On the 23rd April, 13:50, Callum and I set off on the London’s Toughest Race in aid of CLIC Sargent. 8km terrain, 40+ obstacles, fast lanes and penalty rounds for notcompleting obstacles. Raising and awesome £175 in total, Callum conquered this course, coming away with his well deserved medal, a heck of a lot of cramp.
As we both settled down, minions movie on and his congratulatory tub of Ben and Jerry’s being demolished, I consoled myself with mine.
The weather cold, the course technical at times, and my height and size not giving me a huge advantage meant that unfortunately I had to drop out – unable to get my body temperature back to a reasonable level after wading through some muddy water in the woods. I was frozen to my core, and unzipping my jacket was and an obstacle in itself: definite humiliation being 23 and having your dad undress you. Even after wrapping up in clean, warm layers, I was still shivering and fatigued.
We were back in the arena though to cheer Callum on as he finished the final obstacles and watched proudly as he had his glory photo taken on the podium.
However, I couldn’t help feeling horrendously disappointed in myself.
Months trying to train and build strength, and I’d ended up losing more muscle mass than putting on, and just clearly not in the same fit physical condition that I was for Tough Mudder last year, walking away without my medal, I felt I’d let the charity down, Callum down…and above all, myself down. Although I am very proud of the funds we managed to raise!
For the week after I literally couldn’t get it out of my mind, and I felt pretty rubbish. However, stopping to reflect on the past few months leading up to the race (my mentality and training) helped highlight the conflict that’d I’d experienced wanting to get fitter and stronger, but also stay in the trim lean state I’d got to. There is of course a trade off between putting on muscle and staying so lean, and really, I would’ve much preferred to have completed this race, been a bit bigger, stronger and overall healthier for my height.
So without wallowing in self pity, I am seeing this as a chance to restart, and now I know what the course is like, maybe entering it next year…? I will of course continue pursuing other challenges (for myself and charities) and have my sight sets on the Guildford Triathlon Sprint, Spartan Races and Climbing Mt Kilimanjaro.
Although this medal is not hanging from my wall, give me a year or so and we’ll see what happens. After all, slow and steady wins the race…right?