Corsham St George’s 10K and The Hunt for Lucy

What can I say about the Corsham St George’s 10K race? The simple fact that the numbers running it are increasing year on year says everything. It was my third time running it and I was looking forward to it.

As well as running a good race, my aim was to meet up with another Lucy. This lady is a-friend-of-a-friend who had kindly offered to change her routine and come to my first Harriers session with me. I was brave, went on my own and didn’t take her up on her offer. However I still wanted to meet up as apparently we run at very similar paces, are similarly keen on our running, and I gather she’s a lovely person. I looked all over for her at the start but couldn’t see her anywhere. I had seen a blurry photo of her on Facebook, and I knew her race number, but it’s not surprising I couldn’t find her, as there was over 800 runners. I told you this race was becoming popular.

Aeroplane arms - how happy do I look?
Aeroplane arms – how happy do I look?

The organiser called us out onto the road to line up for the start, so I abandoned my search and lined up somewhere near the 55 minute pacer. A man enthusiastically called the start, we shuffled forward and were off. I do confess I had forgotten the course was quite as undulating as it was. No serious inclines (apart from the last hill with 1 Km to go) but enough to keep you on your toes. We wove out of Corsham and through small lanes beyond. It is a pretty route and even when out in the countryside there were people supporting the race. Kudos to the lady in her dressing gown and slippers out on the pavement clapping everyone as they ran past. I loved the orange segments that were handed out at the 6K mark – they helped me get up that last hill and along the final straight that seems to go on for miles.

My chip time was 55:16, which isn’t a PB but considering at the start I said I was hoping for around 55 minutes I’m very pleased with it. I was a little sad that I hadn’t met Lucy so thought I’d have a look at the official photos from the event.*

I found a great photo from the start, where I was looking happy and smiling. Then I looked closely … and spotted the elusive ‘Other Lucy’ … running right next to me. Never mind “Where’s Wally”, this has been “Locate Lucy”!

At the start - how many Lucys can you see? Hint - I'm the one in the amazing socks
At the start – how many Lucys can you see? Hint – I’m the one in the amazing socks

* I might not have found the Lucy I was looking for, but I did find another Lucy that I met at one of the Bath Skyline 10K races, along with some other ladies from the Run Mummy Run group. Another lovely lady (she’s a Lucy – say no more!), it was only a shame she’d just sold the last of the cakes on the stall she was running at the end.


I did it! I did it! Go me!

If you haven’t read my last post you won’t know what I’m talking about, so go back and read it here.

Right -welcome back. Now you’ve seen how nervous I was on Thursday you’ll appreciate my current delight. Yes I went. Yes I survived. Yes it was all okay. In fact it was good. As promised, everyone was very friendly and when I made the effort to speak to people they were happy to chat. We set off for a run, and despite not being able to keep up with the ladies who were running the route I wanted to run, I found a lovely lady called Sue to run with.

Was I glad I’d gone? Yes. Was I proud of overcoming my shyness? Definitely. Will I go again? Watch this space!

Harder than a marathon

I’ve been running for 6 years, slowly improving, but now I think I’d like some help, advice, support, and yes running friends. So what does everyone recommend? Joining a running club of course. Simple.

However, for this runner, not so simple. You see, I’m shy. Yes I know shyness is only cute in small children so I’m around 40 year too late for that. I know I probably don’t come across as shy, but that’s years of managing to act a part when I need to. Acting the clown is a brilliant disguise for shyness (although I draw the line at the face paint and red nose). For things like job interviews I can put on self confidence with my suit jacket, but it’s such a relief to shrug it off again several hours later. I love to tell a good story (and if it’s not good it doesn’t necessarily stop me) and it just happens to be a way to fill air space to stop me dithering about if I should be talking, or what I should say, and what was the other person’s name again??

I keep being told how friendly running clubs are, how I’ll really enjoy being a part of a club and running with club mates on runs and at races. My husband joined our local cycling club a few years ago and just loves it. He has made so many new friends that I worry a party we’re hoping to hold later on in the year will be swamped by Wheelers. With this in mind, I have been a little bit brave, and e-mailed the running club about going along to try a session to see what it’s like. After my original e-mail was retrieved from the Spam (not a good start), I’ve been told to come along tonight and

If you come along we will try and pair you up with some runners of similar speed.

Just ask for a committee member.

So I need to approach a big group of runners, who will all know each other and “Just ask for a committee member”. I can feel my shyness spilling out, threatening to swamp me like a heavy blanket, muffling my thoughts and rendering me unable to move or act. I’m in danger of inventing an excuse and simply not going.

And now I feel angry at myself. I WANT to join a running club! If they’re horrible and unwelcoming, I can always try a different club. I’ve had an offer to go with a lady to next week’s session, and she seems really lovely, but I don’t know her either and I think I should try and go tonight because I’m too old to feel like this.

Running has taught me many things. It’s shown me that I can do so much more than I would ever have imagined. It’s shown me I’m much tougher and more resilient than I believe I am, and that I’m incredibly stubborn at times. I’m good at just keeping on going, which is more of a life skill than I ever would have believed. I can go out in public in tight lycra and (mostly) not care, (although I do sometimes catch sight of myself in a mirror and mentally raise my eyes heavenwards with a sigh). It’s also taught me what a great group of people runnners are, how supportive of each other we can be and how encouraging.

If you’re reading this as a runner, or as a fellow “shy-be” or simply as a nice human being please send me some support and encouragement to put my self-confident face on (along with my lycra and trainers) tonight and get myself along to running club. It can’t be any harder than running a marathon, can it?

I’m Back! And I’m a WINNER!

Phew, well that’s been a busy time. Our building work is really nearly finished, which has meant much last minute ordering of stuff, lots of snap decisions and a fair bit of painting. Our daughter is sliding towards her GCSEs so needs plenty of poking, gently reminding to work (i.e. nagging), and general supporting. Husband is spending more and more time cycling, and my son requires regular winkling out of his room and away from his computer before he becomes a totally stereotypical teenaged boy. So, all in all, busy times in the B&T household.

Despite all this I have been getting out running, just not as far or as often as I would have liked. Nothing spectacular, and no interesting photos hence no blogging. I did spend a happy few hours writing out a list of upcoming races, and am still dithering over which to enter.

It was pointed out to me this week that it was my local parkrun’s first birthday on Saturday, so as husband was getting up at stupid o’clock to cycle a ridiculous distance* I thought I’d set my alarm as well and go along to parkrun for a short and hopefully speedy 5K.

Conscious that only first timers and tourists get to parkrun early, I managed to get there rather late, just as the run director was giving his pre run talk. Yes, I was the one still tying my shoe laces as everyone else was applauding the first timers and visitors. (Sorry!) I was also the one who had to run back to my jacket to grab my bar code just as the run director mentioned not forgetting your bar code. Sigh.

These hiccups aside, I enjoyed my third official parkrun. I pushed when I could, but did find myself just trotting along behind a couple of blokes for a while rather than over taking them straight away. (It’s not a race, you see). Anyway I was very pleased when I stopped my Garmin to see I had a new parkrun PB of 26:26. I was impressed when I got home and saw this was actually a new all time 5K PB, and I was delighted when I got my official email from parkrun confirming my time, and telling me I was position 1 in my age category**. If it’s not a race, I can still be a winner, can’t I?***

*300K is a ridiculous distance to cycle in one day. Fact.

** on telling him I was first in my age category, my son promptly asked if I was the only one in my age category.

*** the correct answer to this is YES. It’s the first time I’ve ever come first in anything that didn’t involve sitting exams, so I’m pinning an unofficial winner’s badge on myself.