Thursday, 9 September 2010

Adidas Women's 5k Challenge

What an amazing day! This is my favourite race of the year; possibly because it's the first race I ever ran way back in 2007! This is where I caught the running bug; back then the race was sponsored by Lucozade and I made it through by running 3km twice a week and a half marathon wasn't even a pipe dream!

I always aim to do better than I did the previous year at this race and normally succeed by setting a new PB for the year. This year, however, I had already set a new 5k PB back in February at the Milton Keynes parkrun of 26:05. Whilst my ultimate goal for 2010 was to get a sub 25:00 5k, and I really wanted to do it at this race, I wasn't hopeful as my training had been lax and I was and am seriously stressed at the moment!

I met up with my bff in the park before the race and we headed down to the start together. She had the bright idea of getting into the sub 25min section (for club runners, which I am lol). Something I probably wouldn't have done, even though that was what I was hoping, I was realistic and hoping to just do a sub 26min race; I would be happy with 25:xx! We didn't have a lot of time before the start and soon after we got into the pen they closed the gates and told newcomers to go to the back to run the race. I didn't get to warm up properly so just stretched and bounced around in the pen, my anxiety was enough of a warm up! My hero Jessica Ennis was on the podium and I was torn between taking a pic of her and getting my music started. When I checked my watch is was 10:59 so, sorry Jess, but the music won out and before I knew it the gun went off! I didn't even have a chance to say good luck to my bff before heading off with the crowd. Luckily we had already decided where to meet after the race before heading off to meet our other halves!

I didn't rush off as the gun went, but took my time walking to the line and making sure my watch matched exactly the start line. Setting off I decided not to distract myself by check my watch at every km marker. I needed to check that my watch matched up with the markers on the course, but not check my time. I know the course off by heart now and mapped out in my head the start with the 1st left bend then the part where you double back on yourself where, for the first time in four years I was fast to see the elites running ahead! After that you hit the first km and it's pretty much like any other course until you hit the police station towards the end with the little elevation which really takes it out of you if your not expecting it, but after you turn the corner the finish line is there and that is pretty much that! For the life of me I couldn't figure out if I was on track for my target time or not. I tried to pick someone out in the crowd to match on speed, but couldn't; there were a lot of club runners as expected and whilst I was maintaining speed with them I couldn't out run them and kind of fell in the middle to back of the pack. At the 3km I allowed myself a look at my watch; 15:01. At first I couldn't work out what that meant I was so shocked! But I was on target to get 25:00mins! I just needed to maintain my pace and hoped that my watch and the course continued to match at every marker! 

There were a few moments when I really didn't think I could keep the momentum up, but I kept my usual mantra in my head; just 10 mins and it will all be over, and if you don't collapse at the finish line, you're not running hard enough! As the finish line came in sight I checked the time; 24:xx; I was under 25mins! That really pushed me, I wanted to sprint to the finish, but as hard as I pushed I couldn't sprint, but I hope my speed picked up a little! As I crossed the finish line I pushed the stop button on my watch and felt it buzz. I didn't look at it, I just concentrated on the time on the clock, I didn't cross the line at the gun (the elites did), but it still read 24:25 as I crossed; I'd made it in under 25 minutes; I'd made it in under 24:30 and under 24:25! I was amazed! Luckily I did not collapse at the finish line, I started walking through the funnel and checked the time on my watch realising it hadn't stopped when I hit the button; the vibration I had felt was it clocking 5km, duh! I hit the button at 25:50 and  soon heard my bff calling my name. My bff managed 25:07 a PB for her too so it was a good day all round. We finished up with some time in the park chilling out, checking out the adidas tent and I even saw Jessica Ennis up close and was too star struck to speak to her!

My splits were:
1km - 4:35.56
2km - 4:57.15
3km - 5:06.29
4km - 4:59.34
5km - 4:39.45
Total for 5km: 24:17.79

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