Well, despite my wish not to be seen as part of – or worse, to look as if I’m following – the herd, yesterday I did the Silverstone Half-Marathon along with some 7000 other people.
I was hoping to do it in two hours, but came in about four minutes later than that, though I’ll blame the winds we were running against, and the fact that I’m unaccustomed to public running… well, as part of such a large crowd, anyway.
It’s kind of difficult to describe the mental series of events I underwent yesterday; at first, the music I had playing distracted me nicely (particularly from the rather pedestrian MOR stuff that Fox FM was so kindly pumping through loudspeakers at various points along the course), but after about mile 7, when I started to see people stopping running and walking instead, or just stopping entirely, I became rather aware of the rhythm of both my breathing and my running, to the point where it was less of a reflex or routine and needed me to focus on it a bit… which of course meant that I was all too able to spot every little twinge or feel of reluctance on my part.
In the final third or so, after about mile 10, it felt as if the end was in sight, so that was more a case of just getting on with it, and getting the last bit done – being 10/13 of the way through, it would have been a shame to stop or walk or whatever, so I just ignored any ideas of stopping, and got on with it. And when I was done, felt pretty pleased with myself, even if I was a few minutes over the target I’d set myself.
I guess that the above may or may not make sense at all, depending on whether you’ve done some task which involved prolonged concentration or effort or whatever, though I’ll wager that there are already many books on the shelves about the ways in which psychology varies in such situations; whether people start off gritting their teeth and trying to get through it, or whether they start off hopeful and that optimism fades with time, or whatever. There may indeed be some kind of extrapolation to be made about one’s general attitude to challenges or problems or the like, but that’s something that’s probably best left to other people, I guess.
Of particular note, though: the chap I saw who was running barefoot, and another chap with a vest marked ‘Blind Runner’, both of whom certainly make me feel suitably humbled.
Still, if you’re even vaguely impressed – or appalled, or any other kind of emotional reaction – in relation to me completing the half-marathon, you can always manifest that in financial terms at http://www.givenow.org/charityprofile/radioforest…