Saturday, 13 January 2007

A little more info about the race.

Well, anyone who's contemplated the Great Winter Run knows that to do it is basically to conquer a BIG hill. On elevation from the start you run UP for 1.75miles, then get the rest to sprint downhill. In reality only 1mile really feels (and here I mean "hurts the lungs like swallowing fire") like up hill.

I was extremely nervous about this race, mostly because I was a race virgin. I didn't know if I'd find running with lots of other people oppressive/irritating/weird/distracting.
As soon as the warm-up started I felt more relaxed, and after the first 1/4 mile I'd really settled into the running. The weather was with us - well, it could have been worse. No rain and the wind only really hit you for about 100m on the hill, the rest of the time we were in the lea of Arthur's Seat. Working my way up the hill it really helped that I had Orwell with me. I knew exactly when I was over half way up the hill and could talk my way up the rest, "it's only 5 more minutes of this" etc etc. I could also keep an eye on my pace and I knew at about 2.5miles I might not get my hoped for time (sub30min), but I could keep on pushing.
The run downhill was brilliant - possibly the fastest mile I've ever done 8:?? (I'll check when I can be arsed to get Orwell out of the bag containing the horribly nasty running gear).

There were definitely some magic moments for me:
When all the runner came over the rise of the hill and every ones' pace changed you could hear the difference in the footfalls - it was brilliant.
Everyone seemed very happy, my elbow was knocked twice by people going past, they turned and apologised (unnecessary but wonderful).
Running down the hill and knowing that the worst bit was over and that I was still quite happy with my time.
Not beating my friend, even though I secretly wanted to, but being so chuffed with how much I'd enjoyed the whole experience that I didn't care.
Seeing so many friends on the way round, some who'd got up and driven for over an hour to come and see me run in the cold. They were spaced all round the course so it was constantly a surprise where people were.
Looking at my first medal - it rocks - it's huge and bronze.
My first race t-shirt. My first goodie-bag with a very nice amount of stuff in it. (Granola has never tasted as good as when standing in the cold after the race.)
The smile on TheO's face when they said how proud they were. (Vomit worthy memory!)
Knowing I never have to run 5K again. Not because I don't want to run, but just because I prefer running longer races - it's more mentally relaxing.


Lynda said...

Just came over from the RealBuzz blog to say well done you! Just the thought of running up that hill scares the living daylights out of me never mind doing it in public! I'll stick for a wee while longer on the treadmill in the corner of the gym where no-one can see me!

SAM said...

Lynda - thank you! My first comment in my new home. Running with that many people isn't anywhere near as daunting as expected - everyone is far too focused on what they are doing.