I’m not really competitive. Or driven. Or manic. I’m just me. Those who know me well might disagree…and they are probably right.
I took up running some 11 years ago – just before I reached the age of fifty. The reason for this was simple.
Being employed by a company who held twice-yearly conferences, the first speaking slot was always allocated to me – which meant after all the on-stage introductions, I had to calmly walk down the large meeting room, then race back up a corridor, across the back-stage area to arrive on stage looking calm and collected and ready to speak.
After doing this a couple of times, where I would struggle to speak normally, being rather out of breath, I decided to ‘up my fitness’.
Since starting running I’ve run on-and-off (depending on circumstances and time), taken part in a couple of 5k ‘Run for Life’ events, not run at all for weeks on end, then more recently joined a running group – Kingfisher Harriers.
This group is fantastic – nobody judges anyone, we have a tail runner so nobody is left running alone, and the camaraderie is wonderful.
Back in January a couple of runners told me I ‘really ought to take part in a Park Run’ – just to get an idea of my time, and to see if I improve now that I am running regularly. I was rather reticent to do so – knowing that I am competitive within myself. Everything I do I want to do ‘better or faster or with more skill’. Heaven knows why but…c’est moi!
Anyway, I ran my first Park Run about 4 weeks ago and came in at a time of around 37 minutes. Not bad, I thought. When recounting this to a fellow runner she told me she thought I could do the 5k faster. Oh no!!!!
She possibly had no idea that her words of wisdom would inspire (read, ‘push’) me to do my second park run this morning…and to inspire me to push myself.
Needless to say I did improve this morning. I ran 5k in 32.29 minutes. I was exhilarated – so much so that when a couple of fellow runners ask me to join them on a cool down, taking in another 2.5k jog around Arrow Valley Lake, I agreed.
I can honestly say I now know what a ‘runners high’ feels like. The high I felt, from the minute a fellow runner told me she guessed I would achieve a time of around 33 minutes (we were running together and close to the finish line), to running through the finish line with this same lady, to seeing my results in black and white about an hour ago, is amazing. Driven? Maybe…Competitive? In a good way I hope…Manic…abso-blinking-lutely!
Sitting in the sunshine, g-daughter taking a nap whilst I’m babysitting, thus giving me time to jot down a few thoughts, It’s a Girl Thing.
P.S. Not only did I cut minutes off my run time but I was 3rd in my age group!!!
P.P.S. I am not (definitely not) aiming to run a Park Run for a good while now…my PB will remain my PB!!