This post should include tales of sweat, blood and tears or at least tales of running and rain! Instead, this is a story of cartoon birds and cake!
Now most runners have a nemesis event, a race they just can't beat. Mine happens to be the Nottingham Marathon. I believe I have entered this race 5 times in total. Twice I didn't make the start line, on two occasions I made the start but not the finish - I bailed half way and just completed the half. One of these times I developed the biggest blisters ever on the arches of my feet (so, so painful - I learned the hard way not to wear cotton socks when running long distance) and the other time I was beaten by the oldest person in the race (I believe he was 85) and I hobbled straight over the finish line into the first aid tent where my leg was promptly iced (ITB pain - ouch).
The one time I did actually complete this race, I did not enjoy it one bit and I am still scarred by the memories! I was affected by ITB pain from about mile 12 and was in absolute agony the rest of the race. What haunts me most is the lake. It wasn't particular far - it was actually rather flat and should have been easy to run around but it was a hot day, there was no shade and it was mentally hard. At mile 12, you passed people who were at about mile 16 already (I believe I spotted my dad at this point). You can also see straight across the lake - so the end is in sight but you never seem any closer to it (a bit like the finish in the Brighton Marathon - visible for miles but never getting any closer).
I was accompanied over the last few miles of this race by a runner dressed as a monk but even he left me and ran on beating me by about a mile. I actually sobbed and hobbled during the last mile of the race - what a sight! Despite the pain and suffering, that was not my slowest marathon time by far but it was the most painful. I have not been back to compete in this race since. One day I will go back and beat that lake - that day was supposed to be today but it was not meant to be.
Today was the Holme Pierrepoint Marathon, a race by the It's Grim Up North Running guys. Basically it was just over 8 laps of the lake used in the Nottingham Marathon. Everything was going to plan. I fuelled well, my bag was packed. I got up super early, got ready, had breakfast and set off. As soon as I set off, I wanted to turn back and come home. It was dark, cold and sleeting and I didn't cherish the thought of spending 4 hours driving in horrible conditions and then 5 hours running in them around that lake. I pulled over at the services on the A64 and messaged my dad to see if he was on his way. My thinking was, if my dad had set off, I would have continue! My dad wasn't going either as the weather was bad by him too, so without another thought, I simply turned the car around and drove home!
I went back to bed for a few hours and then spent the afternoon enjoying family time, watching The Angry Birds Movie and eating delicious cake made by my daughter!
I have absolutely no regrets about my decision. Yes, I am a little disappointed that I didnt get to beat the lake today but my time will come. It's early in the year and there are plenty of other races.
I thoroughly enjoyed my family day though and the cake was yummy!
Next up is the Bolton Abbey Marathon in a few weeks. I'm really looking forward to this race as Bolton Abbey is one of my favourite places in the world - just beautiful. I imagine the race will be hilly and tough, possibly muddy - just my cup of tea.......bring it on!