More than 150 km of training camp workouts behind me, I set out on a tough 5K race right on the streets of Falesia and past the main trail where we mostly trained. The Joe Shellhorn race is organised by UK athletes and in memoriam of a guy whose name was… well, Joe Shellhorn. Turned out he was the backbone of UK athletics, a stand-out official of many years who passed away at the age of 86 in 2015. Well, the place was indeed filled with British athletes, all of them obviously training in the same places we did. No wonder, the flights from London to Faro are ridiculously cheap. Why not?
For me, the race was hard before it even started. I knew it. I wasn’t expecting much anything from it. I had completed a long, 30K run, just 2 days before. My legs were fatigued. The weather too hot. And all the other excuses. It was a race in the middle of a training season, I didn’t prepare for it as I would when the real race season starts. Add to this a tough trail with 3 uphill climbs and a total of 125 metres of ascent and you have the recipe of a disaster. Or maybe not.
Let’s say, it was tough all the way. Even the downhill portions were tough after the first climbs. Once your legs are so numb from training and climbing up the hill, the downhill part is supposed to be tough anyway. You can’t really go with the flow and rest on the way. Luckily, we didn’t have to climb the toughest hill, which we did already on Saturday, but the slow and not so steep climb was hard as well. I think, 1 climb up that hill was about a kilometre. Considering that we had to climb it 3 times… more than 50% of the 5K race was fighting against gravity. I finished in 20:52, which is 43 seconds worse than my PB but not the most awful result. I can live with this. Just imagine what I could do on the same course with fresh legs! Thanks to Estonian cheerleaders by the track!
P.S. The results list had my surname as “Juns” instead of “Jürs”. In Estonian, it sounds much like a “piece of shit” (“junn”). Thank you, UK handwriting deciphering team. Thank you. Appreciate the humour.
1. Own and live in a house.
Continued working on a translation project. Nuts, bolts and all that stuff.
2. Write AND publish a book.
Let’s not say that I didn’t read nor write anything. Let’s say I was resting my mind, preparing it for longer periods of hardcore writing.
3. Win a major race.
Didn’t win a race. 11th woman of 60. 48th out of 148 runners. Another workout later in the evening. Nice pace, low heart rate. Recovered well from the race.