Parkrun #11 – Saturday 7th June 2014

In the last few weeks, I’ve gained many friends, knowledge, advice, and most importantly, self-confidence. I’ve joined a club, I’ve joined a group with a guru, not just a coach. I’ve been shown how running can be made easier. Just little tweaks. Old friends have guided me, new friends have helped me too. My appreciation of everyone’s efforts knows no bounds.

I have a funny psyche. I can appear arrogant when the reality is I’m crumbling inside. I have confidence but no self-esteem. It seems strange to write this. How can you be like that? I don’t know. Sometimes, I have no fear at all, but at others, I clam up. Running was one of those. I’ve been brought up thinking, being told I am not sporty. When my Dad told me about what he’d done, I wanted to emulate him. I can bat, I can bowl. I’m a natural goal scorer on the football pitch, or netball court. I wanted to run like him. I love athletics. I like the jumping side, but know my limitations (I’m too short for high jump, fact). But distance running has always inspired me.

At the start of the year, if you’d said I’d run 5k in under 23 minutes, that’s to say I’m a 22 minute Parkrunner, I’d have said “yes, I might well be. But it’s going to take me to the end of the year to improve”.

But I did it.

I ran under 23 minutes this week.

Yes, I had support again. I had people rooting for me, encouraging me, and cheering me on. Now I realise that might running battles aren’t just physical, but psychological. I can push myself. Yes, it might hurt, but the “pain” is temporary. It’s gone within a minute of finishing. But my times are improving far beyond anything I’ve imagined. I can be a runner.

I am a runner.

I’m learning, and I’m getting stronger. I know where I’m now weak, and in time, I will overcome these weaknesses. I will be stronger, both mentally and physically. I know that if I push, I do not break, in spite of my conditions. I can fulfil my ambitions, and I am enjoying myself finding out. I may have Runner’s Tourette’s but once it’s all done, I feel great.

This week, I was the 4th female finisher. I was 76 out of about 280 runners. Do I care there was a race the following day?

No.

This week, I am positive. I think my Dad is pleased too.

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Pretending that The Hill didn’t affect me.

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