And I did. After most races I am left with the feeling I could have run faster if only I had trained harder, better and for longer. This year I set out to banish this feeling and finally smash my running goals as part of the list of things to do before I’m 40. I could build the drama by drawing out the story but I should probably skip to the end. I failed miserably.
I found out that all little obstacles to training harder are still there and don’t magically disappear because I am approaching a milestone birthday. Motivation is still hard if you are essentially lazy and life tends to get in the way of training. Having a baby adds new hurdles as well. The colds my darling boy brings home from nursery really punch a hole in my training and spending the night before a race trying to soothe him while he screams with the pain of teething is not ideal preparation. To really make it hard I even managed to break my toe four weeks before a race.
However, there were highs. Despite running being relegated to my third sporting priority behind cycling and rugby, I still completed five races including my first duathlon and logged over 250km in training. I introduced two friends to muddy trail races and got one of them hooked. Admittedly it took me three hours to nurse the other one round the Kamikaze Adventure Race leaving her exhausted, filthy and bruised but she can laugh about it now and that is a triumph in itself. I also raised hundreds of pounds for Meningitis Now (formerly Meningitis Trust) and get a great deal of satisfaction from doing it.
So what have I learnt? I may not have hit targets but I don’t feel like they are out of my reach now the big day is approaching. I am in good shape and am already planning next year’s races and challenges. Turning 40 is not a cut off and there is no reason why I can’t run faster as I rumble towards my 50s. I have also enjoyed the social side of running much more and loved the camaraderie of running with friends. I saw a hashtag trend on twitter last week that was something like #reasonswhyIrun. I didn’t join in because it is too hard to summarise in 140 characters. It makes me feel good for so many reasons and I am happy to still be running as I plunge into my forties.
Thanks for reading.