I must confess that I didn't prepare for this race. I mean although I was running in the Philippines almost everyday while I was there, I didn't do any training since I got back to London. This is probably the reason why I struggled so much during the race.
Of course I was excited at first because this was my first official winter race and once again, I was running with one of my best buddies Katie. This was our third race together.
We arrived at the race venue quite early so we had plenty of time to chill out. I was glad that the race was at the Embankment in Central London as I quite like running in that part of London.
We never get tired of being tourists in our own city.
We just had to take photos with the polar bears.
Katie now has a new pair of running shoes. I was still wearing my old one.
There's always a warm up in every race. Even polar bears get to warm up.
We were asked to line up a block away from the start line. And while we were waiting to be directed to the start line, we noticed some bars suspended in the air, right where we were. Quite scary.
Men at work.
I love the fact that their colour was light blue. It felt like my light blue angel Keith was everywhere.
I wouldn't normally go in front of any race because I know that I don't run that fast. However, my friend Katie came up with a clever idea and there we were.
Oh.My.God. I have never heard the song Let it Go as much as that day. If I am not mistaken the song was played more than five times. It was obviously the event's official song. It was really fun when people started singing into it and put emphasis on the line "the cold never bothered me anyway" . Like, I wish.
So after listening to a whole playlist of Let it Go and enduring the cold for an hour, we were finally ready to go.
Photo taken from Winter Run
I think my energy that morning all went to the warm up. I was so energized until I started running . Perhaps this was one of the disadvantages of being in front. I knew that the runners around me were fast runners and so I was forced to run fast because I got carried away. And then I felt really unwell physically. I couldn't seem to push myself to run. My body felt so heavy. At 1 km, I wanted to walk. I didn't know how I was feeling. All I could remember was that my whole body went stiff. My left arm started aching and I had pins and needles on my fingers. Before I even reached 2 km, I was already ready to give up. However, I realized that it was only 10k and that it would be over in an hour. I felt so embarrassed about myself as I knew I was just being a coward. So I decided to run at a slower pace. I really didn't care at the time whether I finish sub-hour or not. I just didn't want to pass out.
10km seemed like a very long distance that day. I dreaded the fact that every kilometer seemed really, really long. At 8km, I felt really sick and was on the verge of passing out and then I was touched by an angel and the song Lighters came on. I am not making up a story. In almost all my races, Keith's song always came up during the times when I was feeling really tired and wanted to walk. Although in the past I would normally speed up when I hear the song, this time I couldn't. All I wanted was to reach the finish line standing.
My friend Katie finished before me as usual. I was expecting to finish in more than an hour. But to my surprise I finished in 55 minutes. I don't know how that happened but I am happy that I managed to do it in less than an hour despite feeling really awful. So that called for another photo op with the polar bear! Indeed, we conquered the cold!
And more photos as we walked our way back to the hospital where Katie parked her car.
And a much deserved skinny latte from where else but AMT.
Although this was the worst race I have ever done, I don't regret it as it was so much fun and it was for a good cause. I am lucky to have a friend who is always willing to do stuff like this. The experience is different each time and this is what makes me want to do more races.
So, if you want to conquer the cold next year and have fun, entries for the London Winter Run is now open. And yes, that is us right there!
Photo taken from Winter Run
Go on, challenge yourself and sign up.