Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Turning it around with teamwork...

I knew I needed to give myself a kick up the backside and so I decided to enter a 10K in Carlisle to see just how far off the pace I'd drifted. I was really dreading it, and, if I'm totally honest, I wasn't looking forward to being well and truly beaten by people that I've become used to finishing ahead of. Still.....I don't believe in only racing when you feel right at the peak of your game, so off I headed. It had been really cold, icy and snowy in the preceding few days, so I had half expected (ie hoped) that the race would have been called off, but when I checked t
he website 30mins before registration opened, they said that there was a possible 30minute delay as there might be a course alteration.

Arriving at the venue (a 40 mile drive later), it turned out that they had decided to cancel the event 20minutes after their original delay notification. I can completely understand cancelling an event for safety reasons, but their organisational skills left something to be desired. Not only was the original message inappropriate, but there were no signs or information on display at the venue, and so I only found out about the cancellation by word of mouth from other runners.....rather a wasted morning and drive. I may have been quietly pleased not to show myself up, but I having actually forced myself to enter and turn up, I was strangely disappointed.
The next weekend brought the Scottish Masters' Relay Championships up at Strathclyde Park. Along with my teammates (and fellow medics) Sian and Lisa Finlay, we had won this event back in 2012. I declined to put myself forward for the team this year, as I knew I was lacking in speed (the race is <3.7miles/leg) and another (rather speedy) clubmate Mhairi had passed the magic age of 35 and so was eligible to run.
The Flying Doctors ride again!
Unfortunately, Mhairi had a foot niggle and so was forced to pull out at the start of the weekend and so I was drafted in. Although really worried about letting the girls down, I was actually looking forward to a club day out and a good catchup. Lisa, Sian and I drove up together - and none of us seemed to be feeling very confident (though it is rather early in the year to be racing). Lisa set off with a good strong first leg, and handed over to Sian who moved us up in pole position, leaving me to hang for the anchor leg.  When I started running, I couldn't see any other ladies just in front or behind Sian, so I wasn't sure if we were in the lead. As I ran round the lake, I passed about 10 men, but no ladies came into sight. I thought that I'd failed the girls and so, although I realised that I had to keep going as hard as possible to the end as I'd watched them both put in a hard effort, the first thing I did when I crossed the line was apologise!

Scottish Masters' Champions
As it turns out there was no need, as we were almost 3 and a half minutes ahead of the second placed team! It gave us all a boost of confidence and made me realise how fun it is to be part of a team, and how much relay races spur you on, as you're running for others rather than just for yourself. Even our cooldown lap passed before I realised, as we chatted all the way round.
Lisa commented afterwards that the result had spurred her on to start training hard again, whereas I found my body convincing me that after racing a rest day was really what the doctor ordered......still, it was great to be out enjoying running again...and I have the girls to thank for that (and Mhairi's foot, even though we missed her!).

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