I am really not a runner. I'm sporty, I like the outdoors, and therefore everyone thinks I should be a good runner. I'm not. Me and running go as well together as alcohol and text messaging. Ok, I used to be an alright sprinter, but the furthest I ever ran back then was 200m. Its that other 4.8km that kills me.
Battersea Park 5km was my first ever running event. I can't explain quite how terrified i was. I'd been running for roughly 6 weeks and had built up to being able to run 5km without any walking. If you had witnessed my first day of running round the local roads you would appreciate how much of a personal achievement this was. My splits aren't fast, but I no longer run round the block and end up doubled over wondering if I'm ever going to be able to breathe normally again. I'd even started running in daylight where people might actually see me. Infact, I think I'd actually started to fall in love with running.
We rocked up to Battersea Park to be greeted by music pumping, friendly faces and lots of people. Lots of people was a good thing, it meant less chance of me being that one person still running at the end, long after everyone else had packed up and gone home. Probably an irrational thought, as I'm sure people wouldn't pack up until the last person had finished, but in my head I'd made this a massive possibility, running through several different scenarios of how that day would end. The event was run by RunThrough who organise a load of running events around the London area and it was great. Lining up in the start pen I desperately tried to think of some reasons as to why I couldn't run. However, when people have been sponsoring you there really is no better motivation to both start and finish. The gun went and I ran. As it turns out, pacing is not my strong point, and a desire to look like a good runner may be my downfall. I think I probably ran too fast at the beginning as the last k can only be described as torture. But I loved it. My body was screaming at me to walk, but the voice in my head kept saying run. As they say, pain is temporary, pride is forever.
Lessons learnt? 1) Don't be terrified. It gets you no where. 2) Buy a watch so I can actually try and pace myself. 3) Believe that I can be a runner, the hardest part is now done.