About 14 years ago I trained really hard for several months and ran a couple of 10km races. In every race I finished just over 50 minutes, so that became a bit of a thing. The closest I got to that magic mark was 50 minutes and 4 seconds in a race in a tiny little village.
For 14 years I’ve tried on and off to break the 50 minute mark, without really committing to it. This year I decided to give it another go. I’ve really been enjoying running, and the lovely weather made it easier to go out on runs regularly.
I’ve been very close to reaching my goal twice this year. So close in fact that I felt I might have subconsciously sabotaged myself to not reach it.
With this in mind I had planned ahead for this week. I had the week off work, so I had more time to run and rest and I decided early on that this would have to be the week. I ran 14km on Tuesday, which was my longest run in years, mostly to prove to myself that I could do it (I also remembered why I normally stop after 10km, I find running 14km boring!).
Before I went out today, I knew what the goal was. I didn’t tell anyone about it, so I wouldn’t have to explain if this would become another failed attempt. I’ve always been my own worst critic though, so there was still pressure. I was even a bit tense before setting off.
I know that running as relaxed as possible, being in the moment, is the most pleasant way to run, as well as usually the quickest. I couldn’t do it today though. I was uptight and in my head from start to finish, making the challenging goal even harder to reach.
Today’s run wasn’t a pleasant one. Even though I was running below target from start to finish I was close to stopping several times, because I was uncomfortable and I wasn’t sure if I would be able to keep up the pace until the end. I’m very happy that I didn’t quit. I ran 10km in 49 minutes and 23 seconds. Well below my goal.
I didn’t enjoy today’s run, but I am of course happy that I was finally able to beat my self-doubt and the clock. I do still enjoy running. A lot! I’ve also enjoyed most runs leading up to today. So I will now go back to running because I love it. I don’t have to push myself to, or beyond, my own limits every time. I won’t set a new goal anytime soon.