Today was hot. The temperature peaked at 32degrees celsius. For once even our house was uncomfortably hot. Usually the stone keeps it cool.
Today was the perfect day to be a swimmer. Not a runner.
But I am a runner. And tonight I had a race.
Of course, I could have followed my son’s advice, “It’s too hot to run, mum. Lie here with book.”
But I am a runner. And tonight I raced.
It was my first short race (8k) since September or October. I have been feeling ambivalent about my training recently. Just last week I met with my coach to re-evaluate where I am at, what I am doing and most importantly, how I am feeling.
We decided I needed the race practice but I was not to wear a watch.
I like races. We all know each other and there is a lot of banter before hand, and inter-club rivalry. I had not done the lead-in series to this race because of work commitments so a fair amount of the warm-up involved catching up with others.
It was hot. I doused my head, neck and shoulders with water, drenched my cap and cooled my wrists under cold water.
Time to go. My plan was to run by feel.
I felt strong and by the first kilometre was neck and neck with a club mate, who doesn’t like me to beat him. But I left him looking at my arse on the first hill and he never caught me again. I passed another woman and that put me in fourth overall but the next woman was only about 100m ahead. I felt I might be able to catch her.
I didn’t. I pushed through to the end, having a tussle with another man in the last couple of ks and eventually we crossed the line together. I finished fourth overall woman – no age groups here – in 34 minutes even.
When I came home my husband and kids asked me where I placed. “Why didn’t you win,” they teased me. And then my husband asked me if I was happy with my result. The perfect question to ask anyone.
I replied, “Yes.”
Not just because I didn’t barf at the end though it was an option! Or that I did a PB even if only because I had never raced that distance. I was pleased because after all the months of struggling with speed work and feeling I was not improving, I could still pull out the stops on a stinking hot night.