Poor Noreen (a client of mine, coming up on 2 years), mentioned to me that her local village was putting on their annual 5-10Km walk/run event in July 2015 and she wanted my thoughts on whether or not she would be able to complete it.
Like most people, Noreen doesn’t particularly like or enjoy running and has always struggled to maintain a run/jog without stopping for more than 5-10 minutes. “I’m sure this road is getting longer each time we run it” is one of the printable phrases she has spluttered in the past.
My initial response to Noreen’s question was, “A 5Km? Are they not putting on a 10Km?” Before Noreen knew it, it was arranged. Noreen had signed up to run the Greyabbey 10K with 3 months to go.
Training with me was on a once a week basis. This would either involve 1 lap of the 5Km route for the event or some HIIT circuit training which involved a lot of leg work. In addition to this, Noreen ran her usual 4Km route a couple of times a week (sometimes).
The 5K training runs were certainly getting better. With 1 week to go, Noreen had reduced her time to 35:25 with around 6-9 stops/walks during the lap. If only we could cut down those stops and walks. That would dramatically reduce the overall 5Km time. Although, I had signed Noreen up for the 10Km. I was starting to get a little worried as she had never been out for more than 5Km.
On Friday 10th July 2015, I marched/dragged Noreen down the main street and struggled to get her past her local watering hole. For me, achievement #01… I managed to get her to the registration area. I was actually quite impressed with the turn out for a small village in terms of both runners and spectators. There was quite a buzz about the place. We both registered, got our numbers and gathered about 50m behind the start line.
As the time got near you could feel the excitement build up and I could tell that Noreen was both excited and nervous. Before long, the race had started and we were off.
The first lap took us down the main street and up the first of 3-4 hills past her house. Noreen was completely focused… or didn’t see them… or just completely ignore the friends and family that were cheering her on. I’ll go for focused. I got Noreen settled in for the first lap. My own personal goal was to get her round the first lap without stopping. That would be an achievement that Noreen would be very pleased with.
The first lap was 32:54 and with no stops. I was very impressed and I could see that Noreen was also impressed but also starting to look a little concerned as she was now entering into new distance territory.
A big push (not literally) was needed for the last lap. I honestly think that this came from taking part in a well turned out event. I believe that it lifted Noreen and helped her stay focused for the second time round. Still very focused (or ignoring all those that turned out to cheer her on). I was waiting for the stops and walks to begin…
They didn’t come.
Noreen powered past the finish line and completed her first official 10K run in a fantastic time of 01:08:31. What’s even more impressive is that she never stopped once! A very respectable first 10Km time. Her face told me that she was very tired but also very pleased and feeling the buzz that comes with it.
Well done Noreen.