Enjoy yourself …

… Pressure is good but its more important to have fun!

Well done to all the RR Ladies that ran Birmingham Half yesterday! I’m glad I saw some of you on the way around – you all looked very strong and some great time’s achieved! Also, I loved the analogy from C5 on the hill!

My experience of Birmingham yesterday was very different to any event I have run over the last 18 months.

I entered this back in May when I had desires on a quick half to set me up for my marathon plans in April. However, things did not quite go to plan. I found it difficult to keep fitness up over the summer without sacrificing all the family time – and then was diagnosed with an injury in my foot that meant if I didn’t rest up then it would probably never go away.

The long and short of it is training went on hold, and then any training I could have done in the last 3 weeks (which would probably have been pointless anyway by that stage!) was diminished with a stinker of a cold. I managed 2 x 10 mile runs, both horrendous! The first was split into a 7 mile and then a Park Run; the other I stopped and walked 3-4 times using the excuse I had to blow my nose. That last one felt the hardest run I had ever done in my life.

I spent the lead-up to the event worrying about it so much that, the day before, I decided not to run. I would not advise any one of you to run a half marathon on so little training so what was I doing?

However, around 10pm the night before it occurred to me that I could just turn up and run and try and ENJOY it!

So ….. I ditched my Garmin in the morning. I went 2 waves back from where I entered. I chatted to some ladies at the start and we had a blast doing the warm up (who knew???!!!).

The claxon went and we were off. I tootled along looking around and thanked the crowd cheering us on letting lots and lots of runners pass me. I found a friend from the SHABBAS on his first half and we stuck together the rest of the way.

I admit it was harder than it should have been in places but I kept thinking, “just keep putting one foot in front of the other and SMILE!”

So, although I would not advocate running any event with a small amount of training, what I want to say is that, by taking the pressure off, it can be fun – after all we all started running for that very reason; we enjoy it. It doesn’t matter if you stop to walk. It doesn’t matter if you stop and talk to someone who needs a kind word. It doesn’t matter if you walk up a hill. You are still doing it, and doing it with a smile.


Helen Wyatt