the Oval 5 mile for me marked a new milestone in my running journey.
I signed-up with trepidation a couple of months ahead of race-day to set myself a challenge; and a stepping stone towards my other goal this year of the Herts 10K in October. The goals are set (great motivation), they are in the diary (no getting out of it) and I’ve told people I’m running (made myself accountable) so all great to keep me on track.
On the day we were blessed with lovely sunshine but thankfully not the crazy baking hot heat of recent, what a relief! I arrived with my husband and son (my loyal support group) in plenty of time as I was a little nervous and didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t need to worry, the event is jointly organised by the Oval and the Harpenden Arrows and it was so well organised and I was instantly welcomed by Graham (our run leader) and also other runners to whom I’ve never met which certainly helped my nerves.
I managed to seek out Teresa and Tanya my fellow runners from “Headway” who had also taken up the challenge. We lined up together at the starting gate and then so quickly the gun signalled … RUN!! The route took us down the field towards our training stomping ground and “Oh No” a hill already, before taking us out of the Oval and down towards the Nicky Line. All three of us stuck together for the majority of the race, and I was particularly happy to be motivated with the banter which was a great distraction from the task of running!
We all knew it was coming “The Hill” at about mile four. Andy had taken us this route for training, so it was good to know the route but equally we knew we had “The Hill” near the end of our run. Instantly the legs got tired and Andy’s wise words “Baby Steps and Elbow Drive” sprung to mind and I determinedly ran up the hill. I even blurted out loud to myself “Slow Pace Yourself” and it worked I survived. Andy was waiting on the ridge of one of the dips of “The Hill” taking photos and shouting support! I’m sure my face through all the exertion was the same colour as my bright neon pink sport top.
It was a relief to enter the Oval ground and I was greeted by my husband willing me on… with only the final lap and a half to go. I was spirited on by Tanja who was running by my side and we fastened our pace to cross the finish line running in synchronisation before stuffing ourselves with the free bananas and apples!
I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who was so supportive and friendly. I am loving my running journey.