If I'm asked to do something, I'll generally do it (despite occasional grumbles beforehand) and if I've promised to do something for someone, then I'll do all that I can in my power not to let them down, yet I still think that, to my chagrin, I'm an innately selfish soul. It may be that others do not have this perception of me, as I have found that I keep being asked to do things that are really not in my best interests.....whether it be to run a race because it will make others want to join in to make up a team, or to run something at a certain pace to help someone else out, or to change plans last minute to suit someone else's training or racing.
I don't think that my running is any special, but some people seem to think that once you've recorded certain times, or raced at a specific level, then results and times will just come "easily" without you having to put in the effort. I think that the opposite is sometimes the case, as you still have to train as hard for what you want to achieve, but you've the added pressure of other people's (and your own to some extent) expectations. It's very easy to suddenly find that you've not been properly focussed on your own goals, as you've been trying to do and be everything for everyone else.
A rather busy downhill start line
This weekend was the 65th Brampton to Carlisle road race. I like to run it if I can, not because it's the oldest continuously held road race in the UK, but because it keeps me firmly grounded, being the only race where I've actually DNF'd (albeit a few years ago, when I had to stop due to chest pain...caused by my haemoglobin having dropped to 7). I knew that it might have not been the most sensible thing to do.....run a 10mile race the week before the 100k, but I decided on Sunday morning that I would run it, just because I wanted to, and I'd run it at the pace I felt was right and ignore anyone else.
Post race with clubmate (and other mates behind us!)
I decided to be happy with a time of under 61 minutes, to get some good leg turnover but without going completely flat out, and so started steadily. I reeled in a lady per mile for the first few miles and then settled into third place. I knew I'd have to work hard if I was to try to chase down the second lady, and this was not my intent, so I relaxed into it. I confess to working a bit harder than planned as I spotted a clubmate up ahead (and he started coming back to me), and another friend was chasing me down (and out sprinted me for the finish position though we recorded the same time) but all in all it was a successful enjoyable run (and catchup with many friends).....and it was nice to do it just because I (selfishly) wanted to!