On Sunday, I ran my 5K event and I’m so excited to relive the experience again with you all in my race recap. It really was a fantastic experience and it’s great knowing that I was running for such a worthwhile cause.
Well, the day didn’t get off to a great start with Aiden waking up at 5.30am and thinking that it was time to have a party. He normally falls straight back to sleep after his early morning feed but had different plans that morning. Eventually I surrendered and figured that I wasn’t going to get any more sleep, instead I got out of bed and did some blogmin and made breakfast, this delicious green smoothie which I thought would be the perfect fuel for my 5K.
With my trainers laced and everything packed that I would need I headed downstairs to find Alfie and Aiden comatose on the sofa. Obviously both were tired after our early morning party, rather than waking them with the possibility of running late I decided it was easiest to just go by myself. Alfie wasn’t even ready yet and I thought that it was better this way as I hate waking Aiden up and he was obviously tired. So, unfortunately, there was no one there to take any motion pictures of me running. Maybe that’s a good thing, at least you all have been spared that experience.
Parking in Oxford is bad at the best of times so I was conscious to leave on time to make sure I could get a decent parking space. It was actually easier than I thought and once parked up, with my charity bag of unwanted items in hand I followed the sea of pink that were walking towards the park.
The weather wasn’t amazing, cloudy and overcast with a slight breeze, but I was thankful that it wasn’t boiling hot. There was such a great turnout and a fun friendly vibe in the air. What I love about Race For Life is how unpretentious the event is, everyone really is there just for the enjoyment and with the common goal to raise money for charity rather than gaining a new PB – well, that’s the overall feeling I always get anyway.
With 5 minutes to go the organisers were keen to get everyone in their pens. I headed over to the runner’s flag but kept staring at the jogger’s flag wondering if I had made the right choice. I stayed put anyway and figured that I could always slow my pace down if it was all becoming too much. I managed to get quite close to the front, but it didn’t stay that way throughout the entire race and I was soon passed by the speedier runners. It was nice to see young children had been allowed to join in the race too, something that I will look forward to doing with Aiden when he’s older.
The race route took us out of the park and through part of Oxford city centre, past some of my favourite landmarks like the Bridge of Sighs and the Radcliffe Camera. I think that it’s important to have a scenic running route to keep you entertained and I’m glad that had been taken into account here.
I held a pretty steady pace throughout, but sometimes I did get caught up in it all and tried to keep up with some of the speedy runners. Big mistake! I think this is the main reason that I began to feel tired about 15 minutes into the race, so I reminded myself to pay attention to my run and try to block out what everyone else was doing. There were times when I felt like walking, but I was determined to run all the way and dramatically slowed down my pace and picked it up again when I felt I could.
One thing I didn’t like about the course was the lack of markers telling you how many kilometers you had left to run. Perhaps this was a good thing, I’m not sure. I like to know how far I’ve run and how much distance I have left, especially because I had forgotten to turn on my RunKeeper app at the start line…oops! The countdown markers appeared on the last 1K which I was grateful to see as I was starting to wane.
Carried by the support of the strangers on the roadside cheering us all on I managed to make it around the course. Seeing the finish line in the distance really helped get me through those last metres too. On the approach to the finish line, I saw that the clock was closing in on 30 minutes and with only 30 seconds to go, I sprinted to cross the race line. I somehow managed to run the entire 5K in 29.45 minutes, which I was pretty happy with and pretty damn proud!
I hung around for a little while to get my breath back and stopping myself collapsing in a heap on the floor. The 5K race was definitely the best choice for me at this time because I don’t think I would have managed the 10K. On the way home I stopped at the weekly farmer’s market for a homemade apple pie for dessert after the big roast chicken dinner that I ended up cooking to celebrate. I also couldn’t resist the stall dedicated entirely to chocolate brownies. Obviously, I went for the salted caramel brownie that was nothing short of heaven. I’m going to recreate this for the blog as it was gorgeous!
Well, I actually did it! I ran 5K in and among some incredibly inspiring women to help raise money to kick cancer’s ass!
You can read my Race for Life 10K recap here.