It was a nice sunny morning for my first big event; the Cardiff 10k which is a fairly pleasant flat route around the city centre, which goes through the park and past the castle. It also goes other places as well, but was more concerned about my breathing than taking in the scenery. I really didn't have much of an idea what to expect, but luckily I live close enough to stroll to the start line in 20 minutes, so I arrived fairly unstressed. I met up with a few other Lliswerry runners and chatting before the start was great for stopping me becoming too nervous and to pick up some last minute tips.
10am came and we were all off on the starting gun. I started far too fast, and was under 28 minutes at the halfway point, which is far faster that I normally run. I think I probably started too far forward, and got carried along with the crowd, and then paid for it later by dropping my pace slower than I would have liked. However, it was all a good learning experience for the Cardiff half which is just 5 weeks away now.
So what else did I learn today? Here goes:
- If it is hot, run in the shade as much as possible (thanks for the tip Merv!). I would have been a lot slower if I had stayed out in the sun for the whole course.
- I cannot drink water while running. It goes down the wrong way and makes me cough, then I have to stop for longer than I would have to if I had just stopped to drink in the first place.
- Other runners with ipods are exceedingly annoying as they can't hear anything and have no awareness of what is going on around them. They are not allowed for a reason - I was really surprised at the number of people that just ignore that rule, to the detriment of those around them.
- Other runners will stop for no reason whatsoever right in front of you, then tut loudly when you run into them.
- Other runners will throw their half drunk bottles of water right into your path, and therefore the half mile after the drinks station becomes a crazy assualt course.
- Other runners will think that it is perfectly acceptable to noisily swirl phelgm around their mouth before spitting it out while running right next to you. This is just horrible, as is the holding of a nostril and shooting out of snot from the other which seems to be a common habit in slightly overweight sweating men who have not done enough training.
Enough of the moaning now though. I loved being part of such a big event. It was also fantastic to be so well supported by other club members. When I was growing up, I was taken to various events to cheer on my dad and his friends in their running endeavours. To be honest, at that time I never really saw the point. But when you are struggling half way around a course, there is nothing better than people cheering and screaming your name encouraging you to keep going. So thanks guys for being there today, it was much appreciated.
I got round the course in an "official chip time" of 1.01.49, a pb by over a minute, and less than double my best 5k parkrun time. Very pleased with this indeed, especially considering the heat. I will go faster than an hour this year!
Here is a picture of my reward for my efforts today:
Thanks for reading, and happy running :-)