After running the London Marathon in 2010 I continue my pursuit for sporting greatness without the aid of running shoes. I now run 'Barefoot' full time and aim to run the London Marathon 2012 'bare'
My blog is an account of training for running, triathlon, staying fit for life and pushing my body to it's limits to become 'superfit'. I hope it will inspire others to go out and get fit for life and see how enjoyable and rewarding it can be
Tuesday, 12 October 2010
So for this race I travelled down south to Surrey for this race. I felt like a change to the normal Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire scenery and fancied a visit to the family so in true slightly obsessed runners style I thought I'd squeeze in a race whilst I was there.
So after 2 races where the temperatures were soaring I was slightly lacking in confidence for this race. I have really put in the training but I still prayed for a cool day. And so the morning was overcast and crisp and perfect running conditions but I still felt anxious about this race. I didn't know if I could handle another disappointing race!
So the target was sub 53 and on a perfect day 50 mins (optimistic) and I was determined to get at least a PB! So the we set out, as usual I took the first mile easier and despite it being a little congested at the start myself and my Brother in law weaved our way past the slower runners and settled for 5 minutes or so. At this point I subconsciously took it up a gear and realised 2 minutes later I had lost my running buddy (I am useless running with others, sorry Dean..lol). So what next? I wanted to get at least a 9 min first mile which I did.
At this point I had found my groove, I had the bounce in my knees and I was raring to go. I started to overtake people, one at a time. As I worked my way through the field, my anxiousness returned, was I doing too much? On reflection I was running well and comfortably but at the time I eased of a bit. Even then I was still overtaking people and not being overtaken, this has never happened to me in a race, usually finishing in the bottom half of the field.
By the time i reached mile 3 I was brimming with confidence, I had overtaken loads of people, this is when they usually over take back!! So we hit the canal path which was fairly traily, muddy and rocky... thank god for training I put into running trails in barefoot shoes. I noticed that people had started to slow down at this point and once I had a feel for the ground I was manoeuvring over the stones and whilst people were slipping on the wet stones I was gripping the stones with my feet and bouncing all over the place, barefoot+trails= good fun! By mile 4 I had overtaken another chunk of people as I ran straight through the mud and right across the stones instead of dodging them!
By now I was so glad I was running 'barefoot', this is what it was designed for, OK it was a clear path but a slightly unlevel one and it suited me just fine. I saw my sisters and niece at about 4 miles and as they cheered me on (asking the whereabouts of my brother in law...oops) I got a new lease of life just when my legs were starting to tire. I started to enjoy the scenery and pin point the next person to overtake. By 4.5 I seemed to have settled behind similar paced runners so I decided to stay there until the final mile when I would speed up a little and then really kick in the final km. I overtook (with greater difficulty, these people were far more competitive...damn!) a few more people and spotted my target for the final KM.
At the final KM, as I promised myself, I overtook this woman who seemed to take it as a personal insult that I dared do such a think when I wasn't even wearing running shoes! 30 seconds later she shoved me out her way (complete with her nail digging into the back of my arm) and overtook me, BITCH! I was furious, there is just no need to be like that amongst our running comrades. I let her through and stayed at her ankles until the final 200m.
This is my forte, my sprint finish so I sprinted past her but no she was sprinting back past me, did I have anything left.... just when this scuffle was looking to end in her favour in the final 75 I found another gear, family cheering I raced past the woman who I will only refer to as 'the bitch that tried to mess with Gemma' I beat her by about 5 metres, how the hell did I sprint that fast? I guess I should thank her for making me angry.... although she may of regretted it!
I got a PB of 52.28 and came 77th out of 300! No wonder I felt like I was overtaking loads of people, I was!!!
Overall it was such a positive race that has made me realised I am a serious competitor. No I will never be running it in 35 minutes BUT I can certainly try and be amongst the best of the 'quite good' runners in the future!
I will update again tomorrow with some big running decisions I have been making! All very exciting!