Running a 10k was one of my goals this year. And although I didn’t specifically state it then, I wanted to run it in under an hour.
WELL, I DID!
It was, as most things are with me, a bit of a clusterfuck. I left work early, got changed in the bathroom, and snuck out to the bus stop. If you’ve ever used the maxx.co.nz site, you’ll know how awful it is. But I never dreamed it would actually direct me to the wrong bus stop. When I got there, the stop was for a totally different route, which DID NOT pass by the Domain. Luckily, the Link bus came to the next stop, so I hopped on that.
Traffic was awful. Then our bus stopped completely on Nuffield St, behind another Link bus. The driver asked us to hop out and get onto the other one instead. At this point I had less than 10 minutes to get to the Domain.
When I got off, I saw a pack of people clearly dressed for a run, gathered across the intersection. Obviously I’d missed the registration point down by the grandstand. In my one stroke of luck, the “walk” light went green and I sprinted across toward them….JUST as the whistle blew and the pack took off.
Shoulders slumped, I kept going, and caught up to the whistle-blower who was walking back down to the grass.
“I take it I’m too late?”
“Oh, no, they’ve only just left. For the 10k, you mean? Here, let me take your bag. Off you go!”
Bless his heart.
I’ve always been a bit competitive, so running with others definitely pushed me harder than otherwise. All was going well…I had a great pace going, and there were people ahead of me I could follow. Remember, I had no idea where I was going, having nearly missed the race entirely. There weren’t big markers everywhere, as these are really casual affairs held every week during the summer.
After two laps, I followed the one woman still in my line of vision to the finish line. The clock read 38 minutes. And I wasn’t feeling all that exhausted. Hmmm.
“Did you run the whole 10k?” asked one weathered, grizzly man. (Men like him – albeit very sinewy and fit – made up the vast majority of the runners. There were a few around my age, but I think they were mostly students from Waiuku, there with their teacher).
“Um. Maybe I got lost?” I offered.
“It’s three laps around,” he explained. “…But you don’t have to …”
“Oh, but I will,” I replied and took off. I came here to run 10k and that’s what I’m going to do!
Fool. I’ve never been very good with judging distances…obviously. I knew I couldn’t slow down at all on this final circuit, not when I’d done two-thirds in just under 40 minutes.
And I made it. In 57 minutes.
I’m happy with that. And I only stopped at one point for about 15 seconds to stretch – the rest I maintained a pretty even speed.
But now, I’m pretty sure I never want to run a race further than 10k. I’m not a marathoner. And that’s okay with me.