So here we are, the final leg of my 10k journey! I can’t believe the big day has been and gone already – just where did that time go? I thought I’d update you, just one last time as I know a few of you have read these updates and have given me some lovely feedback. I hope you enjoy this one too!
On Friday evening my husband took Baby J and me to the Forum, Norwich to collect my running vest and race pack. This is when the nerves really started to bubble up – it was all becoming so real! Seeing other runners there and the organisers and seeing the very small numbers on the countdown clock was truly terrifying! I did however, really enjoy opening up the envelope which contained my numbered bib – 6110 – was this my lucky number?
I’ll be honest, I really didn’t sleep much Friday and Saturday night. I was just too nervous and when I’m nervous I tend to put myself down and plant seeds of doubt in my own mind. ‘You’re not fit enough.’, ‘You haven’t trained enough.’, ‘You don’t deserve to be there.’, etc. Not fun!
Sunday morning arrived though and I was up early – planning to eat some breakfast, but not managing it (yes, I ran on an empty stomach!). I got my running gear on and struggled for about half an hour to pin my number to my vest – not due to being nervous, I’m just not the brightest when it comes to things like that!
My wonderful husband drove me to meet my friend Ruth so that we could walk into the city together. My goodness, was I happy to see her! Ruth has such a wonderful, calming nature that just instantly puts my nerves at ease. She pointed out parts of the running route to me whilst we walked to the Forum and gave me so much brilliant advice. When we got to the Forum, the atmosphere was absolutely buzzing. I could feel nerves in the air from others though, which made me realise I wasn’t alone.
After what felt like the longest wait in the world, we were told to get into our pens ready for the start of the race. I was in the very last pen, as I’d put in a finish time of 1hr 30mins as I didn’t want to put too much pressure on myself. Waiting in the pen was scary, I was actually fighting back tears which sounds pathetic now but I really was so scared! I just wanted to give Baby J a massive hug too.
Thirteen minutes after the first klaxon went for the elite runners, us pink bibbed runners were finally able to set off. Wow, what a rush as I crossed the start line – I was really doing it! I heard someone shout my name in encouragement and that felt amazing!
After about 4k I finally saw my husband and Baby J – I did stop for a split second at this point to give them both a big kiss. I was so excited to see them as I had been looking out for them the whole way. It gave me such a huge boost, I felt really strong afterwards and knew I could do it. For the first time, I actually had some confidence in myself and completing this run.
For me, reaching 7k was where I knew I would be able to finish the whole thing. I hadn’t run further than 7k in training and just couldn’t wait to reach this point. Once I was there, I felt so happy knowing that I only had 3k to go and I still had enough energy in me to do it. I loved seeing the sights on the course – what a wonderful city I live in. The race stewards were just fantastic too – shouting your name and cheering you on. They made me feel so special.
The last kilometre was painful, I’m not going to lie. I walked a little bit of it as I really wanted to sprint over the finish line. The atmosphere at the last 400m was incredible – the shouting from the crowd spurred everyone on and made me feel like I was running so fast! When I turned the final corner and saw that finish line in sight, I really really went for it. I ran as fast as I could and held back the tears as I did so. Crossing that line felt AMAZING! I knew immediately that I definitely wanted to do it all again next year and I definitely will be.
I walked to pick up my medal and goody bag and called my husband to find out where they were. After this, I was just typing out a message to Ruth to let her know I’d finished and that’s when I bumped into her! I actually ended up crying all over her and being highly emotional (and embarrassing) because I just felt so proud that I’d done it. All those negative thoughts and self-doubt hadn’t won.
I’m still getting over it now and it’s Wednesday. I just can’t describe what an incredible morning it was and how good I felt whilst doing it and afterwards. I’m never going to give up running, I just love doing it so much and I now have a PB to beat next year!
Thank you once again to all my supporters and encouragers. Thank you to everyone who sponsored me too – I have raised £155 now and there’s still time to sponsor me if you want to! Just visit my page here. An extra big thank you to my husband – what a great guy he is! I love you and Baby J so much.
I’m now looking forward to a woodland zombie run next month (err sounds bloody terrifying doesn’t it?!) and I’ll be sure to share some photos of that on my Instagram stories and account.
Love you all!