Sunday, 8 July 2012

Still can't really believe

... that not only did I run a 7.2 km race last saturday but that I also ran my first 10 km race yesterday and managed to cross the finish line in under an hour. 59:32 to be exact. I hurt like hell in the end after both runs but after a few minutes it had started to feel so great!

They were two totally different races.
The 7.2k was a city race and it was awfully hot that afternoon. A lot of people took part, I think over 850, fast ones but also many who just wanted to have fun, and a lot of spectators were all around the track. It was very crowded, not only in the beginning where we all were forced to run very slowly because of the many people. It was run in 6 laps and on each lap you could grab a cup of water and at the opposite side of the course there were two showers to run underneath. I worked hard but not at the complete limit as I feared I wouldn't stand the heat. Everything went well and I was proud of myself when finishing in 43:23. When we drove back home after 8pm the thermometer in the car still showed 32°C.
The 10k was a race organized by an athletics club and start/finish was in a stadium, the course then was one big loop into the forest. Only about 200 people did start, and from the result lists from the previous years I had seen there usually are a lot of fast runners, no "just for the fun" runners. So I was scared to be the last one to come back... (Which would still have been great as it would still have meant I had completed the race.)
It wasn't as hot as the week before but still very warm and so it was good that we were mostly running in the shaded forest. There was only one water supply which I didn't know or I would have taken two cups of water. I don't need that for drinking but for cooling myself down... Long parts I was running "alone" which isn't better than the in the crowd in the city because I felt it was hard to keep up my pace just with me and my hart rate monitor.
The first two kms were very fast, now I'd say too fast, (but who wants to leave the stadium last??), at five km I still felt absolutely great and was under half an hour. Then two ladies overtook me some time later and I tried to keep up with them but couldn't for long, and when I saw the next km-sign appearing in the distance and thought "only one more kilometer" and then on that sign was an 8 not a 9, that nearly broke my neck. But then the 9 appeared and I had about 6:40 minutes left to the hour and I thought it might be possible. Right outside the stadium there was a man ringing a bell and announcing the last 500 meters and with a glance at my watch I knew I could make if I didn't fall as my legs felt a little week at that point. But I really fought hard for the last few meters, didn't fall and I crossed the line, taking care that I heard the beep that meant the timing chip was read, stopping my stopwatch and looking at it ... SMILING!!! I ran my first 10k race in just under one hour.

...after about 4 months of serious training. I am so glad I bought that book that I have, written by a German former marathon runner, through which I learned to run slowly in training, for most of the runs.
That was the mistake I did in all my former attempts to start running... I always tried to run good times each time and to get faster and then only a bit longer...

These are the amazing little feet in their tracking sandals on today's dogwalk that took me that far that fast. I think I might treat them with a nice pedicure right now :-) they have earned it!!!

Oh, and Sweetheart, who watched me running in the stadium rewarded me by ordering a fuel belt via his mobile while I was out in the forest, as it was announced to the (few) spectators that there was given water to the runners  at one place and he thought only once would be not enough for me and he even thought of getting to the track and bringing me some more... You just have to love a man like that, don't you? Supporting all my hobbies - not only letting me have a lot of yarn and wanting handknit socks for himself but also coming with me on a race that is boring for him for half an hour because the runners are out in the forest and then not knowing all those that come in before me :-)
Looking at each other after finishing was just great :-)
Thanks for coming over!
Tina

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