So at the very last minute, that was actually 59 seconds not a minute because every second counts when you are running of course, a flat course, whatever the cause a friend gave a friend of a friend of a friend of a colleague of a friend a spare place for Bolsover 10 km. What you hear me saying? (do you hear me?) I am going to run a 10 km? I am going to run a ‘road race’, I am going to run a 10 km road race that is flat? What the hell is happening to me? I am being brainwashed into thinking that running needs to be all about pounding tarmac. I am not a celebrity but get me out of here anyway and dump me back on the trails. Enough said, I took the place as it was my friends’ birthday and he was hoping for a quality run so why not go and enjoy a nice friendly course? Hell why not, something a bit different. The course had changed significantly since doing it some 3 years ago (starting from the Castle and being hilly)
This time it started at the school and was as flat as a ruler, or a pancake thanks to those home economics lessons. Probably one of the flattest courses I have ran. It was a cold morning but I still supported silly shorts which were not too short for me and my Britney Spears compression socks. Do they work? Do I care? They keep me warm and make me look like Britney what more could I ask for? And then we were off. I was muffled someway about 3/4 the way back so it took me a good 15 to 20 seconds to cross the start line but it didn’t matter as I wasn’t chasing a PB I was just running. Armed with excuses; dodgy glute, 3 hours sleep, only one cup of tea, sore throat, broken toe nail, itch on my neck, spot on my back digging into my bra strap, dust in my eye, too windy, too cold, too crowded, not enough people pacing me towards the end, you know the list…. The first 1km was quite slow being so far back, this was good, and I enjoyed running my way through the runners smiling feeling quite alive and just happy to be running. Not particularly inspiring first 1 km running through a ‘new build’ housing estate but soon we were on the fast country lanes and the 2 km sign had approached. I was doing OK, feeling comfortable and just running. Countryside either side of us all whizzing past some of the faster runners and merely plodding along side the rest of us.
One more step, one more minute one more mile – Pinterest
The stream of faster runners could be seen in the distance. The course was so far ‘flat’ but not flat as a pancake but flat compared to normal running ground with just a few little minor bumps here and there. Marshall’s ample and cheering us all on in Santa hats galore. It seemed that about 5 or 6 females had positioned themselves to run together including a Steel City Striders and Totley girl and a couple of other club vests that I didn’t know. Today I was running ‘unaffiliated’ because of the place I was given so didn’t support my club vest. However we all got ample cheers of “well done girls” “go girls”. This was very supportive and helped us all push on. Come 5 km I was beginning to Flake badly not a Snickers in sight nor a Marathon or a Twix or the milky way kid. I just don’t have the power these days despite to much chocolate last night. I seemed to have lost the inclination and determination to push on through at a fast pace. Although I felt drained I was still passing people and hanging in there with the crowd of girls. Please be my friend today, please girls? We were all now on narrower country lanes with the light wind whistling in our ears, enough to notice but not enough to slow us down. 6km passed, 7 km passed and I was breathing heavily and feeling clumsy and all over the place. I had left any sort of technique and elegance at the 5k mark. Yet still I was pushing on overtaking people. Remember if I feel bad how do they feel? 8km and we were back in the town of Bolsover.
What 2 km around the town, surely not? Yes but it really was actually quite lovely. So far I had loved the route, scenic and enjoyable. The locals had come out to cheer us all on. A couple of the girls got ahead of me but I believe I had left the fellow Sheffield clubs behind and was puffing and panting on-wards towards the 9 km mark. By this time everything in my body had gone flop. I had no energy and ran out of excuses, abysmal power and performance. Back round the housing estate we went where we started, with a little sign supporting the words “400 m to go hope you enjoyed the Bolsover 10 km” – a very cute touch. Only 400m that’s about 2 minutes, 2 more minutes of pushing, can I do it? A couple of people overtook me and they got some cheers from the locals as I tried to put what I would call a ‘sprint’ to the finish through the school gates and across the line. I came in at around 44 minutes but it felt more like 54 minutes.
On reflection, I was very happy with the time of a sub 44 minute 10 km. OK a good 2 minutes off my personal best 10km road race of 2 years ago but I am getting old my friends, my times will get slower, my determination seems to seep out on road races, the concrete wiping me out, the effort it takes. I then questioned whether I am still a runner, whether I have fallen out with running, whether I am just too old for this? I will not be defeated, time is good, quality can be built upon. Quality that will go far in longer races, in off road runs and hopefully in the future in more Ultras where my determination and passion belongs.
Tangerine sare oranges that didn’t want it bad enough. Don’t be a tangerine – Pinterest
However sometimes it is good to step out of your comfort zone and do something a bit different, challenging the body and mind in a different way. I do not strive to be a 10km runner again however there is a time and a place for these occasionally, and occasionally I will make time for these events without pressure to break my personal best. I left that behind wrapped up as a Christmas present two years ago with Mr Percy Pud and my mindset to accept what I enjoy and perform well in inside and out is more important than a clock ticking away its seconds. This year I have had my ups and downs but along the way I have experienced some very exciting challenges with new inspiring friends. Where will my running take me next year? 10km, 100km or 100 miles – who knows what is next my friends? Most importantly enjoy and accept what you enjoy, do not necessarily follow the norm.
Time: 43.51 Position: 183 out of 813 Info