August 29, 2016
I am proud of my Scottish roots, but very much ashamed about how little I get to visit the place my grandad grew up, so when I realised that the Women’s Running 10K in Glasgow coincided with a speaking gig in Edinburgh plus the Edinburgh Festival it was a no brainer really to make a special trip.
But actually the reason that I really made the decision to head all that way up to Scotland for a 10K race on a bank holiday weekend was one very special lady….
I met Lynsay who lives just outside Perth, back in May when she came on the Too Fat to Run health and happiness retreat in Rhodes…she was the first to admit she was not a runner, and on the first day she looked like she might actually cry when I said we would be heading out for a 5K walk run.
But in a workshop looking at setting Big Fat Stupid Goals just a few days later she surprised us all when she said her goal was to run a 10K. In a 121 session later that day I suggested she commit to the upcoming Women’s Running 10K in Glasgow and that if she signed up I would come up and run it with her…so her fate (and mine) was sealed in that moment.
I have been partnering with Women’s Running Magazine, helping to promote their 5K and 10K race series around the country, with ladies from the Clubhouse hosting meet ups at each event…the biggest so far had been Nottingham back in July where Lyndsay travelled down and took part in the 5K
The only Scottish race of the series, the WR10K Glasgow was taking place in the beautiful Strathclyde Country Park, a site with 400 hectares of rolling countryside in the valley of the River Clyde…it was set to be a beautiful race opportunity and a great chance for me to meet some of my Scottish followers.
But before I talk about the race I have to tell you about the events leading up to it.
I got the train up to Edinburgh on Thursday to take in a few fringe shows with friends, and for a speaking gig where I gave a talk about my journey so far and how I have used speaking as a tool to help with my mission to change women’s lives through the sport of running. Preparing that presentation gave me an opportunity to take stock and to realise how luck I am to do what I do…especially the travelling around the country to meet women from my community at races…that has to be the best bit.
On Friday I headed to Perth to meet Lynsay and Egle (another lovely lady from the retreat and The Clubhouse who had come up from London to take part in the race too) and the following day we went to…
wait for it…
my first ever…
It was AWESOME…we had the most amazing weather, was joined by fellow clubhouse member Emma and we spent the day listening to bagpipe music and checking out men in skirts.
I jest, but actually I felt quite emotional as just a few days ago it was my grandad’s birthday and although he is no longer with us it was a great way of reconnecting with that side of my culture.
Saturday night we had a fab meal of spag bol…probably a little more carb loading than was required for a 10K but good company, good food and good conversation about what next in terms of our goals…and then we all hit the sack.
Now Lynsay had warned us a few days previous that she was developing a cold, and it had been getting progressively worse…but at 7.30 when Egle walked into the kitchen and asked how she was feeling she was met with an “OK” which came out with no sound whats so ever.
She was very poorly.
But as designator driver and our host, she gallantly drove us to Glasgow and was determined to start the race and just see what happened.
The starting area was busy when we arrived. The race was a reasonable small one, maybe 500-600 participants, but ALL WOMEN which was FAB!!!
I collected my race number, took some pictures of our TFTR group of which there were around 8 ladies and was then called onto the stage to give a short talk to the runners about Too Fat to Run and my story…then it was warm up time and we were heading to the start line.
I positioned myself towards the back. I’d already had a conversation with Lynsay about whether she wanted me to run with her or not. It’s always a tricky one. I never want to add pressure on anyone…but equally I had promised to run it with her…she said “run your own race” so thats what I did.
The race basically went around the lake, looping back in the first two kilometers which were pretty speedy for me, I had a niggly pain in my knees which was a bit odd…probably down to Crossfit which I have been doing recently, so I slowed down again deciding to enjoy the route and have a chat with a few of the runners.
At the 5K water station I stopped and walked for a while and then run with a very lovely lady who I think was called Katerina. We did a few walk run intervals and talked about everything we love about running. I then found my second wind and sped up again through a nice up and down section through some woods.
I got a little confused by my sports watch that was set to miles…and with two kilometers left to go by my watches calculation I still had 30 minutes of running ahead…I knew that couldn’t be right.
Before long one of the lovely stewards shouted “just 400 meters to go” and somehow I found something more in my legs…I think I even managed to speed up again in the last 100 meters. I was done. Finishing in 1 hour 21 and 36 seconds.
Two of my ladies had already come in ahead of me, and now it was time to wait for the rest to cheer them in. Maggie came in looking really strong rocking her ra ra skirt and rainbow laces in her plaits…and then came the dynamic three…Lynsay, Lynsay’s cousin and Egle…and I have never felt so proud.
I cried as they crossed the line…and then I realised Lynsay was crying too.
Some people might think a 10K race is just a 10K race, but for so many of us its not just a 10K race…it signifies us achieving things we never imagined we can achieve. Its about challenging the demons in our own head AND proving others wrong.
All in all it was a fab race and I can’t wait for the next one in the series I am due to do in London on 24th September….have a look at the rest of the dates coming up and see if there’s one near you…use discount code TFGGTR16 for £2 off the entry price…and keep an eye on Facebook for details of our meet ups at each event
Setting Big Fat Stupid Goals are a huge part of the ethos in The Clubhouse which is our online running club. Each month we have a different mindset of fitness related theme, and for September we are looking at Marathon Running, so if you have one in the diary for 2017 or you are simply wondering if its something you can do…why not join us?
The Clubhouse costs just £59 for the year…thats less than a fiver a month…and you get
- Weekly coaching emails
- Access to our exclusive closed Facebook group
- Downloadable Template and Plans
- Race and Training Meet Up opportunities
- Virtual buddies
- Guest Expert Webinars
- 10% discount off kit