This last week has proven to be one of those amazing times where everything seems to go my way. They don’t happen too often and so when they do occur, I make sure I really appreciate it. Weeks like this remind me of why I run. They make all the hard work worthwhile. The times when I really didn’t want to step out the door, when laying on the sofa under a blanket seemed much more appealing. The times when I’m pounding away on the dreadmill during a particularly tough hill interval session and wondering why I’m doing this to myself. All this hard work is worth it for the feeling it gives me when it all comes together. For the way my spirits are lifted when the famed ‘Runner’s High’ kicks in. This is why I run and why I will keep forcing myself out of the door even when it’s the last thing I feel like doing!
Thursday’s club run was brilliant. There was a great turn out, which was fantastic considering how finger numbingly cold it was. It always helps having the faster runners as you get dragged along at a pace faster than I would maintain during a training session on my own. Tonight I felt really good and was so pleased at how I managed to maintain a decent (for me!) pace throughout the run. Indeed, the last mile was the quickest. This always pleases me!
On Saturday, myself and the girls went along to support Tristan as he did the parkrun for the third consecutive Saturday. It was another chilly start and, as the runners gathered at the start, I felt a bit envious that I wasn’t joining them.
As the runners set off, we headed to the park so that the girls could have a play while still having a brilliant vantage point of the runners. The girls loved looking out for daddy and cheering him on whenever he passed.
As he passed us for the final time, we quickly headed for the finish so that we could give him that little bit more encouragement to boost him over the finish line. After another sprint finish, we were all delighted that Tristan had got yet another PB. Knocking another huge chunk off his previous best! He crossed the line in 31 mins 27 secs. That effort deserved a hot drink and a cake in the Manor Cafe afterwards.
On Sunday it was with some trepidation that I met up with Ali. We were going to attempt our longest run ever! Ali had planned a 15 mile route and we were aiming to complete this at a steady, comfortable pace of around 10 min 20 secs to 10 min 30 secs per mile. I worried that I wouldn’t make it or hit the wall at 10 miles which is something that regularly happens in events! However, the weather was perfect and our mood was high.
The first 6 miles headed along the river from Carlisle to Dalston. There were lots of runners out and we all had smiles on our faces as we passed each other. It was apt that the first Facebook status I read this morning was from a Facebook Friend who is one of my inspirations. His status read:
“Do you smile?
When you’re out there on the footpaths, do you smile? When your feet fall into the rhythm, one after another, do you smile? When the person running towards you has a grimace of pain and determination on their face, do you smile? When the person running towards you nods their head in your direction, do you smile?
The runners smile. The nod. The acknowledgement. A shared understanding of so many things. A shared moment.
And every time I see someone running towards me I want to smile. I want to say “how awesome are we right now for being out here and running?!”. I don’t know their story. I don’t know what race they are training for. I don’t know if they’re just running for fun. I don’t know how many years they’ve been running for. I don’t know if they have been out there for 10 minutes or 2 hours. And they don’t know any of these things about me.
But when a fellow runner looks up and smiles it can mean the world. It can mean the difference between me stopping running because “i feel exhausted” and finding the mental strength to keep going despite what my legs are telling me. It can be the difference between me getting down on myself for not running as fast as I want to and feeling on top of the world because I am a runner, we are runners and we’re all out there.
Do you smile? Today a lot of my fellow runners smiled. Perhaps more than ever before. And maybe that’s why my run felt so good. Even when I’m so tired from running that my mouth has forgotten how to work and I accidentally create a big spit bubble as well as a grin, I always try to smile. Because when you’re out there pounding the pavement alone, it’s nice to know that someone else is out there and for that brief exchange, they’re with you.”
This was taken from Three Quarters Alice and I think it sums up how uplifting it can be to receive an acknowledgement from another runner and how it can help you dig deep if you’re beginning to flag.
We chatted constantly and the miles ticked by unbelievably fast. We were pacing ourselves quite well although we had to keep steadying up in an effort to stop ourselves from speeding up too much. The aim of today’s run was just to complete it in one piece and give ourselves a much needed confidence boost.
At 10 miles my hip started to ache but it was more annoying than painful and I feel that all the extra hip stretches and Yoga that I’ve added to my routine are helping to alleviate the trouble that I have from my hip bursitis.
As we entered the final mile, our pace quickened and we still felt pretty amazing! Stopping our watches on 15 miles felt incredible! We’d done it! And we’d finished with the feeling that we had more in the tank – a feeling that inspires us with the confidence that we will get round a marathon!
To summarise this awesome week, this is the training that I achieved.
Monday 8.26 mile run in 1 hour 15 mins Ave pace 9’07 min/mile 72 various squats and 50 various crunches
Tuesday 30 min hill intervals on treadmill 3.62 km (25 sit ups, 25 each side leg raises, 1 min plank) x3, 10 burpees with push ups and star jumps, 76 various squats
Wednesday 80 various squats, 50 various crunches, 50 mountain climbers, 10 push ups New Plank PB of 3 minutes!!
Thursday Club run 7.4 miles in 1hr 02 mins; 84 various squats
Friday 88 various squats, 50 various crunches, 10 burpees with push ups and star jumps
Saturday 92 various squats, 50 crunches, 50 mountain climbers, 1 min plank punches
Sunday 15 miles in 2 hours 30 mins, 96 various squats, 50 various crunches
More weeks like this would be good 🙂