What did you do last Saturday? I hope you had a good evening because I owned the night!!!
I cannot start this post without thanking Leah from NaturallyLeah. I was stuck with my running back in April and seeing her putting a whole team together for this race really inspired me to sign up for the challenge and put my trainers on. I have said it before, signing up for a race is my favourite tip to start running and it did not fail. Leah was a great coach, making her blog a great source of training tips and sending us weekly encouraging emails. Plus I did not have my personal support crew with me at this race but that was OK, I did not feel alone since the whole team was there and it was great to spot the Team Naturally run support crew twice during the race. Go Team Naturally run!
So how was it?
I am not sure that I like evening races. I was anxious all day long for some reason, I was not too sure what to eat so I ended up having oat and a whey protein shake, as I would do for a morning race. This did not leave me very satisfied. In the evening, the French me likes sitting down and having a proper meal ha!
It was hilarious to be all ready in my running gear to go to the venue and seeing everybody else in high heels ready to partyyyyy in a different kind of way.
The park was easy enough to find. There were sign plus 3,000 girls in orange neon t-shirts 😉
However I completely underestimated how long it would take me to get there. Collecting my bracelet, putting my bags away, going to the toilet and warming up was quite stressful. Lesson learned.
When it was time to go, our race bracelets lit up. Orange meant that I was going for a PB. Pink was for those aiming to just “finish the race” and blue was for the runners “leading the pack”. I am not sure that this was very useful because the starting pens were certainly useless. Man, it was congested. That was the BIG downside of this race. The road was too narrow and we all pretty much started at the same time. I did not want to full sprint right from the beginning! It was very difficult to find my pace and it is only 4K in the race that I stopped this whole interval running non-sense and could settle into my pace. The water stations were very welcome and I was please to see that Nike had little bottles this time (wayyyy better than the cups they give at the Run to the Beat 1/2 marathon).
This was my first 10K and I just fell in love with this distance. I felt strong, I felt that I could push myself and I had a hell of a final sprint at the end. However many girls were just sending right after the finish line and I bumped into somebody. So sorry for that but I was really sprinting at the end! And don’t stand in the middle.
We were greated with champagne(!!!) Vita coco and dried pineapple from Urban fruit at the end. All were very welcome after the race. Turns out I was starving!
I think that I will sign up for another one before september as part as my 1/2 marathon training. I managed to finish the race under in 57:43 which I am very pleased with as I wanted to finish it under 1h. However I was slightly frustrated seeing my split times: my first 1k was in 8:49!!!! Ridiculous. But then again I smashed the last km which was awesome. My math cannot be right. No way I ran it in 2:40?! Is that even physically possible?
The not so good:
- Not sure I like evening races in terms of fueling.
- It was way too congested. I would not run this race in particular again
- It would have been nice to be able to follow the pacers but then again I seemed to have done a good job on my own
- No medals?! First race without a medal. They gave us a tiny bracelet which was cute but broke in 2 sec.
- Leaving the park. I exited at the opposite end of the park than the one I came it at about 10pm. I asked a marshall how to go to mile end station and he just said “turn left”, which I did. And there, no more signs and no more marshall in sights. I was scared I have to say. My network was poor and could not find directions. Luckily I bumped into two other fellow runners that were as lost as me so we could look for the station together. It was reassuring to be with them. We eventually saw another marshall and found our way. So I would suggest that when you have a women only night race to put wayyyyyyyy better signs for us at the back of the park if this is where you indicate us to go out so we can get back home safely.
The good parts:
- Being part of Team Naturally run
- The nike crew did a good job at encouraging us during the race I thought
- The drinks/food given to us at the end and the amazing goodie bags that Leah organized for us.
- The overall good atmosphere and this sense of achievement.
- 10K. Love that distance.
What is your next race? Run to the Beat 1/2 marathon in September but I think I will run a 10K before that.