I’ll admit that the major draw for me when I first did the 10km in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park about a year ago was the idea of getting a medal with the word “Olympic” on it. Granted, the versions that Jess, Mo and Greg have probably don’t also have the words “Park” or “Elizabeth” or “Queen” on them, but let’s not ruin this with small technicalities….
To add to the Olympic effect, when the race is held in the South of the park (the course varies depending on what else is going on in the park) the goody bags are given out on the first floor of the Podium Café, so you actually receive your “Olympic” medal on top of the podium! As a result of this brilliance, I’ve done the Olympic Park 10km a few times now and on 5th October I stepped this up by completing the first race of what I hope will be all six of the winter series.
My decision to sign up for the series is partly an attempt to reverse a bit of a decline in my running fitness and mostly, a reaction to the DNF I’d had in the September race. 10km races have over the years become something of a nemesis of mine. They always feel too slow and I seem to invite my worst inner critic along to them, which, oddly enough, doesn’t help matters. Running generally (and especially on Thursdays on the track) is really good for my head, but 10kms and I don’t get on. I’m hoping that doing one a month for six months will help change this!
The October race was a start. Was it slow? Yes. Did I get lapped? Yes, but I didn’t drop out which made it a success compared with the previous month! It was also my least inner-critical 10km for a long time, which was great. I used my ancient and underused Garmin to break the race down into laps of the track. However, as 25 laps of the track seemed like a long way and so I ticked them off in fives. This seems to really help. Hopefully by March I’ll have a bit more confidence in 10km races. If I can gain a bit more speed in them while increasing my medal collection, that would be brill.