bit as although I knew I couldn't run the full distance I did want to run some of it. Suddenly two joggers passed me by and I was off like a greyhound after a hare! I figured that they could do all the hard work of finding a path through the crowd and I’d be in their wake. I guess we must have almost doubled our distance because of all of the weaving in and out we did. Thankfully the crowds thinned out a bit after a while and my path became straighter.
I decided on the walk 1/run 5 mins routine so I put on Karl Henry’s podcast and kept going. Thankfully it didn’t drown the cheers of the people who lined the streets cheering us on. When I passed the 5k mark I was feeling fine. “I can do this”, I egged myself on.
And keep going I did. As I was approaching the 8k mark I got the shock of my life. The sign said 9k! How did that happen? I was closer to the end than I realised. This spurred me on and suddenly I could see the finish line ahead of me And then the weirdest thing happened , I started to well up with tears, Seriously, what was that about? I knew that it was going to be physically draining but I wasn’t counting on the emotional side of it. As I crossed the finish line my emotions swung around again and I was elated. I almost forgot to check my time, my main goal was to just finish the thing!
I completed the course in 1 hr 15 mins, which is exactly 1 hr 15 mins faster than I’ve ever done it before!
I’m going to give myself a few days to recover and then I’ll get back to training. I’ve set myself a new goal.
Next year I’ll run the entire 10k!