Trailing the adventures of an ultra-marathon runner; Sheffield & the Peak District National Park, UK

South Yorkshire Cross Country League 2 – Winterhill

Winterhill at Kimberworth- my nemesis, the only race I have ever dropped out of – the big fat DNF in 2014. It was messing with my head. Excuse one bagged. I was tired, despite the clocks changing the evening before. I had spent 11 hours at the pool working the day before, excuse two bagged. Two days before that I fell on my knee on a 25 mile run and banged the bone, it hurt. But I could run. Excuse three bagged. So there we have it, bagged the excuses now time to run.

Keep running don’t let your excuses catch you up

I was quiet as I came to Winterhill, my head had PMT (not my tummy this time). I was stressed through many dimensions in my whole body and had no explanation why. I just felt uptight, and tense. I was ready for running away from this.

Quietly I had a bit of a chat to a couple of the girls and did a very mini warm up, contemplating the state of my head. I would be ok, ok I just needed to finish that was all, it was that simple.

Simple as it was, it was a ‘fast, slow’ start – those at the front would have gone off ‘fast’ but I was mid pack and got crammed into the narrow pathway to start off with. But plenty of time to pick them all off, and by the first little hill I was doing just that and picking them off.

Onto a flat grassy section I ran onwards slowly overtaking people. person by person. I wasn’t feeling that comfortable myself if I was honest with myself. I felt confused and unstable. But I continued to pick people off, person by person.

The little big hill arrived and I tried to power up but lacked the momentum and stability that I normally like with hills. It wasn’t doing for me but I persevered with my feet rather than my head. I was still picking people off as I made my way down to the bottom field to do it all over again. A gap was emerging with people infront of me, would I catch them up, or could I be bothered to catch them up? I wasn’t sure but I did get someone on the second uphill. Just. I did feel really exhausted though, legs were too heavy and every step felt like squelching in big puddles of mud apart from there was no mud it was dry as a bone.

Run for fun well what kind of fun is that?

The top field was sharp undulating tracks, which didn’t really suit me, I was fatiquing a lot as I felt my pace dropping and the girls in-front of me escaping. I was doing my best and that’s all I could do, I was chasing those in-front but unable to catch. Yet no one caught me either. The final push I was so close yet so behind the girl in-front, apparently just by 1 second in the end, my power had gone, all the fuel had leaked away in my body. I felt lethargic, sluggish as I flopped to the finish.

Not every run is a good run, show up anyway

Blah. But I did and we had cake afterwards. I guess that’s all that matters?

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