Boudavida Women’s 10k Windsor

Karen & I have decided to try a first …. a joint blog post! I’ve started it & the plan is for Karen to add her point of view! Hopefully we can distinguish who wrote what for you….but if it doesn’t work we won’t do it again!! Lets hope I can work this!!  Yay!!

Back in the early summer Karen & I received an email asking if we’d like to be part of the This Girl Can Run 10 group running in the Boudavida Women’s 10k. We had to write 200 words stating why we should receive a place. We both applied, and a few weeks later I received a thanks but no thanks response! However I decided I’d still like to take part & so paid for my place. I however did get a place – I explained to Charlotte that because I am middle aged and menopausal I probably had less competition than she did as they were looking for a variety of ages, sizes and ability!  They asked me to provide a blog (already in hand!) and be a case study.  The piece was picked up by Bracknell News and several other local papers.

Although I’m not sure about running thousands of miles!!  (If you cant access the link – just go onto Bracknell News and search Karen Ward asthma)

It kind of crept up on me if I’m going to be honest! But I have been increasing my mileage over the last few weeks, so I wasn’t too concerned! I decided I’d like to make it my mission to help Karen improve on the PB she achieved at the Yateley 10k back in July. I’m not sure Karen was quite so pleased I’d decided this but she didn’t really have much choice!! I looked back at the results and discovered she came in at just under 71 minutes, so therefore we needed to aim for something starting with a 6!!!  Difference in attitudes (no bad thing) – I am happy to finish the race without collapsing in a heap – Charlotte pushes me to improve.  My speed target currently is 12 mins per mile. Charlotte is pushing me hard to better that.  I feel guilty that she is sacrificing her own speed (she is way faster than me and can maintain sub 10 for ages) to challenge me (or is this getting her own back for persuading her to do the marathon in the first place??)

We had to get to the Great Park early as Karen had to have her photo taken as part of the This Girl Can Run 10 thing! I played the part of Karen’s PA, collecting her race pack whilst she headed over to the Get Berkshire Active tent for the photo call!! After a bit of a wait I headed over to join her. Kirsty, who works for Get Berkshire Active said I looked familiar….I didn’t say it was maybe because they’d turned down my request to the join the team, but mentioned the other things I’d been involved in! Promise I wasn’t bitter at all!!!

Karen had her photo taken for the press and collected her goodie bag amazing goody bag it was too – a pair of Hoka OneOne trainers, Boudavida voucher and loads of Meridian nut butters and bars.  I was introduced to the coconut & peanut butter recently by Ellie – as Charlotte would say ‘its lush’.  I unselfishly offered to share with Charlotte – I had forgotten that sadly she doesn’t like nuts 🙂 & we both had a brief chat with a lady who is starting a new magazine ‘Darling magazine’ aimed at women in the Ascot & Sunningdale area. We gave her details of the blog, so fingers crossed she includes some information on us…it’s all about raising the profile!! Charlotte was impressed that I brought several of our ‘cards’ to hand out which includes info on our virgin giving sites and the blog.  Have to be prepared for every opportunity!

After this we  headed off to have a look at some of the stalls. We stumbled across a stall who I thought were all about physio, I’m not sure if Karen had the same false impression, I was so headed to have a closer look & I hoped maybe pick up some useful tips for training.  It actually turned out it was Pranic Healing. If I’m going to be honest it was all a little odd! Bizarre.  I did feel a warmth on my back spreading down to my waist – but realised the sun had come out! Apparently top athletes use them to help with their training. They cleanse the negative energy in your aura to help you run faster and prevent injury! We both had a session which involved people waving their arms in front of you & spraying themselves with water to prevent them taking on your negative energy! Maybe it did get rid of the negative stuff I was still carrying from the NHS lady last night. Afterwards the lady asked me how I felt, I didn’t like to say ‘no different!’ Thankfully there is no photographic evidence of me, but I did manage to get a quick shot of Karen!! Think I was asleep!

Karen preparing for the race with Pranic Healing!!

After our auras were cleansed we headed over to the start line. We were soon on our way and heading up the, at least, 2km hill!!  I was determined Karen would achieve a PB which meant sticking to a pace of 6.something km per hour. We were on track and doing really well despite the hill! However the hills just kept coming, with very little down hill or flat in between! The course had been described as undulating….I think they slightly down played this point!! However despite the hills we still had a PB within our sights and so I didn’t stop ‘encouraging’ Karen!!  Earplugs didn’t work!

Unfortunately we (I) slowed down during the middle of the race, the constant hills and sunshine was taking its toll. The final 2km took us back down the Long Walk, running down the hill that had started the race!

Running back down the Long Walk towards Windsor Castle.

Despite picking some speed back up at the end the PB was not to be. I do remember Charlotte shouting something about not making her do a ‘Brownlee brother’ and throwing me over the line! However we still finished the race in a respectable 74 minutes & Karen maintained HER target pace, just not the one I had set her!! Still we have another 10k in 2 weeks, so there is always next time!! 😉  It was suggested very politely that I may have a psychological issue when doing a race. Possibly not a bad call. In the last few steps I feel that I cannot possibly go any further or speed up – then within about 3 minutes after crossing the line I feel fine.  To the point where later that afternoon I comfortably ran another 3 miles so I could stick to my long run target for the day. Going to have to think about this.  Need a sports psycho!

And we did it

After the race we headed back to Karen’s. The bags of old clothes for this months fundraising venture have been coming in thick & fast & we had set aside the afternoon for sorting them. I’ll save the details for another blog post, but wanted to share the amazing post race lunch she made! 150 bags for ‘Phil the Bag’  already and more coming in – and loads of stuff sorted for the car boot in October.

Amazing, posh lunch …. but surrounded by stuff to car boot or ‘Phil the bag!’

Proper post race lunch! Protein and carbs!!




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