There's a saying that states you regret things you didn't do far more than things you did do. This is very true.
This time last year I was on a high, even if I was slightly stiff, after running the Bramley 10. I've just read back through my blog entry for the day and realised that despite not feeling 100% well, I went ahead and ran anyway. This year, while enjoying running, I've rather lost my nerve when it comes to entering races. I haven't felt as though I can run as fast as I want to and, as I know more and more runners at each of these events, I don't want everyone to see me clocking slower and slower times. I don't think for one minute that anyone of them would judge me, but I don't want to be recording times that are miles slower than I ran in previous years or have to make excuses, either in my head or out loud, for my 'poor performance.'
So, I didn't sign up for this race this year. Even as my pace has slightly picked up I didn't pluck up the courage to fill in the forms. Then, when I finally decided that I may as well give it a go, it was too late. The deadline had passed. I tried not to think about it too much, but it has been in the back of my mind. And there have been the constant drip, drip of Facebook status updates.
I went for a 10 mile run of my own this morning, around the route of the Alton 10 race, a challenging run at the best of times, made more so today due to a heavy early morning mist giving limited visibility. I tried not to think about all the other runners, many of whom I know, getting ready to run at Bramley. I listened to my current audiobook, 'My animals and other family,' and settled down for my long, slow run. I didn't clock watch at all, I just plodded along, up and down hills, meeting Husbando at his shop so that we could grab some brunch. I'd run 10.6 miles in 1hr 35minutes. Not fabulous, but not too bad for a long, slow run. I was, however, very cross with myself. If I could run that time on my own, when I wasn't pushing myself I knew I could have run a fairly respectable 10 miles in race conditions! A crowd of other runners always urges one on and gives one something to pace oneself against. I doubt I could have bettered my PB, set at Paris-Versailles in 2011, but I may have come close.
I came home to a Facebook page full of jubilant status updates from my fantastic, PB collecting, running buddies. I am happy for them, yes, really I am! But I do so wish I had been there too!
Given that I won't be doing Paris-Versailles this year (sob!) I have set myself a huge challenge now. I need to get close to my 10 mile PB at the Alton 10! A challenging route, it may not have the huge hill of Paris, but it does have hills aplenty!
Mind you, if it wasn't a challenge there wouldn't be any point in doing it would there?