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Tegan Running... 10k for the first time ever!

Posted Sep 24 2011 6:14am
So I spent most of the day at work, eating cakes, cookies and doughnuts and trying to come up with excuses as to why I couldn't do my planned 10k that evening. I usually look forward to my runs but this would be the first time I had done this route, I'd have to run through town where everyone would laugh at my wobbly bits, and what would happen if I couldn't make it all the way round!

I get home and RP is already in his gym gear so now I feel guilty that I had been hoping he would want to spend the evening in so I think I better go get changed and make the effort. Go up to get changed and decide to wear my 3/4 lengths because it's quite warm out tonight, problem is if I wear the 3/4 lengths I'm going to have to shave my legs (bring on full scale winter and the freedom for hairy legs!). So I shave my legs over the bath, cut myself, can't find the plasters, eventually find them and put on the 3/4 lengths. I then start to think that the 3/4 lengths only have a very little pocket and probably won't fit my phone in it but as I've gone to the hassle of shaving my legs I should wear them. Spend ages trying to work out if it will get dark whilst I'm out and if I need to take my reflective flasher (not a dodgy man in a long beige mac), decide it will probably stay light and finally get out the door.

As we get outside the asbo kid from over the road is playing football with his seriously fashion challenged girlfriend. Honestly this girl is wearing a flowery patterned jumpsuit. I'm no expert, but that's just not right! They're playing football and every time they play they always manage to kick the ball into the house which sends RP nuts so I think we better get out of here and bundle RP into the car before he goes all hulk on their ass!

We spend ages stuck in traffic trying to get into Newton Abbot, why oh why is traffic such a pain in the ass. Eventually get there after watching one guy go round the roundabout 5 times trying to work out if he can beat the traffic by going another way (you can't mate honest). God I've gone on for 4 paragraphs now and still haven't even got to my run, so much for a blog about running.

When we get to the gym I leave RP and we go over our new safety routine (I tell him where I'm going, how long I think I'll be and we agree a time if I'm not back by that he has to send the boys out looking for me!). With all the formalities done there really is no excuse not to start the run so I'm off.

I walk for the first couple of minutes to get some heat into my legs but then I can see people looking at me like why is that girl all dressed up in running gear but not actually running so I kick it up a notch and start running. As I come round the corner before entering the industrial estate to the park there is a guy running about 10m in front of me. I really hope he isn't doing the same route as me because 1. I don't want to look at his bum the whole way round and 2. We're too close together and I don't want to slow down and I don't want to speed up and overtake him only to collapse in a heap about 200 yards down the road. But it's all ok cos he carries straight on and I turn off left towards the park.

By now I'm starting to feel tired in my legs and my breathing is getting heavy, I check my watch because surely I must have been going for 10 minutes now, alas no, 2 minutes! Nevermind, just keep running is my mantra and I know I can do this, I've done it before and I will do it again! As I get further down the path there is a woman with a buggy and I start to panic about how I'm going to get round her, thinking hopefully she will move over, no such luck, I have to jump out onto the grass to get round, bonus though because behind her is a really really really old English Bulldog, ahhhhh. He is super adorable and I want to stop to give him a cuddle but think no I must continue, just keep running!

I get to the end of the path where the park goes over the rive and gets into the more wooded area and the picnic table there is full of teenage hoodies and I start to think they are bound to start laughing at me and chasing me, so I close my eyes and go past, when I open them again there are no hoodies chasing me so it seems I'm in the clear,.

I'm nearly at the end of my first 10 minute rep and I'm looking forward to my 1 minute of walking. I always seem to struggle at the beginning of a run. My watch eventually ticks over to 10 and I stop. However I'm right behind a guy walking his dogs and he has kindly moved over on the path to let me through and then I have stopped right behind him. He keeps looking over his shoulder at me, probably thinking what the fuck is this stupid runner girl doing doesn't she realise she is supposed to be running. Thankfully a minute is not a very long time and I start running and go past him. I have my first country gate to contend with and I'm trying to remember the country code about leaving gates open or closed. In the end I opt for putting back exactly where it was, neither open or closed and run for it!

I'm nearly done in the park now, I just have to cross back over the river, then I'm back on the road heading into Ogwell. As I come over the bridge, which is tiny and hidden by trees, there is a guy stood at the end of it all by himself, just standing there, no friends, no dog, not even pretending to be on his phone or anything. Weird guys are definitely very helpful for speed work cos I can tell you my pace sky rocketed when I saw him. I know it's not nice to judge people but why are you just lurking round a solitary hidden bridge all by yourself? The only reason I can think is to murder lone runners as they come through.

By this time I am glad to be back on the road, I prefer running on the road, it just feels so much easier. So I'm smiling a bit thinking yes I am one of those impressive people that other people say oooohhhh look at her isn't she impressive doing all that running, then the hills start. The first one is big but I think come on you can do this, drop the pace and get up it. I get to the top, I'm wheezing, I have a stitch, my legs hurt like fuck! But it's ok I'm back on the level, if I keep the pace low the stitch will ease and I can get my breathing back. I look up and for fucks sake there is another even bigger hill! I check my watch, fingers crossed it's the end of the next 10 minutes and I can walk up the hill, no such luck, I start running (barely) up it cursing myself for every time I have said I love living in Devon because of the undulating countryside. I can't believe it when I get to the top. My eyesight has gone blurry and I actually think I will die at any minute. One more minute and then my 10 are up. When they are I nearly cry. I start walking, come round the corner into East Ogwell and there is another Bastard hill! I can't do this one, I know I can't, I have given all I have to the bastard hills of East Ogwell and I have nothing left to give this one. I have to walk. I tell myself I will walk for 5 mins and then I will start again. As I get near the top there are a couple playing with their dogs on the green and they look at me with what I can only describe as pity in their eyes, I think the guy even gets his mobile out with the intent of calling an ambulance for me.

Once at the top I still have 2 minutes left of my unplanned 5 min break. There are no pavements on this road but it is busier than your usual country road. This leads me into a panic about where I should place myself on the road so I don't get run over. I know you are supposed to be on the side facing oncoming traffic, but the road turns away to the right, so anything coming towards me would not be able to see me until after they had run me over. I think should I walk as close to the hedge line as possible, but then I think it'll be even harder to see me. I could walk in the middle of the road then the cars would definitely see me but I'm not sure they would be very happy about it. Either way I stick to facing oncoming traffic and think I'll just see what happens.

My 5 min break is up and I'm running again. My stitch has gone, thank god, and I can't see anymore hills up ahead. In fact, I'm running downhill now! Woo hoo! But wait a minute, what goes down must come up? Or is it the other way round? Either way I know I am about to get crippled with another hill at some point. I'm into new Ogwell now and back on a pavement, so at least I no longer have to concern myself with getting run over and where I should be in the road. I see my karmic hill, and it doesn't look too bad, nowhere near as bad as the bastard hills of East Ogwell, I make it up and let out a little woop!

I'm back on the main Totnes road now and I know (because I normally drive along this road) that it is all level or down hill now into Newton Abbot. I head out on the pavement and I'm feeling good! Until... where the fuck has the pavement gone? I can not run along this road, this is one of the main A roads into and out of Newton Abbot, I will die! Am I going to have to turn round and go back to the bastard hills? Oh please god no! What's this... a small path leading into the Ogwell Housing estate... Whilst I have no desire to be heading anywhere near Ogwell again at least this is a path and hopefully it will join back up with the road at some point. I head down there and there are a couple of bits that lead off into super posh houses and I wonder if me and RP will be able to live in a posh house one day, and then YES we're back on the road and there is pavement all the way down as far as I can see.

I'm coming up near Asda now and I think if it is acceptable to stop off and get some bits, but then I think I will have to carry all the stuff round whilst I'm running so decided it probably is not the best idea. Now I'm faced with my next dilemma. I hate crossing roads, not just when I'm running, all the time. I don't trust drivers (I am one and I know you shouldn't trust us). In order to get round Asda onto East Street round the back of town I need to cross 3 roads! They've all got pedestrian lights though so it's not all bad, I may have to compromise some time but I'll be alive. Somehow the god of pedestrian crossings is on my side today and all the lights are in my favour and I breeze straight through. There are some kids on BMXs doing tricks and stuff and I want to stop and watch cos it looks really cool, but then I think I'm just making more excuses and  I need to keep going.

East Street  is full of pubs and as it's  Friday evening everyone is out having after work drinks, I imagine that I'm running a marathon and the pubs are water stations, I imagine the people stood outside smoking are the marshals and they are handing me pints of water.... I'm rudely awoken from this dream by seeing someone smoking outside of the pub up ahead, I recognise that stance, shit it's my ex. I need to avoid him, where can I turn off and still keep my distance up, can I cross over... shit to late he's seen me! Fuck! So I up the pace run past him as fast as I can and shout sorry can't stop and pray that he doesn't come running after me.

When I feel I am a suitable distance away I drop my pace back down, have to shout at an old man and his dog so I can get past them, and nearly collapse in a coughing fit as I run past a guy who is smoking and exhales in my face and he is not just smoking a cigarette he is smoking a full on joint and he blows it all in my face! Thanks mate!

I'm on my 4th walking break now and I'm nearly at where I work. I start to wonder if there is a suitable route from my house so that I could run to work, but is that a bit much, I know people cycle to work but does anyone run to work.

I go past the train station and along take away ally, consider for a minute whether it is suitable to stop for chips in the middle of your 10k run, toss the idea of fueling my body around my head and realise I'm being stupid and there is a road coming up that I need to cross so stop thinking about chips and start thinking about staying alive!

I'm nearly at the home stretch now, just need to get past the fire station (there were no fit firemen) and then it's only 2 roads til I'm back at the gym. It's time for my next walking break and I think sweet that means I will be able to arrive at the gym running and look all impressive and athlete like. I'm on the last road and the stupid teenage girls all dressed on their way into town refuse to move over on the path so I call them fuckwits and push past them. I boot it back to the gym car park and I make it to my car, stop the watch, 1 hour, 3 minutes, 20 seconds. My first ever attempt at 10k is in the bag! I'm totally over the moon, but I'm also knackered, breathing like an 80 year old and sweating like a pig. I get the car open and get my water out and take a stroll round the car park to catch my breath.

There's no sign of RP so he must still be in the gym. I pop in and find him giving it GRRRs on the wall weight machine thingy wotsit. Let him know I'm alive and my time and that I'll be outside waiting for him. I walk out and Asbo kid and his weird friend from over the road are in the queue for swimming and I think oh great now my asbo neighbour comes to the same gym as me.

I wait outside for RP and there are all these other asbo kids playing with a scooter and they keep getting really close to me so I move away but they still keep coming up to me so I think fuck it I'll go wait in the car but then I see RP so we walk to the car together. Just before we get there this old guy appears out from behind a hedge on his mobile. What was he doing in there?

We get home and RP runs me a bath whilst I go to the shop and get wine (post workout refueling), my bath is amazing and then I have dinner of beans, mushrooms, quorn fillet and toast, Om Nommy nom nom!

I plot my route on RunKeeper which pisses me off cos it keeps mucking it up but I get there in the end, but once I've done it I'm jealous because one of my friends on their has done a 70k run which makes my 10k look shit!

So I did it. My first 10k hills and all! Today is a rest day which sucks because the postman turned up today with a parcel from Amazon, I thought I haven't ordered anything from Amazon, but when I open it it is a Garmin Forerunner 305! My Mum & Dad have bought it for me as a surprise! I really want to test it out but I know I need to have the day off.

All is ok though cos RP texts to say he is finishing work early cos he wants to do a run up to Haytor and I say yay you can test out the Garmin and Zac and I will chill on the sofa! So it all worked out in the end.

This is the 10k route I did yesterday.

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