I’m not what you’d call a ‘natural runner’ but then I also thought that I wasn’t the kind of person who would enjoy kale in the mornings. I got that wrong.
I see running as a challenge, one to be conquered and therefore I’m going to try and overturn my aversion to running by… well… running.
As a Hackney resident I was getting massive FOMO about the Run Hackney half marathon until they announced a 5k to be held the day before the big race. I immediately signed up.
I didn’t do anything extra on top of my normal 4-5 weekly fitness studio sessions and the odd run so yes, the training went swimmingly
Saturday dawned bright, hot and sunny. So I had a green smoothie and then went back to bed. By the time Simon and I finally left the flat, the sun was burning and we drank plenty of water on our 1.5 mile walk down to Hackney Marshes.
The race village was very well set up with lots of space, a clear bag-drop (which we didn’t use) and a smattering of food stands selling sushi, burgers, smoothies and coffee.
We quickly lined up at the start having missed the warm up and waited nervously with a couple of hundred people of all shapes, ages and sizes.
And off we went! The first 1.5km was along a nicely shaded path and I smashed out my first km in 06:20. Although I was quickly being overtaken by a lot of people, I stayed steady at my pace as I didn’t want to burn out too quickly.
The next 2 kilometres were run in a horseshoe around the football pitches. This was hell. It was very hot with no shade and all you could see was how far down you had to run before you could make the turns and run all the way back up. Torture.
Once we’d finished the horseshoe of hell we turned onto the canal and ran in its delightful shade all the way back down to the entrance to Hackney Marshes. With Simon pacing me, we sped up as I wanted to make sure that I completed the run within 34 minutes (my previous unofficial PB).
I’d somehow kept a bit in reserve as I started sprinting when I hit the plastic matting leading to the finish and powered through the finish.
As this wasn’t a timed race I used my Runtastic app to time myself and allegedly the course was 230m short of 5km! I felt a little cheated because of this BUT my average pace was 06:32 which is my fastest yet.
I’m well on my way to hitting my goal of sub 30 minutes for a 5K so I’m using this as practice before I do Run To The Beat 10k in September. Eeek!