Having completed my first 5k run run I was hungry for more. I needed a new goal to keep me motivated. Myself, Him-indoors and a buddy (the one who introduced me to running) signed up for the Samsung Night Run. A 10k run through the streets of Dublin at night.
When I first started running 10k seemed like a million kilometres away. Now I saw it as a target very much within my reach. So it was back to training again. Having gained a little experience from the 5k run in the park I had a better idea of what to expect in the 10k run.
I started to think more about how I run. Could I improve how I ran. For a longer run I would need to work on hydrating as I ran. One thing I’ve noticed about fellow runners is how eager they are to help each other out. I was chatting to a girl in work who was also into running and she told me all about the wonder that is Power Bar Gels. She recommended that for longer runs I try them out to keep me both hydrated and fuelled. Also with a word of caution she did say to try them in advance of a competitive run as they can be hard on the stomach. That is code for can give you really bad cramps, Stand Clear of The Portaloo!!!!
As you run and you talk to other runners you pick up lots of interesting hints and tips to make your journey better. You start to think about things like breathing and how you can improve it. Things you may have heard other runners talking about start to make sense, like ‘widening your stride’ or ‘speed work’. I will have another post in the future covering these topics.
So for my 10k I did try to work on my breathing. Two breaths in, two breaths out. Sounds easy right. It’s not. It takes practice. I tried out a few different types of gels to figure out which ones helped my running rather than had me running for the toilet. My gel of choice is the High 5 Banana Blast flavour one. The Samsung Night Run was one of my favourite runs to date. It was a night of many firsts. It was my first 10k. It was my first time running at night. It was my first time running through Dublin. It was my first time running with such a large crowd. The atmosphere was electric and there was a wonderful sense of camaraderie among the runners.
The route took us through the streets of Dublin and around the Dublin Docklands. The amount of people out supporting was just overwhelming. On every street their were crowds of people cheering us on. That was something else I realised about running. It’s not just you on your own. In a group race like this one you are part of a mass movement of people with one common goal – The Finish Line. It might be cliché but it really doesn’t matter whether you are first or last, the support is all the same. If you are running to hit a certain time, that’s between you and the clock and there is no one else in that race.
As with the Aware 5k run I set myself an estimated time to complete the run. For this one I was aiming for between 60-70 minutes. I managed to cross the finish line in 58.23. I was over the moon with my time. Finishing under an hour was much better than I hoped for.
An added bonus of the Samsung Night Run was that everyone received a finishers medal after the finish line. I won’t lie, I loved getting it. I put it on straight away and I felt proud wearing it. Yes when you looked at it, it was a piece of metal on some fabric around my neck, but if you look closer you see it’s much more than that. It’s a personal milestone reminder. It says well done you, you set a goal and you hit it. It says you pushed harder than you thought you could. To me it also said ‘what do you think of doing a half marathon now?’. It also said ‘I go with everything so wear me everyday’.