I promise not to keep harping on about this running-related one because to most of my readers I imagine it’s exceptionally dull. But to me it’s fifty shades of awesome so just let me have this last turn at the mic.
I wrote a while ago about signing up to run a half marathon, back when November seemed an eternity away and I didn’t need to worry about it. My summer training was going well, and then the sodding clocks changed and my long, late evening runs went up the kybosh. My last decent long run was in September, I think, and I was secretly bricking it that my legs wouldn’t know what to do when I started out today.
Actually, the whole thing was nearly cancelled at one point, as Storm Angus nobbed his way across the south coast. The wind yesterday evening was pretty lively and it rained all night. My brain danced around between wanting it to be cancelled, to give me a ready made excuse not to do it…and really, really not wanting it to be cancelled because I’d paid and we’d managed to fob Mouse off on the in-laws for the day and it would have been a shame to waste that gem.
This morning, while trying to force down a bowl of porridge, the announcement was posted online that it would be going ahead as planned, but due to high winds and the exposed route of the course (along the seafront, basically), runners should expect a “challenging” race. This was further reiterated by the race director as 2000 of us stood hopping on the spot, waiting for ready steady go. Jesus Christ and all his Godfathers it was cold and windy, but miraculously I found my groove quite early on and settled into a good pace.
Everything went a bit ham-fisted between miles 8-9, where the outward leg of the second lap saw a headwind that had suddenly increased noticeably from 40 minutes previously. I had to stop and walk for a bit which I hate doing as a runner, because as soon as I’ve stopped once I have to fight a massive battle not to keep stopping. It’s called “jeffing” and it’s a really good style of training and racing, alternating walking with running, but too much of it would set me away from my secret-don’t-tell-anyone dream time (1hr47 and 48 seconds. Totally beyond what I’d managed in training).
ANYWAY I clawed it back and suddenly I was over the 11 mile mark. At this point I started visualising the distance to the finish line in equatable terms, so a trip from my house to Waitrose. Always with the Waitrose.
Ridiculously I had to stop and walk just as I turned the bend to the 13 mile marker, but I started running again just as I saw my husband leaping around cheering me on. The beautiful, beautiful sight of the chip strips on the floor at the end came into view, and I crossed the finish line with a chip time of 1hr46 (and 21 seconds).
When I’m having a bad run, it’s awful and I hate every second. I hate that my body won’t work and I hate that my mind waves the white flag and gives in to defeat.
But when I’m having a good run…I feel on top of the world.
I won’t talk about it again, I promise. Until April 2017 when I tackle the next one. That fucker has hills though so I hope it gets cancelled.