Today, I ran my first 10k race in Swansea!
I was going to do a 10k in Cardiff last month in preparation for the Cardiff Half Marathon, but I was too late signing up and missed it. So instead, I signed up to do this one in Swansea.
I’ve run 10k before whilst training in Pembrokeshire, so I knew I could do it, but I’d never been to an actual event.
I drove from Broad Haven all the way to Swansea, picking up my colleagues, Amy and James along the way, who were also participating.
We got there quite early, which was great because I had no idea where to park and drove around in circles for a little while (luckily Amy and James are very good passengers).
We parked up and made our way over to the place where it was all happening, and grabbed our free Swansea Bay 10k t-shirts.
We had an hour and a half to spare when we arrived, so walked up and down a few times to get our bearings and warm up a little.
About quarter of an hour before the race started, we took our place at the starting line, and waited for the race to begin. We had to endure a five minute group warm up, where we were told to jump up and down and wave our arms around to a dance version of ‘Eye of the Tiger’ to “flex our muscles”.
We did this for all of thirty seconds.
Finally, the race began, so we started our music and said our goodbyes (until we saw each other at the finish line).
I could feel the adrenaline kicking in, and I took off rather fast – for me – and did my first kilometre in 5.24 minutes (my personal best).
Once I’d done my first kilometre, I suddenly felt tired and started walking, until a lady tapped me on the back and encouraged me to run with her and her group, advising me to save my energy until the end.
I ran with them for about a kilometre so I could get my pace back, and then decided to run on, because I found I was holding back a little by trying to stay with them. Instead, I was picking people out who I thought had a good pace, and would run with them for a little while until I decided either to run faster or to walk.
It was a ‘there and back’ type of route, and when you get to a certain point, you can see people running back the other way. Part of me was really tempted to run across the grass to take a shortcut, but I resisted the temptation and ran on!
After the fifth kilometre, we turned a corner and started running back the other way. We were given bottles of water at this point, and I drank some of mine and poured the rest over myself in an attempt to cool down.
This worked for a matter of seconds, and the water eventually dried by the time I got to the finish line.
The sixth and seventh kilometres were the hardest, because you knew you were over half way, but you weren’t quite close enough to the finish line to feel comfortable. Plus you could clearly see the massive stretch of road in front of you, which didn’t do much motivation wise.
I got to the eighth kilometre, and I heard a girl say to her friend: “It’s only two left to go. Think of how far you’ve come and how much you’ve done – you only have to do two more and you’re there.”
And I thought: “She’s right!”
So I started running again.
Once I passed the ninth, I started ‘legging it’, as they say! I took a screenshot of my phone, which was recording how far I was going, and uploaded it to Facebook whilst running. That is an achievement in itself, in my book!
Once I could see the finish line, I gave it all I had and managed to do 10 kilometres in 1 hour 09 minutes, which is my personal best. It was a great experience, and one I might do again (not in a hurry). I really did enjoy it, because even though I was running by myself, it didn’t feel like I was, because you get a feeling of support from the spectators cheering you on and clapping for you, and the people participating all want you to do well, too, and encourage you to carry on when you’re feeling rubbish and unmotivated.
I’m really proud of myself and my colleagues for taking part and for doing so well – we all did awesome.
We ran the Swansea Bay 10k – been there, done that, got the t-shirt – and a medal!
Well done everyone! Now on to the Cardiff Half Marathon!