Wednesday, 20 November 2013

#MoRunning Battersea Park | 5k Movember Run

This weekend I did something a little different and ran 5k for Movember with MoRunning Battersea Park. My friend, Isabelle, and I decided to sign up to this race a few months ago, with the intention of training really hard and becoming pro-runners. Weeeeell, yeah. 
Isabelle actually did train for it, whereas I did not. Oops. Sometimes life uh uh finds a way, or rather gets in the way (sorry Jeff Goldblum).  So, I turned up more than a little unprepared. Oh well, it's just 5k. Can't be that hard right?!
MoRunning 5k Racers
MoRunning, MoFun, MoPain
Turns out, running is hard. I ran Race for Life in 2012 and had actually managed to train so that I could run the entire way around the course without stopping or walking- which was a huge achievement for me, considering that prior to training, I could not run 30 seconds without keeling over. So, I had high hopes for starting this training up again, but my enthusiasm and my dedication never quite saw eye to eye… They don't get along so well.

Battersea Park Sign
I'd never been to Battersea Park before and it is a beaut
Nevertheless, we made the trip to Battersea Park last Sunday to join in the race. I took my old point and shoot with me, since I don't think 5ks and DSLRs mix very well… I never realise what a difference  it makes having a DSLR until I use my old camera.
Anyway, I set myself a goal of trying to run as far as I could without stopping. That was all I was hoping for. Well, that and not collapsing and breaking my ankle and tears falling as I fall down in a slow circle and die. Or whatever that silly saying from ONTD is.

Beautiful Battersea Park
The calm before the storm...

The race start was at a pavilion in the centre of the park, which meant a lot of walking to get there. Not that we needed to tire ourselves out before a 5k! There was a bit of milling around and collecting race packs and rather fetching orange headbands before the race. We were also checking out the competition, which included people dressed up as Mario and Luigi, the 118 guys and rather moustache-less, crayola crayons. We didn't go for fancy dress, but did sport some rather charming moustaches. I managed to find a perfect colour match for my hair, which looked worryingly convincing.

Fabulous Movember Looks
Gotta love a joke present

Before the race, a trainer from British Military Fitness led us in a warm up, and then we were queueing up to start. The race was chip timed, so there was no hiding your result. I wasn't feeling particularly competitive, or confident, because I knew that I was in no shape to try and make a good time, but I thought, well, might as well give it my best shot.

MoRunning Start Line
You cannot escape a moustache 

It was difficult not to get intimidated by all the professional runners, but there were plenty of people in fancy dress to make you feel a bit better. I think there were about 700 or so runners, so I thought that as long as I didn't come last, I'd be fine. Once we set off, Isabelle and I got separated, but it was ok because there were so many runners, and anyway, you probably shouldn't chat whilst trying to race!

MoRunning Medal
Great medal- great theme throughout actually

The race consisted of two laps of the park and there were plenty of people on the sidelines shouting encouragements- not just the marshals, members of the public as well, which was very heartening. There was a good atmosphere amongst the runners and everyone was pretty cheery, despite the cold. The weather forecast had predicted mist and thankfully it was wrong, because I don't think I would have coped very well in misty conditions.

MoRunning Finisher
Victory! (Sans moustache, which fell off mid-run)
In the end, I managed to finish in 34:25, which I was ecstatic with. I didn't take any walking breaks and jogged the whole way round. Admittedly very slowly, but I made it! Isabelle also made a fantastic time and her training obviously paid off! I was very proud of myself, and her, for doing it, and it's spurred me on to actually start running again, because I'm not as unfit as I thought. Although my time is slower than my 5k last year, I know that's due to lack of training and that my lung capacity is still decent. I was honestly shocked that I managed to run the whole way, but was obviously very pleased.

After the race they were giving out free Lucozade, Haribo and bacon sandwiches, which were very popular. We hung around for a bit, but once the commentator started singing Return of the Mack, we thought it was a good time to leave.

We found our way to a greasy spoon and ordered a fry up. Yes, maybe its undoing all your hard work, but sometimes it's good to treat yourself to a good, sloppy, greasy, salty plate of carbs! Just what the doctor ordered.

English Breakfast
Mmmm horrifically calorific

I hope this post will serve as a reminder to me when I am feeling lazy and not up for running because I can do it and I do enjoy it and I need to just get off my bum and get out there!
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