DNF.

£15 quid down the drain, at least that’s what it feels like. The truth is this was probably a good learning curve for me and an excuse to take a break.

Recently I’ve been thinking about taking some time off running anyway, in the last three and a half months I can’t remember taking two days off in a row – even the day I came back to Hastings from Amsterdam still feeling it I ran a couple of miles.

My hunch after that 5000m race in York was to take a couple of weeks off racing, then the following week on a Saturday run with Chris I didn’t feel like I could keep up with a fairly steadyish pace – that day I said I was going to take a break too.

Well now I really am taking a break, maybe until Saturday but definitely until Thursday at least. Funnily enough I’m listening to an album called “burnout” by Oliver at the minute and if that doesn’t sum up my situation I don’t know what does!

So onto the race, my first representing San Domenico. Getting there was stressful – trying to find the start and HQ. Normally with one of these club versus club races I’m getting there with my teammates – it’s a jokey and relaxed journey there which settles the nerves.

But the struggle getting there just intensified the pressure. Also there was the fact that I couldn’t see anyone beforehand that I knew for a chat – not that I had time to anyway. Once I had done a mile warm up it was time to line up at the start.

On Monday and the Thursday club run I got a weird feeling in my left hip, this slowed me down quite a bit on the Thursday. So for starters, I didn’t know if I was going to finish pain-free.

Pace wise I went off a little too fast as well, I was aiming for a sub 38 but my 2K and 3K splits were both around 3:45 mins/km. Because I didn’t take a bag, I was wearing a blue long sleeve undershirt as well as my vest and this was getting annoying as the temperature started to turn up slightly. Someone beside me also started complaining about the heat which just added to this worry.

I was hating every second. Looking back I’m surprised I got to 3.9K. I glanced at my watch for the umpteenth time as we came down a road which was only blocked off on one side and my pace dropped to about 4:30 mins/km. Then I stopped. I don’t think I’ve ever stopped in a road race but this time I did.

Then I think I tried to run again but I just thought sod it, what’s the point. And a long journey home began via dropping off my pins at the race HQ. From stopping at 11:15 it took me four hours to get home via a search for the train station, a rail replacement bus and a normal bus back from Cardiff City centre. In a way this was a good thing because it gave me time to reflect.

I remember in January 2018 I developed a calf injury during a XC race at Blackcap. However, I carried on with some walking breaks just to earn points for the club. On Sunday there was no such motivation. With running you NEED motivation to get shit done!

Anyway, I had a walk today which reinforced the point that my legs are battered. I’ll be back soon enough though, just you watch.