Tuesday 1 May 2012: Pre race .....
Tonight I have run in my first race since 2009. I took part in the first race of the Harrogate District Summer Road leauge ( HDSRL ). The leauge consists of six races over the summer, with over 500 runners from eleven local clubs participating. Tonights race was hosted by the Ilkley Harriers, of which I am a member. The course was approximately 5 miles long with the first two miles being a long uphill slog.
The last race I ran in 2009 was also a HDSRL race, that one about 6 miles long. I had been getting stronger and faster for the months leading up to it and was on the best running form of my life. A week or so before the race I developed what I considered to be a minor cough and carried on training. The day of the race came and despite still having a bit of a chesty cough I felt on great form. The race went really well and I set a personal best time managing to run the race at an avarage of a 5.58 minute mile pace.
Two days after the race I woke up unable to breath properly. To cut a long story short, I ended up in hospital and after months of scans, xrays, tests, steroid inhalers and drugs, the doctors diagnosed that I had overtrained with a bad chest infection and made my lungs oversensitive. I'ts a really unplesant feeling not being able to breath properly and it took a couple of years before my breathing was not the first thing I noticed when I woke up in the morning .
Over the past year or so I have been steadily getting my fitness back and decided it was about time I started racing again. I 've always had mixed feelings about racing. I love running for the pure enjoyment it gives me, but racing brings out my competitive side. I see other runners as targets to pick off and overtake rather than fellow competitors, I'ts not a trait I like in myself.
Tonight I decided to approach the run a bit differently and pace myself with another Ilkley Harrier called Alison. Alison is a brilliant athlete and has represented England. Tonight she said she wasn't planning a fast run as she had been racing over the weekend. having trained with Alison in the past I felt confident enough that as she was taking the race a bit easier I should be able to keep pace with her.
We both had a really good race and I think we both ran a lot faster than either of us had planned. Alison really helped me to get up the steep slog of the first two miles uphill running and my long stride running downhill pushed Alison to move faster. We were never more than two strides apart from each other for the entire race and at the finish line Alison thanked 'me' for helping her run a faster race. I have to say I think I would still be running up that hill now if it wasn't for Alison's help. Despite running a minute a mile slower than that last race, I'm really pleased with tonight's run. Running with someone else and both achieving more than we would have otherwise individually is much more rewarding than seeing every other runner as just another person to overtake.
I've had pre race nerves all day today and I expect the next race in the leauge in two weeks time will also be a day full of nerves, but maybe less so now that I'm approaching racing in a slightly different way.
So todays blip is ......
.... Pre race nerves.
I think the text message I recieved from my friend Mrluc helped a bit as well...
" Run fat boy run "