I shared in a previous post that I set a goal to run a marathon in November and since the beginning of the year I had been training consistently until early April and then my training fell off a cliff but I’m getting back on track (pun intended). Three weeks ago I completed the Color Run with a few friends. It was a quick 5K fun run that was a good primer for me to start running again. Last week I completed the Nike 10K run in London which really challenged me.
I registered for the Nike 10K run back in April when I had been running consistently. I was running 10K 2-3 times per week in under an hour so I felt comfortable setting my target completion time in the range of 50-55 minutes as a personal best. On top of falling off of my training I must admit I was doing the absolute most the entire week. I was working full days and getting less than 4 hours of sleep per night surviving on cappuccino fumes and I’m not a coffee drinker. I entertained friends for two consecutive nights at the beginning of the week, held it down at home while my husband traveled back to the U.S. to attend a wedding and hosted and entertained another group of friends from Thursday to Sunday.
By Sunday morning I was beat and wanted to lay under the bed but I was determined to show up and try. Despite the fatigue of yet another late night, I forced myself out of bed early and headed to Victoria Park in East London to run 10K for the first time in over two months. I arrived at the park at 9:45AM and the run was scheduled to begin at 10:30AM. I rushed to get checked in because in all of my running around that week I overlooked the instructions to pick up my running shirt in advance which was my entry into the park. Once I finally checked in, I joined the group of blue wrist band wearing runners which signified our 50-59 minute target completion time which up until that point I had totally forgotten that I had even set.
After a quick warm up and fueled by the energy and momentum of the crowd I began the race between the 58 and 59 minute pacesetters. I worked my way forward to the 57 minute pacesetter but by the 5K mark my right foot began to blister and I stopped to adjust my sneakers and contemplate what repressed feeling of self-hatred would make me torture myself with this run when I could be sipping mimosas over brunch on a beautiful Sunday instead. Thankfully that pity party only lasted seconds and I got back in the race in time to catch the 59 minute pacesetter. For the second half of the run all I could do was put one foot in front of the other as I focused on the motivational signage posted along the course and occasionally made eye contact with a spectator who I convinced myself was sending me subliminal messages of encouragement. As a non-runner which I consider myself to be, running is about harnessing the mental fortitude to push my body past limits that I would consciously set for myself but am otherwise capable of reaching.
I finished the run in 59 minutes and 20 seconds; short of my personal best target but proud that I had finished in under an hour despite my lack of training. I am determined to set new targets to reach and ramp up my training for the marathon in November.
P.S. The Nike Run was fantastic and I highly recommend it if it’s in your town. It was extremely well organized and lots of fun…the swag was cool too.
Special thanks to my friends/village Cecilia and Kandace who took care of my children so that I could participate in run. I love you guys!