Monday, 16 May 2011

Manchester Great Run 10k

Yesterday was the big day! It was time for me to run my 10k. I was a bit nervous because it's such a big run (apparently there are 38,000 entrants) and my first race ever too. It didn't exactly get off to a smooth start when we arrived at the train station and I realised that I had forgotten to pack my race chip so I wouldn't be able to get an official race time. Doh. Scott's race pack got lost in the post too so we had to queue up to get a new one so I asked if I could have a replacement chip. Luckily with it being such a big race they have lots of spares so I managed to get a new race pack. Phew! Thanks Great Run!

I also picked up a charity t-shirt from the British Heart Foundation stand and was ready to go.

Ready for the run!

There I am, looking very fresh faced & bleary eyed. It was a very early start for a Sunday morning but maybe I had better get used to it if I'm going to become a proper race runner! I was in the pink wave who only set off at 12.30, but we arrived early with enough time to get a new race pack and find our bearings. At 11.25 we had to line up for the warm up. It was drizzling and cold and I looked like a bit of an idiot with my Asics poncho on! The green wave set off (Scott and his brother were in this wave) and I was waiting by my lonesome. I felt quite nervous at this point. Then we slowly moved forward on Portland Street and off I went! The run went quite well, before I knew it I was at the 5k mark in less than 30 minutes which meant I was on track for my sub 1hr 10k. Then kilometres 6-8 felt quite hard. I think it was mainly boredom because at this point we were just on some industrial estate in Manchester and I had no clue where I was. Then we started approaching the city centre again and the crowd were cheering and I sped up and made it across the finishing line in 59 minutes and 55 seconds! I was so elated. I didn't think that I would manage it in less than one hour because I had a few hiccups with my training because I was injured with plantar fasciitis for a bit. My foot did start hurting again towards the end but it's been fine now. 

Afterwards

Look at my red, sweaty face! So happy I finished it. I felt so tired on the train home though and promptly fell asleep for an hour nap when I got home. Then I had a lovely bath and rested my sore toes. I definitely need new running shoes now I think. They're going on the birthday wishlist. 

Medal! 

And here is my first race medal! Here are a few tips for race days:

  • Be prepared! I admit I wasn't completely prepared with all my kit ready for the morning because I'd been watching Eurovision the night before. Hence why I forgot my race chip. Some smaller runs might not have spare chips and be able to give spares out. Make sure your kit is clean & ready, down to your socks and bra. Pack your bag the night before with water, your race number, SAFETY PINS!, race chip, pre-race and post-race snacks. Snacks depend on how long you'll be hanging around, I ate a nakd bar about 2 hours before the run to keep me going because I'd had a big bowl of porridge at 8am. The golden rule is to never try any new food on race day - a funny tummy is the last thing you want. 
  • Don't worry about not training enough. Now is not the time to worry! If you've completed your training plan and can run about 90% of the distance, you'll be fine. I had only ran 8.5km before my race. Not running the complete distance gives you an extra sense of achievement. If I had ran 10k the week before and then ran it again on the Sunday but gone slower I would have been so disappointed. However this way you're guaranteed to get a personal best in the race. 
  • Don't start off too fast! This is THE golden rule. It is so tempting to start off really fast as everyone else speeds off. Try not to feel too competitive at the start. If you try to start off slow you'll see yourself overtaking all those runners who set off too fast. 
  • Enjoy the day. Don't take it too seriously, especially if it's your first race. Enjoy the crowds, wave when people cheer and take it all in your stride. 
I've got the running bug now and I'm already thinking about entering a half marathon next March. I would kind of like to do one sooner, but the Liverpool half marathon is only in March and there aren't many nearer. I may enter a few 10k races in between and try to get my PB down to 55 minutes. 

48 comments:

  1. Congrats, well done. What an impressive feat!

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  2. Well done! I hope I can do something like this when I get back into my running again.

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  3. Well done!

    I always forget safety pins, end up rushing round the house the night before or in the morning trying to find some.

    I also have some jelly babies in my pocket for a bit of a boost part the way round. During the last 10k I did, when I started to lose the momentum a bit around 6-9k I told myself I could have a jelly baby everytime I got past another km mark. It's something marathon runners do so I feel a bit silly taking such measures for a short race but whatever keeps you going I suppose...

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  4. congrats on your race, I bet you get a huge rush when you finish!

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  5. congratulations!!! amazing, well done!xxx

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  6. Congratulations and Well Done!
    xx

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  7. Congratulations! I have to admire you for going straight in with the 10k! I have my first race on Thursday - a 5k Race for Life.
    I agree with you about the not having to run the whole distance before thing, as I have only actually ran 5k twice (i'm not very motivated to be honest!) but after not going running for over week I jumped up from 3.5k to 5k. They do say that Rest is the best form of training :)

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  8. Wow congrats you did amazingly! Well done! I can imagine you are feeling really proud of yourself at the minute and so you should be!
    Sophie
    x

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  9. congrats! I couldn't do it.. I'm too lazy, seriously :)

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  10. Amazing!! Well done! Such a great achievement. So awesome that your time is within your goal.

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  11. Congratulations on finishing your race!I love that picture of you with the mylar blanket, your face pretty much sums of that incredible feeling of joy when you finally sprint across that finish line.

    So the race didn't actually start until around noon? Man I with other places with a clue and start their races later like that. Most of the one's I've run started way early in the morning with like zero time to fix any issues if you'd forgotten something.

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  12. Congratulations Helen! That's so amazing, I'm seriously impressed as I can't run for the bus without wheezing. You did amazingly! I felt very guilty on Sunday morning reading your tweets about being nearly there - I was in bed!

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  13. congratulations! that is amazing :) I had planned on training for a run this year but my knee is injured from sports over the years so I was unable to, reading this makes me want to just go for it anyway even though i know better lol

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  14. Well done thats such an achivement i know a few people who ran and they all said what a good atmosphere it was. xx

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  15. Congrats!! :) I really need to start running, I think once I start I will enjoy it, it's just the starting bit that's an issue!!

    Kc

    http://a-sparkley-silver-lining.blogspot.com/

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  16. well done! I only manged a 10k powerwalk, I think a run would kill me. You did so well :)
    x

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  17. well done hun, such an achievement and what a fantastic time too!!! Now that you've said you only ran 8.5km before i feel a little better about my 10k in july. come do the nike+ half marathon in london at end of september =)

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  18. Well done! What an achievement :) I'm glad you got through it okay (although sounds like you did more than okay!). You should definitely enter future events ;)

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  19. Well done girly that is bloody brill! I could never do it, so unfit and what a good job they had spare packs, I guess you were so focus on the race that you forget everything else. But congrats, you should be very proud kitten xxxxx

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  20. Gongrats Helen! You must be really proud :)
    Oh and Bupa sponsored the run? I could be working for them now, but I chose differently, geriatrics isn't for me.

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  21. Congrats! It must feel so good to know you reached your goal! And helped out a charity in the process:)

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  22. Congratulations! Here's to many more!

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  23. Congratulations! That's an excellent time. My boy and I have started to get fit together lately and dream of being a power couple who go to the gym together- but for now we're too embarrassed! Last weekend we did a 30km bike ride so we are taking small steps! You are an absolute inspiration!

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  24. Congratulations! Sunday was such a grim day (I had a walk around the end of the course at lunchtime) but I suppose cooler weather is better than baking hot weather.

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  25. I really enjoyed reading this Helen :) It was really inspirational, cuz here i am sitting thinking 'oh that could never be me' but it could, right? it so totally could! :) Not with the running because I don't like it but swimming or anything else! Congrats on getting it done under an hour, that is pretty amazing! :)

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  26. Congratulations Helen! What an impressive accomplishment; I bet you won't come down for days;) I hope you continue to run and enjoy it! I think you even inspired me to want to get out there and participate:)

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  27. Congratulations, that's a brilliant time! Great advice too :) x

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  28. a big well done to you! :) xx

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  29. Well done Helen! I think we might be hosting part of a 10k at work (the start and finish points anyway) - I'll let you know when/if arrangements progress.

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  30. Congratulations!! You did absolutely amazingly, and you really are such an inspiration to me to keep up with running.

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  31. Great post! Huge congrats on your time, thats awesome you must be so chuffed! Seems like you have caught the running bug :-)

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  32. Yay, I love your report! So glad you've been bitten by the bug now; Feb-Mar are great times for half marathons, there's always plenty of choice because it falls in with most people's April marathon training plans. I do the Brighton Half every year & it is such a good race. Considering travelling ;)

    I didn't know Liddypool did a half in March! I'll have to look into it.

    MEGA CONGRATS on your time. I'm going to try & get faster than you now, haha. But by the time I do, you'll be sub-55 for sure! x

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  33. Congratulations Helen! All your hard work paid off!! :) You're an inspiration!

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  34. Omg 10K! Congrats on running them!

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  35. Wow, well done! That's a really good time as well :) I've started running recently after jogging for a few weeks to start off and you get such a buzz from it! Would love to do a 10k one day! xx

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  36. YEAH, well done!!! Very inspirational post, thank you - I've got the Race for Life 5k a week on Sunday - very worried as have been blighted by knee pain and colds recently but you've given me a little push :) x

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  37. Well done! What a great acheivement. I need to get back into running again so I can take part in some of these runs everyone seems to be doing!

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  38. Nice blog! check mine out! I'm new to blogging :)

    http://poshpoint0.blogspot.com/

    xx sashafiercee

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  39. Helen I am so proud of you and so impressed! WELL DONE! And that's such a great time as well. :D

    Leia

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  40. Congratulations! I think the key for anything is be prepared, if I have to go somewhere it's the only time I'm ever organised! :P

    Maria xxx

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  41. Congratulations! And great tips too :) I'm hoping to enter a 10k soon!

    pinklittlebean blog

    Clare x

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  42. Well done. What a great achievement.

    X x

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  43. congratulations! how exciting!

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  44. wow, congratulations on the achievement. one day i hope to get my running up to this level but it;s certaily a long way off!

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