After almost 10 months, I took the plunge and signed up for a race. When I say signed up, I was in fact called while hiking in Austria and asked whether I’d like to make up a team at the Bloomberg Square Mile Race 2016.
I hesitated at first. Why? Well, here are just some of the reasons:
It feels like a lifetime since I last ran competitively so how would I cope mentally when I’m not feeling that confident? What if I was really really slow? (I know this isn’t important for everyone but for someone who loves speed, well…) And more importantly, what would happen if I got bloody injured again?
With all these questions bubbling away under the surface, you can see that this wasn’t a straightforward decision to make.
Then again, I have been running regularly. Every Friday I attend adidas runners and have also started running to work again. My weekly schedule also includes the North Face Mountain Training, which works on my core strength and balance. I’ve also added several barre classes into the mix. And if you follow me on Instagram (that’s @becsinter), you’ll see that instead of chowing down on a sandwich at lunch, I’m pushing weights (reluctantly). Yeah, I’ve been busy whipping my legs back into maraFUN shape.
For that time on stilts taught me to think about my approach to training. As well as running around town (literally), you have to condition your body. This will not only help prevent injury but also make you stronger. So I’ve developed a love-hate relationship with the leg press, hip extender and leg curl machine.
I may not be in the same place I was physically a year and a half ago but I’m not exactly out of shape either. As the name suggests, the Bloomberg Square Mile Race is a mile or 4 x 400m track. What did I have to lose? Admittedly my ankle still feels stiff from time to time, which I think is down to the fact I haven’t been using it. So I signed up for this fun relay race on a Thursday evening in September.
Race day arrived and I felt strangely nervous. It was kind of like when you haven’t driven for a while. You know which pedals do what and the rules of the road but for some reason, you have butterflies in your tummy. I was lucky number 7 out of a team of 10, which meant I had to wait a while until I was passed the baton. Once in my hand, I felt good again. The race didn’t feel particularly difficult, my legs were doing as they were told and I breezed through at a leisurely pace.
It wasn’t the easiest of routes what with stairs, slopes and sharp corners. It was, however, a pleasure to run competitively again. When I handed over the baton to the next in line, I thought “is that it?” I still had fuel left in the tank. Finally, I could race again without pain.
The months of disappointment are over and I’m feeling good about a winter of training slightly differently. Slowly but surely, I’m working towards my next adventure. Watch this space, guys.
Thank you to Bloomberg City of London Square Mile Race for inviting me to take part.