Sunday, 31 October 2010

Forward Planning

Shall I, shall I not? Thoughts of the ERR photos from last year’s Guy Fawkes 10 mile race – and me not being on this year’s – was just too much to bear. Following a good track session last Thursday I made the decision to have a go. It felt odd as I went to pick Lisa up in Pudsey for us to then go and meet Gill, Ian & Sophie at Five Lane Ends for a lift to Ripley. My heart wasn’t in it and my head was telling me I shouldn’t do it. Moments earlier I had been literally shaking as I gathered my kit and tried to keep focused on what I needed to take with me, freeze patch in case anything serious happened, ice pack so I could apply it in the car on the way home. Painkillers, was I fit enough? I fought off the negative thoughts telling myself that I could take it really steady and if necessary pull out. Sophie had said that I could do a ‘DNF’ , Gill had said we could run it together – I’d warmed to the idea and made up my mind that I would do it but was it the right decision? Think of that lovely goody bag at the end.

Here I was at the start, Lisa had said she would run with me, I tried to warn her against it. It’s an odd scenario when you offer to run with someone, usually for your own benefit as much as theirs but in either case it’s a noble thing to do and I have to say after the first mile and a half I felt pretty bad, things settled down and then at around mile four we hit ‘The Birstwith Brute’ and it was just that, a brute of a hill, I tried to negotiate it by run walking, Lisa gallantly kept going and waited for me at the top. I really considered dropping out at this point, not because I was in pain but because I felt so tired, my fitness has really has taken a nose dive. I managed to carry on with Lisa’s encouragement which continued throughout the race, there were a further two hills, again I was reduced to run /walk but fared much better on the final one, managing to run up it for the most part. At 91/2 miles Gill came up behind us and we managed to keep a good pace to the finish where there were crowds, in amongst them some of our team mates, cheering and shouting as we willed ourselves up the incline and into the stunning courtyard of Ripley Castle to the finish. That’s team work for you. Brilliant, I had managed it, unscathed, if worn out, and with a little help from my friends.

I now feel able to plan ahead a little and set some goals. I aim to work on my fitness now, lose the extra pounds I've gained whilst not training and as I have just gained entry into the 2011 Brass Monkey half marathon in January (entries closed in just one day), I’m looking forward to hopefully beating last year’s time and setting my new half marathon PB. Fingers crossed! And that all important team photo? We even managed to coax the man himself, Guy Fawkes, complete with explosive, to pose with us!

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