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Lessons from a 10k I didn't plan to do

Updated: Oct 10, 2022

First race I've done since the Edinburgh marathon in 2017.

FIVE years ago.

1. No expectations helped.

I've been running - but hadn't done any specific training, no specific preparation, no idea of time, no plan to run fast. It therefore wasn't stressful, there were 'should/shouldn'ts' for what to do, no ideal time to aim for.

I surprised myself and I could celebrate myself not because I was too fast or too slow (because I wasn't aiming for any time), but because I DID feel strong.

2. I was working hard at the halfway point

Three things here:

- I was working hard, but as I ran past others, often they were working harder. Hard is relative. It's individual. A word of encouragement goes a long way.

- I thought to myself 'how do I get through this?' and I started ramping up the cheerleader in my head. I set mini-goals (just half a mile until you've hit 5 miles, just to the end of the road etc.) and I told myself how bl**dy f***ing brilliant I am. It helped.

- It would have been easier if I'd trained. We CAN do hard stuff, and we can surprise ourselves. But sometimes (often!?) that hard stuff is easier to cope with if we practice it first.

3. Run your own race

There's always people in front of you. There's always people behind you.

There's always a noisy person - sometimes that's you.

There's always someone (surprising) going past you - and sometimes that's you.

Don't get caught up in their race.

Run your own race.

Feel your legs on the ground. Tune into your breathing and how your race is feeling.

Which one did you need to hear today?

Would you add any of your own?!

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