The original plan for 2017 had been to not worry about running until all the studying was out the way, then assess how bad things had got and go from there. So fast forward to a quarter of the way through the year and here I am, running pretty much back to square one – even on a par with my pre-running club days. Although I’ve found the situation disheartening, I don’t regret prioritising my studying. I have accepted where I am and know that I can get back to where I was. Moreover, I need to be thankful that my starting point isn’t that bad and I can still physically run.
So the plan of action was to sign up for the Great Manchester 10K, at the end of May and target this as my comeback race. There were two reasons for choosing to target the Manchester 10K, the first was that I could get a discounted entry and the second was that I would have about 7 weeks to train after handing in my uni work, which would hopefully give me enough time to get up to an acceptable standard.
However, Jason and a couple of my club mates had entered Salford 10K… I was conscious of the fact that this may be too much too soon, but as I said above I knew I could still run 6 miles, even it wasn’t at the pace I had become accustomed to. Also I was a bit conscious of making a bit of a fool of myself, as I was aware that a lot of local runners would be taking part and I would be able to be ‘found’ in the race results. Then I remembered that I’ve recently decided that I don’t really care what people think, so why not put this attitude to practice? Furthermore, I’m sure these runners were too busy worrying about their own race to pay attention to Emma Tolond of Manchester Harriers.
I have fond memories of Salford 10K as in 2015 this is where I ran my 10K PB (41.18 – I’m clinging on to this with hope at the moment!) and it also reminds me of when my partner, Jason and I first got together. The race itself is also a good one, 2 laps and reasonably flat, with long stretches and cheap to enter. Plus the race is always run on Good Friday, which offers some novelty to the usual Sunday race day associations.
The 2017 version was a lot tougher going that its 2015 counterpart, particularly the 1st lap, with involved me looking how far I had ran only 1.5 miles into the race. The second half of the race wasn’t too bad and I got into a little groove. I experienced many different emotions during the race, ranging from despair to pride. I may not be running the same times as two years ago but at least I’m running.