Bristol Half Marathon

1 Oct

Soooo, I ran the Bristol half marathon yesterday and it was nothing short of a #gritfest – but in a good way!  To be honest, I’m not sure I’m cut out for this whole racing malarky.  It literally breaks my heart to see the elite athletes bounding off into the distance like gazelles whilst we mere mortals wait like cattle in our designated pens to be let loose half an hour later (to discover as the grit sets in by mile 3 that some of the gazelles have already finished).  It upsets me intensely that I won’t ever win.  It further pains me that every time I enter a race I seem to get beaten not only by the clock – as if that weren’t bad enough – but by the most unlikely looking candidates: a hunchback of at least 70 years of age, and at mile 10 I was overtaken by a middle aged man so fat and so red I thought surely he would die before we reached the end.  But no, he beat me aswell.

It is incredibly humbling running in any race.  Yesterday, over those 13 miles I realised once again both how weak and how strong my body is, how happy and how sad it can make me feel: that through the act of putting myself out there in a race I somehow grow and improve, not so much physically (because frankly the amount of pastry I eat leading up to and since must surely offset any gain in muscle tone), but mentally.  I somehow come to know myself during those miles more keenly than ever before.  Deep grit.

On a more lighthearted note, the Grit Doctor was with me in spades throughout the 13 miles, spurring me on through the last 2 miles when I really started to struggle, calling me on, never letting me give up, making me laugh and cry at the same time.  Had it not been for a hill during the last mile or so I like to think I might have made my time of under 2 hours but it was not to be.  2 hours 2 minutes on the nose.  So, I lost my race, beaten by the clock once again but I honestly don’t think I could have crossed that line a second single second sooner.  I gave it everything I had.

The real grit came afterwards, as I walked back to the hotel, picked up my luggage and then walked the few miles to the station: now that was agony.   Thank God for a kitkat in my goodie bag and the couple of hours train journey to rest.

The Grit Doctor says:

Loser.  Buy a watch next time and PUSH YOURSELF HARDER. 


7 Responses to “Bristol Half Marathon”

  1. Sarah Clarke October 1, 2012 at 8:00 pm #

    i watched a couple of hours of it from the bridge at spike island, the kenyans who won move like no one else on this earth – they make it look SO EASY, it’s not worth comparing yourself to them.
    2hrs 2mins of running is a FANTASTIC achievement in anyone’s book
    and you might not have beaten the clock, but watching those 1000s of people go made me up my run from 5 to 10k – training started today

    • gritdoctor October 2, 2012 at 8:48 pm #

      WELL DONE keep it up and thanks for the support!

  2. Bonnie Sweet October 1, 2012 at 8:29 pm #

    You still won. You did it. Well done. Can’t wait to do mine. Unfortunately I am having an op tomorrow so no running for me for a couple of weeks. Cue Mrs Grumpy and then Mrs Grit when I am allowed to run again. Followed by Mrs Happy and Mrs Proud when I get my arse out there and do it. Xxx

    • gritdoctor October 2, 2012 at 8:48 pm #

      How did the op go? i hope you are ok? x

  3. E White October 1, 2012 at 9:09 pm #

    I also ran the bristol half; it wasn’t the hill. It was those bl@#dy cobbles on the last mile. Uneven surface? Tired legs? So cruel.

    • gritdoctor October 2, 2012 at 8:47 pm #

      OMG of course those bloody cobbles, they crippled me for sure..

  4. Marie cos October 17, 2012 at 5:49 pm #

    I have just read your book cover to cover and loved it! So real and honest. Started running again after 20 years(!) 2 weeks ago, your book and blog are exactly what I need to keep me motivated. What a fantastic time you ran in the half marathon, fair dues to you!

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