Women’s Mini Marathon: The Race That Was Not Meant to Be

 

I’ve blathered on about my foot injuries and ongoing frustration at not being able to run for an eternity the last few months. I’ve talked about patience and the importance of paying heed to injuries and respecting your body’s demands for healing and recovery.I visited the physio, the GP, the X-ray department and ran blood tests up and down the yazoo, as well as ice-bathing like an eskimo.

I did everything I was supposed to do as a runner in the midst of injury. And then I did something stupid, impatient and childish. I ran a race.

The Irish Women’s Mini Marathon takes place on the June bank holiday in Dublin every year and it’s one I’ve done since I was 14. It was the first race I ever did and I started out just walking it with my Mum. My gran had walked it with her CIA ICA friends for years for charity and we followed in her footsteps, pardon the pun. As the years went on, I roped in school friends and gradually started running more and more of the 10k course until eventually myself and best friend decided to try and run the whole thing. It was the first race I ever ran and my first taste of running. Basically, it was what got me inspired to run in the first place.

The Mini Marathon has become a family tradition in my house, with my Mum, my godmother and I taking to the streets of Dublin every year, alongside 40,000 other women. It is the biggest all-women’s event in the world and the best craic and atmosphere you will ever find at a running/walking event.

mini15

The Bottom Line: This race means a lot to me and despite telling myself over and over again that I’d just have to accept not being able to take part this year, when the day of the race came, I seriously struggled with that decision. Common sense just flew out – actually,  just flung it out – the window. I put on my running gear, marched to the start line and ran the 10km.

Stupid, right?

Yep.

From the moment I started running, I could feel my whole body tense up in revolt and if it could talk, it would’ve been saying “Holy god woman, what are you doing to us?  I do NOT recognise this movement pattern!!! Stop it, stop it!” I hadn’t ran for 10 weeks and the moment I started into a running gait, I realised I had lost all my running fitness. I was completely and utterly out of running shape. I may have been swimming and cycling but apparently that was of little help to my running fitness…

I finished the 10km but it was hard work the whole way around. It’s been a very long time since 10km has felt like hard work and it was definitely a reality check. My legs were stiff and ached most of the way around and my arms felt weak. I’d be lying however, if I said I didn’t enjoy taking part anyway, being back in my running clothes and that oh-so-good feeling of finishing a race. Further clarification if you ask me that running is a drug… and I am an addict.

I have not ran since and it is taking all the self-discipline I have in my being not to lace up again. This is my confession folks. I should NOT have ran this race, it was stupid and reckless. This is everything you should NOT do if you are injured or even if you are not injured. Running a race without any training is perhaps one of the stupidest thing a person can do. DO NOT FOLLOW THIS EXAMPLE.

It was a moment of impertinence and impatience. But it was also just me being human. We are emotional creatures by nature and emotion will trip you up every time. We can make plans, draw up logical, sensible programmes and schedules, which, if we were robots, would be executed flawlessly. But we are neither robots nor flawless creatures. Emotion will trip us up occasionally and mistakes will sometimes be made.

But it’s not about falling down. It’s about learning to get back up again.

(Thank you Batman 😀 !)

 

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