It was a great day for a long run today. I set out in beautiful early morning sun, crisp air and it was mostly dry underfoot. It was my first race with the RunThrough organisers and it was all good, everyone was really helpful, supportive and shared good vibes. I have signed up to a few half marathons to help me keep the mileage up towards next years marathon(s) so as this was near to Hackney Wick, I gave it a go.. completed it slowly, but got to the end.
However it nearly didn't happen, solely due to the mind melt that I get on lapped runs.. I hate them - despite telling myself that I can do the distance and knowing its just a mental block, they always take it out of me. In point to point races I just don't get phased out in the same way. If I have no concept of the route and the distance between markers, I just listen to my own pace and get on with it - plus I know that keeping on going to the end, will be the easiest way to get home.
For this run, it was 6.5 laps and for the first 2 laps I was really struggling to keep on the course. I went through about 2km thinking about my ankle which was already shouting at me, the following 2km needing the loo, then km's 6-8 trying to mentally work out the best way to let everyone know that I had bailed out. Then I pulled off the course, went the loo, sorted my head out and got back out there. I'm so glad I made a few strategies in my head and stuck it out.
After the 4th lap, I spotted my Dad waiting to cheer me on and felt really good that I'd got my shit back together enough to keep going. On the 5th lap, I realised I'd miscalculated and needing 1 more lap, started to dip but it was too late to quit now. Finally I got in and was greeted by my family having clocked up another race and bagged a medal.
I have to say a big thank you to the Run Through team, for their friendly marshals and good vibes. Its easy to get lost in a crowd in a massive event like the Great Run series, but the smaller events have a much wider gap between the elite and slower runners like myself.
Its a battle for me to keep my head together when its like this - I feel like I am miles behind everyone (literally), so I spend the 1st half of the race telling myself I'm shit and that I should just stop, then get beyond the halfway point and it all seems okay again. The smiles and vibes from Marshals on courses like this make a massive difference to those of us who are dragging ourselves along..
So, thank you.. You made this lady very happy today
Ps. for those of you who love the laps, here's a good one for you