Last week saw my biggest running achievement when I ran 10km as part of the Edinburgh Marathon Festival. I wanted to challenge myself beyond the 4/5km I can quite comfortably plod along a couple of times a week. It was a really great experience- much more fun than I’d thought, actually!
If you’re familiar with Edinburgh, you’ll know it’s very hilly. The 10K route is gorgeous, but it’s quite tough. There’s a very steep hill at the start for about 2km, and another incredibly steep hill coming out of the innocent railway cycle path. Of course, what goes up must come down and so there were also downhill stretches where we could catch our breath.
This is the first time I’ve run in an event with so many other people, and so I was very conscious of not going too fast and trying to keep up with people around me. I really just wanted to finish! We had a slow start up the aforementioned hill but must have paced ourselves well as we had energy left in the last kilometre to fly towards the finish line. My time was 1 hour and 6 minutes, which I’m absolutely delighted with.
Now, I do like an inspirational quote. One of my favourites is something Nelson Mandela said: “it always seems impossible until it’s done.” Now you may laugh and roll your eyes, and I agree that this was intended for much bigger things than my running a 10K. But it’s something I’ve found I really really love about running. It all seemed crazy at first. Running for three minutes seemed crazy, running for eight minutes seemed crazy, as did fifteen and twenty when I made it up to that. But I did it, and now I’ve plodded along for over an hour! I get to keep doing things that I once thought were crazy and unachievable and just “not for me”, and it’s the best feeling!
I really enjoyed the structured training, increasing my long run at the weekend and trying intervals and hill runs throughout the week. The atmosphere on the day was just brilliant, so positive and friendly. Would I do it again? Yes please!