Saturday, 26 May 2012

Day 12 of 30 Day Shred and Race for Life race report

Today I can truthfully say that I have completed a 5k race!  OK, I only jogged the downhill sections and walked the rest - but heck I was pleased to have jogged any of it and was surprised how well my body coped with it!  We could not have had a better day weather-wise for the race, if anything it was a bit too hot.  But we piled on the sunscreen, took bottles of water, sunglasses and made the most of the glorious British summer.

Shortly after embarking on my weight loss/fitness journey I came across Katie's blog Runs for Cookies, and was so inspired by her story I decided to find a 5K race here.  I knew that the Race for Life would be the best option for me because there's no pressure to run - you can walk, jog or run and there were even people in wheelchairs and mums pushing pushchairs - it really is a race for everyone.  Quite early after I registered I made the decision to run the whole thing, but at the end of February/beginning of March I got a lung infection that literally took over a month to shift.  This not only knocked my fitness plans, but also my confidence.  So, I took the decision that I would just walk the Race for Life this time around.

Thankfully I was not alone.  The ladies in my team were all up for walking, and in addition my daughter said she wanted to do it with me (she's ten years old), so I signed her up too!  I had seen some adverts on TV for the Race for Life and had obviously seen the thousands of people who take part - but nothing could have prepared me for what we saw walking to the startline.

Quite literally a sea of pink ladies!  This pic unfortunately doesn't show it that well, but there were over 2000 ladies racing today - it was an amazing experience!

Here I am in the middle with my friend Eve and my daughter Verity - we were just about to walk just over a mile to the starting point - our 'warm up'!

When the race actually started, it was very weird because there were sooooo many people you literally couldn't walk fast at all - it was very frustrating!  Thankfully, as we moved through the starting line this sea of people dispersed a bit and we were able to jog along the edge of the route passed a lot of people. The route we did at the park was absolutely nothing like the route we had been walking every Saturday in preparation - it was completely the opposite side of the park!  This route was much more open and exposed, so the sun was really baking down on us.  At times this heat was quite oppressive, but we pushed on - running during the downhill bits and going back to a walk when it came to uphill.

One of our team-mates, Nina, hadn't been very well and so was struggling at the end of the race.  We had agreed that as a team we would stick together no matter what, and we would all hold hands and run through the finish line at the end.  As we approached the finish line (which was uphill - come on!), I actually felt a bit emotional.  Even though I hadn't run the whole thing, I did feel very proud of my accomplishment.  My friend Eve and I agreed that we would enter again next year and this time we would run the whole thing!

All total, with walking to the race, doing the race and then walking back to the car, we walked 6.3 miles today!  


So today is Day 12 of the 30 Day Shred.  I started Level 2 actually three days ago because I was very comfortable with Level 1 and thought I could use a challenge.  Flippin heck was I in for a surprise!  Level 2 really steps it up - the cardio is much harder and the strength training is actually scary!  After the warm up you start with walk out push-ups - which is basically bending down, touching your toes and then walking on your hands out to a plank position, doing the push-up and then walking on your hands back to the standing position.  This move is unbelievably hard!  

The plank features quite a bit in Level 2, as later on there are some more moves involving this position. Although at the moment it is very difficult, I am very optimistic because I remember feeling this way when I started Level 1, if I can get used to doing these moves and feel 'comfortable' on Day 18/19 - then I know I'm really making progress!

I'm going to close for now - put my feet up and enjoy some well earned rest!

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