I realised that I had started a blog post ages ago about getting ‘back in to running’ and it had been sat in drafts for ages so I decided to revisit it, only to wonder what I was thinking at the time of writing the two paragraphs that had been sat there. The only thing I’ve kept is the title of the blog post. Deleted the rest thinking ‘what a loada tosh!’
What I really hate about running is that I lose run fitness far quicker than I lose swim or bike fitness. Massively. I can also push myself swimming and cycling to the point of feeling sick, without feeling or thinking it’s beyond stupid. Running is a different entity for me. It also seems to take me a lot longer to gain run fitness again compared to swimming and cycling. Starting again feels like starting from scratch again.
Anyway, I have somehow started to find running marginally better. I started running with a friend on a weekend and it’s kept me somewhat accountable and I have started to feel my run fitness slowly improve and have slowly increased the number of times I run a week too. Small steps.
I have also realised I am my own worst enemy when it comes to running. I can happily swim train on my own, cycling I am somewhat similar but prefer training with people. Running – I really need to run with others to keep me on track and motivated to keep going. So running with one of my friends has really helped and because it is currently low stakes and we are both just heading out to get slowly better – I am enjoying it (and the chat!). It also massively helped my mood after a huge dip in January. I went out with another friend a week or two back post work. It was his slow run day – so we went out – well, his slow easy run was more like speed work for me to an extent but after several months running on trails – running on path felt easier than I expected and I ended up with the fastest 5km time I’ve done in ages. It also made me realise that actually the slow running is good for me and gave me a bit of a boost in terms of achieving without setting out to do it.
The blog post title refers to going back to basics and I feel like I have – the lighter evenings (which, with the clock changes, will be even better), running with friends, running slow and just heading out really is going back to basics and it’s helping. I have also tried to be more time efficient and I am getting changed to run, at work, and parking up at local woods to go run trail so it’s done before I get home and sit down! Although note to self – carry inhaler!
Maybe I will actually start enjoying running more again. LOVE might be too strong an emotion but small steps – it’s definitely more tolerable than it was three months ago!
I’d like to say that I have been as motivated during this ‘lockdown’ as I was the first, but that would be a lie.
I am definitely finding it harder this time, partly because I am working more hours than ever so with extra commitments and diminishing light, I can’t ride to work. I can’t really run safely at home during the week really either unless I am willing to bore myself silly running up and down the length of my village (which isn’t all that far). My mood in general isn’t as great as normal either – definitely not as positive or cheery.
So this week, my mojo has really taken a hit and I have had seven days off completely. No spin, no stretch, no pilates, no S&C work – nothing.
And I am refusing to feel guilty about it, like a Twitter follower said, we’re not pros and we aren’t being paid – it isn’t the end of the world (just frustrating). I have, however, managed to get work planned for next week, new work commitments starting so hopefully some more money coming in to start reflecting the hours I am putting in.
On the major plus side – with sales starting – I have invested in a new wetsuit – and when I say invest, it was a large chunk of money but it was money saved specifically for it, so with 40% off, spending £270 on a wetsuit doesn’t seem so bad – just hoping it fits! Nervous and excited! It’s a top end suit and I am hoping I will see a difference compared to my old entry level Huub – which has served me well and got me through some pretty epic swims.
I am going to aim to get some sessions in this week as I am feeling far more organised with work (working for someone else as well as having own business has it’s advantages but equally…. can be knackering!) and I am planning to start some better sleeping habits too. I am also being dragged out for a run on Thursday morning before work – so…. hopefully the dip in mojo is just that – a dip*
*remembered on my run that I want to go sub 6 and a half hours at a 70.3 next September – helped with the last km run home. The view helped too.
My worst 10km race ever.
Not really the worse thing ever though. Anyone who knows me or has read my blog know that I haven’t really run at all since September due to an ongoing injury/issues so I wasn’t expecting anything reasonable and nor was I expecting to be able to run all of it. It is still my favourite race and the most beautiful place ever.
So apart from it being a poor time, what was different from previous years?
The weather – well, a headwind ALL the way and everything from snow, sleet, rain, sun and rainbows. Just about every season in a day. I was very seriously contemplating DNS.
The company – this year I managed to talk two mates into coming and doing the race too. It was one of them that stopped me from DNS and is the most calming person to be around. I knew he would love the race and the scenery and felt justified in my ‘persuasion’ tactics from earlier in the year (I have been trying to persuade him up here for the last year). I didn’t run with them but them being there and a group of mates being at the end and staying for the weekend made it worth it.
My fitness – my run fitness is dire but my knee did not hurt – I am taking this as the biggest win ever.
The Coastal Trail Race in Northumberland is my favourite 10km (this year 11.2!km) run ever and the fact that I think I may have converted/persuaded a few more of my mates to come again next year makes it even more special.
Sledmere Sunset Trail race on Friday night was a bit of a last minute (week) decision. I haven’t really run properly since Edinburgh Half Marathon so I knew it was never going to be brilliant!
I had managed to get a last minute place – in terms of – I had a place that someone didn’t want/need and it got transferred over, while I was sat in the cinema watching the trailers!
Anyway, back to the race. I tagged along with a mate who was running it and thankfully the weather had, for the most part, had improved. Considering the amount of times I’ve been through Sledmere, I have never stopped at the house so it was actually quite a treat to be there.
I registered, had a bit of a moan about how unfit I am and wandered down to the start line. The 10k did on mini lap – the 3.8km mini trail race route then did a longer loop around the estate. I have to say, the route, for 80% was really lovely – reasonably muddy but not XC style thankfully, undulating but few real hills as such (cant believe I’m saying that of all things!). I was doing ok for the first 5km – a bit caught up with slower runners but I wasn’t initially too worried – then we hit grass. I hate running on grass. Majorly. To me it is harder than sand.
From about 5/6km in to 7km, you had to run down the bottom of a long valley – and it was awful. Just energy/leg zapping grass. Even my mate at the end had a moan about that bit! Then a climb out and another run through the woods and down the trails. Apart from the grass, my only bug bear with other runners was down to the fact that very few were willing to fling themselves down the descents!
It started to rain at the 8k mark but my mate was already in – and I was happy for the rain just to cool off a bit. I pushed the last 2k – to an extent, as it was mostly downhill and then I heard my mate cheering/shouting at me to hurry up as I came to the finish line.
If I hadn’t been so unfit – I think I might have enjoyed it more – the scenery and setting was really lovely and doing an impromptu 10k during the week rather than on a weekend in the morning, was actually pretty good! The medal was also one of the nicest I have too! As for the organisation – that was top notch – as was the marshalling and cheering on. Driffield Striders put on a great event!
Same time next year I think!