And then today I get on the treadmill and run an “easy” 10k. It turns out watching a rerun of the American drama ER is motivational! I genuinely have no idea why some days I can run and other days I can’t, but today was a good day for running and it edges me ever closer to my 1000km target for 2018.
I also saw a physio today to get help with my hip/back niggles. Turns out it could be my lower back which has the problem, so if I strengthen my back, core and glutes then the niggles may lessen. So I have some stretches to do and a return appointment.
As the weather gets cooler and the days shorter, I hope everyone is still fitting in their running and staying safe.
I think I have probably used this headline a couple of times before, I definitely go through stages where running seems like some kind of monumental effort. And once that feeling kicks in, the cycle is so difficult to break because then even the thought of going running is hard work.
Luckily, I have a husband who recognises when I’ve lost my mojo and works hard to get me out running again. Firstly he encouraged a bit of a rest (doing something else that isn’t running, hence the recent swim sessions and massive improvement in my strength and weights programme) and then he took matters into his own hands.
“We are going away in the camper for a few days and I have found two different free camping spots – both have playgrounds and are great for running. Your running kit is packed.”
It was as simple as that. We woke up in New Brighton and took it in turns to do a 5k and then the next morning it was Otterspool where I decided the promenade would make a good sprint session. 1.5 miles out as an easy run and then on the 1.5 miles back I did sprint for one lamppost and jog for two. No exceptions. I wondered what on Earth I had let myself in for when I turned around and found myself in some kind of wind tunnel! It was a sprint session with resistance and although it was hard, it felt good.
And shock horror, now I’m back running I feel better in myself, stronger, fitter and looking forward to my next run. Here’s the view from my first days run…
So I took an impromptu break from social media which apparently included blogging during my most important race! So I now need to play catch up:
1. Great North Run Race Report – my first half marathon and therefore very special. Would I do it again? Erm, probably not.
The positives – I loved the distance, didn’t feel too stretched, the route was good and the crowds were simply amazing. I luckily met up with a couple of friends beforehand which helped calm the nerves, as well as having my family there to support me. As I muttered pre race, “what if I can’t do it?” It was my wise 2 year old who gave me the most valuable piece of advice “just run mummy”. And so I did – for 13.1 miles (and a bit extra because I high fives as many kids as I could and took a drink of beer!). And the post run carvery and cake was tremendous!! Oh and thanks to wonderful friends and family, I raised nearly £1000 for my adopted charity Tommy’s. I was overwhelmed.
The negatives – the waiting around to start was sooo long. From my last toilet stop to getting over the start line was more than 2 hours! And then I had to run. My race plan had been to enjoy it, with the view that when I got to about mile 7 and it had thinned out, I could speed up if I felt good. And this brings me to my biggest negative – IT NEVER THINNED OUT! It’s not the biggest half marathon in the world for nothing. But being part of this big race meant I never got into my stride, never got a decent pace, never managed a trademark finish line sprint. And I found that quite hard to deal with.
So to sum up – a great race that I am proud to have been part of and I will remember fondly as my first half marathon, but I doubt I will repeat it. But I did “just run”!
2. Post race blues? So immediately post race I hydrated and fuelled well so I didn’t feel ill like I had done on my longer runs. But in the few weeks that followed I struggled to find my running mojo. Despite my husband clocking up the miles and increasing his speed (eek, I’m meant to be the runner in this relationship!). So I turned my attention to cross training – completing a 12 mile bike ride (contemplating a triathlon) and a couple of swim sessions (ditto). And then, miraculously, I felt the need to run. But what if I couldn’t?
“You can always run mummy”
Yes my wise 2 year old hit the nail on the head again. A couple of 5ks and a 10k at pace and I am back in the room!
Now I just need to figure out my next challenge…..
Having not run since my race on Saturday, I was having my usual end of month blip – lacking in motivation and possibly tired from 60 running miles this month. So I text the husband and it went like this…
So I did 3.1 miles very very easy and a few weights and of course I felt better. As they say, you never regret a run.
It all started with a park run, but more importantly a family parkrun. My wonderful husband who is embracing the running through gritted teeth once again spent the morning saying “you aren’t going to go too fast, are you?” I reassured him that no it was just a steady run as I had a race that evening. All the while dreaming of a sub 30 buggy pushing pb. And with it being a quieter parkrun due to bank holiday, maybe there was a chance.
Still a slow start because of narrow paths and getting past people with the buggy. But once we had space we flew, singing wheels on the bus and bare necessities obviously helped. We attempted a final sprint but buggy pushing up a hill is hard enough. We got sub 30, my husband looked in disbelief “but that’s nearly a minute faster?!” Play park and cool down whilst my husband checked runkeeper more than I did, shaking his head!
That evening we headed for the double or quit race at Shipley park, where you choose if you do one lap or two – 5 or 10 miles. I’d already decided I was doing 10, my last long run before the Great North Run (2 weeks today) and chance to see if I could get my post race refuelling right so I didn’t feel sick and fainty.
I’m always marvelled by other runners conversations – the indecisiveness about what distance to run (how can you not have a plan?!), the ailments and excuses about what speed they would be running. I again started too far back and also worried in my head about whether I would know the route and which way to go for the ten mile (it was obvious, obviously).
A brief race report – absolutely brilliant race. Loved it. Would definitely do it again, found the distance manageable even with the massive hill at around mile 3/8. Time whizzed by and I was lucky to see my chief cheerleaders a couple of times for high fives and cheering. And also who doesn’t run for a lovely medal and a packet of crumpets!
And I got my post run fuelling right. Two cheese crackers, a snickers bar and lots of water. Followed by a healthyish curry for tea. No sickness. No dizziness. And I’m feeling fab the next day. Bring on GNR!!
…but I have been quietly getting on with my training. A lovely 9 miler with my son’s girlfriend whilst we were away on holiday. The 9 miles whizzed by as we nattered away, pretty much uninterrupted by traffic and other pedestrians. The following 8 mile round trip walking to the pub certainly finished us off!
Steady runs have also been completed and back in the gym to run 13.1 miles on the treadmill and pick up the weights and strength programme I enjoy so much.
Cross training hasn’t been completed as I would like – swimming and yoga have been non existent but I have managed the occasional cycle ride. There’s still room for improvement.
The big news is that whilst we were in holiday we mainly stayed healthy but enjoyed ourselves so barely put any weight on which tells me we have finally adopted the healthy way of life as routine. I also don’t beat myself up when I do have a scrummy over calorie meal!
And I came home to my Great North Run number. Soooo excited and sooo nervous. I have a pre race training and nutrition plan and think I know my race plan. I just have to put it into practice and enjoy it.
For views like this! I know I haven’t blogged in a while and this is going to be a super quick one but training is still going well. Parkrunning as a family, treadmill sessions and long runs with friends. One month today in Great North Run – bring it on!