As per my previous posts, I had the gear (click here), I had the technology (click here), now I needed the motivation. My buddy who had introduced me to running was clocking up the kilometres. He was talking about running 5k at a time. I hadn’t even run one yet. As it turned out I had a competitive streak in me. If he could run 5k then so could I. Solution: Immediate internet search for a real race. One with other people and some of that fancy ‘chip timing’. Aware 5k charity run in the Phoenix Park yes thank you very much I’ll have some of that. I had about 3 weeks to prepare for it. I would not be beaten.
Running gear back on. Technology strapped to my arm, this time I left the house. I ran. I ran like Forrest Gump all the way to the end of my road without stopping. Thats probably 400 metres at best. Red faced and wheezing I had to stop for a drink from my trusty water bottle. Suitably hydrated I set off again and the little voice in my ear (MapMyRun not delirious voices) told me I had now ran 1km. Wow!! I was impressed. 1km in about ten minutes. Sure that was remarkable. I was practically an olympian. Not only had I ran 1km but I was going to run 1km back to the house again. Yes that’s right. On my very first run I doubled my time (that’s how I like to remember it).
Over the next couple of weeks I steadily increased my running to prepare for my first official race. Him-indoors was also roped into signing up for it. He never likes to be left out of things despite grumbling when he actually has to do them. It turned out we weren’t compatible to train together. We could live together but we couldn’t run together. I ran slightly faster as I had been running longer and apparently all manner of obstacles were presenting themselves to him-indoors. Dodgy paths. Stones in his runners. Laces too tight. Back pain. To this day I’m not entirely sure I believe him. Incidently he no longer runs.
So the big day arrived. A cold Saturday morning in April and I found myself in the Phoenix Park. My very first race number proudly pinned to my red and black running jacket. It went very well with my black shorts and matching black trainers. Sure I was fierce stylish (in my eyes). My buddy who had introduced me to running came along for moral support and was also the designated official photographer (pics compliments of him).
Lining up I was actually a little nervous. I’m not even sure why. I had used the porta loos about three times already. I stuck in my ear phones and set off on my run. It was actually great. Brilliant even. Running with a crowd of people makes you run faster. There is always a temporary goal in front of you. I’ll pass this girl. I’ll pass that man. Little sprints till you get by them.
I quickly began to get too warm and looking around I noticed not that many others were wearing running jackets. Rookie mistake. I was too warm now. But I would keep going. I figured I would do the run in about 35-40 minutes. As it transpired I crossed the line in 27.51. My very first chip time and I was over the moon. There was a great buzz about the event and I was glad I had signed up to it.
I ran much faster than I expected to. That meant I could push myself further. After just one race I was already thinking if I can do 5k then I can do 10k.