Okay, so at best I had been running twice a week over 7km. Usually just once. The start of the Nice Prom Classic 2008 was impressive. I went down with two lady friends who permit me to run with them. The tolerate my presence we have a laugh and they leave me for dead.
There was about 5 to 6 thousand people there I was very nervous or maybe just awkward at the start. I didn't really know if I could do it. I didn't want to quit or finish last.
There was a jazzy lady doing her DJ Style warm up for the whole group but she was so small and so low down I could not see what she was doing clearly. Besides I felt like a dork throwing my hands up in the air even though the immediate 3000 people around me seemed to be doing very well.
Nerves nerves nerves. How fast does he run? Can I run better than him? The ladies started before us, we all clapped and cheered, suddenly I was feeling a bit better. The race started at a walking pace. There was too many of us, it was damn awkward. Quickly some bright spark opened the other side of the road and I crossed over and settled into my stride. OH my God everyone just ran past me like I wasn't there. The first KM passed in 5 minutes exact, way too fast for me I was expecting to finish in 1 hour 5 or 10 minutes, IF I could finish. The second km was 5mins flat as well that meant I was on course for a 50 minute finish and hospital for a week. I just can't run that fast YET over that distance. I was convinced I was last untill I looked over my shoulder to see a thousand sweaty guys of all shapes and sizes chasing me down.
God when I got to 3km I thought well a third of the race gone only that distance twice more and then a push. I wanted to stop. I had to fight a lot through that km. 4km my two friends passed me on the other side, I roared out them, 'Hey les filles' and 200 filles turned their heads but not my pals....Km5 was easier, there was water, I was on the home stretch in a minute. and I settled down and slowed down. I was now over half way and starting to pass a lot of people it felt good. Km 6 was another trying to calm myself down and push on at the same time I was looking at the watch I was due under the hour if I kept that pace up, I was so scared of a DNF I kept trying to slow down.
Now I was on KM 7, old fat guys passed me, guys who had disability. One guy who wasn't breathing kept getting up to my shoulder running, then walking, eventually after stopping and starting he managed to pass me out about a KM after I had passed him.
Half way through the 8km I was lengthening my stride a little I could see the sign for 9k ahead. I could see a woman ahead of me I was gaining on her. I was going to finish on the hour this was great. I flew past her and saw her face, she was shattered. Come on I yell in French don't stop, allez allez allez, viens, n'arretez pas! She saw me and held out her hand as she tried to run after me. I slowed up grabbed on and towed her along a few meters, our hands were still held. I spoke to her, breath , come on you can do it. Allez... 'No English' she tried to smile, she couldn't do it.. allez tu n'arret pas. We were still holding hands, she didn't want to let go. I think like me there was a little fear.
I had to disengage my hand I was thinking it wasn't correct to be holding her hand that long. It was like an elastic snapping She slowed right up as I took off again. 9km I slowed down she reached me, "Come on only 1 more, c'est la dernier" .. "Aller tu peut le faire"... I think she got the gyst. 'Je dois aller' Which I think may not be correct but it's what I said and off I went I practically sprinted. the last 800 meters. I flew past lots of people it was a great feeling.
I was over the line I was sure in about 1:01 the clock read 1:02:27. I was buggered, knackered, destroyed, and surprisingly emotional. I wanted to laugh and cry at the same time. It was really strange. There was no one there for me, I wanted a hug. I wanted someone to say well done, clap me on the back because fuck it, it was hard. So I waited a few minutes by the finish line, I saw her coming, I clapped and cheered, and said bravo madam, she saw me, a big smile. Then I ran away.
I got water, chocolate, bananas, orange, there was all sorts of stuff available for us. It was great to be alive. I found my friends after about half an hour. There were in form. They had finished in 0.57 . It was their second race, the first they had done in 0.59. They run 3 times a week and a semi marathon is on the card in February.
First I have to fork out a lot more than I have for a pair of running shoes. Mine are a little too small. I have huge blisters on my toes. I mean huge. My ankles hurt. I am taking this seriously. Somewhere down the end of the tunnel is the Iron Man if I can find him, but it's a long long long way away.
Another 10 km before April and then the semi marathon. That would be a lot of fun.
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