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Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Rocky River Run Expectations Crash Down

Firstly I must apologise. I know it feels like forever the last time I wrote, but due to circumstances outside of my control, this is my first opportunity.

Don’t worry - I’ll share everything I can remember to make up for it.

So Sunday was the famous Rocky River Run. By late Saturday afternoon my nerves were already taking over my body and then a sleepless night ahead didn’t help either. I put all that out of mind when the alarm went off Sunday morning and begrudgingly I got out of bed and into the jelly moulds and racerback that would be my ‘costume’ for the day. I say costume because it just doesn’t look quite right on me J

I found a park easily enough, same place as last year, I walked over to where people were congregating when my bladder decided to take control. Apparently several visits to the loo that morning weren’t enough and I needed to go again! The line up was horrific, as it always is when it comes to ladies’ toilets. I could hear the MC calling for the runners to start getting ready, I checked my watch, I still had about seven minutes to go. I managed to get through and head over to the main group before the starting pistol was fired.

I took off slow and steady, keeping the story of the turtle and hare firm in my head. As we veered round the first corner, most of the group had overtaken me and I could see it wouldn’t be long till I was last. I kept pushing and fighting, I managed to run a lot further than I first thought before I commenced on my typical ‘interval running’ which consists of jogging and then power walking and repeat.

Feeling the cool air, I felt good. Even with less preparation and training than last year I felt confident that I would beat my time. Confident that this was my race – I owned it. As I approached the fields, which were all sloppy from the recent wet weather, I asked one of the marshalls if we were half way yet. He responded that he was over half way! I was elated!!

Two marshalls later (roughly) I was advised that only then was I half way. I looked at my watch. The time wasn’t good. My heart sunk. There and then I knew that I hadn’t trained enough. I knew that I was cutting it fine with wanting to beat my time, but I kept persevering.

The most motivating part of running a long race (it’s long for me) is the encouragement from those around you. Obviously my fellow ten km racers were all gone, but the 21 km racers were on their second lap. As they ‘lapped me’ they would call out words of encouragement:
“This is a run, not a walk darl, you can do this” and I’d jog a bit further after being lifted.
“You’re doing so well, on the home stretch now” and again, I’d jog a little bit further.
“Keep up the great work, you’re doing awesome” and once again, I’d jog.
With each encouragement, I’d keep going, keep pushing. Without these words of motivation from the experienced runners, I would have been even slower than I was.

As I ran the final two hundred meters, I could hear the odd applause from the sideline and encouraging commentary. I felt spurred on. I kept pushing, I nearly sprinted the last little bit.

I’d finished. I finished the run. Had I beat my time? Sadly, no. To say I was disappointed wouldn’t even start to touch the tip of the iceberg. I felt like I’d let myself down and you, all my readers down too.

The silver lining on this cloud? I was approached by one of the 21km runners who suggested I look into the beginner’s run club that was being started by the Rocky Road Runners on Monday 10th June. Guess there’s no harm in looking around, hey?


  1. You did great Camilla! You beat a lot more people that never even got of the starting line.
    And you NEVER let me down, I'm always impressed with what you can achieve.


  2. I agree, what an awesome effort! It doesn't matter that you didn't beat your last time - you finished it! And that's what's important!