Ah! a rhino is chasing me – Run! Until recently this would be one of only a handful of reasons to run.
After my holiday where i had run in Mallorca, I had got a taste for it and the next logical step was to enter a race. I have never participated in an organized endurance event, many table tennis tournaments in my un-misspent youth, not in even a cycling sportive so this would a rather interesting step. Luck was on my side whilst searching as there was a local(ish) 10k race at the end of the month, Martlesham Heath 10k.
In preparation to my first “race” I would attempt to do some speed work, I was not worried about the distance (6.2 miles) but the fact that they would be packing up by the time I finish. In reality what I did was just try and run faster than I had before and genuinely push the pace and not settle into a comfortable run/jog. I received a massive confidence boost on the Tuesday before the Sunday race in the form of a 5k personal best, broke the magic 30 minute mark for the first time.
After a short warm up, I was still confused where the start line even was. My head was in a blur, I was lost and my brother (thanks for the lift) was his usual whimsical left offering little to no guidance. All of a sudden it was 1058 and all the participants starting moving to a single spot, the start-line, I followed intently.
Bang, are we off? The first mile went off by so fast, a little too fast really. Out the corner of my eye I spotted the guy who was in front of me in the signing in queue, a older gentleman in a old looking club vest – a true life long battle hardened road warrior looking fellow. From mile 1 to mile 5 his shoulder was where I sat (Thanks to this guy, I could not have done my time without him). The pace was so even, fast by comfortable, post race my polar showed that every mile was with 3 seconds of each other. With 1 mile to go I felt great and pushed as hard as I could – I was flying.
Before the race, I thought about the time I would like to achieve. At this point my personal best was 1:16:24. I honestly thought that 1:05:00 was very possible but going under a hour was a step to far.
The final hundred metres were hard until I looked up to see that I was going to get under the hour. I was going to smash the hour and my legs just wanted to go faster. The clock read 57. 40, the 10k time from my polar GPS was 56.35. I obliterated by personal best – At this rate of improvement I will be running in Rio 2016 (sic).
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. – Benjamin Franklin
I should really know better by now, other cliches such as “one’s own worst enemy”, will be on my tombstone. After the success of my first race I was looking for my next running challenge, and Strava did all the hard work for me. I was to take on the Road ID 50 mile challenge – Just run 50 miles in 7 days. 50 miles is a long way but split over seven days is 7 miles a day. I could do that. I could not do that it works out.
Things were going so well, I completed 37 miles going into Saturday, including my first half marathon on Thursday. All of the miles were steady and I took proper care to warm down and stretch after as I knew I had to do it all again the next day.
Oh that hurt, just stop, but I am so close, fine run then, oh dear, umm……will not being able to walk stop you from running? It can’t end this way. Indeed, I had ruined my knee. I was dealt the blow of Patellar Tendonitis and only 6 miles short with a day left.
So it was game over, but so close. Time to recover and then try again, but this time work slowly up to it.