Hey. I hope this finds you well.
l just wanted to give my general thoughts on races, based on my own experience, and how running humbled me .
I came to running late in life, as a way to keep the weight off, as l had given up football ( well l suffered a snapped cruciate ligament) I used to run with my wife, but she soon tired of it, whilst I enjoyed the endorphin rush that running produced. Initially l ran with no watch or music, for about 20 minutes, after work. Encouraged by a work college, who was a coach in his spare time, l trained for the 2004 Nike run in Hyde Park. Alas, l did not get in. I should also add that I was weight training at this time, to gain size, and my running training consisted of going as fast as l could, for 4 miles three times a week.
Fortunately I was able to enter the 2005 Nike 10k, in Victoria Park, Hackey. The (un)realistic aim, was to run it in 50 mins. I assumed that as I came from a football background, and was a frequent visitor to the gym, it would be easy. This race humbled me. I did it in 58:13 secs. And l did not enjoy it. By nature l am competitive, but I didn’t have the tools to run this race fast. My lack of speed work, and hill sprints, and fartleks, meant that I could, at best, do, on average, a 09:30 mile splits.
The desire and pressure I placed on myself to hit my race time, meant l did not enjoy the experience. But being competitive I wanted to to it again. So the following year l signed up for the 2006 Nike ‘North V South London 10k’. I had not changed my training, and was still doing weights, for size, and not to aid my running. I decided that l wanted to enjoy the race, without the self imposed pressure l normally placed upon myself. So l took it easy, and did it in 1 hour and 1 minute. Whilst l was happy with my decision to do so, the competitive part of me was disappointed with the time.
In between these races Nike (who do alot for running and encouraging people to take up the sport) hosted a 5k run in Victoria Park. Again l was humbled, as older fitter runners left me in their wake. 27 mins was my time.
I took a break after this, as a combination of my lack of a good time, shyness of running races on my own, discouraged me. In 2009/2010, I entered the Newham 10k ( this was before the Olympic stadium was built and incorporated in this race) I entered with mysister-in-law, and we ran together at the start, but I soon pushed on by myself. My ego took another hit as men and women older and in all shapes and sizes, left me, as l struggled. The one good thing to come out of this race was that I P.B, in a time of 57 mins 13 seconds. Again, l was disappointed, as I wasn’t running the times I wanted to.
Due to a lack of enjoyment, and a lack of cash, that was my last race. In hindsight, l didn’t respect the distance, or understand the training needed to meet my aims and targets. It would take another 4 years for things to change.
Are you competitive, race oriented runner, or more of a casual run for pleasure person?