If I start from the top I'm going to have to tell you about my night out on the town with my bf & bff (boyfriend and best friend forever). Well let's just say it was a good night and even though we left early (02:30), by the time we'd stopped at Bagel Bites and grabbed something to eat it was after 03:00 when we returned to our hotel. I got up around 07:30, so a severe lack of sleep! Luckily I don't drink so alcohol wasn't contaminating my system! I ended up having a cooked breakfast around 08:30, which is late for me - I like to eat 2 hours before I run. Couldn't be helped so I jumped on the train and made my way down to St. James' Park.
The park was bustling and luckily well signposted. I headed over to the baggage tent then picked up my free Lucozade Sport Lite. I was hoping to meet up with Kate, but I hadn't heard from her so made my way to my pen solo. It was really well organised and and the various waves went off smoothly. I was in the blue wave group A, the red wave was elites and celebrities, blue wave I assumed was club runners and the green wave behind me probably walkers, again an assumption, because on my way back I saw them all walking at the 2-3km stage! My wave got going at 10:10 only 10 mins passed the official start, I had anticipated waiting around a lot longer!
The route was great, the finish was in front of Buckingham Palace, we ran up and down Victoria Embankment into the city turning around into Fenchurch Street and coming back down. I'm glad I brought my own fuel as there was only one water station carefully positioned after 2km and before 8km to feed both runners starting out on one side and returning on the other side. There was also two 'shower stations' sprinkling cool water on runners just after the 5km and 8km points. This was welcomed relief as even though it wasn't a hot, sunny day, it was hard work and I was working up a heat!
I had warmed up quite well, but still started off slowly in the crowds. A good thing as I don't think I would have coped had I gone off at the gun. Even though I drive these streets regularly, I wasn't prepared for the 'peaks and trofs' along the course. In fact I had driven the route just that morning on my way back from the club so I guess I should have been paying attention! The plan was to take the first 5km easy, but still faster then my training times. At the 5km mark I planned to pretend I was running a 5km and see how I got on... Unfortunately at the 5km mark I got a stitch in my side that had me contemplating stopping for a breather, but I refused to slow down and decided to keep going. It was painful, but I reminded myself of why I was there what I wanted to achieve and obviously the lovely medal I would be walking home with! At 7km as my stitch was fading in intensity, I got another one on the other side! I was sooooo glad to see 8km then 9km and stepped up the tempo as much as I could endure. By the time I returned to the park and saw the 400m to go sign I wasn't sure I had much more in me. I wanted to sprint the rest, but whilst my heart was in it my legs were just not getting the message! I did manage to make it the quickest km of the race at 5:12, but I still didn't get in as fast as I wanted. My goal was to get in under 1:00:00 and although I recorded slightly more than 10km at 10.19km, my Garmin time was 1:00:46, 47 seconds more than what I wanted! ARGH!!! One consolation is I know I tried my best and really couldn't have pushed any harder if I tried.
The plan was to have a picnic in the park after the race with my family and my sister and her brood were at the finish when I passed through the 'runners walk'. There was still loads of people finishing when I finally met up with Mum, Gran and my Aunt and the kids and word is its my own fault for being so fast! Had I been slower they would have been able to see me finish, I guess I should have run around again to helped them out! We did have a great day in the end even if my Aunt's idea of making a picnic is calling the local pizza parlour and requesting a delivery! Everyone decided they wanted to race and we ended up having little sprints in the park. My 17 year old cousin and brother both beat me - no surprise there, they are both tall, one's stocky, one's lanky and they didn't just run 10km! I did manage to beat my Mum and my sister who ran in her heels! Minor victories, but we had fun. There was a wonderful Pelican who decided to join us and ran around the green as if he owned the place! Beautiful bird, the kids were scared to feed him, I guess he was a little big for a bird! lol
The one downside to the day was the disappointment of London Underground. The Jubilee line was down so I travelled on the Bakerloo line to Embankment then jumped two stops to St James' Park station. On the way home however, we went back to Embankment to discover there had been a train failure and the Bakerloo line was part suspended to Paddington. So we jumped on the train back past St James' Park to Paddington. Only when we got to Paddington there had been a fire on the line and no trains were running! Needless to say we ended up taking a long walk and jumping on the bus! Despite that it was a great fun day out with the family and oh the medal isn't half bad too!