10 miles and a moment
Head spinning, thoughts buzzing. I can tell, loads is going on but not yet quite what it’s all about.
It’s been an interesting couple of weeks following Berlin Half. I was ill for a good week which provides an excuse for not running, but I know there’s more to it than that. I’ve had this same feeling a couple of times before. Post-race blues, dragging me down and into a non-running place, hidden behind a sparkle of achievement at the race. And when that dies down, I realise that my passion has dropped. So this time I decided to sign up for the Thames Towpath 10, a race run in deep West London.
Some of the others from RDC signed up and despite feeling rather mushy from being ill, I convinced myself that I should to and it would all be fine. Plus, it would get me out there running again. Chris bravely was the only guy along with 10 RDC ladies, and kindly gave four of us girls in East a lift. Before I knew it we were all lined up at the start line on a glorious, windy and a bit nippy day. Not bad. I set off with Fleur, Sophie and Alski, but it quickly became clear that my stomach wasn’t behaving. I definitely wasn’t going to be consuming the gels I’d brought along. No use messing with gels when you’ve got an upset tummy. So I ran 8 of the 10 miles clenching my stomach, searching for toilets (there were none, even the pubs along the route were closed and Kew Gardens had none by the entrances we passed) and had to stop a couple of times to calm the roar. This meant that I ran the last third or so mostly on my own. I managed to pull myself together and caught up with Chris about 1 mile from the finish, and together we sped up until 500m from the finish. I had to stop again, so Chris rallied on while I regained composure. I slowly got going and finally crossed the finish line with a grimace and rushed back to the club house. This is one race I’m glad I survived with no accidents and I’d love to go back next year and smash it completely.
I’ve had a couple of races that were really unpleasant, but mostly because I hadn’t trained enough and wasn’t fit enough to do what I was trying to do. Being queasy and having a churning stomach - never been there before in this way and I can tell you, guys, it’s not fun. But I got through and the mental strength I had to dig out to get to that finish line is not something I will be forgetting any time soon.
I’ve volunteered to be one of the new Run Dem Crew Youngers mentors, and although I feel like I have hardly done anything yet I’m really liking the experience. The framing is solidly set in a positive, constructive and ambitious light. We’re all coming together to make something from what we each bring: Experience, enthusiasm, skills, passion, time, presence. I’m really looking forward to seeing what comes of it, and I have a feeling that although I’m a ‘mentor’, I’ll be learning a lot from the Youngers as well.
More than 10 people from the crew will be running the London Marathon on Sunday and a massive cheering effort has been organised to make sure they take it away away away! I’m really looking forward to supporting them and all the other runners with banners and serious cheers. This evening I had a quiet chat about pre-race moments with the wonderful Kimberley. It’s a special thing and I hope she has an amazing day, race and sense of achievement come Sunday. I’ll be on the lookout to make sure she gets a solid dose of Run Dem Crew love.