What a day!
My first 5k race, the first indication that my training has been working and I’m pretty chuffed.
I went down to Lanark racecourse this morning and immediately I felt the buzz. Here were loads of other people ready to go, people who practiced and ran plenty. They came in all shapes and sizes, all ages and had convened at this cross country course on a blustery Scottish day to run. I was in. I was one of them. It was an exciting thought.
Number on, ready for warm up. I will point out I should have won an award for best trousers, there was otherwise a disappointing sea of black.
Warm up jams on, an excellent mix of pop and dance doing South Lanarkshire proud. See how my natural disposition goes against the crowd!
Ok! All warm! Let’s do this! Off go the 10k runners and us 5k lot hang around. The wind was fierce and cold. The juniors all stand at the line raring to go and I wonder where I should stand, front? Middle? Back? 4,3,2,1 go!
A flurry of running as the fast go ahead and I try and find my pace. With the speedy gone I resigned myself to being a back runner, defeatist from the start.
I continue on, find my legs and my pace and realise theres a reason it’s odd. Im on grass! It felt strange, soft and bumpy. I had no time to focus on it. The track went into the woods and became a mix of mud, branches and mulch. I attacked uphill sections with strides and walked fast down muddy slopes. This was not good. I was going to have a terrible time.
Out the woods and onto flat concrete. We turn onto the loch and the path around it. This was much better. I enjoyed being able to watch the ducks and swans as they went by. The wind blew the bullrushes and the sun split through the grey cloud. This was good going. I could do it. To my surprise I was overtaking people who looked to be more naturally athletic, or at least skinny. I wasn’t speedy but I figured they had gone out too fast and burnt too soon. Poor sods.
Mum was a star, having come down to a bench to cheer me on as I went by. What a gem.
I can do this. Go, go, push,push. I was tired but determined. Turn up the hill and onto the straight. Some of the fastest had finished way ahead of me and were milling back to cars. It wasn’t an inspiring feeling.
There it was, the row of flags we had started from! The end! The photographer and the water table. Push push, smile, fist pump and yeah!
I was elated. I had done it and I couldn’t stop smiling. The pa guy said:
‘The sun shines on the righteous and look at that! It’s out for all our winners.’
I collected my bag of goodies, t-shirt and medal feeling like a champion.
Result. The best feeling though?
At the start of the race I figured I’d try hit 45 mins considering cross country…
Under 40 just like in training. Such a good feeling.
I rest my weary legs a tired and contented runner…. and yea I’m still wearing my medal.