Oh, the joy of running.... well not all of the time!
Why is it that one-day running is the most exhilarating and inspirational, awesome exercise possible (that is what ii think is called a Running High) and sometimes it’s the devil in disguise?
I veer between the two on a virtually daily basis as sometimes it is all just so easy and I feel I could run forever and other times I just can’t put one foot in front of the other.
Take yesterday for example, a 10 mile run of mainly trail and lots of hills, no issue at all. I pounding away with an incessant dialogue of unnecessary chatter to Chau who I am sure would have rather I just remained quiet and enjoyed the scenery. Got to the end and said I could keep going, maybe a little ambitious but that was how motivated it can get me.
Other days I think running is the worst thing on earth and how can people possibly want to do this form of exercise or any exercise come to think of it? I will be at work and as the clock ticks to 5pm all I can think about is I have to get changed and go for a bloody run before I go home. Believe me I have given all the excuses under the sun to get out of running when I have ‘one of those days’ sometimes I will start and get two miles from the car and literally give up and walk back, frustrated by my lack of will power and that I am really cold and that I wont have made the target amount of steps on my Garmin (that thing rules my life!)
How about when I do a running event? this can be from a 5km Park Run, up to Half Marathons. I say to myself and to everyone else, 'I am not competitive at all I just want to run it at my own pace and enjoy the atmosphere'
Actually it’s not like that at all. I have found out I am extremely competitive and as the adrenalin kicks in so does a steely determination and I turn into someone I don’t know.
Gun goes off, teeth gritted, Garmin switched on and away I go. It’s so hard to go slow at the beginning to save yourself for the end as the legs just want to go. My pace from training runs to events is quicker by about a minute without me even knowing. I am just running for myself but then I aim for a person and just have to overtake them, then another and another. I just cant help it.
I hate to admit this as I know that Park Runs are focused more just for fun and time to be with likeminded people in a relaxed atmosphere. The strap Line is ‘We all run for our own enjoyment. Please come along and join in whatever your pace!’ I actually had to give up the Park Runs as I was too competitive, stressed myself out and forgot to enjoy it. So bad to admit but it is true!
Initially it was fine as I was just happy to get round and then as soon as my fitness started to improve and my times were consistently faster then I started to get too competitive and lost the reason for why I was there. I am slow starter when running and takes me about 3 miles to warm up and get into my stride. Therefore, pushing myself to the limit to improve my time I ended up being a sweaty, asthmatic, stitched, cramped wreck as I pushed myself so hard. I think I would rather save that pleasure for my first Marathon!
I peaked at 21:32 before I retired from the 5m runs and now watch them from the side-lines with my Mum and the dog which is much better for my mental health! I love these events and it got me started with running as with thousands of other people and I thoroughly support them, just not run them!
I now focus on Half Marathons where at least I have time to warm up for the first few miles and enjoy the experience of highs and lows during the distance and hopefully end up on a high with a new PB when I cross the line
(not that I am competitive though ☺)
Thank you to Bracknell Forest Runners who I am a member of the club. Running in a club has made such a difference to me both for training and competitions as the support gives you a fantastic boost and great team spirit!
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