Smashing it

I was a bit apprehensive about parkrun this week as my 9km the week previous had been a total disaster.  I got there and had various plans in  mind.  One was to get round however, one was to get a sub 30 whatever the time and another was to go for gold!!!  Good news was that a local running club were there in force and there were lots of pacers.  Luckily for me there was a 28,29 and 30 minute pacer.  My plan at the off was to stick near to the 29 minute pacers for as long as possible and then just see what happened.  If I could stay near for the first 3-4km I would get a good time.  As we got to the university it was going well, although fast.  I noticed on my watch that we did our first km is 5.25 which was rather faster than I know I can sustain.  They realised this too and slowed down.  Undeterred however, I decided to plod on for as long as I could in order to get a head start.  IT was then that I met my knight in Dri-fit! – aka Ian.  He noticed that I was clock watching – which I didn’t realise that I was!  and volunteered to pace me.  I had already begun to dream of a 28 something time, but was tiring massively.  He explained that he was having to pace himself due to rehab from an injury so off we went.  Then my stubbornness kicked in and although I thought I was going to die at several stages, I couldn’t bring myself to give up as I thought it might seem rude.  And I really did want to give up, and I did feel faint and sick at times, but I stuck to it and finished strong.    I forgot to stop my watch at the funnel and thought that I had done a miraculous 28.52, but when the official times came in, it was 28.30.  I AM OVER THE MOON.  When I got my sub 30 I never thought that I would get faster but I am making progress.  I wouldn’t have been able to do it without Ian and his encouragement, and my stubbornness.  It is such a mental struggle to keep going when it really hurts, but I am getting it.

I am off out tonight for 10km with my friends husband.  The forecast is terrible so lets hope that we don’t drown

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Struggling with the heat

I can’t remember what I have run since the last time I wrote so I am going to focus only on the past week.  Martyn and I have struggled to get out as Simon has been away a lot and in the meantime Martyn has covered a Half marathon distance.  I feel that I am going to have to go out alone more in order to get up to speed (or distance).  I have ditched the earphones entirely now and that has actually not bothered me as much as I thought it would.  In fact, this evening I didn’t even think about it.

On Saturday I volunteered to Marshal at Parkrun after I got my PB the other week – I hope that I wrote about that!  Having not been out for a while due to weather and being home alone at night I was a bit sad that I was going to miss out.  I decided therefore, that since I was up early anyway (Thanks Stanley), I wold run the 5km before Parkrun started and finish in time to marshal.  It was nice to be out there early as it was a little fresher, but is was terribly muggy and I wasn’t feeling it.  I missed the crowds and I think that I felt a bit up myself that I had done it at all and therefore not doing well, didn’t matter.  I did a sub 30 but I did stand still on about 5 occasions – this is a naughty habit that I have got into as my garmin auto pauses and therefore the walking doesn’t count against me!!  It was good to marshal though and I am glad that I did my bit

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  • 5:58/km

I then went out again on Sunday and had the crappiest run that I have had for ages.  For my half marathon plan of sorts, I have to increase my distance by 1 km each week – there is room for me to miss weeks but essentially this is the plan.  So on Sunday I was on for 9km.  This shouldn’t have been too difficult as I have done this recently and it hasn’t been too hard.  How wrong could I be?  It was awful.  I was so hot and bothered.  My legs felt heavy from running the previous day (or I think they did, that may have been another head excuse), my head didn’t want to be out there and kept yelling at me to walk – so I did.  I walked loads and felt like a total failure.  I have chalked it up to experience though and know that some runs are not good ones.

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  • 7:12/km

Not to be put off I went out this evening and did my hill run.  I ran to the top of the hill, down to the bottom and back up again.  I hate hills but it wasn’t too bad.  I felt positive throughout and strong, although my legs were tired.  I ran the whole way and good.  I even wore shorts!  Why not

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    Moving Time
  • 6:39/km

I’m Inspired

Having rested the knee for the allotted time plus some, I finally managed to get some runs in.  A few weeks ago now I did Parkrun and set my watch to pacer.  I set it for a 30 minute 5km as I really wanted to get that last 16 seconds off.  Disaster struck however when I realised that I hadn’t taken my headphones.  I always run with music unless I am running with someone.  Realising that my pb dreams were unlikely I decided just to get on with it.  There was heavy traffic at the start which held me back but I kept plodding on.  I have no idea how but I did it – and I did it well.  29.16m.  A new PB and not even a PBPB.  I was over the moon.  It is amazing what you can achieve when you are not even trying.

It has been really hard to get out though recently as Simon has been away a lot and it was George’s birthday last weekend.  I have managed a couple though.  I have a new, flat route that takes me along the dual carriageway and then into the next village.  Last weekend I went for a knee test run and ended up running 6.5km and this week I extended it slightly to get to 7km.  And following my parkrun headphones mishap I have ditched the music.  The northampton half is headphones free so I need to learn to run without them.  Strangely, I have actually found it easier than I thought.  Running finally seems to have clicked with me.  I just run and then go home.  I am not bothered about my pace or even the distance really.  Obviously I need to keep going further but I am not measuring it all out.

Today was George’s accidental fun run event.  67 children arrived and ran 2km with him.  It was great and so many people remarked that they wanted to do it again that a friend and I are looking into a new venture – watch this space.

After a long time I am finally in love with running.

So much to say…

I have neglected this blog because sometimes life gets in the way.  I can’t even remember what order I should say things in.

Ill start with running on the Isle of Wight.  I managed to get to Parkrun, despite having had about 2 hours sleep. Sharing a room with a teething baby that has a cold is not recommended.  I am really lucky that I have managed to do it twice now when it is at the sea front.  The route was different to last year though and included rather a lot of hills. I half gave up before I started and decided that I would walk the hills to save my knee.

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Despite a few walking breaks I actually wasn’t that far behind my PB.  I ran the last part with a guy called Stuart who was struggling, and between us we pushed to the end.  Oh and in the picture you can see my new apricot vest.

On Easter Monday I began my “Marathon across a week” challenge.  Simon dropped my off and I began to make my way home.  Quell Suprise – the first 3km were horrific, but I allowed myself to walk and actually I got into it easier and ran for much longer than I thought.  Sadly by about 9 km my knee was playing up and I accepted that I needed to get it looked at.  Even though I walked I got a new PB for 10km at 1.07m.  Happy with that.  I got to 12km and hobbled home.  That was the end of my marathon challenge – I’ve not run since.  Time to grow up and not ignore my pain.  To that end I saw a physio today.  I have hurt my ITB and have lots of stretches to do.  He says that I will live to run another race.

At the weekend I went to London to watch my friend Vicki run the marathon.  I was so proud of her and the atmosphere was amazing.  I was so inspired my everyone and their efforts and I was jealous.  I have really changed my mindset with the whole “finishing lines not finishing times” mantra.  So, here’s checking who actually reads this – I am going to enter the ballot for London 2018 on Monday.  On 6% get a place, but I can only try.  I am not prepared to do it for a charity place.  But I am going to let the gods decide.  I can truly say that when I started this blog and named it – I really did think it a pipedream.  It might actually come true ARGGGGH

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Here’s Vicki spotting us at mile 19 and looking as fresh as a daisy.

So finally.  I got a message in my social media feed about a 2km “school run” medal and decided to sign George up.  It is a virtual run to be completed before the end of June.  I had a mad idea to make it a bit of a group effort.  So far I think we have 27 signed up!!  I can’t wait.

Old Age!!

Firstly, Tuesday’s long run.  I decided that since we are not really working to a specific time scale (actually we are, but that is a secret and a way off so..shhh)  we would only do 6km this week but we would make it a hard 6km.  I live half way up a hill and to be honest I usually plan runs that start from the top and stay up there or even better from the bottom and finish on a walk up!!  Cunning.  Or if I am really stuck, I drive to a flat place.  This week the route that I planned involved running down a hill for about 2 km and then uphill for the next four.  Sometimes steep and sometimes gradual, but either way – hill hell.  I hate hills, did I mention that.  I really hate hill.

I loved the first part of the run, I was so nice and downhill.  It fact the next 4km were not as awful as I thought.  It was tough and seemed never ending.  I swore a lot and I relied heavily on Martyn to keep me mentally strong.  Before too long though we reached the end of the run and to be honest I was totally deflated.  I realised that we had pretty much finished but I didn’t feel like we had done enough – so instead of turning left, we went right.  We added a loop around Hardingstone village and that made the run instantly nearly double the length.  I’m not sure if it was the hills or just my age, but my knee started to twinge at about 7km and by 8km it was quite painful.  That coupled with the urgent need to pee, meant that I was very focused on moving forward and getting home.  We kept going even though by 9km I was visibly limping.   Fairly certain that if I stopped i would be in so much pain I wouldn’t weight bear, I thought it best to run and swear until I got home.   I was right.  I was agony as soon as we stopped and I had it iced and strapped for a few days.

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Simon went on a motorbike weekend this week so no parkrun this week.  My knee was feeling a little better on Friday so I thought I’d go for a little test run.  I was cunning as I hadn’t mentioned to Simon that I was going.  I rang the Chinese takeaway and ordered food before I left and then ran the long way round to collect it.  It was only 3km and it was quite funny when I arrived, rather breathless to grab my food.  My knee did twinge and I am a little concerned about this weeks long run, but I need to get it done.  I have my “Marathon in a week” to start on Easter Monday and I need to be fit to go. And this week I am hoping to get involved in a bit of Parkrun tourism, just hoping that my new t-shirt arrives before I go.

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On track

We had to change our running night last week as Simon was away on Thursday.  I am a bit of a creature of habit and I thought that it would throw me more than it did.  Tuesday night saw us run a route that I had planned. It combined my love of the racecourse and Martyn’s love of Abington Park.  We started at the Racecourse, but needed to run in the opposite direction to Parkrun.   It is weird that something as simple as running in the opposite direction can cause so much hassle – both of us felt that it was much longer and much harder.  The racecourse is definitely a runner’s park.  There are always loads of people running round it.  I guess because it is relatively flat.   It is also well known for being rather dangerous.  I couldn’t believe how many young women were running round it at dusk and later in the dark in shorts with headphones on.  I know that sounds a bit sexist but I wouldn’t walk through it at night alone.  To be honest I don’t always feel that comfortable when I’m with Martyn and he is 6,4″ and a very good kickboxer.  Anyway, the route that I had planned included some of our old runs so we knew where we were.  I forgot that there is quite a large hill on the Kettering road and that came at the 3km point.  This is my worst part of any run.  It is the point that my brain screams STOP RUNNING.  Once I am through it I can keep going for ages but that plus a hill was not good.   The next few km’s were OK and I felt quite strong.  We ran along the main roads until we got back to Abington Park and began a much needed descent for a while.  Unfortunately this meant that the hill from hell was back upon us and this week I really struggled.  I didn’t stop running but I felt like I was running on the spot for most of it.  When we finally got back to the car park I realised that we hadn’t reached the full 10km that I had planned and we needed to do a few laps in order to reach the target.  When we started I actually told Martyn that I felt so strong that I could go on for a few more km.  How I later laughed!  We ran up and down a path until my watch beeped and then went back to the car and munched on Jelly Babies.  Not allowed under my diet but I DONT CARE.  Gnom Gnom.  So we are back at 10km.  Time: 1.13 – slow but steady and to be honest I don’t care about distance times anymore – I only care that we covered the distance and I didn’t walk.

Parkrun-  I missed last week so I was pleased to be back.  I really want a sub 30 but can’t believe my progress so far already and I don’t want to get ahead of myself.  At the moment I just want to run and feel comfortable.  This week I was really pleased that they had a 30 min pacer so I had a visual clue as to where I was.  I didn’t feel the need to run alongside him, I just wanted to be able to see him – which wasn’t hard as he was wearing a chicken hat .  (That’s Martyn next to him)

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I kept up with him for 3km or slow and then I had to let him slip away.  Not too far, but a little.  I just wanted to match my time from last week.  And then I did it.  I bloody walked for a bit.  I’m so annoyed with myself.  I took my headphones out and just soaked up the atmosphere.  I then started to listen to a mother talking to her daughter and just pretended that she was talking to me.  I went for it and pushed through to the end.

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I’d love to say that I am there in the orange, looking fresh and happy.  Sadly I am in the corner looking like I’ve died!!  The orange lady is my “mum coach”.

Anyway – important stats:  time: 30.52  and weight loss now 21lbs

Quick shout out to Martyn who was so drunk the night before I had to tell him where he’d been based on his facebook updates.  I am sure that he was still a little drunk when we started but he aced it and got a sub 30 by quite a way.

8 Mile (Well Kilometers actually, but that isn’t a film title!)

I’ve been a tad busy recently so haven’t got round to writing about my progress.  I didn’t make it to parkrun this week as I was volunteering for a baby charity, but the week before I did and took almost a minute off my time for the previous week.  My friend Vicki joined Martyn and myself for her first ever parkrun.  She has been running for about a year and has never run with another person let alone in a crowd so she wanted to experience a race atmosphere.  Luckily, she enjoyed herself as she is running the London Marathon next month for the mental health charity MIND.  And bloody amazing she is too.  She ran with me for about two km and then left me – I was quite relieved and I was getting tired and was pacing myself badly.  I was only 20 seconds slower than Martyn, which has put a rocket up his backside.  I’ve added Vicki’s just giving page incase you haven’t sponsored her yet.

http://m.virginmoneygiving.com/mt/uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserProfilePage.action?userUrl=VickiStanton

Anyway back to me – I freestyled again on Tuesday with the buggy and did 4km in total with a bit of Jeffing along the way but I was pretty pleased with myself.  But Thursday night was the big night.  In the olden days, Martyn and I used to run on Thursday nights and we were up to 17km when I fell pregnant .  Well Ladies and Gentlemen, running club is back and we are on.  We agreed to meet at Abington Park this time and to run 6 but aim for 7km.  Martyn had planned out a route and I simply had to follow.  As usual, at about 3km I wanted to give up and I felt terrible, but I pushed through and the rhythm kicked in.  Once this happens I find that running isn’t as hard as it was.  My legs hurt and I get aches here and there but I am not so out of breath or tired that I feel that I can’t go on.  In fact I felt quite strong until we hit the hill at the back of the park and that was tough.  I knew it was coming and had been trying to ignore it but it hurt, mentally and physically.  Despite this, I wanted to keep going and push on.  In the end we ran through 6km and pushed for 8km.  It was tough near the end and I was feeling tired, but I remembered that I’d feel elated if we did it.  I am starting to believe that there is such a thing as muscle memory and my goal of a half marathon is still in sight.

So this week we are out on Tuesday – tomorrow and we are aiming for 8 pushing for 10km.  I just need to find a flat route.  And I need to learn to run alone without headphones as the HM that I have spotted has a no headphone rule as there are only partial road closures.

 

 

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