Normally, at the beginning of each month, I wanted to share my progress of training for the half marathon. Unfortunately, August was a very busy month and I did not manage to get in a lot of kilometers. I would be lucky if it would exceed 25km in total. So today something about the run I just finished: The 7th Tesco Charity run in Krakow.
As I said I did not run a lot in August and I can make up a lot of excuses for this, but I just didn’t make the time or find the time. When I knew I should have started again I had a small accident with the bike. Which was, of course, a good excuse mentally for me to not go running. However, after today’s run, I should whip my own ass. Boy, after one month of being lazy I can definitely say this run was a struggle.
In the morning I went by bike to pick up my starters package, it was the biggest package I have ever gotten. It contained toothpaste, shower gel, protein powder, lip balm and many other products. I was really surprised by the number of products I got for a Charity run. Normally, we get a basic bag with some bar, water, and a t-shirt and after a medal. But we got so many products, a t-shirt, and a rental chip. After the finish, we also got a medal and free food, which was not only for runners but also for the supporters.
Now more about my spirit during the run. I knew it was hot, my brother and I decided to wear matching shirts. Szymon joined us at the start and my brother’s girlfriend headed with the dog to the finish. For this race, the finish and start were not at the same place.
The run started at 12.34 PM. My brother told me he wanted to run around 5.30min/km I knew already I would not manage. In the first 100 meters, I lost him. The first kilometer I finished in 5.18min, which was fast too fast for me. I know my pace normally in 5k races is around 5.30-5.40 and with this heat and lack of training, I would have to slow a bit down. It was hard, but I slowed down the pace knowing I would maybe reach the finish without feeling my knee (I hurt my knee when falling with my bike, it is not very bad but I am aware it can hurt during running when I go to fast).
The second kilometer I was going slower around 5.42min/km but still for my feeling not slow enough with this weather. Around 3km I could feel the heat and my knee started to nag. I walked 10second just to bend my knee better and continued the race. Luckily, I found someone that would be my motivation just to keep this person closeby so I would finish the race. And no I did not know this person or talked to this person, but mentally I just make a note that if I stick to this person I will make it.
We already crossed two bridges, four times up and 4 times down and the 5km mark was close. There would be a water point and it felt 30degrees in the sun. I needed water, I felt my lips were getting dry. I grabbed two cups at the water point. One to keep rinsing my mouth and one to drink. For the people that do not know, I cannot walk and drink so let a long run and drink. I slowed down stood still during a sip and walked in between upward over the third bridge. Trying to motivate myself, telling myself I do not have to be scared of what is on the other side of the bridge at 6.5km.
I crossed the bridge, still telling myself it cannot be worse than one of the other runs I did. And if I cannot run uphill I should just walk and that is nothing bad. Rather walk and maintain my energy than trying to run, while being slower than walking and use too much. My knee was already hurting more and I knew the last kilometers would be more painful if I would keep on testing it. I decided that I could run a bit slower but in between every 300meters, I should just walk for 10 seconds. Simply because, when my knee hurts during running it is in most cases that I am not bending it properly and I put too much pressure on it. This is only with my left knee and I do not advise anyone to keep on running when it hurts. I did this and got to the fourth bridge.
After this bridge, there was more water and I took another half a cup. And continued my strategy. I said to myself I should run at least the full last kilometer. I hit the 9km mark, around 9.5km my knee was hurting more and I felt like crying. And this is not very good and makes breathing a lot harder. My brother was already finished and saw me struggling with my leg. He ran with me the last meters, telling me I can do it and the finish is in sight.
I past Szymon and I was able to force myself to sprint the last 100meters. Hearing my brother yell Go, GO GOOO! I was never so relieved to have made it to the finish. I got my medal, a bottle of water, a bottle of isotonic drink and handed in my chip. My knee was hurting less than expected, maybe it was all in my mind. Maybe I was afraid that I would end up as I did after my first run ever in the Netherlands. I can stand and walk on it and that all does not hurt it only feels a little bit stiff now. Now it is time to rest and prepare for my Relay run tomorrow.
I am very grateful that my brother ran the last part with me after he finished. Having my boyfriend there for mental support after and cheering for me near the finish. And of course, my brother’s girlfriend cheering for all of us and making sure we will not die. Last but not least, baron the dog the best supporter of all. Very happy to see you after the finish line.
Have you been running this weekend? And have you ever struggled during a run this much?