As I reflect upon my second organised 5k park run this morning, these last few weeks have presented an incredible number of firsts:
- I actively went running in the rain;
- I ran more than 5K (5.58K) ;
- I ran for 43 minutes without stopping;
- my peak flow hit a whopping 490. My average is 350, the average for a women my age is 460;
- I experienced pilates as Joseph Pilates intended and;
- I set up a JustGiving page – Frankie goes to London to run the Marathon .
And now I have experienced another first; how to run past a mental block.
This morning’s park run was HARD. The weather was fresh and the sky deep blue. A stupendously beautiful morning with colder than cold air.
But last night I hosted a dinner party and we all got carried away with the prosecco, red wine and cheese. Slumber didn’t arrive until the very small hours of the morning. As I hit snooze for the umpteenth time, I realised I was going to be late and jumped out of bed.
Turning up to the race with only 5 minutes to spare meant I didnt have time to line up my music – my rhythmic driving force – and was still faffing with my HRM watch when the race began. I was also holding on to my ipod instead of it being neatly tucked away in the case strap on my arm.
My body felt so tired. I hadnt rested properly. The 15 minute run before the race to ensure they wouldn’t start without me didnt make things any easier. I was struggling to catch my breath. Struggling to muster up some energy into my muscles.
I must have walked for half of it. Felt like I was taking forever. All the stewards had gone, I felt like a failure. I kept starting and stopping. Berating myself for not being able to run, not being able to breathe deep enough, not sticking to water the night before a race, not getting an early night. But as I saw the other runners mill around the finish line, I realised I had 25% of the course to go. “Not long to go now” I said to myself, “don’t worry – you’re here and doing it” I kept repeating and I soon found myself at the finish line.
I ran the first 5k in 36.09, the second in 37.02. Not bad considering I walked for more than half of it..
So when the running angel and walking devil are vying for my attention, I know that mind over matter and a strong focus will help to get me through. That plus more sleep and less alcohol.