There is this woman who I work with. She’s really lovely… and about fifteen years older than me… she is also running the Bradford Half Marathon for the first time… and she’s expecting to finish in under two hours. I hate her! Well, I don’t really hate her. I just dislike the fact that she is faster (and therefore better) at running than me. The other day we were talking and she was reinforcing the fact that completing this ½ marathon in under two hours is absolutely pivotal in her life- she can do it, she will do it etc. etc. And it got me thinking… I am not an ambitious runner. In almost all other areas of my life, I am fiercely ambitious. I am hugely competitive and I hate to lose (I’m ashamed to say that I still stamp my feet on the floor when I cannot get my own way. Thanks goodness I’m too big for the naughty step!)
But with running, I accept that I’m not Usain Bolt (despite our startling physical similarities) and I just keep going. And I’m really happy with that. When my work runner/arch enemy asked me what my half marathon goal is, I simply replied ‘to finish without needing an ambulance.’ She laughed. I didn’t. This time last year, I couldn’t walk to the top of my stairs without needing a ventilator- I smoked 10 cigarettes a day and the furthest I walked was to my car. So anything I achieve regarding running is just that… an achievement. Yes, I really did run 13.1 miles in 2 hours, 18 minutes today- I’m really proud of that. But I’m going to resist the temptation to now set myself the challenge of ‘beating the time.’ Quite honestly, just putting my lycra on and standing at the staring line is going to be a first time experience- one which I will remember for the rest of my days… as for the finishing without an ambulance. Well, we’ll just have to cross our fingers and wait and see.
2 weeks today! Giddy times x