This one I thought of all by myself, after running the Hackney Half Marathon on Sunday. Suggestions for I are welcome!
What I wrote eight weeks before the Half:
What will it feel like to cross the finish line?
I don’t know. I don’t know that I will, even.
If I do, I know there will be someone proud, waiting for me with a smile.
But this stupid half leaves me feeling anxious and underprepared. I never felt this way about Southend, even less about the Royal Parks. But this? I have eight weeks and a damaged ankle.
I caused the damaged ankle myself. I am an idiot. I don’t even deserve to finish the half. I will probably never get a Personal Best again. It’s too easy to make happy comments about every run being a PB in itself. That’s bo*****s. Every minute over a PB is a kiss and I am aiming at 30 over mine. I won’t even finish.
I will fail.
So all in all I am- scared, sad, underprepared and a tiny bit, the tiniest bit, hopeful.
Eight weeks later, the Sunday just gone, I crossed the finish line. It was hard, it was tiring, it was a lot of effort for a pretty T-shirt and a sense of self-satisfaction… but I did it. I am proud, and grateful, and glad that I managed. Even though it wasn’t a PB (in terms of time) it was certainly a PB in terms of effort. Naturally, I am relatively quick and, more’s the point, I have good endurance. But the work that went in to this, compared to the training I did for the Southend or Royal Parks Half, was huge. I didn’t just rely on the benefits of my own strengths.
On the morning of the run, my bad ankle was really hurting. My dad (a seasoned runner) even suggested that I not run because of it. I knew that if I didn’t run Sunday, I wouldn’t be running the Royal Parks in October, wouldn’t be running anything at all any time soon. That sense of deflation would have killed (metaphorically). So I ran. I ran my hardest, ran (almost) the best I could, ran with as much of a smile as I could muster. And while my darker self struggles with the idea, maybe in some ways this was a PB in itself.