Running Scared: Kirklees 10k Challenge

Saturday, 26 May 2012, was the day of the Kirklees 10k Challenge. It started from the grounds of the splendid looking Cathedral House, on St Thomas’s Road, Huddersfield. The run incorporates a short stretch along St Thomas’s Road, then down onto the tow path of the canal, which you follow for another 4 and a bit kilometers, passing through Milnsbridge and Linthwaite, before reaching Titantic Mills (halfway-point), home of Titantic Spa (looking for a much needed free massage, for the free advertising) before looping around and back along the tow path.

Just another 10k run for many. For me, it was my first. Since first considering doing it I have, quite literally, been running scared.

For anybody familiar with my Snowdon blog posts, Snowdon in the Snow meets Spencer’s Vertigo and Up Snowdon and Up My Vertigo they were very much about facing my fears and challenging my comfort zones. This 10k challenge was another one those times.

So for context, I’ll give you a quick run down of my journey.

I made my first trip back to the gym at Huddersfield Sports Centre, in September 2011. I started with 20 minute walks. Nothing more. Over a number of weeks I built up to jogging about 2k, and mixing this in with some time of thecross-trainers. By Christmas, I’d managed to shift about 10lbs. Not bad. And I felt fitter and healthier. By New Year, I’d managed to put some of those lbs back on!!

With a renewed determination to win back my good work lost, I stepped up the pace. Four months down the line and was easily doing 4k runs, and I’d shifted about 23lbs since the previous September.

A colleague at work suggested I do the Park Run at Greenhead Park. These are 5k runs. I’d never done 5k outside. Had done it at a push on the treadmill, in about 30mins. So, I did a couple of these 5k’s and managed them in just over 25 minutes each time. Then I stupidly suggested I might do the 10k challenge!

I can’t describe to you how scary a prospect this was. Throughout May, I stepped up the training. In that time I ran about four 10k’s on the treadmill. I had to really push to sneak these in under the hour mark. I mean, really push. The challenge I made to myself was try and get around the course in under an hour. I was doubtful I could manage it.

Cometh the hour, cometh the man…cometh the fear.

I signed in, got my number, pinned it on. Went out side to warm up, stretch, focus on what I was doing and what I needed to do. I treated it like a professional athlete would, going into a big race.

And then we were off. And I was running. And I trusted to my self and my preparation. I knew the pace I needed to go. Despite many people running past me, that was fine. To cut a long story short, I just found a rhythm, my rhythm, and I ran.

It must have been a good rhythm, and I was right to trust myself, as I passed many people on the way around. Eventually, I hit the main stretch, the home straight. Imagine how awesome it felt when I came around the final corner, and I looked up and saw the clock still in the 50 minutes. Yes, I’d done it in under an hour. But more than that, the clock had only just got into the 50’s.

I came home in 50 minutes, 50 seconds. Unbelievable.

Another fear faced. Another comfort zone challenged. Another victory!

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8 thoughts on “Running Scared: Kirklees 10k Challenge

  1. Well done Spence! I admire your determination.
    I too used to run a 5k every Saturday morning and managed to get down to about 23 mins. Oh how I wish I could do that now, especially as I’m sitting here with a torn soleus and damaged achilles. One day, I’ll do that ‘couch to 5k’ again.

    The sense of achievement from doing something like this is immense.
    Well done!

    • Cheers Donald

      I must say, I’m sort of looking around for my next challenge now. Another 10k somewhere. However, that Steven Tuck above, had mentioned some 10 mile thing. Not sure if that might be a bit much though.

      Torn soleus and damaged achilles? Man, that sounds very painful! Hope you recover in good time. What happened??

      • A combination of getting old(!), not warming up and playing football with a bunch of 20 yr olds!
        Its on the mend but its a slow process and I’m not that patient! But my challenge is firstly to get jogging again and then attempt the 5k. Would love to complete the 10k where I live. There’s a charity 10k for the fire station and I would love to do it one year!

        But keep up the good work man. Nice to hear you’re looking for your next challenge and I bet you feel so much better for losing that weight and being able to do these things now!

  2. Hmm it looks like your website ate my first comment (it
    was super long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I wrote and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog.
    I too am an aspiring blog writer but I’m still new to the whole thing. Do you have any tips and hints for beginner blog writers? I’d certainly appreciate it.

    • Thanks Titus. Sorry for not replying sooner. The only advice I can think to give is ‘write what you feel like writing about’ and ‘write for yourself’ not necessarily what you think other people will like; there will always be somebody out there who shares a view or has a different one – this is good 🙂

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