Stacey West / Lincoln City Foundation 10k Prep Continues

This is a little indulgent post, but as you may know, myself and Rob Bradley are running the Lincoln 10k in aid of the Lincoln City Foundation’s mental health work.

You can find out more about what we’re doing here and find out how Foundation CEO Martin Hickerton is also getting in on the act here.

Alternatively, if you’d like to sponsor Rob and me for the event, you can do so at the Just Giving page here. Please do consider sponsoring us; even in these tough times, any amount will help the Foundation continue to deliver excellent mental health programmes and resources right here in Lincoln, helping the people in our community. 

To ensure that our push remains in focus, I’m going to be doing regular articles through the course of the next month, just to update you all on how I’m preparing, why running is so good for your own mental health and looking at the great things the Foundation do in our community around mental health. I’ll be popping in to see Martin and the team, to get the alternative tour and hopefully speak to people who have been directly impacted by their great work.

So this is the first of my prep articles, so I’ll give a little background. I decided I wanted to run a 10k as early as May, and after completing the Couch to 5k, I just went out and di a 10k. It turns out my nearest pub is exactly 5k from door to door, which feels a bit like an omen; I ran to the pub and found it didn’t open on a Sunday afternoon, so had to run back! 10k done, 1:04:02. As a first effort, I was dead chuffed with that, so I went out and bought all the gear (new trainers, phone holder for my arm, bone conducting headphones) and tried again a month later. This time I did a different route and hit 58:48. My first 10k under an hour – it seemed this running lark was too simple.

At that point, I might not have made a big noise about my aim for doing the 10k in October. After all, I was hitting good times, clearly able to run and on my way to perhaps even better times. Then, disaster struck. A week after my second 10k, I noticed a sharp pain in my thigh. It dragged one throughout July, where I barely did anything, and to a point where I went for physio last week. It transpires my back operation is at fault; my limited flexibility on the right side, due to rods and steel bars, means I haven’t been warming up sufficiently. I’ve got a stretching programme and other advice, but it’s a setback.

Then, I caught Covid. It kicked my arse for a few days, but quickly I thought I was fine. With my new stretches, I went out for a 5k the other day. Bear in mind, my PB is 27:24, I had what I felt was a disaster at over 30 minutes (30:19). My chest felt tight, and I gasped for breath, thanks to the remnants of Covid. On Saturday, I tried again; this time, it was 31:35, and it was a massive struggle. Even worse. To compound the agony, my thigh has flared up again as well. This week I’ve decided to take a week off running completely and focus on the stretches and exercises, as well as doing a bit of work on the exercise bike to hopefully flush out whatever Covid has left me with.

It’s now 48 days until the 10k, and I’m feeling like it is a huge challenge. Not being able to get out and get near my times is draining, and I appreciate there’s a bit of a hill to climb if I’m to achieve my goal of another 1hr or less 10k time in Lincoln. However, I shall endeavour to achieve that goal and, along with Rob, raise £1000 for the Lincoln City Foundation.

Why Lincoln City Foundation?

They do an unbelievable amount of good work locally, helping people in the community as well as Lincoln fans. They’ve run wellbeing sessions, have the man’s club on a Monday for people to talk and have stuff in the pipelines helping veterans with PTSD and stuff like that. They’re right here, in Lincoln, helping people you and I know. That’s the sort of charity we want to help, that can directly affect people struggling close to me and you.