A few months ago, I signed up fairly idiotically to run a 10km race, despite never having run that far before in my entire life. I don’t know how long the cross country course at my high school was, but probably nowhere near that far, and even then I would walk pretty much the entire way and then sprint finish to the end, overtaking about 20 people who’d actually tried hard and run the whole thing. The highest I ever placed was 57th, so I didn’t have high hopes for my 10km.
Thankfully, there were 9,999 other people running the Nike Women’s 10km, so chances are I’d be able to beat at least one or two.
When I signed up, I put myself in the sub-hour category (remember folks – I’d never run further than 5km at this point, and was entirely guessing) which allocated me a green wristband on the day. I talked a friend from work into running it too, and she had rather sensibly gone for sub-70 minutes so I snuck into her starting pen and we made it to the front together.
The race was two laps of Victoria Park, and the sun was shining on us all which made it a bit easier to take. Having to run laps was both a blessing and a curse, as the distance markers showed how far you’d got whether you were on your first or second lap in basically the same places. This was demoralising on the first lap, but pretty motivating on the second. Having never run a race before, having the markers out so clearly was actually really helpful in terms of forcing myself to run just a liiiiiittle bit further – for example “run to the next marker and then take a break until you get to the water station/corner/gate etc.”
I reckon I ran about 8 out of the 10 kilometres, but haven’t been able to work it out properly from my gps watch. If anyone knows how to, please let me know because (embarrassingly) there aren’t really any noticeably slower kilometres on my race graph, which seems to mean I run as fast as I walk..
The finishers pack was pretty sweet, and we all ended up with various health foods, champagne, beauty products, jewellery and more. My friend and I treated ourselves to lunch after the race (having failed entirely to fuel up beforehand, each eating just one banana and some coconut bites before running further than we ever had in our lives) and she definitely chose better than I did. Her steak and chips but my already confusing vegan burrito in the shade, and 3/10 would not recommend ‘pulled jackfruit’ as a meat alternative. I still don’t even know what it was..
Overall I’m pretty chuffed with the way the race went, and with a bit more practice I think I could definitely shave the four-and-a-half minutes needed off my time to get it sub-hour. Devastatingly, if I manage to get 6 minutes off, my 10km time will be “just under” 1.5x the time my friend Mikey does it in. ONE AND A HALF TIMES HIS PB. I hate everything about it.