MONTHS of training, weeks of apprehension, days of nerves, and an hour and 17 minutes and the London Zoo Stampede was all over.
On a sunny Sunday morning, 1000 people descended the famous London landmark to race 10km and raise money for the zoo.
My sister Judith, and I were two of them.
I had persuaded Judith to dress up as a tiger with me, and on the morning of the run I woke her up with Eye Of The Tiger and Tiger Feet at full blast.
Threatening to throw my iPod out the window, we both scrambled into our running gear, ears and stripes.
Earlier this year in June, we had both completed a 10km run Zoo Stampede – this time at Whipsnade Zoo, in Bedfordshire.
In between the two races, I had trained with Jennifer Mbazira at Fitness First in St Paul’s to improve my fitness, losing 9 kilos along the way.
So how had I progressed in the last three months?
Well, most importantly I actually ENJOYED the race. I was able to pace myself correctly and for the first time EVER I didn’t take one break, walk one step or slow down
I followed Jennifer’s advice and created a killer playlist – which started off with pop songs (medium paced), then into faster songs (Knife Party and Swedish House Mafia), then back down into some more slower songs.
Just at the right time (when I felt like I was struggling) Boombastic by Shaggy came on… and I danced around as I raced, and was laughing the whole time.
When it came down to the speed of the race, I expected that I would have easily bettered my time.
However, when it came down to it, I actually raced around at exactly the same time!
During the last run I alternated periods of walking with periods of sprinting, and was knackered and out of breath the whole time, wanting it to be over.
There was actually a guy doing that this time around next to me, and we pretty much kept pace with each other. So slow and steady didn’t necessarily win the race, but this time around I wasn’t feeling horrific, and I each time I wanted to give up, I distracted myself and made myself realise that I wasn’t actually out of breath, just my legs were tired.
The next challenge is to keep up with my new diet, new exercise regime and not lose any focus.
The London Zoo Stampede may be over, but the long-term fitness challenge has only really just begun.
To contact Jennifer to book personal training sessions, call her on 07770 696 426.