Sunday, 26 February 2012

R is for Reality Check!

It started so well. For once, my idea of 'early' morning coincided with the race organisers idea of 'early'... the race started at 11am! Which meant that I could lie in until 8, have a leisurely hour preparing myself mentally (whilst eating my own - slightly reduced- bodyweight in carbs) then mosey on down to the starting line. 
Looking relaxed.... little did I know...

I knew that this race was organised by 'proper runners' as my husband calls them- everyone he ever sees moving quickly- from the woman speed walking with her dog to the guy pushing a buggy up the hill -is a 'proper runner.' I'm not though... because I'm still going through a 'phase!' GRRRR...
Having never been to a race organised by a proper running club before, I was totally unprepared for the sheer level of professionalism with which these lycra clad people approached their sport. 'eee by gum, it was impressive. 80% of the runners arrived on foot... they had run to the race. For the hour leading up to the race (whilst my husband and kids emptied the bacon butty stand) they ran laps of the rugby club at which the race was starting. Then we set off... and it was blooming awful.
Me and Gabby pretending to be proper runners
The pack split straight away. 600 runners were in the race... 550 of them vanished in a cloud of dust, leaving 50 non-club runners flailing at the back... walking up the vertical inclines and swearing our way through 6 miles of painful, torturous terrain. Because I was dealing with my 4 year old, I actually started at the very back of the pack... I finished tenth from last... it took me 6 miles to pass 9 people including a guy on a crutch and a seventy three year old runner called Bernard.  It was his first ever race.
Suck much? Yes I do.
Where did everyone go? 
I feel no sense of pride as I write this blog. Actually, I have spent most of today feeling really cross with myself. If I could move my legs without wincing, I would kick myself! When my husband and I talked about it afterwards, he explained to me that some people are just built to run, it's genetic and that I have "other skills... like writing and... erm..." I may be deluded, but I think I am built to run. Thank God in Heaven above I am fit, healthy, I eat well, I stretch loads and hey, I really rock that lycra. It's time to face facts, I need some professional help! No. I don't mean therapy. I'm going to bite the bullet and join a running club.  I want to be in that cloud of dust, wearing a vest with my team's name on it having taken running advice from people who really know the sport.
Last year, I enjoyed learning as much as I could through lots of trials and many, many errors (remember when I pee'd into the patch of nettles?!) I have 4 half marathons and countless 10K's to do this year... it's time to get serious!
Feeling quite fierce. Grrr...  xxx


  1. Dont be down on yourself too much. Some local 5ks are for serious pride, while others are enjoyable. One I know in my area is very elitists....I swear more than half of the finishers are well under 30 minutes!

    That being said, joining a running club was a great idea for me. I find myself more inclined to push myself on a weekly basis when I am running with others. Sure, I can't chit chat with them while we run over a bridge, but at least I am no longer huffing and puffing it! Maybe later this year, I can chit chat with them :)

    And sometimes, people just have bad runs for no reason. Even great runners. You are just a great runner in disguise :)

  2. I'm not in a running club but I join others for the free group runs scheduled by the local running store downtown and it's great! So I totally encourage you to join a running club! It's a great way to socialize with other runners and learn from them!

    I agree with Nanette that we all have a bad run from time to time. Don't feel badly about today's race. I bet your next race will be awesome!

  3. Well, you did choose one of the hardest races in the Calendar, I reckon you were very brave for even starting it!

  4. Thank you guys for your comments and support. Old Running Fox- is it a hard race? I mean, I thought it was but hey, I think everything's hard.
    I really appreciate the moral support! xxx

  5. I ran it last year, so know all about those hills and how hard it is. Oh, and there were 62 runners behind you, not ten, so stop putting yourself down. You ran great!