Again, Tuesday saw me battling the inner demons in order to get myself out to the track session. Every week I have to drag myself there. It was cold, I was tired, I’d been sneezing all day. The sofa looked so appealing that it took a huge amount of persuasion from both myself and the other half to get ready and get out there. Besides, I had a new sports bra to try and I was eager to see how it performed! After a recommendation from a fellow member on the Facebook group Run Mummy Run, I was keen to try the ‘La Isla Run Sports Bra’. I usually use the Shock Absorber Run bra and this looked very similar but only £15 including P&P. It also came in blue and yellow, the colour of Leeds United!
I don’t know why I have this mental battle every week as I invariably feel much better after going. It was another good turnout for the session and, after a three lap warm up, we began the session with 4x100m. The main set was a parlauf which meant grabbing a partner. The parlauf involved a 300m hard effort followed by a 100m slow jog recovery. As you finish your hard effort, you hand the baton to your partner and, while they do their 300m, you jog slowly back 100m before meeting up with them again. We did this 7 times. It was hard work as we were aiming for a relative perceived effort of 8/10.
I was happy that my efforts were relatively consistent throughout the session – the timings recorded were a little out as I struggled to press my button whilst handing over the baton! It was another good run and I’m glad I went. It does hurt pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, running at a much quicker pace than usual. However, to progress, you need to keep pushing your perceived limits. I was pleased to note that my new sports bra performed really well and it’ll be interesting to see how it compares to the Shock Absorber Run bra with regards to its durability and ongoing performance.
I took Wednesday afternoon off work to go and cheer on the girls as they took part in their first cross country competition for their school. They were very nervous beforehand. The weather was horrendous! Heavy rain and winds meant that this wasn’t going to be easy and, along with the muddy ground, this was a baptism of fire into the world of cross country running!
Erin was due to run first and we headed out into the rain to watch her. She had one lap of the playing field to cover. It seemed such a long way for their little legs. As she approached the finish line, you could see her digging in and her competitive spirit kicked in. She looked so determined!The nerves that she’d had beforehand had evaporated and she was desperate to do it again!
As Shannon lined up at the start, there’d been no let up in the intensity of the rain. It was thoroughly miserable. Her group had two laps to do!! Shannon settled into her pace and, although it was clear that she was finding it hard, she kept on going. What great spirit! As she neared the line, you could tell she was exhausted but she was beaming! She loved it! All the runners that day showed such heart to keep going despite the awful weather.
On Thursday, I took the whole day off work. The other half was going away and, with the girls at school/pre-school, it was the ideal opportunity to head to the hills. After dropping the girls off at school and Tristan off in Carlisle, I headed down to Latrigg. I arrived in Keswick at about 10:30 and, although the sky was dark, it was dry. Very unusual for Keswick!
After a change of shoes and a check of my Camelbak, I set off at a steady pace for the slog up Latrigg along Spooney Green Lane. I found this tough going today. My quads were still feeling the effects of Tuesday’s faster running and so I had to do the segment up until the gate through a mixture of run/walking. After passing through the gate, I made sure that I just kept plodding forwards, managing to run the rest of the way. As I neared the top, the wind grew in intensity offering extra resistance training! Despite some low cloud, the view was still breathtaking and I had to stop to take some pictures. I didn’t linger long, however, as it was a really biting wind.
I then headed back the way I’d come, diverting on to the path that headed to Gale Road car park. It was then on to a heavenly downhill section and, although my Speedcrosses generally cope well on soggy paths, some of the grassy areas were extremely muddy and I had to take care in order to prevent ending up flat on my back! It was then on to a little road section before hitting the old railway line. While mainly flat, there are some sneaky little inclines along the way which are quite testing when your calf muscles and quads have already been overworked!
However, I managed to maintain a pace I was happy with and it wasn’t long before I was back to where I started. I had to run a few yards past the car to round it up to 6.5 miles. I like nice, round numbers.
Despite the sluggish start, I was happy with today’s run. I love heading to the hills whenever I have the opportunity. Physically, running up hills is an awesome workout. But it’s so much more than that. Surrounded by such natural beauty, there is nothing more cleansing for the soul than the raw, challenging beauty of the fells.