I have decided to set myself a personal challenge every year. Something to achieve that requires work, training and determination. Something that I have never done before. And this year’s challenge turned out to be running a race, thanks to a friend of mine suggesting to sign up for a ten kilometre event. To actually register, train for it and do it. Now I enjoy sport, I go to the gym, cycle and swim, but I always saw myself as a “Sunday runner”, up for a quick jogging session, but not really stretching myself. This challenge would change my mindset for sure.
I found a proper training programme on the Internet and started in January. Things were going well, running had started to grow on me and I was looking forward to my training sessions, until a series of happenings made me feel like the odds were against me. First, we had this seemingly never-ending cold – or should I say freezing – wave. Down to minus five, I was still running. When temperatures went down to minus ten or twelve, I threw in the towel. Two weeks later, it started getting warmer again, I went running once and then got sick. With a flu-like virus that held me in its grasp for three weeks. I had two short training sessions on days when I felt better, but that was all. And finally, as I was recovered at last, I fell and hurt my ankle. Another two weeks without sport. By then I only had a month left to train and I was not so sure I would be up to it, but there was now way that I was going to renounce – yes, I am stubborn like that! So last Sunday I put on my fab sport shoes and accessories – see my post tomorrow – and I joined my friend and our fellow runners at the starting gate. More than seven hundred people joined into one of the three races: the kiddies one, the five kilometres or the ten kilometres. We were blessed with almost perfect weather, a mix of sun and clouds with a temperature of about fourteen degrees, it was quite windy at times – not nice when you are running against it – but as it turned cold and rainy later on that day, we considered ourselves very lucky!
Did I complete the race? Yes, and although I did feel my ankle – which was properly supported by one of those ankle support bandages – there was no real pain. I certainly did not arrive first, but I did not finish last either, which I found was an achievement in itself! I also improved my time by twenty-two minutes compared to when I ran the ten kilometres as part of the training and was thrilled about it. My friend arrived a good ten minutes before me, and as I had repeatedly told her that she was under no circumstances to wait for slower me, I was very pleased that she went for it. Here are a couple of photos that my most fervent supporter, namely Sexy Hubby, took just before the race started:
I am very proud of myself and will probably do this again. But this time it will of course not be my yearly challenge… In fact, I already know what 2013 will be!