Hi guys, well what a weekend is all I can say. A lot of highs and lows!!
Saturday morning Ben and I got up early and got ourselves ready to head to our first ever Parkrun (informal 5k race that happens all over the UK and the world on Saturdays). It starts at 9am and isn’t very far from us so we could leave at 8.15am and have plenty of time to work out where we needed to be etc. I had breakfast about 8am – absolutely standard oatmeal. Nothing fancy.
I was so nervous I can’t tell you. I know it’s stupid. But at Running Club on Thursday all the people were saying because it was such a flat course this time (it changes occasionally) and that I was a fast runner I was sure to do amazingly. And then when I got there a few people were saying I was going to be high in the table for the females.
I felt under a bit of pressure. Ridiculous I know because if I didn’t do well no one would really care except me and this was just a Parkrun. People were just observing I was a ‘fast’ runner and it was a flat course and they were being polite and flattering me.
I was also a bit caught of guard as it was very informal. I guess I should have expected this. When we all crowded at the start I was mid-conversation when they started counting to go.
Then we were off. I have never felt so sick in my life. I was jolted into a sprint and pegged it as fast as my little legs would go. I knew the 5k would all be about speed and it was just about going for as fast as you can for as long as you can until it’s over.
A mile in and I knew something was wrong. I started panicking in my head. I felt so sick. I knew I had to slow down but I couldn’t. I felt I would fail by slowing down (yes, I realise this is absolutely ridiculous and I am an idiot). But I knew by then I was going to be sick.
So I ran off the race. I literally ran away from the race.
I did what I had to as far away from the race as I could. Then I kept walking and didn’t look back. I was so annoyed with myself you wouldn’t believe. I started crying (I know, I know – so not worth crying about!). I kept walking to get as far away as I could.
I then flopped onto the pavement and let myself be pathetic for a while until I realised I was lost. With no phone. Nothing.
To be fair, I hadn’t walked a great distance from the race. Probably half a mile. But I couldn’t go back. I was convinced people would have seen or wondered what happened. So after about 15 minutes I realised I needed to do something constructive. The only number I knew off by heart was my parents’ house phone. So I asked to borrow a very nice lady’s phone and rang them.
My parents, bless them, drove and picked me up. They were so lovely and comforting with words of “it happens to all runners” but I was just hating myself right then. Why didn’t I just slow down? Why did I put so much pressure on myself? Why did I eat breakfast!!!!
Then we had to find Ben as I knew he’d have finished by then and he wouldn’t have had a clue what had happened. He was obviously very worried when we found him but very sympathetic as well.
Ben did amazingly in the run. He got 25mins30secs. I’m so proud of him. Bless him, he didn’t want to tell me what he got because he worried it would be “rubbing it in”. But I’m so pleased for him – I’m glad one of us had a success!
Sunday morning Ben and I got up early again. It was time to get back on the horse. We had planned a 10k race in a lovely country park (provided we both felt up to after the run on Saturday). Ben was good to go. And so was I.
I was nervous again, but not because of any pressure I’d stupidly put on myself but because I didn’t want to be sick again. But I had breakfast early and I thought to myself “this is just a nice run through a lovely park”. No pressure.
There was less than 350 people running and it was quite informal. We had numbers but we didn’t have chips or anything. Perfect for a no pressure run.
The first mile I was running literally next to another girl the entire time. Psychologically this is quite hard. But eventually I broke off and then managed to keep ahead. But I then had the issue that I needed to keep just slightly faster than her, which was a hard pace to maintain. It literally felt like a proper race in that respect. And then miles 2-4 I kept thinking she was just behind me. Thankfully by mile 4 I realised she was a fair way back and I was running strong. It was tough don’t get me wrong. Hard, fast running. But I wasn’t feeling sick. In fact, though it was bloody hard work, I felt pretty damn good. The competitive element wasn’t causing me any issues like Saturday.
My Garmin says under 10k which annoyed me and the official times haven’t come out yet (well, as official as someone with a stop watch at the end can be). But I’ll take it
And…I came first out of the ladies!! The girl I was up against at the beginning came second.
I got a little trophy for being the first female!
Then I glugged a load of water and waited for Ben. I was quite chuffed I’d get to see him finish and was ready poised with my camera.
He beat his Marwell 10k by around 4 mins by finishing 52mins56secs. Nice work!
I am really chuffed with the both of us. Firstly, Ben got two PBs in one weekend. For a guy that’s just got back into running I’m pretty damn proud of him. Secondly, I’m pleased that I learnt from yesterday. I put pressure on myself when I shouldn’t have – who the hell cares what time I do a run or race in! No one cares but me, and I shouldn’t be too hard on myself! I love running. Full stop. Getting good times is a great extra. I shouldn’t be so focused on it. I loved running months ago when I wasn’t doing races. I should just enjoy the race and let the times be what they will be.
Beautiful scenery near the finishing line
I’ll leave it there for today as I’ve gone on a bit in this post. I’m pleased with this weekend, warts and all. It’s the failures and issues you have in life that make you stronger!
Have you ever pushed yourself too hard?
Have you ever had a similar ‘issue’ when running/exercising?
If you do races, why do you do them? I like challenges and I like pushing myself. But I have to realised that I love running so much more. I cannot let my need to succeed compromise my love for running.