Today I took part in a 10k run in the beautiful cityscape of London alongside my brother in the Asics London 10k.
But why is the title of this post important for this event? Well, after coming out of a successful London Winter Run, 10k (1h:05m) earlier on this year, I immediately signed up for this event and a Half Marathon in October and then in a classic Aaron way. I totally forgot about it.
I then spent the last few months in absence bliss instead of training even more. This run was, yes another 10k but it would have additional challenges I was not prepared for, so let's break down the ones I had.
During the Winter Run in January, the weather was nice and cool. Not this time though. It was 19 degrees with 80% humidity and it did not take long before I was feeling dehydrated and desperately in need of the water at the 6k mark.
If I had taken more practice runs during this heat wave we have been having in the UK lately I would have realised that being the weight I am I would need more water during the run. I could feel it impacting my concentration the whole way around.
OK so I have done a 10k before, but I have only done a 10k ONCE before. As I mentioned above I had not done any training for this event, but to confess even more. I have not been doing any running for the last 3 months :( So of course the distance was a shock to my system that had seemed to forget what it could do.
The first 5k went smoothly with a steady pace but after the 7k mark, I was having to slow to a 30-second walk to get my heart rate down nearly every 1k.
The start of this run was straight into an Incline and I immediately started to feel a cramp brewing in my lower legs :( Luckily once that initial hill subsided they returned to normal. BUT...
There were so many inclines in this race, and of course, that meant there were some nice downhill sections where I could open up the stride and relax a little, but the inclines kept my heart rate right up and my pace super down throughout.
If I had taken some time to understand the route and check it out on Google Maps for example. I would have known to prepare my training for more inclined running.
I will not make that mistake again.
So to summarize...
The event was very VERY hard, however, due to having my brother running alongside me who became my coach the whole way around. Letting me know when to take short strides, when to take long strides, telling me to check my heart rate so we could slow down every now and then to keep it low. It was an event I will 100% do again.
I was lucky to have him with me as without him pushing me with great motivation around the last few km I would have most definitely stopped running for longer.
Then if you take all those considerations and challenges I have mentioned in this blog post, I was only 3 minutes slower than the 10k I had prepped for previously. For me, it shows that my mental ability for running outweighs the physical and now I need to work on the two together.
So the next big race I have planned is the Half Marathon in October and if this run has taught me just 1 thing is that...