You’ll all be thrilled to know… I survived. And I’m thankful my first race is over. However, I think I may have made every single “First Race” blunder known to mankind.
Blunder #1: I did not look over the course. I figured that it was a distance well within my limits, and to mitigate my nerves, I would not bother checking the map until the morning of. The reality? Half the course was up hill. Which means that my measly 10m hill on my normal run did NOTHING for the roughly 3km worth of pure ascending madness that was the course. (Out of 6.5km).
Blunder #2: I didn’t train for the course. This is compounded by not looking at the map ahead of time. 6 – 8km is what I do for my normal middle-of-the-week run, so 6.5km was nothing. It’s worth noting that if I’d looked at the course, I would have trained on an awful lot of hills, because 6.5km of hilly terrain is KILLER compared to 6.5km of flat terrain.
Blunder #3: I tried out new gear on Race Day. It is a generally accepted practice that you don’t use new gear on race day. If you’ve trained with one set of gear, then you’re prepared with one set of gear. While this particular mistake wasn’t terrible, as it was only a change of watering equipment, the last half of the race I was terrified that my phone was going to get water damage because of where the pocket was located. And that, of course, ruined my concentration, and subsequently my trying-to-be-measured-but-almost-failing pace.(The water bottle is lovely though, and will be carried on future endeavours).
Blunder #4: I didn’t stretch afterwards. Between that and the hills, my legs were sore for THREE DAYS.
On the plus side, my estimated time was only 46 seconds off my actual time. But I felt like I was going to die about 10 minutes after I started, and that was before I saw the first “big” hill. Seriously.
That’s me at the end. But I lived.