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Our Race for Life: Running 10K for Cancer Research

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Community journalist Tristan Best takes us through his personal journey through running a 10K race for charity.

Together, my friend Kaylan Grandon and I raised over £180 for various charities linked to Cancer Research UK. We ran two laps of Markeaton Park, Allestree on the 9th July. With each lap being 5K, we managed to run the 10K with ease. Kaylan and I trained and prepared for this race for months. Our goal was to run a 10K, as we wanted to test ourselves – which we definitely did. 

I was certain the race was at the end of July, but in fact, the Cancer Research UK Race for Life – which can be completed by running or walking – was set up for the 9th, giving me three or so weeks less to train than I thought at first. This made me incredibly anxious – “Maybe I haven’t done enough runs, maybe I’ll struggle to make the finish,” I thought. But even with these doubts in my mind, they still wouldn’t stand in our way, nor affect our performance.

Three days before the run

Due to my mind racing away, and the slight intrusion of anxiousness, I pushed myself into going to the gym to up my confidence and self belief. It worked well, and I then let loose, eating plenty of snacks, followed by a huge dish of sweet potatoes and steaks, which inevitably contributed to the performance further on.

On Saturday I rested. After a good night’s sleep – not a great one – with an early unjust awakening from the body clock, I felt terribly anxious throughout my day. I spent the day writing and watching movies and videos. I had a full day of ‘carbing-up’ – getting ready by stocking up on a mixture of slow and fast release energy based foods such as lasagne, steak and pizza.

Building up to the run, I had only been for a roadrun once every two weeks, which allowed time for my body to heal and repair. I found having the gap made my everyday life better and my deadlines easier to meet. When I did my runs, I found out, each time I went for that run, I was better at it. My stride was stronger, my breathing rhythm was better and my overall cardiovascular system had grown stronger. 

I also insisted on maintaining my current body weight of 160 lbs, as that would encourage an ‘easier ride’. I’m currently on a bulk now though, looking to get closer to my 180 lbs goal, which I had set myself to reach by the end of the year, last month. I’m trying my best to only eat lean protein and consume better products for the long run – fish, beef, chicken and a whole load of healthy carbs, as it’s harder to cut down to a leaner physique when getting ‘hooked’ on the unhealthy processed foods. 

The big day

On the day of the run, I woke up early and proceeded to stretch. Fighting the anxiousness, I prepared myself in an appropriate manner: a warm shower, a cup of coffee and a cup of tea. Just after my stretch, I ate serving of eggs benedict – to be honest, I was certainly obsessed with the breakfast dish around this time, as I had recently eaten it the weekend before.

Kaylan and I were running late, but we managed to arrive at Markeaton Park just in time for the race. Unfortunately, however, we had to start at the back of the bunch, meaning we had to side step around the walkers. This would not faze us, as we marched on. We both found the run amazing – it led us around the park twice, with a scenic view along the back end.

I managed to run the 10km in 50 minutes, and Kaylan came in at the hour mark. I was utterly shocked and proud of myself – I even managed to fit in a sprint finish, which I didn’t expect.

In the future, I aim to take part in more runs, both for charity and pleasure. I would also like to eventually train for a marathon, which is equal to 38.6 kilometres. The possibility of going for runs in new places in new cities also tends to encourage me to continue further. I would love the opportunity to go to places like London, Manchester and other destinations to take in the scenic routes, and meet new like minded people in the UK. The next run on my agenda is the Carsington Water 10K – one of the most scenic routes in the UK.

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