Wednesday, 8 July 2015

What you've all been waiting for (or probably not)...

It's been referred to a few times now. The Episode of the Mighty Running Daff.

It happened because I had entered the MK Everyday Hero half marathon and in the weeks leading up to the race had a niggle that just wouldn't quite leave me alone. (I guess that's why they are called niggles- because they niggle.) I knew going for a PB (as I'd planned to do) wasn't on the cards but I also know my running self well enough now to realise that neither would I manage to run the race easy. As I said to a friend the other day, I'm stubborn, obstinate, bloody minded and can't always tell when to stop. Anyway, I racked my brains to think of how I could trick myself into running an easy race and just having lots of fun.

Dressing up came to mind. I just love dressing up. Being a very shy person ordinarily, putting on a costume seems to give me a lot of confidence. The race was on 4th May- so obviously a Star Wars theme came to mind but as the idea only came to me just a couple of days before the race there was no time either to make or buy a costume. Shame, as I'd seen a fab Storm Trooper morphsuit online. Social media and the lovely people at my running club came to the rescue- someone had a morphsuit I could borrow and did I want to wear petals on my head too. If you don't really know about them, a morphsuit gives complete anonymity if you wear it with the head piece and for someone like me who has precisely no curves a morphsuit also means no one can tell if you're male or female. That's liberating.

Wow! It was soooooo much fun wearing a morphsuit! I only did a tiny practise run in it before race day and it felt a bit strange at first, but the freedom once that mask is over your face!...

People thought it was hilarious; they thought I was a nutter; around the course there were lots of puzzled children asking 'How can that man see where he's going?'; and a few men really didn't like being overtaken by a daffodil... It was all fine except for the boredom of the actual route- up and down the city centre grids was really no fun at all and many of the main roads were sadly lacking in spectators. The people who were out and about on the route were great and it was really nice making people do a double take (was that a daffodil just run past?) or just laugh hysterically. I'd been warned that having the mask would freak out small children but fortunately I only made one cry.
Anyway, I was having a good time until about mile 10 or 11 when I was suddenly very hot and my legs were very, very tired.  Of course I hadn't run easy. Silly me to think a morphsuit would slow me down! Most of the race was actually close to PB pace but by those last few miles I was just willing my legs to keep moving. Certainly there was nothing left for the last little lap around the stadium. Can't remember what time I finished in, but it was way too quick for someone who should have taken it easy.
So there you have it. The Mighty Running Daff- proof that I'm not really serious all the time.

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