well, it wasn’t exactly a ‘race’ but I had a timing chip and a number, so it was near enough a race!
This one was different. Locally they run a 7 week 5km series on the waihopai river bank. You are timed, it’s the same route each week, but the winner doesn’t get a prize. You’re asked when you enter if you are running or walking, quite different to normal races for me.
I stood there 1/2 hour before wondering why I had chosen to pay someone else so I can run 5km. I could run 5km anywhere any time. Or could I? Perhaps the discipline will motivate me.
I dragged out the plainest run kit I could find, so I wouldn’t stand out. This was going to hurt.
I have been working towards being able to run for 30mims non stop lately, yes, as unambitious as that. I hadn’t told anyone I had entered, I only did it today. We were standing there, minding our own business, quite a busy event with over 300 participants. Here in Invercargill when an event is organised EVERYONE turns up it seems! Mark asked did I know anyone. No, I doubt it, I thought; till I discovered two cycling chums and several friends and workmates. Hmmm.
I positioned myself with the ‘recreational runners’ on the start line: I didn’t want to get tied up with either the ‘serious’ runners or the 150 or so walkers!
I set off at around the pace I have been running in my training runs. The knee usually hurts after only ten minutes, so I had it all taped up with kinesio tape to help prevent the pain for as long as possible. I was focussing on me only, there were people passing, people I was catching, I merely wanted to keep running at around the same pace for the entire 5.1km. If I managed that, it would be mission accomplished, with the way things have been with the knee lately.
On the second lap some of the people began to ‘come back to me’ so to speak. A lady who had been adopting the run/walk strategy well until now, managing to just stay in front of me, slipped behind. Runners up ahead began walking more and running less. I was able to keep focused on my modest but steady pace and keep on going, ticking off a few more, one by one.
There was a degree of pain, as I entered the last 1/2 mile. I could feel my lack of strength coming into play, I was having to concentrate more than usual on form, but I knew this was the home straight. A runner up ahead who I was keeping pace with, needed to be dealt with. If I was fit, she would have been way behind, so I upped my pace a tiny bit to try and catch her. The beauty of this ‘non’ race was that she didn’t then surge back, perhaps she couldn’t or didn’t want to. It motivated me to keep the slight teeny weeny pace increase to the end.
Conclusion; I ran the whole 5.1km and that was my goal. A goal like that seems incredulous to me in the bigger picture, but forget that, this was today’s goal. The pace was around what I would have expected, so I can’t argue. Six more go’s at it, six more opportunities to get a tiny bit better.
Look forwards, not back.