The 2nd race in the 10k Winter Series was in Regent’s Park (the first in the series, last month, was in Greenwich).
It was a cold morning but a brisk walk from Baker Street stopped me feeling too chilly – although I then cooled down waiting in the queue for the loos. There were a lot of runners and I couldn’t spot my brother, who was meant to be there.
I was about 2/3 of the way back at the starting line and didn’t hear the gun go, so only realised the race had started when everyone began shuffling forward. It took nearly a minute to cross the line!
The course was congested as the path is narrow in places, which meant assessing every runner in front to decide if they were faster or slower and whether to overtake. I was going for a fairly conservative pace, hoping to keep it consistent throughout.
I spent the first lap feeling disorientated as I’ve only been inside Regent’s Park for a music festival and softball matches. The 2nd lap was uneventful. On the 3rd lap I realised that I had slowed down but that if I kept going at my current speed I should get a PB. I couldn’t quite coax my legs into going any faster – a mental thing maybe. As I turned the final corner and saw I had 300 metres to go I picked up the pace a little.
I’d done some calculations and worked out that if my brother was racing he’d be crossing the finish line shortly after I started my 3rd lap (!), and I was tempted to look behind me at this point to see if I could see him. As I neared the finish line I saw him and his colleague cheering me – a really nice touch.
My brother got a PB (by several minutes), and so did I! I was pleased as I’ve felt like it was hanging over me. I knew I could run faster than the times I’d previously done, and now I feel like I can move on from here. I haven’t achieved my 10k goal for 2014, but at least I’ve improved a little.