The wind was like a playful puppy. It blew this way, it blew that. It would give a brief lull before taking a deep breath, blowing harder and taking us runners by surprise. It was at our heels, then in our faces, around to the side then straight up the back trying to knock us off our feet. Wind. Sucking up all our concentration and all our energy. Forty-four brave runners ran on regardless and conquered those 8kms in the Launceston Running Club’s Evandale 8km handicapped race last Saturday.
It was the last day of autumn and the wind was determined to give us an awesome preview of winter. Cold, dark skies that threatened rain and the wind? Strong, gusty and cold. Winter is almost here.
I’m counted down to my 17:50 handicap and off I go. It was heavy going. I went out hard to try and make up some time before the dreaded turn around point and the headwind back to the start. What’s going on? I think, I thought the headwind was only going to be on the way back. The wind was all over the place. We ran in strong wind for every step. At times I had to really concentrate to stay on the side of the road, the wind blew and blew and seemed determined to blow me off course! At one point my cap and headband were blown off! This has never happened before, my snug headband always keeps my cap in place but not on Saturday. There was no way I was leaving my much loved and signature cap behind so I ran back to get it! Some things are just way more important than times and a matching pink Brooks cap and head band are two of them!
I passed quite a few people but way more passed me. Everyone was doing it tough. Usually there is much cheering and encouragement but not this time, we were all putting our energy into just moving forwards and getting to that finish line!
Running has taught me many things
My friend running has taught me that my body can keep on running for way longer than my head thinks it can. It’s like my brain is out to sabotage my runs. Doubts, fears, worries – they bombard me and want me to stop. I know from experience that I can indeed keep on running. If I can, you can too – believe in yourself and tell those self-doubts to be quiet. Show them that you are strong! Imagine the finish line and how good it will feel to keep on running. Sing a song in your head. Say a positive mantra. Before you know it those self doubts will have quietened down and all of a sudden you are running further than you ever have before. How good will that feel? And just by keeping on running you will prove those self-doubts to be wrong. You can do it!
I get to the halfway turn around mark and run back to the start. 4kms to go. The wind is exhausting. More and more runners pass me but that’s ok. I can hear from their breathing that they are doing it tough too. And still the wind dances and plays around me, dragging me this way, pulling me that way, blowing me sideways. Oh my goodness I’m exhausted. With just 2kms to go I hear familiar breathing and feet pounds. It’s Pauly. I’m too out of breath from trying to breathe in the strong wind so I don’t say anything. As we get to the outskirts of the town I know there is only 1km to go. I speed it up a little and before I know it we cross the finish line. 22nd place for me and 23rd place for Pauly (his handicap was 23:50). Smack bang in the middle of the pack! Now that’s a happy place to be!
And guess what? I feel awesome! It was a tough run, the wind was difficult but I didn’t let it beat me, I kept on running and finished. I might have been 22nd out of 44 but I felt like a winner!
Another awesome run in not so awesome conditions. Another run where we did our best. The run was sponsored by two club members who have a deer farm. The venison burgers and kebabs were so yummy!
A run for the memory books, a run that showed yet again that us runners can do more than we think we can!
Happy running 🙂