I can’t believe its been a month since my last update, the summer sure does fly by! This is going to be a pretty short post and I’m going to focus on the two main pieces of training/achievements for this month.
Firstly, I took part in my second RunThrough event! You may recall from my previous post that I ran a 5k at the Olympic Park and did a much better time than I was expecting. I decided to keep this train moving and signed up for a similar event but at Victoria Park on the 20th of June. There was both good news and bad news with this event. Good news, it was a completely flat track which is always good news for a personal best. Bad news, it was much hotter than at the Olympic Park event which is terrible news for a personal best. As the course was flatter I decided just to use my previous 5k time of 27:55 as something to beat.
I’m pleased to say that not only did I finish!
But I SMASHED my previous 5k personal best!
I have to say I found this track much easier going than my first outdoor 5k. Maybe it was the flatter route, or the fact I’m just getting a bit fitter and more confident? Needless to say I am delighted with the time I achieved!
The big test was to come a few weeks later, actually just a few days before this post. To keep my focus and motivation up I decided to aim for a 10k in July as part of my overall Run Disney training. The MENCAP 10k in Greenwich caught my eye, partly because of the timing but mostly because of the cause. If you’re not aware, MENCAP are a charity aimed at providing support for people with learning disabilities. This is something very close to my families heart. My mum and stepdad have both supported people with learning disabilities for pretty much their entire professional careers. My stepbrother has Downs Syndrome. And lastly I spent a few summers supporting people with learning disabilities in America. The opportunity seemed perfect, get my training in and give a few quid to a good cause?
The run took place on Saturday 14th July. In case you haven’t noticed it has been HOT in London over the past month or so. This meant that, even though the race started at 10.30am, it was still extremely hot in Greenwich Park that morning. I’m thinking 24 or 25 degrees celcius. This made me a bit nervous. I’d covered 10k on some training runs on the treadmill and did a run in the park, but I found the heat really affected me and took me over my target time of 1 hour. I decided that, due to the weather, I wouldn’t put as much pressure on myself to reach the target time and just do my best.
I thought the first few kilometres went pretty well. It wasn’t too difficult to stick to a steady pace and thankfully the organisers had put in regular water stops around the route. One thing I hadn’t accounted for though was how hilly Greenwich Park was. The hills weren’t particularly high or anything, but they were steep and I could feel each one really taking its toll on my legs. At about 5k I decided if I wanted to get this done I needed to attack this smartly, and decided to walk up the steepest hills and then run fast downhill. This change of approach seemed to suit me well, and before I knew it I was approaching the last 1k of the race. Thankfully the last kilometre was completely flat, so I decided just to give it my all and bomb through to the finish. After one of my fastest kilometres ever, I crossed the finish line and couldn’t believe the time I saw!
57 minutes and 38 seconds. I had beat my initial target of one hour, even with the heat and the hills! I can assure you the face in this picture is one of exhaustion and joy
I have to say though, while I’m ecstatic with this time, I’m glad the Run Disney course will be fairly flat and hopefully not as warm!
As a side note, if you’d like to donate to MENCAP I’m still raising money through my Just Giving page!
That’s pretty much it for this update. I know I teased something in the last post to do with a certain other running event, but that’ll have to wait until the next post. Hopefully I’ll have another few running events to chat about too!
Until next time, thanks for reading as always!