In my quest to dominate the Spartan race, I have been working on my running time.
I decided to compete in a 10k the week before Spartan – the purpose to soak up a competitive atmosphere and address any gear issues.
I was running that distance round 46 – 48 minutes, but had not timed myself for a while. I decided to set myself the target of 41 minutes and to be honest I thought I may have been setting myself up for disappointment.
I prefer 5k distance, it is easier to fit around other commitments. Due to seeking a perfect body at the gym, I don’t always have the energy to run.
It was a really good race, I learnt from a previous error, made years ago and positioned myself near the front so I wouldn’t get slowed down by the laggers.
I set my watch as the starting horn went and I maintained a steady pace – my plan was to keep an eye on the guy in front for the first 800m.
1 mile later I could still see the guy and I was wondering what the hell I was doing. Despite my ego, I dropped my pace slighlty so that I would not burnout.
At this time I was about eigth. Gradually faster runners took over and I was surrounded by the colours of local running club folks. It was a good feeling as these people dedicate a lot of there training to running
I dropped into 13th place when the next challengers vigorously stole my position – two women.
“They don’t hurt my postion, they are just 1st and 2nd place women” I joked to keep my spirits up. That was not the case.
I began to feel pain, the chest tighting and lower back aching. My arms were flaying and the ankles felt like they could break. I also gasped for oxygen so much I couldn’t even acknowledge the kind people who stopped to cheer me on.
Gradually a few more people overtook, not as many as I expected. My mind was not mentally focused anymore to calculate my exact position but I still figured I was in the top 20 of around 250 runners.
When I reached the end, I did not have anything left to give a good sprint. That was until I heard someone in the crowd shout “Just sprint it out.”
So I did
I reached the finish line in what would be the first of two incidents that week someone in the crowd inspired me to give it my all.
I was mobbed by a race marshall who was asking for my race number as it had been obscured due to all the water I poured over my head. On his clipboard I saw him write down my number – 148, 17th place.
Holy shit! How did I manage that?
I had been pumped up with Youtube motivational fitness videos and to be honest my run was about 10% running skill and 90% determination not to give up.
I got a pat on the back from the guy behind me – I hadn’t realised he was sprinting to overtake me, but had kept my position due to the last second 100 meter inspired sprint.
I stopped my watch and before taking a medal I fell to the side of the course, I drank more water then had the compsure to check my watch.
43 minutes 24 seconds….
It wasn’t the 41 minutes I was aiming for, but really… I had shattered my personal best.
So I went home and celebrated, it was joyful.
15 years ago I was the fat kid at school, when I did the annual cross country I was an embarrasment, getting out of breath before I had even done a lap of the rugby field and walked across the finish line.
Today I am a 30 year old man, I hung with local elite club runners for a bit and beat a lot of people who dedicate there training to running.
I last did a competive 10k about two years ago and came in at around 55 minutes. About 80% of the racers had finished.
That day I did a top 20 finish.
In the aftermath it was not enough, I wanted to finish 16th, then 15th, then 14th etc until I have no one to chase and am 1st.
I still want to get my 41 minute time, but also want to break the 30’s. One day I will. From there who knows what I will achieve next.
I am an average runner, who gave his all that day. I was happy for my achievement, but it didn’t last long, I know I can do better…. I might even say I seek the perfect time.
This post was written taken from a blog I originally started a while ago. I ended writing less than half-a dozen articles, however it acted as a foundation for learning about using blogging platforms.
I made a lot of amateur mistakes on my first blog, and I did not have the discipline to keep to a regular writing schedule.
I did not want some of my writings to fade into obscurity so I decided to have a go at re-writing them for the Manifesto of Perfection.