Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Take Heart : Everyone Has a Bad Race



So far I've blogged about Travel, Hiking and Beauty so it seemed only right that my fourth post would be another love of mine. Running. Not only Running, but specifically my club ; London City Runners. We have an internal newsletter I love to contribute to and I want to share my write-ups, my accomplishments and challenges with you guys too.

I have been running for just over a year now and today was the first time out of the umpteen races I've done I actually wanted to stop. I was very close to giving up and quitting. 

Southwark Park 10k was everything everyone told me it would be ; huge city runner turn out, well organised and very friendly. The other things I'd heard that were also true ; that it was a lap course - 3 in total, and there were u-turns, twists and sharp turns throughout ; too many to count. I decided to go out fast at the start behind the 50 minute pacemaker (my fastest 10k was 57.19 - good one Tabz). I was in trouble after 3k with a serious stitch I couldn't shake. I had to stop/start for the next 2k whilst the stitch persisted and the dream of that 50 minute 10k disappeared. At this point I had one huge hurdle to overcome that wasn't the stitch or the tonne of random tweaks and pains in my legs. It was myself. I was in my head now. Beating myself up, telling myself I couldn't do it. How stupid, how amateur going out a pace you can't maintain - you can't can't do this. Quit, there is no point now. 
I had to build a game plan. Mentally I need to break down the remaining distance when I'm in trouble. IF you are going to finish this, how will you do it? Ok well this section is only 'X' long and there are 2 quarters left of this lap, which will have you half way round etc etc. My only criticism of the Southwark Park 10k is that that the course made it so difficult to do this. Multiple sections folded back on themselves, circled or twisted so that once I got to that point I hadn't fully accounted in my mind for the turning back on myself. 
Once again. I wanted to quit. The thing is when you race with City Runners and you turn the corner at your lowest 'f*ck this' point, you start to hear your name being yelled. You hear cheers, shouts, your friends and peers routing for you to push on. You look ahead of you and see the familiar blue and yellow on another member of your club pushing on and giving it their all. 

Hell no I am not quitting this. 

Spurred on by the awesome support, I pushed on, posed for a few photos mid-run and styled out the sprint finish bringing me to a new personal best 10k time of 56.29 mins. 
Don't think you're 'good enough' or 'fast enough' to race with the club? Neither did I. But it's the club, the people and the comradery that makes me show up every time, that makes me push myself and that keeps making me faster. Key learns from the Southwark 10k? Set more realistic goals, get out of your head and never stop being grateful for the support, the love and the laughs that comes with being part of London City Runners.
Ever thought about getting into running but didn't want to do it on your own? New to London and want to make new  friends or just looking for a different social outlet? London City Runners is a great place to start with a club ranging all abilities. Check out the website, ask me any questions or subscribe to my blog to see more about it.


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1 comment

  1. sums up the City Runners experience beautifully, thanks. Its great to feel so appreciated and supported whatever speed I run

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