On your marks…
Frameworker days give our people the opportunity to do something different that challenges them or to do something worthwhile for others (or sometimes both)...
For sporty trio Megan, Jen and Lucy, taking part in a competitive race was the obvious way to push them to their limits. And raising money for UK charity After Adoption meant their Frameworker day ticked both boxes.
I’ve always had a begrudging attitude towards my personal fitness. I tell myself that I work out so I can eat what I want – but that’s probably not the mentality of a true athlete. I usually enjoy my workouts and regularly attend the gym, where I partake in spin classes or pound the treadmill (I’m using creative license here, it’s usually a jog at best). Or I like going for a run around Tooting Common, close to where I live.
When we were introduced to the idea of Frameworker days I must admit I was a bit stumped. My colleague Jen and I contemplated running 10k for charity – and it was during a chat over cocktails (where all good ideas start) that we recruited Lucy into our group. As you can imagine, we were all really enthusiastic that evening, but the next day – not so much. However, none of us had completed anything like this before so we forged ahead and found a 10k run in Regent’s Park. We had six weeks to prepare.
I’ve always been keen to take my running up a notch. I’ve been running at the gym for years, but it was only recently that I began to train outside. I was optimistic about the pending 10k and thought getting into shape for Christmas would be a welcome by-product of training – so my usual casual attitude to weekend runs became more serious (staying in bed normally tends to win out on Saturday mornings).
Training was actually really enjoyable – with one exception. Tragically, on one practice run I fell over quite spectacularly. Traffic had to stop, passers by were alarmed and a dog who was off his lead enjoying his Saturday stroll thought I was playing as I lay sprawled across the pavement – and promptly loped over to lick my face enthusiastically. Fun times.
Anyway, setting ourselves targets as the weeks went on and comparing notes applied the right amount of pressure. Jen completed a 10k run one night in the gym, when I had gone home at 8k – and I couldn’t sleep for worrying about it. But it pushed me more. I loved getting out at the weekends and slowly building my stamina. It reminded me of the tenacity you need in your career, setting targets and exceeding them – there’s that same sense of achievement when you run further than your last session or beat your personal best. The collaboration between the three of us was fun; we’d regularly chat about it in the studio and encourage each other when morale was dipping.
The day of the run came round far quicker than any of us anticipated, but we had trained hard and the weather was set to be fair. Nevertheless, nerves had set in and none of us slept well the night before (Lucy lay awake the longest, finally dropping off at 4am). We’d all been strict with ourselves – there was to be no alcohol before the run. But, in reality, a glass of wine the night before might have been just the tonic…
We arrived at Regent’s Park far too early, which didn’t help the nerves, but seeing around 900 other runners assemble for the race was exciting as we began to queue at the start line.
Each of us had different experiences. Jen probably enjoyed it the most (and there are now rumours of her planning to run a half marathon). Lucy found it slightly tougher than in her training (probably due to the lack of sleep the night before). Moral support from the crowd definitely helped when we hit the 8k mark and I desperately wanted to stop. But it was fear of embarrassment that probably drove me on more than anything; I really wanted a respectable time. Which is ironic, because when we signed up I think we would have been happy just to reach the finish line!
We were all really pleased with our times (Jen finished in 50:34, followed by me in 53:34 and Lucy closely behind with a time of 53:47) and the sense of relief at the finish line was evidence of how nervous we’d all been feeling.
Dedicating yourself to doing something, even for a short time, does apply pressure that you’re perhaps not aware of until it’s over. I’m very proud of our team for completing the run and raising more than £500 for After Adoption. All three of us would also like to say thank you to The Frameworks for introducing Frameworker days – I’m not sure we’d have competed in the run otherwise. It’s great to be given the opportunity to enrich yourself and to discover things about yourself that you perhaps weren’t sure of before. I certainly didn’t think I could run 10k in that time.
Now it’s out of the way, we’ve started to prepare for something else: Christmas is fast approaching, so we’re getting ready for the inevitable gorging on roast dinners and chocolate treats. And getting into shape ahead of the holidays hasn’t really happened – it must have been all the carb-loading that we embraced so enthusiastically during training…
- Frameworker days
- The Frameworks