Nearly 8 years ago, when I was a newly minted half-marathoner, I wrote a blog post right here about the craziness of being disappointed in one’s results, when you have just achieved something pretty darn impressive – aka running 21.097 km.
Here is the link and (in all modesty) I think it bears re-reading, especially the outpouring of comments, with everyone supporting my view that we HAVE to stop downplaying our achievements.
Fast forward to today, when I have just run the slowest half marathon of my 10 year-old running “career”…and have been very downcast all day.
I got silver in my age category, which is obviously very nice, but:
a) the lady who beat me was nearly 30 minutes faster than me, so super hats off to her!
b) I only got silver because of my age. Absolutely not speed.
So, yes, I have been feeling disappointed. I cannot lie.
AND THEN I RE-READ MY OWN WORDS AND GAVE MYSELF A METAPHORICAL KICK UP THE BACKSIDE!
For God’s sake, woman, you are now 70, a cancer survivor and have just run a half marathon.
So STOP feeling disappointed.
It’ll take a few days to get both my running confidence and running mo-jo back, and start to feel proud of my race, but for now – I’m talking sternly to myself 😛
There are actually NO excuses for my less than stellar performance today – other than lack of training.
And that is TOTALLY on me.
I simply didn’t train properly or enough.
So that is something I have to remedy, as I now start the seemingly impossible task of getting myself marathon ready by January.
I haven’t run a marathon since 2019, so it’s going to be one heck of a challenge.
Watch this space.
I just said there were no excuses, but I must state in my own defence that I had agonising calf cramps, and stopped 3 times at medical stations along the race route for a blast of Volini. This all slowed me down – but definitely not enough to have caught the lady who came in first.
Once I’d collected my medal and was leaving the venue, I nearly collapsed as my right leg spasmed excruciatingly. I grabbed hold of the person nearest to me, a kind young woman, who held onto me, and then a young man (they were both runners) rushed up and they helped me hobble to the medical station, where I was once again Volini-ed.
I was walking v-e-r-y slowly to the car on the street outside the stadium, and repeated the drama – screaming with pain and grabbing hold of a kind woman (also a runner), who held me whilst another young man (also a runner) massaged my calf, and another woman (also a runner) told me to keep water under my tongue for a minute – gotta check that tip out.
Said my grateful thank yous to these kind souls, and continued hobbling to my car and – yup -3rd time unlucky. Yelping in pain, I tried stretching, using the car as support and another young man (also a runner) asked if I needed help and advised electrolytes, citing the unusually humid day.
What a spectacle! And, as ever, the kindness of strangers.
Won’t bore you with the persistent yelling, as my legs have continued spasm-ing all day, but it is all very odd, since I was chugging electrolytes all day yesterday and during my run.
So, yeah, I have a small excuse for being less than stellar, but the fact of the matter cannot be denied – I was under-trained.
Final thought of the day.
In my 2015 blog post, I mentioned that there were 7983 HM finishers.
I’ll try and find out the stats for today, but I can tell you one thing – there has been an exponential increase in participation, and I don’t need any official stats to tell me that. I think there must have been 7983 people just in my starting zone alone 🙂
See what I mean? This was Zone C slowly shuffling our way to the start line at 5.24 this morning.
I finally crossed the line at 5.37 so that gives you some idea of the crowd.
Let me end with a photo of me twinning with one of my lovely running girls, Sana, a brand new half-marathoner as of today: