I joined a triathlon club *just* before I moved away from London, so even though I really didn’t make the most of being in the club I decided to join another one, with the hope of actually training this time. I was worried about not being good enough for the club so went along to an interval running session, figuring I could run at my own speed around the track, rather than feeling like I was keeping people waiting. I prefer to ride my bike on my own anyway, and I hate coached swims (because I suck at swimming) so didn’t have too many options.
I arrived early for the session and stood about awkwardly before people talked to me. Once I got talking it was fine and people were really friendly. We warmed up and then did pyramids on the track. I was slower than most – but not all! – but surprised myself by doing slightly better than I thought I might. For the next few days I felt quite excited about running and my next run felt easy and fast.
This week it’s been a bit of a disaster. On Monday I ran through the meadows to Grantchester, across to Trumpington and up along the guided busway, but I was tired and my feet hurt and I struggled with motivation.
Yesterday I donned my club vest for the first time and took part in a 5k, one in a series competing against other local clubs. I’d been told that we needed fast people to win it but we also needed people taking part as this got us points. I can do points, I thought. I cycled out to a disused airfield in Witchford, near Ely, and chatted to my new club mates. We set off with the sun in our eyes and I was very careful on the uneven ground with so many people around. By 2k it had thinned and I could relax a little – and 500m later, tripped on a pothole and twisted my ankle.
After standing by the side of the course for 30 seconds, checking out my ankle, I decided that it was probably okay to continue on and began jogging. It was a bit sore and I was cautious of every hole from then on (and there were a lot of holes).
Worse, I felt like I couldn’t be bothered. Up until the fall, I’d checked my time at the end of each kilometre (5:21 for the busy first km, 5:12 as it thinned out on the second), but after stopping I didn’t check any more. I even stopped for a little walk, not because I couldn’t go on or was especially worn out, but because I just couldn’t be bothered.
And then of course, at the end I felt really disheartened as my time wasn’t great (27:45). I found one of my friends and she suggested getting some ice for my ankle, which meant filling in a form – in triplicate – with the St John’s Ambulance. We went to the pub afterwards which did help (I was tempted not to go but I’m glad I did).
Today my ankle hurts quite a lot and I’m annoyed at myself for a) falling over, b) being so easily downhearted and c) looking so terrible in every race photo ever.
Gah. I really thought I was getting better at running. I did intervals twice last week and have upped the amount of running generally that I’m doing, and have been feeling better and stronger… but I guess there’s still so very much to do, and a lot of it is convincing myself that I can actually do it. I’m so worried about failure that I don’t even try, so that I have a ready-made excuse for failing. I need to be braver and *really* try. And if I fail, at least I’ve given it a go, instead of this endlessly disappointing situation I put myself in.