Race for Life

My aim this year is to do more. Inspired by Lesley over at Bucket List Productions, I wrote a list of the things I wanted to achieve in 2013. One of those goals was to run a 5k, and I am very pleased to say that I have now ticked it off my list. On Sunday 30th June I joined about 2200 other women at the Cwmbran Race for Life.

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A while back I told you about my 5k training and my general uselessness when it comes to running. I thought it would be funny to share with you the very first entry from the running diary that I kept when I began my training.

I can’t run half as far outdoors as I can on the treadmill in the gym. My lungs are burning, breathing outside is definitely the hardest part for me. Like in the gym, though, I’m sure if I keep training it will get easier. Need to improve my lung capacity.

Note for next time – take a tissue – my nose was running and my throat blocked.

Ran one lap of the park/rec with a lot of walking – 15 minutes.

Aim – to run outside at least twice a week.

When I think back to that first day, I can’t believe it was less than 7 months ago. A lap of the rec is nothing to me now.

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When I first committed to running the 5k, my only aim was to complete it without stopping. As my training progressed and I got fitter, I set myself a target time. I wanted to finish in under 45 minutes, or even better under 40.

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I decided to run in memory of my Aunty Marg, who died of lung cancer two years ago. The whole park was a sea of women in pink with the names of loved ones pinned to their backs. The atmosphere was incredible. I’ve not run in a race against other people since I was a kid, and I had no idea what effect the extra element of competitors would have on me.

I don’t think I’m competitive, but I know that I am claustrophobic. The need to get away from the other runners pushed me on and I kept a steady pace throughout the race.

As I came into the second to last field, I could hear one of the local radio DJs announcing finishing times as people crossed the line. I heard him say 29 minutes, and I realised that I was well under my goal time. I gave it one last push and couldn’t believe it when I finished in under 31 minutes!

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My only goal was to complete a 5k without stopping, but now that I’ve achieved that I must admit I am more than a little tempted to go further and attempt a 10k or a half-marathon.

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