And so, for the third year running now, Shelli, Alex and I took part in the Bupa London 10K and just like the previous two years the weather turned up the heat!
It’s amazing to think that just a couple of days ago there were monsoon like rains and it was freezing cold. Not so today; it was hot, very hot!
Training for both Shelli and me has been a little bit hit or miss – more miss – as of late and it wasn’t until two weeks ago that we seriously got onto it to try and get ready for today’s run round London.
The first run of our training was hampered by a cold (we reckon) and almost derailed her as she really wasn’t happy but over those two weeks we managed to get four or five runs in together and it was really wonderful to see Shelli improving on her pace, especially this past week where she knocked off over a minute on her mile time.
Still, not having done a great deal of training we were both a little bit wary of what to expect today. Alex hadn’t done any training as far as I know other than maybe the odd run where he suffered from shin splints – ouch!
After an early start this morning to get the train in we strolled from Paddington down to Green Park, cutting through Hyde Park. We’ve done this every year and it serves as a pretty good warm up for the legs before the race.
We got to Green Park with a good 25 minutes to go before the official start so we sorted ourselves out, and dropped our bags off. I wished Shelli and Alex luck and I made my way to the start so I was ready for when my block of runners started.
I know they want to make sure that everyone’s ready on the start straight but getting us all there and making everyone stand around for 20 minutes or so, cramped in with the sheer number of people unable to move much at all, really isn’t the greatest of things, especially not in the direct sunshine like today.
It wasn’t too long before we all started to move forward and before I knew it I was over the start line and heading along the Mall towards Trafalgar Square.
By the time I’d made it to the Embankment the sun was really doing a number but I was determined to give it everything I had and so I concentrated hard on my pace and keeping an eye on my splits at each of the kilometre markers. In case you’re interested, here’s a map of the course.
By the time I hit the 5K mark I was under 30 minutes so I was really hopeful of a good time this year, regardless of the heat. I took the next couple of kilometres at a steady pace but when I hit the 7K marker – and in the shade of the trees along the Embankment – I upped the pace a little bit, trying to give myself a little extra time for the final leg. I really wanted to crack the hour again like I did [just] at Blenheim last year.
The final couple of kilometres went in a bit of a blur. The heat was getting to me and my feet were beginning to get sore; I really should have strapped them up this morning, but I didn’t like an idiot.
As I came round the final bend with less than 400 metres to go I pushed as hard as I could but there wasn’t a great deal left to be honest. As I crossed the line I stopped my watch and – amazingly – I was almost two minutes under the hour! I was pretty thrilled to say the least.
I collected my goodie bag and medal and waited patiently for Shelli to come through.
While waiting Ann – another of our friends who was running today – came through. I haven’t seen her for a while and it was lovely to have a little chat while waiting for Shelli to come through the finish.
It wasn’t too long before a very – and I mean very! – happy looking Shelli came into sight. I cannot tell you how pleased I was to see Shelli looking so happy. She’s so hard on herself when it comes to these races, and to see her looking so pleased, well, it made my day!
She wasn’t sure of her time but was pretty confident it was around the 1 hour 14 mark, which would be a personal best for her. I couldn’t have been happier, especially considering we really didn’t do enough training for this one, and the heat of the day wasn’t very helpful either.
We met up with Alex and his mum and little brother, rested up for a bit, got changed and then headed to our trusty post-Bupa 10K haunt: Wagamamas at Leicester square!
The food and Asahi went down a treat but it wasn’t long before it was time to head home.
Again, as now seems to be tradition, Shelli and I walked backed to Paddington from Leicester Square. Even though our feet were sore it certainly helped to stretch out the legs after sitting down for food.
Once there we jumped on a train to Reading and drove back to my place where Shelli crashed out on the sofa for a couple of hours. The race had clearly taken a lot out of her bless her.
All in all an absolutely fantastic day.
So I guess you want to know what the official times were then? Here they are along with our times from the previous two years too:
|Who?||2011 (HH:MM:SS)||2012 (HH:MM:SS)||2013 (HH:MM:SS)|
As you can see, all three of us managed to get personal bests today which is just fantastic!
There were 10,127 people who finished today; I came in at 4,991, Shelli came in at 8,924, and Alex came in at 8,864. A pretty bloody good effort from everyone today – well done!