Running my first 10 kilometre (km) race, this story starts five years ago when a few friends and I decided that we wanted to row (we were the most ragtag bunch of rowers you can imagine). At the time I was out of shape but wanted to be a better version of myself for me and my children. So, a friend of mine called Dave and I (with a couple of others) set up something called Monday club which as you properly guess happens every Monday. It is an opportunity for some 40+ year old men and women to work out and play at being boxers and gymnasts. This club inspired me that I could do more with myself and through conversations with my friends, I decided I was going to give running a go (I wanted to run well).
Four years later I am starting to run regularly with a bunch of people from Monday Club who inspired and helped me to move forward when it was suggested, I should have a go at running a race.
Time to race
When the race came around, I was expecting to be looking at my watch working out my timings and trying not to run, way too fast. Adding at this point that my nickname is the ‘beast’ as a do everything at full throttle not holding anything back and burning out much of the time. Come race day I expected to turn up on my own and run the race for which I had practised.
We are off
The race begins in a flurry of activity and the guy I am chasing down the road starts encouraging me to run with him and this is where the support begins. Turning the first corner my friend Simon is there rooting for me telling me to take it easy and run at the pace I have planned. Running a further 500 meters up the road and my friend Dave is there telling me not to overcook it and keep to my pace, pull my shoulders back, breathe and enjoy it. As I continue to run the race these two guys keep popping uprooting for me pushing me and encouraging me to be the best I can be.
The final 2 km
Things are starting to hurt now, and my shoulders are all hunched. Then my friend Dave appears and starts to run with me. At first, this is about me getting my confidence and form back then I notice myself accelerating. Moving from someone slipping backwards to someone who is overtaking people and running faster and faster.
Coming into the final 700 meters I was a transformed person running with determination and gusto. Finishing the race in 41 minutes 26 seconds, 1 minute 26 seconds outside of the goal I set myself but that did not matter, I had learned how to run a race well and that is a lesson I will not forget.
My first 10k race was not run on my own, I ran it with people who believed in me and enabled me to do my absolute best, inspiring me to do it again.
What I learnt
Sometimes things take longer than you first expect.
When I started this journey, I wanted to row a boat and I ended up for the time being running a race. That does not mean that I will not row a boat one day. What I did instead was achieve something else that takes me closer to that goal.
Sometimes what you want takes time to work out
This is true in many aspects of our lives. What is important is to keep moving forwards. It is vital to have champions and cheerleaders on your team to keep encouraging you to seek out what you want. In my case, it is about being a better version of myself for you it may be quite different, but I would encourage you to keep on looking for it.
Practice is the key to everything – you will need to do it a lot so make sure it is fun!
As with everything worth doing there is always a lot of practice involved. The biggest transition for me has been the movement from only enjoying the end goal to enjoying the practice. This is so relevant to the roles we do and the things we want to achieve. If we do not enjoy the day-to-day stuff to get us to a goal I do not believe will be anywhere near as fulfilled as we should be.
The best coaches will come and run along with you.
Sometimes we need help, sometimes we need advice and sometimes we need people to run along with us. Both in the sense of doing things as well as carrying the same dreams and passions as we do. It lifts our heads and gives us the capability to be genuinely great.
Doing things with a village is the best.
Reflecting on this experience the image of the village of people supporting one another to achieve their goals is an incredibly attractive one. Where one achieves much everyone achieves much, and this is a principle that can help move forward some of the key aims we have in our lives.
Who is in your village?
If you would like some help to explore this further, please get in contact.