Putting the icing on the cake

Four weeks and counting until Challenge Fueretventura and I’m starting to feel a slight sense of trepidation! As always at this time of year I start to question where I am, what I might be capable of achieving and feel somewhat nervous of the first big “test”.

When I’m thinking rationally I know that I’ve had a good winter ensuring a solid base under my belt; however I have a tendency to be somewhat of a pessimist about my abilities and find it easy to convince myself that I’m slower than last year, am nowhere near good enough to be racing pro and am making a fool of myself by even trying. Enough negative thinking! Anyway as the saying goes, the cake is in the oven and it’s time to make the icing…. Exciting and scary at the same time!

I always enjoy racing and find entering low key, non target races is a fun way of challenging myself and keeping me on my toes. As such I raced the ECF Monster Duathlon in Ely a couple of weeks ago and Cambridge half marathon on Sunday. I’ll be honest – the duathlon wasn’t my greatest performance ever. I’d had a cold in the week and neither my heart nor head really felt like racing. I was pleased to pull off the win but it certainly felt much harder work than it should have done. Still, a solid training session in the bank and a nice prize cheque too.

In contrast, I ended up properly psyched for the half marathon. It was hard not to as I could see them setting up the finish line from my bedroom window! I have to admit feeling a fair bit of pressure to perform well at this – Cancer Research UK (who funds my research) was the event charity so loads of guys from work were doing it, and the event was sponsored by Saucony, my running shoe sponsor who provided the fast twitch racers I was using. So even though I’ll never be a proper runner, I did want to have a decent run.

With that in mind I had a couple of easy days before, prepared myself mentally for some hurt and set off on a mission to break that 1.20 barrier (my previous PB was 1.20 and a solitary measly second at Bedford in December). I won’t pretend it was an easy run – it hurt from about 2 miles in! But I was really pleased to clock a 1.18.42 on a very twisty, on road off road course – 2nd lady behind professional runner Holly Rush and 19th overall.

Chuffed! 4 days later and my calves are still feeling it, though lots of time on the foam roller and permanent Compressport calf guards seem to be helping them heal!

Related Posts