It’s important to have a motto. A set of guiding principles in life. For what it’s worth, mine is ‘What would Beyonce do’, but then I doubt she has time in her busy multi-billionaire schedule to run a 10k race in Milton Keynes, so the principle doesn’t always work, however it has stood me in good stead over the years.
I’ve been working up to this distance for some time now. With a few 5k runs under my belt, and a distant memory of times when my jeans fit me properly, in recent months I have totally voluntarily, joyfully, and gratefully embraced running on Tuesday nights with Jenny.
I like Jenny.
We have good chats while we run. She convinced me that all she wanted was a running partner from the village, and it would be gentle, slow and EASY. As it turns out, Jenny has casually run a few marathons in her time, but she assured me this would not hold me back, and I tried not to hate her for being Good At Sports.
under duress, and, because i’m competitive we entered our first 10k race this weekend. After all our training, I know we can comfortably do the distance, often in the wind, often uphill, and once after a lunchtime glass of wine, because, y’know, I’M JUST A BADASS.
Suffice to say, I wasn’t worried about the race itself. I thought it would go a bit like: turn up, look modestly good in shorts, sprightly jog round a pancake-flat course, overtake a few people whilst casually chatting about what to have for lunch, sprint finish in a blaze of glory, wash the sweat from my face with the tears of my enemies etc. and that would be that.
So it came as a bit of shock around the 8k mark, when I started to feel – well – a bit trippy. A bit lightheaded. At this point, I contemplate that perhaps eggs on toast was not the finest choice of breakfast, consider that I might not really be fully recovered from a bout of tonsilitis two days ago, and wonder what Beyonce would do.
She almost certainly would not have staggered off to the side of the course, sat down on the grass and had a little puke, but I’m not proud to say, that’s exactly what happened.
Luckily, my other motto has always been ‘anything in the name of a good story’, so after few minutes of profuse apologies to everyone present, (“Just LEAVE me here! Save yourselves”), we just – well, we just fucking carried on running didn’t we? No-one cried, no-one died, and the race got run. Done.
You can take yourself WAY too seriously at times. Luckily, I appear to have greater resilience/less care than the average person when it comes to humiliating public experiences, and despite feeling a bit guilty at making Marathon Jenny essentially walk round a course so easy that my toddler could probably have lapped us on it, (and moreoever, pay for the experience), I firmly believe that such things are character building.
Lessons learnt for next time: work harder, prepare more, don’t run on a fucking Full English, don’t vom on your friend.