A Family Run

So most families like to go on holiday together, maybe a trip to the spa or a nice brunch? My family like to take part in random sporty events. We've had a relay duathlon and many Race for Lifes so this time they decide to up the ante and do a 10k. Seriously. This kind of helps validate my "I was adopted theory" as given a choice, I would have gone for a little trip to the spa hands down.

So we signed up for the Bupa 10k in London which starts and finishes on The Mall. True to form various members of my family dropped out nearer the time and on race day, there was just me, my mum and my cousin on the start line.  

I can't recommend signing up for events like this enough. There are all abilities, ages and people. I always hear people saying things like,

Oh but I'm rubbish, I'll be the last by miles
I've never really run outside before
It's quite far, I like to run and walk, I'll just hold you up
I don't know what/have the right thing to wear 

I'm the queen of excuses (my boyfriend will happily confirm) and these are just nonsense! You won't be last but even if you are, so what? You did it! If you've never run outside before, go for it, try it! There's nothing wrong with running a bit then having a walk to get your breath back and then going again. As for clothing, people wear all sorts; jumpers, tracksuits, sports bras and shorts. there was even this dude who ran just like this!

The Bupa 10k route makes up some of the Olympic Marathon route. It goes past Horse Guards Parade, The London Eye and St Pauls to name just a few landmarks. There's something about running a famous route that just makes you feel so...epic.

The run was filled with all kinds of people. My mum only took up running 3 years ago and has since run the Great North Run, countless 10ks and an amazing 22 min 5k. My cousin has never run outside before, mainly sticking to treadmills and general gym workouts. For me, I wanted to run the whole thing and I especially wanted to do it it under an hour.

I managed to go 6k until my knee started hurting. I pushed on to 6.5k but then I had to stop and stretch it out. I've had some problems with my ITB band (basically knee problems from poor run technique) and I could feel the pain beginning to come on. I had to resort to running a bit and then walking and stretching. It was so frustrating as I didn't feel tired or out-of-breath, it was just pain. I managed to get to 9k and then with the finish line in sight, I just went for it. The (now searing) pain was replaced by the burning desire to finish well and I managed to sprint over the line. 

At 10k exactly my watch showed 1 hour 1 minute. 

The event was really well organised with baggage drops and very helpful volunteers. The route was absolutely gorgeous; lots of touristy monuments and very flat. As the weather was lovely, there were loads of people cheering on the side of the roads and lots of musicians along the route. My particular favorite was in Leadenhall Market where there was a Jamaican type steel band playing!

The best part of the run was getting a medal at the end. It may only be a "Finisher's Medal" to some but it's one that I'm proud of. And it's huge!

My Tips

  • Group Work; sign up with a friend or a family member, it is so much more fun.
  • Spread the Word; the more people who know about your run, the less likely you will be to chicken out!
  • Get Bendy; don't forget to stretch not just before you run but after too.
  • Music; I bought a little iPhone armband so I could listen to music as I ran and boy, did it help when I felt like stopping.

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