The Summer of 2013 was the year I learned to run. Well, I could already run, I wasn't actually a toddler last year, therefore I shall rephrase that and say- 2013, the summer I learned to run without stopping for further than a mile. That's better. Beginning in April, I went from running my first 5k in 31 minutes to 27 minutes, entered races including my one and only 10k coming in under an hour and generally I felt on top of the world. I felt fit, and ready to take on my next challenge. Then something went wrong.
I signed up for a 1/2 marathon, giving myself over 12 weeks to train believing that after running a 10k in under an hour I could manage a 1/2 marathon in under 2 hours 15. I was wrong. After the amazingly brilliant Born Survivor challenge I began training. My long runs always took place on a Sunday, I had an enjoyable 10 mile, a bearable 11 mile and then the following week I cried. About 1/2 a mile into the run I began to cry, I did not stop crying until I returned home 10.5 miles later, then I cried some more. I had begun to hate running, the thought filled my stomach with dread. I didn't want to go out in the rain, to run alone in isolated areas for over two hours.
Sure enough, along came race day, I resisted the urge to back out at the last minute and travelled all the way to Lancaster to meet the 1/2 marathon face to face. I gee'd myself up, stretched and focused. Nothing happened. The race was delayed by fifteen minutes. Darn. Oh well. Eventually the race began, I set off, trying not to be intimidated by the surge of runners as they over took me. Ten minutes in a shi*, I realised I had forgotten to set my stop watch, I fumbled around with it, managing not only to mess up the stop watch but also leaving the clock reset.
So, I ran. Completely clueless as to what time I was on or what time it actually was. The surge at the beginning quickly spread out, leaving me and Darth Vader running annoyingly close to my right shoulder practically alone. I let Darth Vader go ahead of me, frightened that hearing another one of her wheezy breaths might result in homicide. Then I was alone. I passed the odd marshal, some of whom smiled and clapped. For two miles I saw no one.
At random intervals I would see somebody in the distance, usually one of those annoying people who run too quickly then have to walk, I would pass them and say something encouraging such as 'you're doing really well' or 'last bit now'- all I got was a dirty glare. Talk about support guys!
Anyway, I crossed the finish line with a disappointing time of 2 hours 28 minutes and 28 seconds. I didn't cry. (Go me.) Following the 1/2 marathon I struggled to run at all, finding I could not even complete a 5k well, my last one was hell (I did cry) and my time was back up to 31 minutes. I do not know what is going on, but sadly, I am now afraid to run. I have been keeping fit in other ways yet I feel that myself and running are at the end of the road. I came, I conquered and unless I begin to enjoy jogging once more I am leaving.