Tomorrow morning I will pull on my compression pants, lace up my running shoes and head about 30km away from home to the leafy, upmarket suburb of Kloof. The reason? My first ever race!
The Forest 10 is hosted yearly by the Forest Hills Atheltics Club. Apparently. I wouldn’t know, I’ve never run it before. Truth be told, I’ve never run a competitive anything before. This will be, should my slightly injured left knee hold out, by the first race I’ve ever completed. My first medal. My first race T-shirt. My first race.
And the Forest 10 promises to be flat and fast. Lots of f-words in there. I just want to finish and for my feet to cross the line. I want to prove to myself I’m fit enough for things like this.
It might not sound like that big a deal, but it kind of is. It hasn’t been much more than a year since I ran my first ever 5km — and it was a Parkrun, and it took more than 36 minutes, so it wasn’t a great effort. About 20 months prior to that, I could hardly do 1.5km on a treadmill before gym. This running thing is very not me. It’s very not who I used to be.
Somewhere deep down, I’m still not entirely sure about this whole running thing. I’m not sure I like running [even though I’m not terrible at it — 5km PB is 27:27, 10km PB is 1:01:39]. I still see myself as that overweight dude who shouldn’t be running.
And I think I need that first medal to convince me otherwise.