Posted by: Vicky | May 15, 2011

Lessons learned

As usual, I have a post planned in my head, but now that it comes to typing it out, I feel like concentrating on something else. So I’m skipping all the minor lessons about skirts and inside-out pants; bras and vaseline; octogenarians and *I heart tea* necklaces; and how to minimise the panic over not being find the plane tickets an hour before you’re going to bed so as to be up bright and early at 4am to catch a plane to Gran Canaria.

The one lesson I want to remind myself of is this:

In failing to reach an achievable target, it’s still possible to achieve something worth being proud of.

My goal (item #1 on my 2011 todo list, in fact) was to run the Bristol 10k in an hour or less today. But I screwed up the training. I didn’t get properly stuck into it like I’d planned to until April.

And then yesterday, I went to my grandmother’s 80th birthday party. And I was perfect with regards to food and drink. Until I stayed just 10 minutes too long and ate a whole load of cake and started picking at all the crisps and sausage rolls I’d managed to ignore before.

So I ended up doing this year’s Bristol 10k in 1:05:33 (at least, that’s how long it took me according to the gizmo I borrowed from my aunt).

I’m still incredibly proud of my time. It’s eight and a half minutes faster than last year’s 1:14:04 (which I was also extremely proud of, given I’d expected to end up walking part of it).

Also, because I knew I was going to fail at the challenge I’d set myself, most of me just wanted to give up and go home. In fact, from about 1.5k onwards most of me had decided that I was definitely walking. If not right now (which was the more popular choice) then at the very least from half way.

So the whole way round, the small part of me that hadn’t given up yet had to convince the rest of myself to run (jog really) rather than walk the next step.

Come on, just a little bit more before you walk.

You know you can run 3 miles no problem, so you can’t walk before that.

The earlier you walk, the longer it’s going to take…

Nearly at the water station now, might as well run to that now.

*Quick glance at gizmo* I’m running 12.5 minute/miles! That’s slower than last year! Now I’m DEFINITELY walking. This sucks, I hate it, I wish I’d stayed in bed!!!

6k, now there’s really no point in stopping. Over half way now…

Ooh, look, there’s the bridge. Remember last year, how great it felt to be running up the bridge and overtaking people? (This year I was still in a much faster pack than at that stage last year, so I had to be content with the fact that I managed to keep up with them all going up the bridge…)

Nearly there…

20 more metres. How about stretching those legs a bit? Sprint! Sprint! Sprint! Sprint!

F***, that was awful.

Good thing I managed to sign up for the half marathon before running the 10k this year. Last year the 10k scared me out of signing up for the half. This year, the thought of the half added to the misery of the 10k ;)

All in all I am extremely proud to have run the whole thing. In spite of the small child in my head whining all the way round. And in spite of the fact that I felt ill from 4k to 6k (I think it was the small child making up reasons not to have to run any more…) And not only did I run the whole way, I improved my average speed by 1.5 minutes per mile over last year!

Life got in the way of the sub one hour 10k this time, but I still feel like a winner and I know I’m going to do one at some point this year. After all, I’m signed up for two half marathons and the Sodbury Slog!

And there goes my inner non-runner again. I can’t type what she’s shouting at me, it’s just too rude ;)

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