It’s been over a year since I first started this blog and I failed spectacularly at sticking to my ‘one post a week’ rule. After a while I could barely even stick to one post a month and it just got harder and harder to look at this poor thing without feeling like a neglectful parent.
However, today I accomplished something that puts that more in perspective and with this I hope to reignite my writing.
I, Elodie Hope McClean, being of sound (ish) mind did agree seven weeks ago to run the Vitality London 10k race for charity. Now, I am not a runner. Maybe when I was younger I didn’t mind doing a half hour on the treadmill but these days I most certainly am not what anyone would call a fitness freak. There are always so many things I would rather do than go to the gym and they all seem to pop up around those few times I’ve brought my kit in to work with the intention of going at lunchtime.
Ah yes, here’s Mo Farah, Olympic legend and course record holder. Back again this year to put us all to shame.
In my infinite wisdom one lazy afternoon, I decided I needed a goal, something I could work towards to motivate me to go. My office has a handful of people every year do the Vitality London 10k and it seemed like the most fateful timing that the email went round to our floor putting out feelers for participants this year. Encouraged and swept along by a very keen coworker (who, I might add, is actually quite the speedster and has completed a triathlon), I signed the fuck up and felt very pleased with myself… until the next day when I began to have doubts.
You see, I’d googled a “Couch to 10k” regime, figuring there must be one as they have them for the 5s, and these regimes were invariably twelve weeks long. I had only six in which to get myself fit enough (ha) to take part – could I even do that?
The answer is probably yes, I could have, but I didn’t. I just sort of floated along and pretended it would be alright on the night. Aforementioned coworker and I did go for a run along the Thames one lunchtime and I wanted to cut my own legs off after 8 minutes so that was a really promising start.
From then, the days and weeks just seemed to blur and despite many, many people asking me how training was going, I still didn’t start.
Enter the Week Of. The race was 7 days away (on my precious Bank Holiday Monday, what a moron I am) and I was woefully underprepared but that could be excused, surely, because I was also fresh off a long hen weekend in Madrid where I did walk a lot so it’s not like I’ve done nothing. Oh, except then it was suddenly the weekend already and I had 72 hours until the big day. Anxiety started to creep in because I made the mistake of looking at the starter pack and seen the route I’ve got to take. It’s long. It’s really long. Fuck.
I didn’t sleep the night before, tossing and turning and waking up every few hours until… it’s today. My alarm goes off but I’ve been awake for 40 minutes already and that big bowl of pasta I had last night (carb loading, it’s a thing, right?) is suddenly being less than agreeable. My mind flashes briefly to the “Medical Advice” page of the starter pack where it says in full capital letters not to run if you are unwell. Am I unwell? Can I just… not go?
Nope. For as much as I am scared shitless (quite literally – sorry), I also have a biiiig streak of pride that won’t let me chicken out. In fact I probably owe everything to this pride so, big up.
The worst thing about the race, when I get there, is the heat. It is boiling hot and the breezes are few and far between. I’ve not got any water with me at the start because I thought it would be provided and I’m terrified that I’ll pass out before my wave (the last wave of the entire thing*) even gets to the start line.
*Mo had finished the entire course before my group even started so that was super motivational.
Shout out also to Urban Decay’s All Nighter setting spray because my makeup did not budge all day and continued to hide the big red tomato cheeks I get when I exercise.
I won’t do a blow-by-blow of each kilometre (they’re all a blur, tbh) because I am tired as fuck and it’s finally reaching an acceptable bed time hour (9pm) that I’ve been waiting for all day. Suffice to say it was hard. And even though I only have myself to blame for that particular level of difficulty, I still fuckin’ did it. And I beat the realistic time I’d set for myself to do it in so I am pleased as punch – if I can just spontaneously run 10,000 metres and succeed, I can resurrect this little blog that channels something I am actually good at.
AND SO CAN YOU – GO, DO YA THING.
Also please sponsor me xoxo