Last Sunday was my second ‘competitive’ running race of the year.
I run at least once a week with the Balbriggan Road Runners group. There are not enough superlatives to describe how great and supportive they all are. Normally on a run day I chart my progress using my FitBit to time how long it takes me to run the distance we’ve set ourselves that night, it’s always over 5km though. Which makes it easy to see how I’m doing from one day to the next, one route to the next.
Competitive running (so to speak) is a bit different because we have a chip in a bib number that records how long it takes us to run a distance. These races bring out the serious runners, the ones who lap you before you’ve even completed your first lap. They’re a BIG DEAL. The first race I did this year it snowed, alot, and I basically walked it all. Hilariously this second race was nearly called off because of the Big Snow, or as it will be come to known in the future, SNMarch2018.
Thankfully the 4 mile road race, hosted by Lusk AC, went ahead last Sunday and 440 people ran the distance, including me.
If you look at the results, they show that I finished 434th in the race. Which by at face value might seem that I really, really didn’t do well on an extremely bad day.
You’d be wrong though.
My biggest competition is myself. I’ve been tracking my runs since December using that darn little watch yoke on my arm. At the beginning of January I was taking 45 minutes to complete a 5km route. By yesterday I’d knocked 5 minutes off that 5km time and completed 5km of the 6.4km (4 miles) route in just 40 minutes. That’s a heck of a lot of speed to pick up.
Since December I’ve also:
- Become fitter
- Been able to run for longer distances than I ever could before
- Lost 10kg in weight
- Learned to smile while I’m running (it really helps I promise)
- Started to sing Opera when running – yes I know this sounds a bit nuts but anybody who has classically trained will understand how to use your muscle memory. And apologies to anybody in my town who has heard me warbling around in the evenings
- Made new friends
- Discovered it doesn’t really matter who I’m running with but it sure as heck helps to have somebody there to cheer me on
- Spent an inordinate amount of time trying to find a solution for raindrops on glasses so I can see better in crap weather
- Embraced early bedtimes
I nearly didn’t go on Sunday. I had so much self doubt, so much worry that I would be at the back of the race, that people would be waiting on me, that it would be embarrassing to be this portly lady trotting around the circuit. All of that faded away when I crossed the finish line.
Nearly never ran the race.
Next stop the Balbriggan Cancer Support Group 10k, which is at an extremely early hour on St Patrick’s Day! Click here if you’re interested in entering yourself.