No gold for the Grit Doctor

25 Jan

I am hoping for some guest blogs about race day as no doubt each person’s experience was very different.  My race day started with waking on Sunday morning at about 7am, my first thought being , ‘Ahhh blessed relief, today I get a break  from the twins.  Heaven.’  You know that your life is well and truly over when you view getting up at 7am on a Sunday morning, travelling to Winsdor and running in a 5k race with your husband in mid-winter as a ‘break’.  We both did.  Once the boys were dispatched to Grandma’s in Ascot, O and I were almost delirious with excitement (at having a ‘rest’ day from the twins)!! 

Such was my contentment that it was only when I saw the rest of team#RFBR looking suitably attired in matching t-shirts (don’t forget to enter our competition to win yours) 10minutes before the race, that I started to feel a bit nervous.  Would everyone cope?  Would everyone finish?  Would we all survive the gale force winds?  Anyway, we set off and I ran the first kilometre really quickly (to set a good example to the rest of the team of course), but I was soon overtaken by two men in RFBR t-shirts (not O thankfully), and one mysterious lady sporting the aforementioned t-shirt.  Now, the GD had made friends with the fact that it was highly unlikely that I was going to beat all of the men on our team, but I was secretly confident that I would beat all of the women.  Who is this woman I asked myself?  Why hadn’t I noticed her before?  How could I have missed her on our training runs?  Surely she will be puffed out soon and have to slow down?  But no, the gap between us only grew with each passing kilometre until she was almost out of sight.  At 2.5k we turned the corner at one end of Dorney Lake and were battling the full force of the wind – it stung every time you breathed in and all I could think was that I must be going really slowly, something must be wrongbecause this RFBR woman is like, MILES ahead of me.  ‘Speed up you fat lazy bitch’ I kept saying to myself (really aggressively, in between decades of the rosary).  My legs were agony and I was really struggling to breathe, ‘what the bloody hell is wrong with you Ruth,’ screamed the GD.  I very nearly collapsed at 4kms – so hard was I pushing myself (in a desperate attempt to catch up with the mystery RFBR lady ahead).  But from somewhere I managed to pull it together and crossed the finishing line still on two feet – remembering the video clip Helen Rumbelow had forwarded to me of the schoolgirl crossing the finishing line on her hands and knees – to give me that final much needed shot of adrenalin.  (  I lay down in the grass to catch my breath, looked up and congratulated (through gritted teeth) this lightning fast lady who, by the way, had barely broken into a sweat.  It turned out that team #RFBR had clinched first, second and third place in the women’s race and second place in the men’s (well done Hollie-go-lightningly, Sophie and Guy).  I had shaved over 2 minutes off my fastest time on the treadmill, and bearing in mind how much easier treadmill running is than running outdoors – and thats before we factor in the brutal winds – I realised why I had nearly killed myself in the process.

The video clip mentioned above is all about how you finish and its so true, finishing is everything.  In fact, that you finish is more important than how.  Team RFBR set out to run 5kms from start to finish (no stopping or walking).  The majority of the team had never been running before training for this race.  We did it.  In fact, we totally nailed it. We finished what we set out to do, the majority of us smashing our pb’s, and it felt AMAZING.  So amazing in fact – what we had achieved together as a team – that it totally (well almost totally) offset my disappointment at being beaten by Hollie.  We celebrated afterwards with an epic three hour, three course lunch at a nearby pub organised by the brilliant Hannah Boursnell from L,B, and as I drank my second pint of cider, I couldn’t stop smiling – a little bit because I was so pleased for us as a team an’ all that – but mainly because it dawned on me that I had comprehensively thrashed O…

The Grit Doctor says:

Its not the ‘taking part’ that counts, its finishing what you started to the best of your ability.


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