Since Christmas I have been supporting Jon in training for the Sheffield Half marathon. This mainly involved sitting at home watching tv whilst he was out running but infrequently I was the support vehicle providing support and sustenance on journeys further from home.
A few weeks out we went and did the hill section of the race for confidence, a foul day, it was windy, rainy, misty and from the comfort of the cab of my Navara not at all inviting. Jon performed admirably completing the hill section and then doubling back to Sheffield.
I have done the 10k in Sheffield but never been to the half marathon before, I can safely say that after experiencing this year I will be back, probably as a runner though the experience of supporting was brilliant.
On the day as we walked up from the car park we were passed by the odd person in running gear, usually wearing earphones and warming up for the imminent event. The main event was set in Sheffield City Centre, outside the Crucible Theatre, a throng of nervous but excited runners met us as we turned the corner – the noise and hustle and bustle immediately raised the pulse rate and blood pressure. My nerves built never mind Jon’s, I left him to prepare and took up a position at the start. The gun went off and runners filed past for what seemed like an hour. I glanced Jon as he ran by and caught the image for posterity. Now, more than anything, I was willing him on to finish and get a good time.
It was a great feeling to support Jon through his training and then share in the experience of the day….the build up, the nerves and up then the excitement of tracking him around the course (a scary number of ways to track him as he ran) and being there the shout like the billio at him running up the last hill……
As I stood with my in-laws and nieces waiting for Jon to arrive I watched thousands of runners go past. At first self-conscious I shouted support at one or two then I realised that the anonymous words of encouragement meant a lot to many of the runners who had been fully challenged by the course and were within spitting distance of the finish….. As I got louder the in-laws moved away a little and I got more and more motivated to take part in the race myself next year. Watching others going through their own personal battles on that last hill but imagining the feeling they would get on crossing the line and achieving their goal inspired me to greater things.
He did it! And in a great time. I almost burst with pride xx
What I took from the day:
1. Set a goal
In all areas of our lives we need goals. Some will be longer term and take more time and effort to achieve and some will be smaller and within easy reach. These aspirations help us to keep on, keeping on. Picture where you want to be, at work, at home, in health and set that image as a goal.
2. Break it down
Whatever the goal you have chosen now imagine what you need to do to get there. What do you need to do today?, next week?, Next month?, Next year?
It is these smaller goals or milestones that will help to keep you on track. As you achieve each one you are one step closer to the image you have in your mind.
3. Who can help?
Life isn’t an individual adventure, we are all part of the bigger team. Although some things you may want to achieve on your own think about everyone who can help. It may be daily support from family, tips and advice from someone who has done it before or company on the journey from someone else with a like goal that you are looking for. Don’t restrict your thinking. When you have identified everyone ask them for help, the worst that can happen is they can say no.
4. Positive reinforcement
Find examples of people who have achieved the goal before or something similar. Disregard the negative, except for any learning that can be gained, and fill your world with images and stories of success.
5. Recognise you achievements
Take the time to recognise your success on the way to the goal. Each step is a win and moving in the right direction. There will be set backs but get back on track and keep striving. You can gain as much satisfaction and pleasure from the journey as the destination.
In Sheffield, there were all sorts of people with all sorts of stories, some ran for charity, some for themselves, some do it regularly for others this is a lifetime one off to prove to themselves they could. they were all amazing and for that 13 miles shared the same journey with 6000 others and were supported by family, friends and strangers. Anyone who set off over that line deserves respect and admiration.
Next year ……
Just to finish, the race itself was a great event. It was well organised, and before you ask there was water, it was friendly, happy and extremely well supported. The course was hard but wow what views and what a story to tell at the finish. The runners were many and varied. The crowds were noisy, motivating and showed why I am proud to live in Sheffield.
Well done to all.