Don’t give me a get out clause

I remember the first time I ever pulled a fast one to get out of running. It was back in the 90s, my year 9 school sports day. I was running a 3000 meter race (I think), at Terrance Macmillan Stadium, I’d done no training (what’s new), it was hurting, I was struggling at the back, so…I pretended to twist my ankle, I got loads of attention from my friends and teachers and saved myself the shame of coming last.

If only I had left that attitude of giving up back at school.

As an adult, I have given up on many a race/training session particularly over the last few years and mainly when I’m handed a reasonable excuse on a plate…like terrible weather, failing equipment, being chased by a dog to name a few

However, there is one course feature that is always a sure bet for me throwing in the towel ahead of schedule. Laps!!!

The first time I did it was on a 10 miler somewhere in surrey, with a few of my running friends. It was a small race, only a hundred or so runners. 2 laps through some stunning countryside, but it was cold and there were some massive unavoidable puddles. So after the first two or three miles of running with wet feet I knew I would not be doing the second lap, so I jogged across the line making some useless excuse and went and grabbed a cup of tea to warm up whilst waiting for my mates.

A few months later I did the very same thing at the Kingston 16 mile Breakfast Run, I was so slow I was being lapped at about mile 5 so I finished at mile 8 to rapturous applause. I did have a reasonable excuse this time, me and my friend Shazza had done a kettle bells workshop the previous day and my legs were like lead…we both ducked out after the first lap.

So with my obvious dislike of laps you would think I’d avoid such races, and with the exception of Park Run (which is completely different of course) I do.

Today however I took part in a 10k run which my boss organises each year, a race which has in fact 5 laps, 5 laps of a road cycle track, which has 2 horrible hills. I did the run last year and it took me about an hour and twenty minutes, walking most of the hills and other parts of the route that were out of sight.

But today I ran it all…even if I did consider giving up each and every time I faced the big long steady hill. I finished in an hour and six, and perhaps I could have gone faster. I reckon though if I didn’t know so many people there today I could quite easily have taken the get out clause that having so many laps creates.

It didn’t help that Darren from the sports team announced my name the first time I crossed the line with a “…and here she is Julie Creffield, Olympic Development Manager using today’s run as a last training run before next weeks London Marathon”

How could I quit after that?

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