If you’ve been reading the blog regularly, you’ll know that recently I was training for my next 10K, the Titanic Quarter 10K in Belfast. Well, that race took place on Sunday 8th April and today I’m going to tell you all about it.
(If you want to catch up on my previous posts first, I’ll have them linked at the bottom of the page!)
That morning, I was really nervous and quite panicky. I didn’t want to have breakfast because I felt a little ill but I knew that it would be a horrible idea not to have breakfast before a race, so I forced myself to eat. I had so many nerves because in my first 5K race, I had a few panic attacks and when we had done the trial run of the Titanic route, I had a slip up in terms of my anxiety and I started to panic. So understandably, I wasn’t surprised I was nervous.
We hadn’t picked our packs up beforehand so we arrived there earlier than usual to make sure we weren’t running behind and to give us good time to pick up the packs. We weren’t expecting to get our t-shirt before the race so we kept our regular t-shirts on and put them in Scott’s bag instead. From what Scott said, they had changed the route slightly from the last time he had taken part, but he said that it was a better route than before. We started out in front of the famous Titanic Belfast so if you were a vistor to the city, it would have been the perfect opportunity to see a tourist attraction.
I was nervous up until we all started to run, I don’t know why but I have the “first run” fear when I think I’m going to be out of breath in ten seconds, which is crazy because I know I can run a fair distance and be absolutely fine. Once we started though, I was fine. We stayed pretty much at the back from the beginning because we thought I might get caught up in a big crowd and run faster than I should be at the beginning, then be completely exhausted half way through. We were able to pass people easily because we had started at the back, but passing people was the furthest from my mind.
(Photo credit to Athletics NI who managed to get a running shot of me that I’m pretty pleased with.)
I didn’t take any photographs when we were running; I don’t mind stopping while I’m running but for me, it’s different if I’m taking part in a run. Fortunately for me, the Titanic Quarter route is not a scenic one so there weren’t many opportunities for photographs. It’s a fairly boring route to say the least but I’m very glad I had ran it beforehand so I knew what to expect. I think that was part of my problem with the Connswater 5K race; I hadn’t ran it before so I didn’t know when we were turning, and especially with a large crowd, I got myself worried with the uncertainty.
(This is the map taken from my Strava so if you know Belfast, you’ll know the route we were following.)
Generally over the course of the race, I felt fine. I had one moment where I thought I might panic but I was able to catch myself fast enough to pace my breathing so I ended up not freaking out. I wasn’t overly exhausted, I knew physically I was fine but about half way through the race, I knew that my mental energy was draining fast. I don’t know how many times I said “I can do this” inside my head, but it was a hell of a lot and it seemed to work. The weather was nice to us, the sun wasn’t splitting the trees but it wasn’t cold either. I’m glad I put my coat in Scott’s bag or I would have been sweating buckets.
Towards the very end of race, we could see the finish line and I knew I wanted to get there as soon as I could. I had started to speed up but I asked Scott was I going too fast too soon and he said yes, so I scaled it back a little until I knew I could really speed up. For this race, I wasn’t aiming for a time, time did not matter at this point because my main aim was to finish. I finished up with a time of 01:07:35 which was naturally, I was over the moon with.
(Post-race smiles with our medals.)
Looking back, I wish I had have been able to do a little more training leading up to the race but with a sore toe and the snow disrupting the first few months of the year, it was out of my control. I guess that’s what happens with races during the start of the year, right? Apart from that hiccup, I’m really happy with how it all went and I think I’ll be sticking with 10K distances for a little while before attempting a half marathon distance. I want to try and improve my timing before I try that.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read my post today and as I mentioned at the beginning, if you missed any of my running posts, I’ll have the most recent ones linked below.