As I was stood barefoot in the grass beside Kenmore Marina at 6.45am, Katherine (Queen Sherpa) asked if I was ok.
“It’s actually happening. Bugger” I replied.
“I’ll tell you what I tell Lucy when her legs give up at ParkRun….. You are. You can. You ARE doing it. You CAN do it.”
Those words would echo through my head for the entire 6hrs46minutes. She gifted me a mantra that I will look after forever.
You. Are. Doing it. You. Can. Do it. All the way up Schiehallion. All the way round Loch Rannoch. All the way back up and over Schiehallion…
The thing I’ve taken from all of this training, all those hours spent alone convincing myself that I’m not actually mental, that running at 5am in the snow is normal, that it’ll be worth it, the thing that’s stuck the most is that I CAN do this stuff! I’ve done it all. It wasn’t about that one day, that one race. It was about 12 months of build up, sacrifice, tiredness, SO MUCH FOOD, bruises, physio, tears and laughter. It is a transferable belief, too. If I can commit myself to that level of training, if I can push myself to go hard or go home, I can do anything. I can blast through that order at work. I can get through that particularly stressful meeting or encounter. I can do it.
Anyone can do anything if they want it enough, and work hard enough for it.
I hope my baby sister reads this and realises she is already DOING vet nursing. And that she CAN do it.
And I hope my mummy is reading this and thinking about how she CAN do the things she wants to be able to do.
I often read retrospective blogs by people who’ve got over the post-race buzz and picked apart their day, searching for ways to improve. I could do that. I could think about developing my stroke in the pool, or getting faster at running, or getting more confident on the bike. But those are things I want to do anyway. I won’t be negative in any way about Feldy. It was, without a doubt, the single best experience of my entire life. Better than passing my driving test. Better than graduating. Better than all of that. And the fact that my nearest and dearest were there to watch me complete it made it even more special.
It was the beginning. The Benchmark. It’ll be hard to top, buzz-wise. I literally loved every sodding second.
My race pic shall be treasured eternally. 6.5km into a 7km hill climb, leaving those people behind me (yeah, they may have caught me on the descent but so what…) THIS was my race face…
I harp on about doing stuff that you’re scared of quite a lot, but I can’t stress enough how amazing it feels to achieve something like this…. DAE IT! Do the thing that scares you! Push a bit! Push more than a bit if you want to! Just. Bloody. Do it.