Tuesday, 25 June 2013

A 10k race and a room of testosterone!

Once again I've been rather lax in updating this blog, and I apologise to you all! I might have to start a template that starts with "Sorry I've not updated recently!" or something :-/

Anyway, I'm back in the U.K at the moment to visit family and friends and go to Download Festival. The festival was fantastic, if a little wet on the first day (Epic Rock 'n' Roll moment: arrived on the Thursday in a thunderstorm and hail storm, dropped off the tent, jumped back into the car and went to my Mum's to tumble dry all our clothes as it turns out our rucksacks weren't waterproof!).

On Sunday 9th June (3 days after I landed and so still suffering with jet-lag), I competed in the Race For Life, a 10km race to raise money for Cancer Research. I'd told myself I'd do lots of training and be super ready for it, but as it turns out I'd done absolutely nothing. I'd done a 3km treadmill run about 3 months ago and that was about it. The 3km nearly killed me.
Race day arrived and with my number and message pinned to me, I headed out to the park. It was 10am and pretty windy and cold, which wasn't the best start to the day. I was running in memory of my cousin Peter who died of cancer a few years ago and in support of one of my best friend's sisters, Eva, who's battling melanoma at the moment.

Jess and I at the start of the race

After we'd warmed up, we put ourselves in the 'joggers' section, for people aiming to finish between 40 and 90 minutes. We were aiming to finish in 90 minutes as neither of us had done much in the way of training. On another note, Jess is the friend who I mentioned in my "You look like a skeleton" post, she's lost over 3 stone in the last year or so and she's looking great!

The route took us around a local park a couple of times and was pretty flat, apart from a few up and down hill moments and some running on dodgy concrete with potholes in it.

Jess and I celebrating the half way mark

I'm proud to say that despite absolutely zero training, both Jess and I finished in 1 hour and 15 minutes with an average speed of 8kph and I didn't walk even 1 meter of it! Granted, my jogging at times was slower than the walking pace of some people, but I promised myself and my sponsors that I'd run/jog the whole thing and I did!

The final push - sprinting the last 100m!

And we're done!

So thank you to everyone who believed in me and sponsored me and wish me luck for.....next year's Great North Run, a half marathon! I'm actually going to train for that one....

 In other news, I grabbed a free one day pass for a local gym and went in today. The lady who showed me around showed me the 'ladies' area, complete with running machines, rowing machines and a few resistance machines with posters all over the walls telling us women that strength training will give us that 'toned' look. All well and good, except the only free weights they had were dumbbells no heavier than 10kg. I asked where the main weights room was and I got a blank "It's around the corner, but it's only men in there". I asked if I would be permitted to use it, assuming she meant it was the men's only area, but apparently it turns out that she thought by telling me it was 'only men in there', I'd understand that I clearly didn't want to go in.

She eventually showed me and I got changed and headed it. I can kind of see what she meant, it was a small-ish room with benches and equipment taking up most of it and the most stereotypical selection of men-in-a-weights-room you've ever seen, dropping weights, grunting and generally being full of testosterone. I steeled myself and walked in with confidence, grabbed the weights I needed and set to it. After a few curious glances and, I'm afraid to say, one or two raised eyebrows and looks that conveyed the question "Did you get lost, love?", they realised I was serious, not lost and I knew what I was doing.

The best part of my session was at the end, however. Taking a break between sets of bench presses, the guy I'd pinned as being the big cheese (confident, attractive, loud, ripped) wandered over and launched into a slightly nervous speech about how he was impressed that I:
1) Actually came into the room
2) Didn't play on the 'girl' thing
3) Got on with my workout
4) Didn't seem to be intimidated by the men
5) Have realised that lifting heavy weights will make me look 'fucking awesome' ("Not that you don't already, of course!)

As for actual exercise, I didn't do anything new today. I've been off for a while, partly due to not having the motivation and partly due to the injury I got to my thumb a while back which has been causing some odd sensations when I lift something. I appear to be fine now though and I'm aiming to get back on track with the progress pictures and updating and actually exercising very soon!

It also appears I've managed to make up for the long hiatus with a super long post, sorry about that!