A-Z Challenge: H is for Hackney Half

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.

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