A Race of 2 Halves

Sometimes you have good weeks, sometimes more difficult (I don`t like the phrase bad) and sometimes it`s like a roller-coaster.  This week has definitely been the latter! Part of my preparation for next year’s challenge is getting back out running regularly, sounds easy right?! But between work, toddler, life stuff (I still have yet to find a housework fairy), coaching and trying to be a good wife (definitely the one I most neglect) fitting in regular exercise is tough. We`ve been doing parkrun most weeks with the exception being a race weekend. Now when I say race I use it in the loosest sense of the terms, I`ve been booking in `races` to ensure I have protected time to run. Plus it means I get a nice shiny medal, who doesn’t like a bit of bling!

Last week’s race was the Trowse 10K. I saw it advertised a while ago and it`s nice to experience different races. Plus we have some good friends in Norwich so could tie a lunch in. The running club that hosts the event has a lot of elite runners so I knew the field would be a quick one, but to be honest most people are quicker than me! So approx 600 runners on a 2 lap course. Beautiful scenery and the marshals were just fabulous, they kept the runners and the traffic moving with what seemed like ease but was no doubt years of practice and coordination. It was the hardest race psychologically and physically for many years. The course was `undulating`, the word every runner cringes at. There was no flat, just up followed by a little bit of down then up again. I know I`m not at my fittest and I knew half way round the first lap it would be a run walk race. At 9K my pet race hate happened…….a group of runners using the course to warm down ran past me, they had finished already. They didn`t give any encouragement and even stopped at the water station to have a drink. Now every runner knows you have to warm down (knowing it and doing it are 2 different things), but do you have to do it whilst some people are battling to finish. I find it really disrespectful, so to any of you speedy runners reading this please give this some thought next time you set off on a cool down!

Anyway, it was at this point that I though F**k it, I give up. On reflection what a stupid time to give up, I literally had 1K left to go (and I was on a downhill bit!), it wasn`t even a physical thing, my legs felt absolutely fine, my brain just stuck 2 fingers up at me. Once I had calmed down a little I was able to be sensible, the quickest way back was obviously the route I was running on, which would take me to the finish line where Jeremy was waiting for me, along with whoever else was still hanging around. Anyone that has run with me know that I always say make sure you have enough in the tank for the home stretch because that’s where everyone can see you. Time to take my own advice, so I pulled my big girl pants up and set off at a jog again to cross the finish line. To promptly break down in tears when they told me they had run out of medals. I had slogged my way round 10K, battled with my own head and nearly given up, all for a bottle of water and a banana. Jeremy was there as always and was quick to remind me that I had done it and when I looked at my time it was surprisingly good given how difficult I found the race. For anyone that is now wanting to get angry on my behalf we have been told that we will be sent medals through the post. The thing I`m most upset about, no post-race photo with Jeremy and our medals. I think that`s the first race in 4 years that we haven’t done that.

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My advice for this week, don`t give up and put everything into perspective. So I didn`t get a medal, I still ran the distance and more importantly took another step towards my training for next year. I also want to emphasize that whilst you will never hear me say to anyone `pull yourself together` there sometimes is a place for giving yourself a talking too but only you can decide when that is.

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Karen Lodge