I feel like I haven’t posted in forever- so here’s a cheeky little snippet of what’s going on right now!
So, if you’ve been reading my blog for a while you’ll know that I’ve got a love/hate relationship with running.
I hate it because my body seems to enjoy it for a while then collapse on itself (my right knee and hip have been giving me huge problems for over a year and a half now), and also because I have asthma, so if my lungs aren’t feeling it, I do not get to run. A also dislike it sometimes because of hills. Hills are the devil and should never be a thing. Just flatten out the ground and everyone will be happy. Especially me.
But I love running because it’s the only thing I can do that allows me to switch off my brain and NGAF about anyone or anything else in the world, and also, smashing PBs is like crack. Once you’ve done it once you just want that high over and over again. I enjoy running because it’s the only free sport I enjoy doing, and literally all I need is a pair of trainers and I can shoot off, and I like the variety it can have. For example, one day I could feel pretty shitty in general about life, and therefore I can go on a huge, long-ass run and it’ll make me feel a bit better about things, and more often than not, I’ll have thought of a solution to at least some of my problems by the end of the run. The next day, I could be busy AF, so can only squeeze in a mini 5K, but at the end of the day, I’ve still run, and I never regret going out and getting fresh air in my lungs.
Okay there was one time, not that long ago, when I went out for a run and forgot to bring my inhaler, and literally 2K in I couldn’t breathe and my lungs felt like they were going to implode and I thought I was going to have to get someone to take me to hospital. That time I did regret running, but 99.9% of the time I’ve always felt amazing after a jog.
So, being here in the great land of Australia, I wasn’t going to pass up on a running event that was being held near me.
I saw online that the Sri Chinmoy 2017 marathon series was coming to an end with a 7K, 14K and 4K race in a part of the city that isn’t that far from where I live, and for only $27, it was a steal of a race entry fee.
And today was the day!
At 6am, I made my way to the race venue, ready to pick up my race pack and get warmed up. Sydney has been extremely hot the last few days (I’m not exaggerating, the temperature was 43.5 degrees celsius the other day, and was the hottest December day ever recorded) so I was quite nervous as to how the weather would fare for us this morning. No need. There was a downpour. Being Scottish, I’m used to wet weather, but this was taking this piss. And who even likes running in the rain?
Yes I know a lot of people do but I am not one of these people.
Thank goodness the rain stopped about 20 minutes before the race started, otherwise I would’ve been one unhappy runner! The course itself was pretty flat (bonus) and was basically a 7km route round the bay of Leichhardt Park and the surrounding area, and those people doing the 14km did two laps of the route.
I started off at a good pace- I’m usually terrible at this because I either try too hard to go like Speedy Gonzales, or go too slow and never make up the time in the end, and after about 1km, found a fellow runner in front of me, and we seemed to be going at a similar pace. Perfect. During races and runs with other people, the way I focus my attention and tune out everything else and the pressure of coming in at a good time, is to focus on a pair of shoes in front of me and not let them out of my sight. Unless I overtake them, in which case I find another person. This can be super useful because if someone is only a tiny bit faster than you, you’re pushing yourself to go at a faster-than-normal pace, which mean you get a pretty decent finishing time. However, if you keep finding people who are way too fast, it can be disheartening if they keep disappearing off ahead of you and you need to find a new marker-runner.
The first few kilometres were tough, but I always find that in a race- after the first few you find your rhythm and you can bob along quite happily once your breathing is in check. I got to 3km and was raging because I’d thought I’d done at least 5 already. (Is it just me who always makes kilometres out to be way less than what they actually are?)
7km marked halfway for the race, and also was the start line again, so we had to do our second lap of the course to finish the race. Now, not that I have any authority to change anything to do with these races, and I’m sure it is simpler to set up signs and boundaries for races that go round the same loop twice, but I personally despise running in laps. I hate it. Hateithateithateit. I also hate doing runs where you have to run for a certain number of miles in one direction and then turn around and go back. Not. For. Me.
I think it’s psychological. When I see a finish line, I want to be finished. I don’t like doing laps, because, like today, once I’ve done one lap, I know exactly what’s coming up ahead. And I dread it. Because not only do I know I’ve got to do what I just did again but I know exactly which parts of the lap are difficult, and exactly what’s coming up ahead.
I’d much rather have a massive, straight line that goes from A to B with B being where we finish, done and dusted.
9km was when my feet started to hurt (I need new running shoes) and at 12km, the humidity of the day and the fear of being last to cross the finish line grew too much and I just wanted it to be over.
And then it was!
All the aches and pains of a race suddenly disappear when you cross the finish line (don’t know why, some people call it happy hormones, I call it magic) and there was a tent with free pancakes and fruit to refuel my (now very hungry) body. Also, whoever came up with the idea of giving free pancakes post-run was a saint and should be celebrated somewhere.
I forgot to look at my watch when I crossed the line, and haven’t been able to convince myself that I did very well**, because of the heat, but instead of beating myself up about it like I normally would, I kept telling myself it was a good thing to have been able to cross the line and finish the race at all!
Lesson learned from this race? F****** TRAIN!! No matter how seasoned a runner you are, you have to train appropriately- it’s actually silly not to, and I should have known that to begin with.
I also learned that Australian races don’t give out medals for crossing the finish line, which upset me… like how else am I supposed to show off to people that I am a world-wide runner and ambassador for the Scottish people pls?
Anyway, since the race was so cheap to enter, I’m going to do it again in February, and then attempt the half marathon in April. Here’s to smashing more PB’s and no more niggly knees!
**I was only just able to check my results online there, and I placed 12th in my category!
P.s, I don’t have a photo of it because I ate it so quickly, but I had my traditional post-race sushi before heading home and it was f****** delicious. Js.