002: Discovering my edge

26/10: Cannock Chase. 5 miles "track session"
by JR

It’s 5pm and the sun is setting. The day’s are shorter before the clocks go back.

There are no clouds, it’s a still, misty afternoon.

When we took the space here the lady said we’d notice it’s a little colder by a degree or two because it’s higher up. I can feel that on my legs.

I’m a bit nervous because I’m doing my first run that includes some “efforts” in it. As usual, I’m doing exactly what George tells me to do - inspired by his energy.

I noticed that as soon as we talked about pacing, time and a 5km “goal” I feel my gut clench. Now I’m not looking forward to a beautiful run as much, I’m worried that I won’t be very good and I’m comparing myself to the 5km time of a mutual friend we just referenced.

Saying it out loud helped and I lightened the load by reminding myself I’d never done a running session like this before. I’m just used to running 2/10 and running very slowly.

  • 1 mile slow jog/warm
  • 1km at a 2/10 pace (10-10.30 min/miles)
  • 1km at a 8/10 pace (8 - 8.30 min/miles)
  • Repeat 4x
  • Total 8km

I loved running fast, feeling the wind whip my body, feeling free and also feeling surprised at how much I had to give.

In the end I ran my last two laps at 7.30 min/miles which felt quick for me.

My feet started getting pins and needles, yet I felt controlled, the recovery kilometre felt great, it was actually hard to slow down.

Seeing George pelt it around ahead was an inspiration, not feeling alone....

I realised both during and after that I’m discovering my edge, finding what it feels like to run with my heart pounding, noticing my breath, feeling how long I can hold a pace or a sensation for.

Many people run too fast when they run and they suffer throughout it, I feel like I’m a little different where actually I really hold myself back and sometimes don’t actually try that hard.

It’s because I’m afraid of failing. I’m scared if I try, try and run fast, try and hit a time or a goal and miss it, I feel like shit. I stay very controlled, very safe yet I often come away feeling like I had more inside me that I didn’t explore.

The moon is big and so nearly full, it’s bright, luminous in the sky. At one point I see it emerge through the trees and accidentally shout “fuck” aloud because it looks so majestic. I’m running towards it, it’s my mirror, my guide - I look for it in the sky always.

The session is over, George is finished and shouts me in. The endorphins are surging and my body feels alive and flush. Sitting down inside the little cabin on The Chase and nibbling on a snickers and drinking some water my legs and feet are pulsing, I can feel the blood moving in me and the sweat starting to stick.

I am alive.

We jog back in. It’s 6.30pm and getting dark. My first “track” session complete.

Still I have that feeling that there’s more to discover and I’m discovering myself through this process.

It’s less about time and performance, more about discovering who I am and what I’m capable of - that’s what keeps me coming back.

James x

Back to blog