Yorkshire Times
A Voice of the North
Claire Marie
Features Writer
4:09 AM 24th July 2021

My Midlife 10K - Part 3

After years as a mediocre jogger rather than a ‘proper’ runner, 40+ blogger Claire Marie is taking the plunge and attempting her first 10k. And she’s documenting her journey for our readers.

Claire Marie
Claire Marie
My number came through this week. It’s starting to feel incredibly real now, and if this crazy weather’s going to stick around, more than a little scary.

But I’ve stuck to my training plan, have a bit of a strategy, and I’m thrilled that I’ve come even this far.

I had a brief exchange with a stranger while training recently, which had the most uplifting of consequences. On hitting the 5k mark and not that far from home, a man walking his dog asked me - good naturedly - if it was worth it when I jogged slowly past him. I must have looked pretty bedraggled at that point - I know I felt it. But I was feeling pretty proud of myself too. Having someone randomly ask me that question at that particular moment gave me plenty to consider for my final stretch, and as I slowly and determinedly headed for the finish line (my doorstep), I thought about the many ways I could answer:

It's worth it because I was very overweight and although I continue to struggle with what I eat, running enables me to look the best I can
It's worth it because no matter what's going on in my life, running lifts me up and refreshes my mindset
It's worth it because seeing such improvement in my abilities gives me a great sense of achievement and pride
It's worth it because as a woman in her mid-forties who is fitter than I ever was in my 30s, it gives me and others hope that you're never too old to pursue something or develop a new passion

And it's worth it because I'm worth it.

But there have also been many moments of discomfort. Tuesday interval training involved running up and down a massive hill over and over again, which I approached with all the enthusiasm of a wet fart but completed and survived. And Wednesday was a distinctly uncomfortable 6k where the local mosquito population feasted with abandon on my ankles, and I stupidly chose not to run with water because it affects my form (big mistake).

My track training on Saturday and hour-long run on Sunday will feel significantly more doable if it’s less than a thousand degrees Fahrenheit, but the chances are, race day will be pretty hot anyway, so I need to get comfortable with being uncomfortable, and that’s kind of my goal now.

In between, there are cold showers, ice-cold drinks and aircon to fall back on (the latter is only in my car, not in my house obvs).

Next week: The final countdown – getting into the zone with just hours to go.