The morning dawned cold – the car windscreen was icy! And it was an early morning start as the Fullers Thames Towpath Ten mile race kicked off at 8.30 down in Chiswick. After a bowlful of overnight oats with sliced banana and a coffee I was ready to go. I met up with friends from Quit the Gym (fun and friendly outdoor fitness), and shivered as we pinned on race numbers and tried to attach our timing chips to our shoes with numb fingers. Although it was cloudy and cold when we set off the sun did come out and blue skies brightened the morning.
The route took us over Chiswick Bridge, doubled back to the towpath on the south of the river Thames, and then all along the river to Twickenham Bridge. Then along Kew Road and back to the towpath, over the bridge again and home to the finish line.
I have run along this path many times, in races and Sunday morning long runs. This week I was seriously thinking Why have I spent £20 to run along a path that I can (and have) run along for nothing?! But actually – it’s totally different. There is a feeling of making an effort because it’s a group event. It pushes you to be the best you can, to catch up with that woman in front. I don’t think I ever did catch up with her, but I did pass a few others! There’s a popular set of pictures that was going around FB recently (although I see by the actual link they are from 2016) that showed the effects of 1, 2 or 3 drinks on people’s facial expressions. Well, I reckon you can get the same effect by running 10 miles – the smiles on runners’ faces when they’ve finished is pretty similar to those after having 2 drinks!
The last time I ran a 10 mile race was June 2018 – in 1:34:35. Today – 1:28:10 – woo hoo!! PB! However I really hope I haven’t gone TOO fast – my left knee/leg was somewhat sore afterwards. My nightmare is that I get injured and can’t do all my runs for the next 8 months. Problem is that I am quite competitive with myself, and just cannot help myself from going all out at the end.
This run was marked out by great marshalling – lots of support out on the route, and good organisation at the ‘race village’. And I love the pint glass instead of a medal. Plus the obligatory banana of course.
I just have to finish by saying a little about Kew Gardens. We ran along the side of the gardens today. Earlier this week I went there after work and saw some of the incredible work of Chihuly in an exhibition that just officially opened this weekend. It is amazing. If you can possibly get there – go. I can’t wait to go again.
FINALLY – I am running a half marathon (or 10 miles in this case – sorrynotsorry) every month this year to raise money for JDRF – researching a cure for Type 1 diabetes. Follow this link to donate if you wish to. Massive Thank You to everyone who has donated already.