Lucie Loves… Fitness // Recap | Nike UK We Own The Night 2014
On Saturday 10 May, I ran my second ever We Own The Night 10k, an after-dark race through Victoria Park in east London. Along with thousands of other determined women from across the UK (and some from even further afield) I sped my way through the beautifully lit trees, spurred on by the cheering crowds and pumping bass-lines - the atmosphere was electric!
I must admit, I was more than a little nervous on the night before and morning of the race. I was filled with an irrational feeling of fear. Had I trained enough? Was I fit enough to run the distance? Could I do this?
I hadn’t done as much training as I’d done for last years race, and was feeling a little apprehensive as I put on my running gear and laced-up my Nike Flyknit Lunar2s ready to hop on the overground to east London.
I get really hot when running, so knew that I was going to wear shorts, my Panache sports bra (perfect for big boobed girls), WOTN Kiss My Race top, Nike Elite Hyper-Lite running socks (last year I had to stop mid-race and take off my trainer socks because the seam was rubbing against my toe, I didn’t want that to happen again, so these were a great purchase), Nike Flyknit Lunar2 running shoes and my Belkin armband so that I could listen to my Spotify WOTN playlist that JMG put together for me, and also hear what pace I was running at using the Nike+ Running app.
My training schedule for the run up to the race consisted of just 12 runs to get me 10k race night ready. If you’ve never run before you might want to start from 1km and then slowly increase your distance with each run.
January - I started off 2014 with a very short but sweet 3km (6'19"/km 18:20 mins), to ease me back into it ( I hadn’t done any running since July 2013) and was feeling out of shape.
The next week I stepped up my game a bit and aimed to run that little bit further. This time I ran 4.6km (5'56"/km 27:21 mins). I ran again the following week, this time getting a little faster and feeling stronger for my 4.6km (5'29"/km 25:28 mins).
February - Nike launches We Own The Night 2014. My manic work schedule meant that I only squeezed in one 5km run (5'49"/km 29:07mins) but it was better than nothing.
March - First week of the month I covered off a steady 4.6km (5'31"/km 25:30 mins), feeling determined to increase my distance with each run.
The next run, I managed 6.03km (5'48"/km 35:59 mins) doubling the distance I could run from when I first started training in January.
My third run of the month felt like a bit more of a struggle - but then again, it’s ok to have off days. I still covered 5.25km (6'49"/km 35:51 mins) but it just felt a little harder than usual.
April - I hadn’t put on my running shoes in almost a month and when I did I managed a measly 4.39km (5'41"/km 24:59 mins). Work had been so busy (excuses excuses) that I was too exhausted to do anything other than rest. Looking back, I probably could have benefited from lacing up my Flyknits and hitting the pavement to de-stress.
The next ‘run’ I went on was with a friend. But this turned into more of a walk/natter. It’s not easy running with someone who is a different ability to yourself or has never run before. We walked 4.19km (11'37"/km 48:45 mins) around Hampstead Heath and finished off with coffee and cake in a local bakery.
The next day, feeling the need to pick up speed and cover some real distance, I re-laced up my running shoes and covered a steady 5.01km 5'12"/km 26:08 mins) a good pace and a good run.
A few days later I wanted to push myself a but further and ran 6.77km (5'29"/km 37:09 mins). I felt great! By setting myself a goal distance to cover in the Nike Running app, I was able to keep myself going and set a good pace.
May - Race night! I covered 10km (5'11"/km 51:49 mins) YESSSS! I managed to get my best time ever and took a whole 8 seconds off my time last year. I felt great! I decided to pace myself and not race ahead at the beginning as not to wear myself out. The night before I’d read about running negative splits and was curious to see whether this technique would increase my ability to comfortably cover the distance.
My goal was to run 10km in under 55 minutes. I made my way to the 55 minute pacer at the starting line. This was a great way of ensuring that I was running fast enough to achieve my goal.
I paced myself until I got to the 4km marker and then decided to pick up my speed. Last year, I got a horrific stitch around the 8km mark and struggled to reach the finish line. This time around I concentrated on my breathing and set my sights on the girl running in front of me, so that I could maintain a good pace and pick up speed whenever I felt like I was starting to lag behind.
It’s a case of mind over matter. I didn’t stop running at any point during the race and also didn’t pick up a bottle of water. I’d been told by Run Dem Crew’s Charlie Dark that you don’t actually need any water until you’ve been running for over an hour.
I was feeling mentally strong and enjoying soaking in the encouragement from the cheering crowd. It made such a difference to have friends and loved ones rooting for you - especially as there was one BIG party later on that evening! They really are key ingredients to owning 10km. I was proud of myself for finishing in 802nd place and loved feeling like I had accomplished something great and seeing the other girls beaming from their own sense of achievement!
Runners of every ability take part in Nike’s We Own The Night. From Paula Radcliffe to girls who’ve never even run for the bus before. The feeling of being part of something big, something that is just for women, is pretty special!
JMG shot a few short instagram videos at the event which should make you excited about taking part next year! Enjoy!