Lost mojo following a bad race

Since Tiree 10k, I've been on a bit of a downer about my running and haven't really managed to pick myself up - hence the leave of absence from social media.

A few days before the race, I had a little niggle in the back of my right heel, which had been worse after running and so I was in two minds whether to run or not.  We had arrived to a snow covered island but by the Saturday the sun was shining and I was looking forward to the race and seeing the island in all its glory.  I have ran the race before and knew it was pretty undulating and so the plan had always been to have an enjoyable run, rather than race for a decent time.

Below is a photo of me and Jacqueline, a fellow runner from jb joggers, who had come across for the race with some friends just before the start.  Look at that amazing blue sky!!


The event is a great event with something for everyone, kid's races, 10k for walkers and runners and the half marathon.  Once the kid's races had finished the 10k and half marathon runners all lined up ready to go.  The first kilometre was along the beach and having ran it before I knew to take this bit easy, trying to get off the soft sand as soon as possible.  Unfortunately, although the sun was shining. the wind was also blowing - typical Tiree weather!  This first k was in to the wind and I really struggled to get my breathing under control.  In hindsight, perhaps a warm up would have helped to get my breathing in a rhythm but as it was I was not in a good place.  

Once we got off the beach, I tried to get my breathing under control.  However, by 5k I was still struggling and given I was only half way through the race I knew the only option was to walk for a bit to try and get it under control.  Unfortunately, this didn't help as much as I hoped and my breathing just seemed to get worse every time I tried to run for more than a few minutes.  The sun was also splitting the sky by this point which didn't help.  The 7k marker was where we came off the beach originally and I did think about stopping and taking this shortcut back to the beach.  I am very glad I didn't though as the race director announced at the end that every starter managed to complete the race - I would have been mortified if I had been the only one not to complete the route! 

In the end, I managed to get round the course but it was a struggle.  The final half k is back on the beach so I knew I would be battling with the wind and just gritted my teeth in order to get across the finish line. 

This was one of the toughest runs for me and really knocked my confidence.  The race was the end of April and since then my running has been pretty non-existent.  I have been managing a few shorter runs but my breathing has completely gone to pot.  In the past, one of the side effects of my illness has been breathing problems.  However, this is linked to an over-active thyroid and given I no longer have a thyroid, it can't be that!!!  I have been checking my peak flow and it has been higher than usual (a good sign!) so I am not sure what is going on.  I have booked in for the docs for a check up so hopefully things will be clearer soon.

In the meantime, I am still running, but just short plods in the morning.  I have ditched the watch and am just running to how I feel.  It's great just getting up, out the door and running, rather than having to wait for my GPS to sync.  Although I was never a slave to the garmin while running I always had an idea what pace I was running from sticking to the same routes and knowing where the mile markers were.  Now, I have no idea and am getting back to enjoying running for running sake, enjoying the surroundings, rather than thinking at the end of a run that I could have ran faster.

I do have a few 10k races that I have already signed up for, including the Women's 10k next month, and I am not sure whether I will run them.  I have only been running 3-4 miles since Tiree and am not sure if I can get round a 10k route and actually whether I want to put myself under that pressure.  I like the sense of achievement at the end of a race, but can't help but think back to how I felt during Tiree 10k.  Perhaps just a bad race but it has made me think twice about whether it is for me.  Anyone else had a similar experience?

Mandy Williams

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