Sunday morning, & it was race day again. The Manchester 10KM Race was the first race I’d ever ran two years ago so I’ve got fond memories of this. It was going to be the same route that it’s always been, starting from Portland Street, going a long Bridgewater Way running towards Old Trafford & back onto Chester Rd & finally to Deansgate and that’s where the finishing line would be.
I was in the orange colour wave, which was the fast wave of the day just after the Mens Elite runners started their race, so I was hoping for a good time. All I wanted was to beat my last personal best which was 45minutes, & that’s the time I achieved the previous year when I ran with my crew Stillwaters Run Deep for the first time in a race. With all the training I’d done, going to track, doing hill sprints, interval training etc I was confident I could achieve the time that I wanted.
My warmup was complete, I made sure I gave my legs a good stretch before the race started, & there I stood anxiously for the race to start. The countdown for the race goes, 3, 2, 1, the gun goes off & the race has begun. Luckily I got off to a good start getting away from the crowd of runners & I was able to push on through the race. With some of the crew not running, they’d come out in their numbers to cheer us all on at the 2.5KM/8.5KM mark, where both the roads would meet. For the first 2KMs I was feeling good, running at around 4mins per KM, which was a bit faster then I wanted to be going, but before I had a chance to think about it, there was my crew giving me all the encouragement I needed for the race at the 2.5KM mark.
The third KM came by & I was still feeling good, I’d completed 3KMs in 12:01 which wasn’t what I had planned, but I kept that pace going as best as I could. As each KM was creeping by, I could feel myself tire a little & with the 4.5KM mark coming up, it was the first of 2 water stations. I grabbed a bottle to get some fluids down me, to keep myself hydrated & poured the rest over my legs to cool myself down. It wasn’t a particular warm day but running at the speed I was going at I needed to keep myself cool.
The 5KM mark came, the half way point & I’d completed the first 5KMs in 20:46. My time was looking good, & I was definitely running at the speed I wanted to, to beat my last PB. By the sixth KM this was probably when I started to feel the effects of starting off too fast, I felt myself get slower but all I could do was to push on as best as I could, the crowd were helping with this, cheering us all on giving us the motivation we needed!
The 7KM mark came, and this when I was really feeling the effects of starting off too fast, there was a small hill to run over, but for some reason it felt like it was a mountain I was running up. I managed to get through it, & the next water station was insight. I grabbed a bottle to get some fluids down me, rest of it poured over my legs again to keep them cool & that’s exactly what I needed to push myself on. I was almost there, only 2.5KMs to go & before that I’d be seeing my crew cheering me on.
By the 8KM mark, my overall time had slowed right down, but that was expected with the way I was feeling. By this stage I’d completed 8KMs in 34.25 so I was definitely still on track to beat my PB. The 8.5KM mark came & there they were, all of crew shouting my name giving me the energy that I needed to finish the race on a high. 100metres or so later I could hear more people shouting at me, & on the other side of the road was the rest of my crew who were running in the white wave giving me cheers of encouragement!
9KMs had passed, & this was the last KM to go. I wanted to finish the race like how I started it, so I sped up, keeping my legs going, one foot in front of the other, & this was when you could really hear the crowd cheering. They were on either side of the road holding up banners, shouting/cheering us all on. 400metres left to go now & you could see the finishing line in the distance, & closer & closer I was getting to it. It was 100metres left now, & I started sprinting to the line, I got every ounce of energy left in my body & sprinted as fast as I could & I’d crossed the line in 42:34 beating my last PB by almost 2 & a half minutes & I couldn’t be happier.
This shows with the right training, & preparing for a race in the right way you can achieve the goals you set yourself out to doing.
The Shake It® Team