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Unexpected but satisfying outcome

Woman crossing the finish line

Good morning my lovelies. I hope you all had a fab weekend. As you know mine featured a 5K race for charity on Sunday  morning.

The morning dawned wet and breezy, not ideal for fun runners, especially when the course is run on horse racing course! The going was rough under foot, great for sprained ankles and knees! I could feel panic mode setting in.

‘What if I sprained something? My long-awaited holiday is less than a week away!’

Very quickly I realised my mind was heading off towards Catastrophe City. I had to head it off to my happy place otherwise my panic would become reality.

‘Deep breaths Cath. You can do this. Let’s practice a little yoga breathing!’

As I looked around the race course I saw a sea of girls in pink. From little ones in pushchairs all the way to some very senior ladies, all with one goal in mind, raise funds for Cancer Research UK and have fun while doing it. Each participant was wearing a reason to run on their t-shirts. Some were running in memory someone who lost their battle(that was me for Mr D’s Aunty) while others were running for someone currently fighting. Everyone had a reason.

Most of us were running in groups but a few, like me, were solo runners with a support team on the sidelines. Mr D and my daft dog came to cheer me on. Even the support teams joined in the pink theme. Dogs were sporting pink bandanas. Even some bearded men had their beards decorated with pink glitter. The atmosphere was brilliant. Once I’d got my head back in the zone, I was able to absorb the positive energy surrounding me.

I had to laugh when the hosts on stage started the mass warm-up. The track they chose was my earworm nemesis – Baby Shark! (Ooo! Recent #SoCS reference!). I can honestly say it was the most hilarious warm-up I’ve ever taken part in. Seeing over a thousand people do the actions to Baby Shark squashed the last dregs of panic out of my system. How can you panic when you’re giggling?

With us warmed up, the hosts did their best to get us into some sort of starting order. Runners to the front, then joggers,  with walkers and pushchairs bringing up the rear. I got boxed in somewhere at the back of the joggers. Mind you, one person’s idea of jogging could be another’s idea of running flat out!

Five. Four. Three. Two. One. We’re off!

I spent the first kilometer trying to dodge round people and keep my footing. The next kilometer passed without incident as the route followed a tarmac path. I was still overtaking people. Glancing at my watch I could see I was keeping to my ideal pace (the one I trained at) and not remotely out of breath. My mind relaxed as I switched into mantra mode.

‘I am full of health and vitality and can easily run this 5k.’

I kept this mantra going, zoning out everyone else, so much so that I didn’t see Mr D and daft dog at the half way marker! At this point I was only aware of running past more people. In a moment of self-doubt I wondered if I was running too fast and would run out of steam! Checking my watch again I was amazed to see all was going well.

With the 4k marker in sight I knew the finishing post (haha – another reference to #SoCS!) was near. Then I heard my name. Mr D and daft dog were running beside me, cheering me (and barking!). That was all I needed to spur me on. As the finishing line came into view, I glanced at the race timer and realised, that with a spurt of speed, I could beat my own personal best from 10 years ago when I first started running.

With determination and exhilaration, I kicked hard and shot past the finish post and forgot to slow down. I was still running with plenty of juice left in the tank. It wasn’t until I neared the water station that it registered in my brain to slow up. One of the race helpers had to shout to me to remind me to pick up my finishers medal and water!

‘Yes! I did it. OMG I’ve beaten my best time from back when I was 40!’

Now I need a new goal. As I’m not keen to run further than 5k I think my goal is to run faster. I may be 12 years older than I was when I set that last record but that’s no reason to believe I can’t improve my time. Age is just a number not a state of mind, or body for that matter.

I’m taking a break from running until I come back from my holiday. Autumn will be well under way by then so all I need to do is buy some autumn/winter training kit and get back out there.

Wishing you all a lovely Tuesday.

Cath xx

 

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