Bouncing Back

The feeling of crossing a finish line at a race is awesome. The eurphoria of doing what you set out to achieve & have been training for a long time. Running the furthest you’ve ever done, getting a PB, even without those just the joy of finishing is great & probably why we all keep booking in those races.

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Still smiling at my first marathon finish line

I signed up for Stones in January and it was a massive challenge so has been my focus all year. Once I completed this huge challenge I expected to feel invincible and awesome. I’d planned to dance over that finish line with an awesome photo of me at the finish that I’d be super proud of.

That didn’t happen.

Instead of feeling invincible & awesome I have been feeling pretty miserable.

I was quite ill after the race & it turns out I’d had shingles before I started running. Did that affect my race? Possibly but I don’t know how much. I hadn’t felt any symptoms before the race & the nausea and tiredness I felt during the race I would have expected anyway…maybe not quite so much.

It is said a lot that the mental side of running is important. As long as you think you can do it you can do anything. Before the race I never doubted that I would finish. Even during the low points of the race I knew I just had to keep going to get it over & done with. It felt relentless and brutal.  But I did finish.

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I’ve seen fellow runners bounce back amazingly. Planning bigger & better things. Maybe I was feeling low from being ill. Maybe I was just feeling sorry for myself?

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Bouncing Back

In the last month I haven’t been feeling very motivated to run at all. I got myself out for a few 5k runs. I ran on the beach between Broadtairs and Ramsgate & loved it- it was a good feeling to enjoy a run again.

I was browsing some races & saw there was a 10k race in Regents Park & I decided to enter last minute. It would be the 1st time I’ve done a 10k since last October as I’ve been concentrating on longer distances. I am not a fast runner (especially with the focus being on distance this year) so time isn’t a massive target for me. I thought the race would be a good chance to test out my new Birthday running kit and get myself back out there.

It was my birthday earlier this week and the evening before I was remincsing on what I’ve been doing for the last year. I realised that at my last birthday I’d done 2 marathons; I was arriving at this birthday having completed 8 marathons, 3 ultra marathons plus 100k. I‘m super proud of this- what a busy year it’s been.

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My Marathon & Ultra Medals

BBC Running Club 10k

It was a nice 10k. Just over 200 people were running on a pretty hot evening. It was lovely to see a few ukrunchat people there Linda, Nettie & Darren.

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The air felt quite close so I felt quite breathy all the way through the run but I gave it my best shot enjoying the views around the park- especially running past the camels at the zoo. It was a 3 lap course & I’m not usually a fan of laps but this was fine. I got a cup of water each time passing the table as it was so warm.

 

I was happy to get to the end & get my medal, sat down & drank a fair bit of water.

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The best bit of the race was heading out of the park after the run with my medal when a little girl looked right at me & said with amazement “Oh my god!” I wasn’t quite sure what to say so I just smiled & carried on walking, then I heard her yell to her friends “She was at the Olympics!” I turned & saw her pointing at me, I had a massive smile on m face & had no idea what to say so I just grinned & then carried on walking as she ran along excitedly yelling “she was at the olympics” to her friends.  It made my day! I got mistaken for an Olympian- haha!  I like to think she’ll tell everyone she knows she saw someone that was at the Olympics in the park….I’m telling everyone I know about her 🙂

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What’s next?

Unfortunately not the Olympics….

It was good to get out running at a race again. I did enjoy it but I don’t think I’ll be doing many 10k races. I do prefer the longer ones- I feel like the less distance in a race the greater the pressure is to run fast. If I decide to up my marathon PB I’ll definitely include 5 & 10k in my training as that’s how I smashed my PBs last year.

For now I just want to enjoy running – no massive pressure building up for months before as it was for Stones. My next race is the Bacchus half marathon which involves wine at the water stations & fancy dress is encouraged- the ukrunchat team of unicorns is going to be amazing. I have been chasing up my horn today & it should be arriving soon. I can’t wait! Then in November I am doing the inaugural Nepal Marathon which will be so much more than a marathon, spending the week volunteering in the local community is going to be incredible. Absolutely perfect runs lined up to help me bounce back as well as Tigger.

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