It’s been a while since I last did a blog updating you on how things are going. It is never a straight forward journey being a runner. Training doesn’t always go quite as you want it to, nor does racing, but sometimes, just sometimes, you are pleased with how you’ve done. As all other athletes will know, this never lasts long.
A few weeks ago, was Brighton Marathon 10k. I was excited to get back on the road and see how I would fair over the 10k distance. I hadn’t raced on the road since Telford in December, where I was very disappointed in my performance, even though I had only been back training for 2 months! I was much more confident going into Brighton, I knew I had a good solid block of training behind me, and I was feeling strong. I didn’t have any set expectations but, in my head, I knew I wanted to go under 35 minutes and the next goal was to run 34:45. I didn’t tell anyone the second goal, as I felt it was important not to put any pressure on myself and just enjoy the race regardless of time. The race got off to an adventurous start with a big pile up, but it wasn’t long before I got into my pace and was sat in with a good group.
I never once looked at my watch as I ran, as this is something that never helps me. I just gave it my all, despite being surprised by a sneaky hill at the 4K mark and crossed the line in 34:38. This was a massive 27 second PB for me, so I couldn’t have asked for more. The hard work is slowly paying off, and I’m enjoying working for it.
Another thing that added to the race was, never once throughout the race did I doubt myself, and I think that is something that is so important to conquer, as it can make or break your race. A race done with a destructive mindset will never do yourself justice.
Next up was BUCS Outdoors 5,000m. My mindset going into this was a lot less relaxed than Brighton. The main reason for this being, despite training on the track weekly, I hadn’t raced on it in just under 2 years! I was nervous to say the least. I knew when submitting my time, I would be placed in the B race as my parkrun time meant I would be seeded last, and my previous PB was 17:24, placing me in the time frame of the B race. I didn’t expect to achieve the time I set out for, so instead I changed my goal to come in the top 3. The wind was strong coming up the back straight and I had decided to front run the race. At the 1.5k mark I decided it may be more beneficial to tuck in behind the girl next to me, but the pace immediately slowed so I told myself to take it on. I front ran the entire race, and I was not willing to lose it at the end. One of the main things I took from that race was my head was telling me I was more tired than I was. When I got to 600m to go I thought I would pick it up a bit, and despite believing my legs were tired I had a lot more in them than I thought. When I heat 150m to go, I knew I had to do myself justice and give it that extra push. I was surprised at the distance I was able to gain over the last push. I finished the race in 16:55, not what I was aiming for, but a PB in a race I knew time wasn’t going to be the main concern. I am now excited to see what I can do in a race with a big group of girls dragging me along.
Whilst it may feel like things are going well, the journey to racing is never that simple. I struggled with some knee pain in the weeks building up to BUCS so spent some more time on the cross trainer than running. Whilst this wasn’t the ideal build up, it is much more important to listen to your body.
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I love to run and I love to write, so I write about running!