Well well kittens. This Saturday marked my Comeback Race – also known as the Nice Work London Spring 10k. This was meant to be my official comeback to running, ankle 100% healed and feeling fresh. I’m not gonna lie, it didn’t quite go down like that. I still have a long way to go, but the race was a great way to remind myself of how far I’ve come. So without further ado, let’s jump into the rundown.
Three 2-mile loops of Regents Park.
Back in the day I would always set myself three goals – not this time! I basically just wanted to finish. And not re-injure the ankle. Simple pleasures.
I was essentially in denial about this race until the night before, at which point I frantically messaged both Ed and Alan – recruited to help me along the course – and tried to get out of it. Long story short, they were having none of it. And so I stayed up far too late procrastinating, almost slept in, and rushed to the race. My pre-race nutrition was not on point; two cappuccinos, half a banana and a Trek bar. Not really what I’d go for normally, but I suppose it was better than nothing.
We started out pretty strong, before my lack of running fitness and physical exhaustion (having worked out 4 mornings in a row that week, without stretching) started to kick in. Nonetheless I made it to the 5k mark without stopping, and only took a walk break just after that. The final lap was really tricky, and I took a loo break mainly as an excuse to stop running for a second – oops! We finished in around an hour – not too bad for a standard training run, but also a lot slower than normal.
To be honest I was feeling pretty shitty afterwards – a combination of feeling tired, defeated and embarrassed. I know I shouldn’t have felt embarrassed about my time, but honestly it was far from what I could have expected on a normal race day. I was also a lot more tired than I’d expected- I went home and slept for about 4 hours, before cancelling all my evening plans in favour of a night in.
I was feeling nauseous, drained and my whole body was aching. I think this may have been dehydration, but honestly it didn’t help my emotional stability one bit. Taking a night off and staying in was absolutely the right decision, and I binge watched Dear White People on Netflix whilst eating rye crispbread – all my stomach could handle. I also took a hot bath which helped with my muscle aches, and felt much better the following morning.
What I learnt:
- Lowering your expectations and checking your ego is key
- Not resting at all the week of the race was probably a bad idea
- A 10k can take a lot out of you, especially if you haven’t done one in a long time
- Don’t be so hard on yourself
How do you deal with a bad race? And do you nap afterwards?