Too big a challenge?


Where do I begin?

This weekend I decided I would formally start my training by running in my seven-year-old cousin’s school fun-run. A 5k run, being run by kids – surely it’d be a walk in the park, right? Wrong. 

Shockingly to me, I struggled. I started out with determination. I was gonna run the whole thing, non-stop – why not I thought! Previously I had run the majority of a similar distance, surely this was the next step up. 

At first, I thought it was going spiffingly: I had an even pace, I was breathing properly, I didn’t have cramp and amazingly enough, I hadn’t stopped. Even after the halfway mark I was still going strong. And then the waterstop came. I took a sip whilst trying to carry on running, and choked. I had to stop, I couldn’t get my breath. 

I tried to resume my pace. Ahead of me, my mom (a lady with asthma and high blood pressure, who has recently begun winning her weightloss battle with the help of a VLCD) and my aunt (who recently had a baby and has been suffering chronic pain in her legs) were urging me to rejoin them. Until this point I had been ahead. Jogging up to them I tried to carry on but as the race dragged on the distance seemed never-ending. All I could think of was that, if I was struggling with a 5k, how in the heck was I going to be able to run a half-marathon in September?

As I tried to push on, my mind was filled with negative thoughts. In theory there was no way my mom and aunt should have been ahead of me, I would never be able to run 13.2 miles, heck, I wasn’t even sure I could finish this 5k! I decided I needed a walking break. Bad idea.

Stopping was a terrible idea. I walked for at least 5 minutes. A lady running pushing a pram overtook me. I’ve never felt lower. I remembered seeing her back at the 3rd kilometer, at least 400m behind me. I tried to run, but my legs weren’t having it. I walked some more.

Finally the finish line was in sight. A marshall laughingly told me the end was nigh, clear hilarity in his voice. “Really?” I asked, “thank God!”. A lady nearby laughed. And so I ran. There wasn’t far to go, but I really just wanted it all to be over. As I approached the finish line I could hear my mom (or aunt, they sound very similar) shouting smile. I mustered a grimace. Alongside me my 7 year old cousin waved. Even his dad, who my aunt insisted was doing anything to get out of doing that race, had crossed the finish line before me. Despite my attempt at a sprint, the lady with the pram came in a few metres ahead of me. But at least it was over. 

While I hate to admit it, I was ashamed.


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