I believe I share far more with you guys in my head than actually makes it to WordPress. I then overcompensate and re-tell stories rather than read previous posts. I have no idea if I have told you about this upcoming weekend, so…
Last year my super sporty, charity orientated, instantly likable and always present friend was killed in an ironic yet tragic road accident. Ironic because he took to his bike during the Olympics to avoid travel issues on the underground at a busy time when we’d all been warned to seek alternative methods / times of travel. Ironic because it was an Olympic bus that he was hit by. Ironic because the last tweets I’d read from him only days before included a rant at cyclists jumping red lights and another musing over painting his cycle helmet like ‘Toady’ from Mario Man. Ironic because the first press release was a quote from cycle champ Wiggy (Bradley Wiggins) who retorted along the lines of – if people don’t wear cycle helmets, what can they expect. you will have guessed from the above – of course he was wearing a helmet.
A charity event was organised for his first love, the Royal National Lifeboat institution. It was awesome. This is plan number two. Several days before the fatal accident Dan and seven friends competed in the Thunder Run – a 10k relay that runs over 24 hours. They had agreed to repeat this year. Now without Dan, another close friend as a replacement his team are one of eight, all comprised of his friends, in the race.
We are of varied abilities. Personally, I used to run long distance, but I have brain battles and began to find excuses to stop running. Eventually I realised I just didn’t like it much and stopped, entering only the occasional charity race. The last was several years ago now. Still, competitive by nature I intend to complete 3 laps. THREE! ARGH. 30k in 24 hours.
I was also on the reserve list and naturally didn’t begin training until I was confirmed – three weeks ago. Hopeful that Bikram Yoga would mean I was in decent shape I hit the treadmill… to begin with things weren’t frightful. They weren’t amazing, but not frightful. But then my boyfriend got competitive with himself, which increased my competitiveness and t’other day lead to a brain blow-out, which is what I really want to tell you about.
Setting off with the intention to run 10k along the beautiful south Devon coast, I was sure that the scenery and company would keep me in check. From the very first downward hill there was trouble. I was out of breath and panicky. As we hit the promenade I began to relax, we’d beaten the crowds and I could at least obscure my heavy panting by closing my mouth again. There were then sand dunes, soft, luscious, uneven sand dunes….
Desperate to find stability I zig zagged across the terrain, relieved to finally reach the even, tough stretch of beach. This kept me going for the whole of about 100 meters and my brain cut out. No more. Upon stopping, I checked in with my legs. All good. Usual culprits – the ankles – best they’d ever been. reactive, strong and supple, almost certainly from yoga. Calves? Chest? anything else…?? All good. As I watched Gary bounce off into the distance I blamed the cut out on my mental attitude and strolled several meters, maybe a bit more in his trail. Inevitably I spend the rest of the morning stewing in 2km frustration, snapping at Gary’s “disappointment” for only managing 8km. Dammit.
And then I was genuinely ill – but that has nothing to do with this story.
Back at work I instilled confidence in all of my sponsors by relaying this story. Painfully open, I should really learn to consider what is about to come out of my mouth. However I was pointed in this very helpful direction –
Kenetics. Balance. Nerves. Uneven terrain.
I’m not bad at running, I’m utterly CRAP at Prioperception. I wish I knew about this term years ago. Essentially the brain has to work especially hard to gauge the surface, the reflex required before it happens and balance. This requires high volumes of brain juice, so presumably by the time I was hurdling great big rotting beach divides the gauge in my head was on red. Gary, on the other hand plays football twice a week. Actually he trains once and plays once, explaining why his brain juice stores would have dwarfed mine.
Of course he argued that he was just intelligent enough to look for tougher surfaces (?!?!?! as if I wasn’t!) but frankly, proprioperception has reignited my confidence to go for it this weekend. Never mind only having hit 6km in training, of course, I anticipate that music, crowds and lots of supplements will see me through. And Yoga? It certainly helped keep my calves in check and breathing calm, I think I have a way to go yet to replace negative thoughts and ’embrace the pain’. EEP.
On that note, if you wish to sponsor, please read below. Otherwise the odd word of encouragement will be relished!!
The charity is the Outward Bound Trust which has been providing out door learning / survival skills to young people since 1941. As a keen climber / hiker / sailor / cyclist etc etc we’ve all agreed this would have been an important and relevant charity to Dan. The full story and some pics of last years teams are all here –
Thunder Run 2013
Support from bloggers would be very exciting!!