Last Saturday I took to the track at Birmingham University to compete against some of the fastest distance runners in the country over 25 laps. The event doubled up as the British Olympic trials and the European Cup. I was there to try and run a PB and give myself a marker to go forward with, and that is what I did.
This was my second ever 10k on the track, my last being the night of the 10,000m 2 years ago, where I ran 34:46. That year I was in the C race and the thought of breaking 35 minutes again was a huge achievement.
This year I went into the race with little expectation and pressure, except I knew I was due a PB update and I wanted to enjoy every minute of the experience. Training had been going well and I felt in better 10k shape than 5k shape, and the 5k had been going well too, so I wanted to enjoy feeling strong. On the start line, my legs didn’t feel as good as I had hoped, and I’d been suffering with a niggle in my quad that was definitely preoccupying my mind, but I wanted to make the most of the opportunity in front of me. To be on the start line with girls hoping to make it to the Olympics was a crazy but inspiring thought.
The start was a little congested as there were a lot of girls all desperate to get in the inside lane, but once it started to spread out and we got into a line, things began to settle down slightly. The great thing about racing 10k on the track was there was constantly someone to work off and chase down. If anything, I think I could’ve pushed on a bit more towards the end if I started slightly more conservatively, but those are all lessons to learn for another day.
I crossed the line in 33:11, a huge improvement on my time from 2 years ago and a huge PB. I was very pleased to run my best ever time but part of me felt unsatisfied despite that. I think it was because I was hungry for more, which every athlete is, but it’s important to celebrate the successes and not constantly look ahead. I feel proud knowing that the time I ran through 5k in the 10k equalled the time I ran some of my 5k races in last year. Also, seeing the likes of Jess Judd secure her spot on the GB team for Tokyo was incredibly inspiring and only makes me want to work harder. I know I’ve got more to come, and I can’t wait to show it. I love this running malarkey and am excited to see where the journey takes me.
I love to run and I love to write, so I write about running!