When I drove to work this morning I couldn’t stop smiling. I’d be driving along, listening to Chris Evans drivelling on and I’d realise my face felt different. Instead of my usual glower there’d be a little smile sneaking up, tweaking the corners of my mouth in the opposite direction to usual. I’d fight it down and then, moments later, it would be back. It was like the smile you get when something amazing has/is just about to happen, or when you’ve met someone special and you’re thinking of them. Only I was going to work, a place I don’t have the best relationship with right now so, that was weird.
Or not, because yesterday I did the Race for Life 10k and I totally smashed it.
Yeah, like beyond my wildest expectations.
As part of my half-marathon entry for Cancer Research I can take part in any of their straight 5 or 10k events which lead up to the half. This weekend was the Norwich 10k. Now, at this stage of my love affair with running it doesn’t take much to get me to sign up for something, and free race entry is just an excuse for me to do the thing I love. My friend Melly, who is running the full marathon and suggested I sign up for the half in the first place, came up and we ran it together. Mel is faster than me. By A LOT. Despite that, she’d said we were running this together because this is a journey we are on, together. Because I am quite a bit slower it meant she would be able to coach me along (talk at me so I didn’t think about the actual run) and hopefully help me shave a little off my PB. Well, not only did she coach me the whole way round, encouraging me towards that 1 hour 15 I had rashly said I’d aim for (5 minutes faster than my PB, what was I thinking) but she, through clever use of light subterfuge and psychology, helped me shave not one, not two, not even the five I was aiming for, but seven whole minutes off my time. I ran the Race for Life 10k in just over 1 hour and 13 minutes.
Off the back of this immense achievement I feel invincible. Even now I feel like nothing can stop me. All that doubt I had last week, all the slights I felt, the loss of any belief in my ability to do anything even half well, gone. Because this girl can, she really can. She just damn well did.
There are going to be other downs on the Rollercoaster, of course there are. There’ll be doubts, moments of exhaustion so crushing they’ll knock me back down. But for now I’m holding onto this. Hopefully it’ll stay with me so even when I really feel like I can’t, deep down inside I know I have the proof which says I can.
I am a runner because I run and I run because it drives away all the negative thoughts and feeling I have about myself. This weekend I saw the power of that in full effect. And when I smash that half marathon I’ll have something even greater, something which proves to me I am strong, I am capable and I can do anything if I set my mind to it. I can set goals, stick to them and achieve them. I am not a waste of space, a big loser or any of the other things Brain tries to tell me I am.
I. Am. Invincible.