JEN SCOTNEY: THE AFTERMATH
I finished in just under 9 and half hours. Amazing that Marcus had done that 4 hours quicker and then gone on to the second loop. I got my medal and fleece. I then got chatting to a English runner Jaqui who had finished just before me, and I saw that Marcus was second at last checkpoint which was a great result if he could hold it. It got dark and began to rain as I waited for him, and shared his joy as he crossed the line.
He’s had a tough year for running, with things not going his way, so it was such a relief to get that result of second and first vet. I’ll forgive him for the demands and orders he barked from the sofa that night, ‘I ran too you know’ being muttered under my breath only a couple of times. But a positive is despite the 40 miles and 6800ft of ascent I wasn’t stiff or too tired after the race. I think I finished 27th, top third, and so yes, I wasn’t last. It’s given me some confidence I am ready for my next race in Peru in 6 weeks. I also made the right decision about doing the Medium trail, even though it felt like a disappointment and almost defeatist at the time; the second loop for 120km was nowhere near as picturesque, and more importantly it gets dark at 6pm (obviously not something I would think to check before travelling out!) and I would have had a long night in the dark, and had to get over the sleep deprivation and get back to work within an hour of getting home. A lesson I really should know now, it won’t turn out well.
I’m not sure how this piece has ended up so long as I sit down to write about a 40 mile training run. But it’s just how running and racing becomes more than just a skip along a path, as it becomes entwined in your life, in your personality, and your plans for the future. I sometimes wish is wasn’t so important, as I know the fatigue, or injury, can take it all away in an instant. And part of me needs to know I would be ok without running. But even in this short training race I learnt about the patience to overcome my fatigue, and coming through those dark thoughts in low times. I learnt another step of overcoming those thoughts of inferiority or not being good enough, that flood me at times especially on start lines, and shedding the ego about the need to perform, the pressure I put on myself, of comparison to others, of always having to pick the longest race…
It also reminds me that I would not be where I am now, doing what I do, without the love and support of so many others, especially Marcus. And so maybe this running malarkey is important after all. And maybe that’s ok.