We did it! Not quite the way I would have liked, in my case, but we completed the 3 miles all the same – and our sponsorship for Sport Relief now stands at an amazing £280 (thank you to family and friends for supporting us).
I was ridiculously nervous on Sunday morning and it didn’t help that we were a bit clueless as to what we needed to do once we arrived at the specified time of 8.30am. It felt like we should tell someone that we were there but we couldn’t see any signs for registration and the only stall was giving away free nuts.
We sat on a bench to try and work out what was going on and a man dressed in a shell suit and wellies wielding a clipboard approached us. He asked my running buddy her name, which he got wrong twice, and then said: “And you’re down to run the six miles?”
He then added it appeared we hadn’t paid the registration fee. When I confirmed I had definitely done it online he said in a sort of half joking way: “Well that’s not what it says here, you’ll need to give me your bank details.” We started to get a bit suspicious at that point and my friend said: “I don’t think so.” Then he just chuckled and walked off into the sports complex. I’m still not sure if he was a con man, an official or part of the “entertainment” (there was a couple dressed all in black dashing in and out of the crowd doing egg and spoon races at the start). It wasn’t like he was threatening but he still made us both unsettled.
As it got closer to 9am, things started happening and eventually we were told to join in a warm up at the start. This was more what I imagined. There was a lovely atmosphere and people of all shapes, sizes and ages taking part (not all proper runners as I feared).
Soon after we were off. My running buddy and I tried not to keep up with the pack – not that we could have done for long anyway – and instead kept a slow and steady pace. There were various entertainment points along the route, including a band and the wonderful Rock Choir, which was so uplifting.
The first half went well, we were faster than usual but not out of breath. The trouble started for me with a long
endless slope on the way back. I made it to the top but then Joan kicked in and I had to walk for a little bit.
With the finish almost in sight we pushed on but when we came into the athletic track and discovered we needed to go about 2/3rds of the way around, I just felt like I was done. I told my running buddy to carry on, which she reluctantly did, and walked for a bit before running for the finish.
Obviously the main point of this was to raise money for a worthy charity, which we have done, and it didn’t matter whether we walked or ran, but I was so disappointed with myself for walking when I know I can run a 5k without stopping. It says on the back of the medal: “I did myself proud for Sport Relief” but I felt like I let myself (and my running buddy) down.
It didn’t help that I had hurt my leg and so we didn’t run in the week before but that’s just an excuse really. I have run well with a sore leg several times in the last month but on this occasion my head got the better of me.
I booked in at a new (to me) sports injury clinic on Monday and she thinks I might have a stress fracture so I’m taped up and trying to rest for a week. The plan after rehab is to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
I fear I might not be running for a little while – so at least Joan will be happy – but I’m determined to conquer my negative voice.