LFR Team Spirit
My goals for this year are to go sub 40 minutes at 10 and sub 19 at 5k and that day was the Regents Park 10k. I've been training hard for months to try and knock 30 seconds off my pb and thought this would be the day! The weekend before I took on Winslow 10k in the wind with challenging climbs and went flat out to see where I was at and came in 40.31! Based on that, a flat run round Regents Park would be my best chance of the last couple of years to reach my target. Digressing a little, last year I entered challenging and fun races and didn't push for pb's. This year is different, I'm focused on pb's. so the family and I arrive at Regents Park knowing all about it as Vicky had gained a new pb there on a cold October morning.
I was extremely nervous after seeing the weather forecast on Saturday and rightly concerned. Just as we got out of the car there was a torrential downpour and we were soaked! The wind was bitter with the kids and myself being blown all over the place. We sat in the changing room until the last minute and on braving the cold I went for a warm up which felt good. Five minutes to go to the start and I removed my outer layers and walked to the line shivering and soaked with three laps ahead of me. The first mile was ok and on target but by mile two I was struggling and still hadn't warmed up and was going backwards in the field. By the mid way point of lap three I finally got into rhythm but my legs were so heavy, I wanted to stop and give in - but going through my head went thoughts of the previous weeks race and I began questioning what had gone wrong?
Was it the weather? - it was torrid compared to Winslow
Was it a lack of sleep? - 6 hours the last two nights thanks to the children
Am I coming down with something? - I was coughing and sneezing!
Was it breakfast? - well I didn't have a coffee and I cannot function without it. In fact caffeine is good for numbing the pain.....apparently.
Was it the lack of a pre race gel? - well I normally take one but didn't want to stand in the rain searching through the car boot for one!
It finally twigged, last week there was a team of LFR runners (the largest turnout of all clubs) at Winslow and we were all chatting, having fun and pushing each other on with that inimitable team spirit present as always. Whatever the weather, whatever my mood, whatever health condition, whatever level of sleep, it could be overcome by being part of the club. Today's weather and tiredness couldn't even be eradicated by Vicky and the children shouting loudly every lap. It felt so very lonely when I was struggling.
Regents Park was the start of a bad run of races that ended at Aldbury last weekend. As most of you, especially Lisa Charley, know that Ashridge boundary run saw me go flying and bruise my rear end. I was bitterly disappointed - I was running so well and on for a good time. But the support, kind thoughts and comments from you all really helped to put me back on track. So on to Oakley, I just felt too good not to go for it.....until mile 16 when I crashed and burned but once again the amazing club spirit shone through in so many ways to help me get home.
That just about surmises the effect our club atmosphere has on me and I really hope it does to you too. Training together, running together, volunteering together and just having fun together (awards nights especially). We're a team and we support each other, that's LFR through and through.