When I compete it’s generally against myself. At work I always ask myself – can I better my last exclusive/write cleaner copy etc? In the gym I try to use heavier weights/stay a bit longer on the cycle/treadmill than during my last visit. I try not to get competitive with friends – that’s asking for trouble and with family – well why would I?
I ran my first 10k in ages this last weekend. Now this time last year I managed to run 4 10km runs over 4 weekends. Quite a feat – for anyone. Especially someone who was warned (at age 16) that long distance running would damage my legs.
So I was quite shocked when half way through this run – at the 5km point – I slowed down to the extent that I wanted to quit. Like really, really wanted to quit. I’ve never felt quite so like giving up – in a race – as I did at that point.
I knew I’d not done enough training, so had anticipated it would be tough, but I could not have anticipated exactly how tough it would be.
I talked myself out of it, reminding myself that if my grandmothers had chosen to ‘quit’ during the Blitz I – and my parents – wouldn’t be here today.
It seemed to work, and I even managed to make up a bit of time, although not enough to beat my fastest time of 55 minutes (which I did during my first ever 10k run).
Running’s not the best sport if you are in need of motivation – there’s no teamwork involved – as there is when putting a website/newspaper/magazine together
I could really have done with a friend – a running buddy on this race. But although my time was rubbish, it was actually the best race I’ve run.
And next week I’ll be doing it again with my sister at the Race for Life in Harlow. While I know I’ll probably never be able to run a marathon, I know I’m not a quitter, and that’s just as good.