Two years ago I had a shocker of a run at this race, I wasn’t feeling well (probably pre-race nerves, as it was my first trail run) and I struggled to get round the course, had no energy, had to walk sections, and if it hadn’t been for the delightful company of Elly Mac, I probably would have given up. I posted my worst 10k time, and felt thoroughly demotivated. I didn’t enter another race for over a year.
However, it was not the fault of the race, the course is a delightful undulating (but not hilly) route around woods and open grassland, you wouldn’t believe you were so close to the M8 (at least until you cross over it!), the field is small and friendly, and there is a green alien waving you on in the woods!
So I had another go. Two years later, and I returned to run the race this summer with Claire Monk.
After weeks of sunshine, the day turned out to be wet, mizzly, foggy and generally dreich, with a cold wind blowing at the start (yes, it was the day of the ERN BBQ that got cancelled!). As we looked at all the whippets in club vests, Claire and I wondered what we were doing here. This time, it was Claire that had to battle through, picking up a niggle about half way round, and having to put up with my mindless wittering in an attempt to keep her distracted. But we persevered, and we finished. And whilst our times were slower than the last time we ran it, for me this was a big victory.
Because this time, I enjoyed it. I wasn’t nervous, I didn’t care what time we ran it in, I just enjoyed running in a lovely setting (even in the rain!) with good company. Don’t get me wrong, I love the sense of achievement from getting a PB as much as the next runner, I am chuffed to have got my 5k PB earlier this year, and will be doing my damnedest to get one at the Musselburgh 10k. But sometimes, it’s not about the time, it’s about getting out there, experiencing something new, enjoying good company, and giving each other support when it’s needed, and it can be liberating to give yourself permission to do just that.
So I’ll keep returning to Dechmont Law, to remind me just why we do it!