Pushing your limits
Most of us will go through life plodding a long, taking each day as it comes. Never pushing their limits, never knowing anything other than their 9 to 5 job and their 2.4 children. Washing the car on a Sunday afternoon, walking the dog. Kicking the cat.
There’s more to life than that. Life is there for the taking. Life has so much to offer us, and many opportunities to take.
I guess we get into a comfort zone and are happy to plod along.
And I think that’s what I was doing with my running. I was in a comfort zone, I wasn’t doing anything to push myself, and becoming increasingly frustrated with it, plodding along at the same pace and along the same roads.
The Edmund Carr Charity Race 2012
To gee myself up and give myself some targets I entered a couple of races. A 10 mile race. A half marathon, and a full marathon.
Today I ran the 10 mile race. Today I ran the Edmund Carr Charity Race 2012.
I’d kind of prepared myself for it. I knew it was quite an undulated course, I was fairly confident that I had plenty of undulated runs under my belt to take the course on. How wrong I was.
Under starters orders…
The race was at 11am. I was up at 7:15, nervous and agitated. I just wanted to get there and get cracking.
Wifey and the boys dropped my off at 10:15am (they’d be back in a while to see me off and to watch me cross the line – great to have my family supporting and cheering me on!). There were hundreds of people there, stalls selling running kit and trainers, there was people doing zumba, bouncy castles, hot dog stands and a large scaffolding structure which was the start / finish line.
I just wanted to get running, at 5 to 11 all the runners were summoned to the start line, there were several hundred of us. As I was walking I felt a tap on my back, I turned around to see Wifey and the boys ‘we’ve been looking for you everywhere Daddy, are you going to win?’, their two beaming faces were exactly what I needed, they distracted me a little from what I was about to do. I kissed them all, and nestled myself at around halfway in the bustling crowd.
I relaxed a little. I looked up at the clock, still a couple of minutes to go, Fatima Whitbread, who was starting the race, was just climbing up into the starting podium, the air was buzzing.
A small part of the crowd counted down as the clock went from 10:59:50 to 11:00am then the claxon sounded and away we went, a loop around the field and then onto the roads.
Firstly a big thank you. There were plenty of volunteers acting as marshalls or handing out water and sponges along the route, these people sacrifice a couple of hours out of their day to help out and make sure the race goes to plan and without any upsets or surprises. A pat on the back and a round of applause for these guys. A huge thanks to those that handed me much needed water and a freezing cold sponge.
The first mile was simple. Although I had forgotten the first rule of running at a steady pace and got carried away with it all, I legged it as soon as the claxon went, first mile around 7 minutes 30, second mile was the same, although a little slower as we were running up the first long hill of many, third mile was a little slower but still under 8 minutes, I needed to get back to a sensible pace or I wasn’t going to make it.
I was running at around 8 minutes 20 ish, and fairly comfortable, then we’d hit another hill. Obviously down hill was ok.
I’d been warned by a couple of people about the hill climb at around mile 7. The 3 previous had been tough-ish, but this one was mental and nearly caused me to stop and walk. Mentally I was about to throw in the towel, then this old chap ran past me midway up the hill. ‘What the f…?” Well if he could bloody well do it, so could I, and anyway, I’d not got up at silly o’clock on numerous mornings just to walk around this course. Plus I didn’t want to let Wifey and the boys down, I was going to complete it.
This was, I am guessing, something like the ‘wall’ that marathon runners hit. It was horrible.
I plowed on, relaxed and enjoyed the last 3 miles, I took in the scenery, I laughed to myself every time someone over took me, if I had let it bother me I would of lost my concentration…quite a few people over took me too!
I ran past people that had already finished, medals hung around their necks, they didn’t look half as knackered as I felt. There were plenty of people still clapping and cheering. I ran onto the grass and headed for the line, I could hear ‘go on Daddy’ from the boys, I looked but couldn’t see them, I remember over taking the lady in front of me as we were about 15 foot from the line, she’d been in front of me for ages. The clock above the finish line said 1:23:29, I had done it.
We were ushered single file to collect our medals, Wifey and the boys ran over and gave me a great big hug. I was spent.
Here are the results, I am in at position 337.
This is the route and the stats!