I started June in a caravan in France, with my family, stuffing my face with endless french baguettes, washed down with plenty of french wine and I came home feeling very chubby and unfit, so I dived straight back into training and eating well – and that lasted at least a week before my motivation took a little dip, and a few nights out crept in, but you have to have a life! The weekend after we got back from France though it was time for another little race, in my local park, the 10km Race for Life.

Hastings Race for Life 2016

Last year this was run in beautiful sunshine, but this year couldn’t have been more different, with torrential rain before we started that lasted the whole run. This year I was also missing my running buddy Linda who was off on her holidays, but who had left me strict instructions to come first this year!

I headed off and to my surprise did actually find myself quite near the front, felt quite good running for a change and just set off in my own little world. As I started my second soggy lap I was joined by a gentleman on a bike, who was actually a marshal pacing the front runner all the time it was safe to do so, and who told me I was now in first place, as everyone in front of me had been running 5km. I pushed on, but soon hit the first of the 5km walkers, so had to slow down and do a lot of weaving around big groups holding umbrellas, while panting “excuse me, excuse me” as I tried to get passed! No one overtook me though so I did actually manage a first place, if only race for life was actually a race! Better than this though was the fact that I had run my fastest 10k, and know I could have shaved some time off that without the ducking and weaving.

Despite the rain, it was still a fun day, with a great turn out, raising money for a good cause, which is always worth getting out of bed for.

Race for Life 2016
Race for Life 2016

Following Race for life came another couple of weeks of overeating and maybe a few two many nights out, and a complete dip in motivation when it came to training, but I did manage to run a half marathon distance in a storm one day, so this month hasn’t been all disaster, despite what my mean old bathroom scales are telling me. It was time to do another race, this time my third World War Run.

World War Run

I had chosen to do this race because I had had so much fun last year, but I was extremely nervous as the day came around as It was to be my first obstacle race since I quite publicly declared myself out of the world of OCR at the beginning of the year, and my ability to actually do obstacles certainly hasn’t improved in that time!

Before the race with the RPCC guys and Christie Wright Photo by Epic Action Imagery
Before the race with the RPCC guys and Christie Wright
Photo by Epic Action Imagery

Still the moment arrived when I found myself on the start line with some of the guys from RPCC including the main man, Richard Pringle, himself. We set off and I actually found myself running with Rich for a bit, slaloming up and down round a field before it was into the first ditch, quickly followed by a series of extremely muddy trenches, where Rich kindly helped haul me out of the slippery mud pits. I lost him at the tyres at the end of the section as my foot got caught up and I took a while to untangle myself, then it was off into the woods and into streams. I was quite enjoying myself so far. A not surprising failure at the monkey bars and hang tough rings, but everything else negotiated fairly easily and I was quite enjoying myself.  I had all the normal wobbles on anything high, especially as things were also slick with mud, but I quite surprised myself by doing the firemans pole without any hesitation (before plummeting too fast to the floor as this too was slick and slippery!) and  struggled to haul myself up a set of metal tubes with the help of the rope, but I got there in the end with the help of the marshal.

My enjoyment dipped quite a lot at the paintball gauntlet, I couldn’t see though the mask I was handed and it’s so hard to breath, and run, in a full face mask that you can’t see through, all the time wondering when and where you would end up getting shot. I actually managed to get around without taking a hit, but I felt myself on the verge of a panic attack and was so relieved to hand the mask back and move on.

I really enjoyed the longer stretch of running, after the sandbag carry, switching back through the woods, then through some streams, bushes, and mud. I seemed to have lost everyone at this point, I even wondered if i had managed to get myself lost, but it seemed I was still on the right path as I came round to the beginning section again, back into the trenches we had started with to get re-coated with mud that had seemed to get even more sloppy and sticky, then round and over some different types of walls to the start line, to do it all over again for the second lap of the 10mile race.

Negotiating a muddy stream. Picture courtesy of Geoff Caten
Negotiating a muddy stream.
Picture courtesy of Geoff Caten

I did start to question my decision to do the longer race, I was tired and aching, and it had been a very long time since I’d pushed my body in this way, however as I made my way round for the second time it was great to run into some people that I knew who had started running later and were mostly just doing 5miles. A quick hello to fellow RPCCer Tracy Archer as we met at they tyre wall, where I also saw Nuker Scott Smith as I came back down. The best mid-race hug, possibly ever, from Mudstacles very gorgeous Tom Nash at the paintballs, Wrongen leader Vince James and his beautiful lady Brigita (whom had got me to the race in the first place) were run into at a second tyre wall, my RPCC friends Zoey Jenks and Sinead Jeavons accompanied me over a couple of cargo nets and through some very muddy ditches, and finally a second pretty awesome and much needed hug from race director Sean McNamee at the final wall before the finish.

All in all I was so delighted to see that finish line, I had enjoyed myself, but I had found it tough, and a lot less enjoyable running alone than I had the year before running it with friends. A day on and I’m aching all over, and not sure that any race is worth the lack of mobility I’m suffering though today but turns out I did managed 12th place lady which i’m pretty pleased with and I had a great day, therefore I have decided that although I will certainly do more OCR’s in the future now, it won’t be on the scale of the past few years.

RPCC finishers super selfie
RPCC finishers super selfie

June has ultimately finished how it had started, over eating, and over drinking, and feeling a bit un-fit, but I’m giving myself a mental shake today, I’m stronger than my demons, and I’m pulling it back in July… So far I’ve got a calendar full of social engagements and no races, but I’m going to sort that out and start making an effort to eat clean, at least in between all the socialising, as in one months time I would like to head into August feeling fit, not fat… watch this space!