I mentioned previously how expensive I think races have become which is why in 2016 I have only signed up for two races so far, one of which is the Paris marathon and I paid for that last year. I am sure this will increase (especially once Nike announces their run series) but as things stand right now, last weekend I ran the only run I had planned for 2016 bar the marathon: the Battersea Park 10k. Organised by RunThrough.co.uk it was affordable, brilliantly organised, and all kinds of amazing.
I signed up for this run a while ago and planned to go there and run it by myself. none of my friends could make it on that day and Sister wasn’t free either. This almost never bothers me except for right at the beginning when I always feel like a tit for standing by myself and am absolutely positive that everyone is staring at me (they probably are but who cares? Oh yes, me.) However in between signing up and running the race, the Battersea Bullets contacted me. They are a running club running from the Battersea Cats and Dogs Home and of course they would be running this 10k in Battersea Park. I was more than welcome to join them if I wanted to.
So off I went in the expectation that I will only have people to run with and that I will say nothing at all. I am not a shy person as a general rule but when I meet new people all my witty comments stay in my head. In fact just normal conversation stays in their too and refuses to come out of my mouth. I must come across as some sort of silent, unfriendly human. Of course that isn’t my intention at all, it just takes me a while to be comfortable enough around new people. However the Battersea Bullets and Emma in particular were so welcome and friendly I found my self talking almost normally. Almost.
One of the women, Jess, was aiming for a time similar to mine so I decided to stick with her. I run with no watch and no app and while I love that in normal life, it’s annoying in a race when I am aiming for a certain time. Jess though had a fitness watch and I knew she would be keeping tabs on our progress.
For those of you in London (or indeed the UK) right now, you will know that the temperature finally dropped. For those of you not living in this ice box then the temperature has dropped. Waiting for the race to start was a challenge between my mind and uncontrollable shaking (the shaking won) and I was so glad to actually start running and moving.
The race itself was four laps of the park and each lap was flat as a pancake, meaning that as I’m someone who usually runs on hills, it felt as if I was flying. I felt quick and I felt in control. My knees didn’t ache and that in itself was a small miracle. In fact the only thing that did hurt were my ears and earrings underneath the Battersea Blue headband the Bullets gave me. (Serves me right for getting more and more piercings doesn’t it? But it won’t make me stop).
I was able to stick with Jess until the 9th km and that was when she found a gear and reserve of speed and strength that I just didn’t have.So as she shot off I carried on feeling amazing and feeling strong, though probably running a little slower as I became tired.
However look at the time I crossed the line in – LOOK! Even if that was my official time I would be over the moon – me running a sub-54 minute 10k? Never thought that was possible. But I forgot that that I didn’t cross the start line as soon as he timer started. So my official time is 53.07. Over the moon – over the moon!
I really loved running with the Battersea Bullets and especially Jess. We didn’t talk much while we were running but it was a comfortable sort of silence where we were both wrapped up in out own running. Also how epic are the medals? It is definitely one of the most beautiful medal I have ever received.