There’s No Shame In Slowing Down!

Lisa Abdellah |

The Gun Run didn’t go exactly to plan – but I smashed it! – By RW Deputy Ed, Lisa Abdellah


Lisa Abdellah regularly trains on the Gun Run route. Image by Alex Abdellah
Lisa Abdellah regularly trains on the Gun Run route. Image by Alex Abdellah

I was training for a sub-40 10-K last November. But in my mind, ‘training’ meant sticking to the paces outlined on my programme, no matter what. Consequently, I would push my body harder than I should into a strong headwind; and if I was off pace – even by a matter of seconds – I would doubt myself.

Most runners see injury as the pits, but it’s often your body’s way of telling you to stop and take stock. Without warning, I tore my hamstring during a track session. My physio called it a training error.

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The news I wasn’t going to put all my hard work into practice and smash my sub-40 anytime soon was heartbreaking. But while I recovered from my injury, I could attend to matters of the heart. First, I got married! Then, I began running again – this time using a heart-rate monitor.

There were times when my heart told me I had to walk – which was frustrating, because I consider myself fast. But it did teach me to run according to how I ‘feel’.

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Almost a year after my injury, I ran last weekend’s Gun Run 10-K. Sometimes, conditions were outside of my control. A few gusts, an incline and a pocket of humidity each prompted me to adjust my intensity, which meant I slowed down.

Pace is more a guideline than a given, and here’s why: my competitors had slowed down, too!

Lisa finished 15th in the ladies race, in a time of 42:47.

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