You remember my slightly crazy agreement to join a team to walk 20miles. In London. At night. Without training. And that bacon sarnies don’t have a strong enough pull for me. Well, one of the reasons I wanted to make sure I had no lasting injuries was because I had been training with Anna for a 10k run since May. The day, as usual, rolled around much sooner than I anticipated.
After getting back the use of my left leg again on the Tuesday, Anna & I thought we better get a run in before the big day – a 10k race for Cancer Research at Hampton Court Palace, which took place this morning. We did a respectable 4 miles, though my legs were sore and tired at the end. I couldn’t manage another 2 miles. I was hoping it was residual fatigue from the walk.
I’m happy to report it was, and having rested the rest of the week, we were good to go today. Anna had only 2 hours sleep, and despite having had no rest, we ran a great run.
We started out with Kirsty at the start. Thanks to James her fiance, I have a load of great pics of us running. I seem to have a thing with throwing my arms in the air when being photographed, it must be the adrenalin! Monkey flight response or something like that.
Here we are all fresh faced and enthusiastic. Of course we used the portaloos like they were going out of fashion. Nerves and small bladders and all. We saw Tina who volunteers alot of her personal time to the Cancer Research events, arriving with the other volunteers at 630am to ensure that everything goes smoothly for us runners. A big shout out and Thank you to Tina and all the volunteers who cheered us on, gave us water, and generally made sure we got to the end in one piece.
We headed over to the start line, and ran out with our 60min+ group. We passed the clock at 15min13s and went on our way. Both Anna and I figured that we should be able to finish in under 1hr 20mins. We weren’t sure, but we were hopeful.
The grounds were absolutely stunning, and we had fun imagining what it must be like to have Hampton Court as your home, and Bushy Park as your own personal hunting grounds. Wild.
At about the 1km mark we spotted James and his cameras, and struck a pose. Approaching- automatic arm raise!
And on our way to the 2km mark.
Totally gorgeous. And the smell! Oh the air was so clean and fresh. Sigh.
Anyways, we continued on, passing the golf course, and out the grounds to run along the Thames in the shade. Which was so lovely. As you can see, it was an incredibly sunny and clear day. Thankfully not too hot. We passed the 5km without difficulty – and had some water and kept on running. Running with Anna was great – I had encouragement when I was a little breathless and slowing, and we kept pace for each other slowing when we had stitches (which we took turns doing) and speeding up when we hit a good stride. When we hit the 5km mark, I knew we’d finish strong. We both felt good and had a good stride going. 6km came and went.
We passed 7km and I whooped, then 8km, then 9km. I was so happy to see the 9km I think I might have startled fellow runners with my shriek! It was such a fun run, that when we hit the gates back into the grounds, we were really on a high. I just was so happy that we were in good form, running strong, and with 500m to go we agreed that we would speed up when we saw the finish line and finish strong. We saw David, who cheered us, and then James with the camera. There go the arms again.
When we got close enough to the finish line, we started to pick up our pace, and then I saw the clock – it was at 1hr31m. I was elated – so happy I think the extra adrenalin helped me not notice that I could barely breathe any more! We had finished in an hour and 16minutes – 4 minutes under our goal time. We’re pretty chuffed – so chuffed that we had to hug. Then we had to keep walking to make sure our muscles didn’t seize up.
We ran hard. We ran for over an hour. And we finished without stopping. Without walking. Without once feeling like we couldn’t do it. And for Anna, with only 2 hours sleep!
So happy we finished under our goal time, and together and other than being out of breath, without any serious aches and pains.
Here we are – Kirsty, Anna, Beth (? I hope that’s right!) and me. Sweaty and tired, but really happy with ourselves (Kirsty ran in 52 minutes!). And my little medal.