Six-cess

My 10k looms. We are getting there. The goal recently has been to not walk and to learn how to run ‘hard’ then recovery ‘jog’ so there is constant movement forward. 

The treadmill has been very useful in this respect.  Fiddly buttons make walking very difficult so its just easier to keep the pace going. 

Pretty proud in my pushing that I have managed to run 6k, no walking! (I’ve done it 3 times now so by science it must be a thing right?)

The time is less than stellar, I know, but I’ve stopped caring. 

I’m learning to listen to my legs, my lungs, my stomach, and to stop listening to the voice in my head saying stop. 

I’m learning to listen to my post run body to see if there is more in the fuel tanks and more often than not I feel ‘yeah, theres another 0.5k in there’.

Next goal? 7k. 

We can do this!

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Where Angels Fear to Treadmill…

New university, new gym membership, new type of running… the treadmill. 

Historically I have a poor experience with treadmills, that said I couldn’t run for even 5 minutes never mind 5k. Those running for extended times on treadmill were beyond me; they had such purpose, such stamina, they looked good in work out clothes. By stark contrast I felt like I was playing at gyms, was breathless and looked like a minivan. If I ran it was for short periods, walking lots, feeling useless. 

Well, things are different now…ish.

I kitted up and sheepishly walked into the gym. Machines, weights, bikes, and people all doing their thing. I was nervous. I aporoached the treadmill with caution, do you use that clip thing? What speed is a good speed? Will my feet make a loud thud? Will I fall off? I’ve played the sims 3!

5k was the aim. We can do this!
I struggled with speeds. 6 was too slow. 7 was ok but it didn’t tick through distance fast enough for my liking. It was so different from road running where 0.1k was a distance put behind you, a distance achieved. This felt much more like an endurance test. 

I did 2.5k at speed 7 and the rest bumped between 8 and 8.5. Is that good? Who knows! The numbers felt so arbitrary I didn’t really feel like my time at the end justified the effort. I felt like all I had done was manage to stay in one place for 40 minutes getting progressively more red. 

Will I try it again? Of course! It’s too convenient during the uni day to just cast it aside. Also, it might be interesting mixing up treadmill with… weights. Hahaha. 

New experiences eh?

Pastures New

My next big race will be a 10k so I have started planning increased distances for my runs. One tactic is to get out an explore every street, nook, cranny and in today’s case country path. 

Instead of taking my normal route I decided to take a path I have seen lots and never thought anything of… and how surprised I was! 

This road went to Edinburgh if I went far enough! I hadn’t even realised. I knew that there was a canal nearby which went from Glasgow to Edinburgh but in my head it was further away. The path was very scenic:

Rivers, grass, bridges, sheep! Who knew eh?

The whole path is about 1k and pops out at another convenient path. New route for me 😉

Lanark Trail Festival 2016; My first 5k  

What a day!

My first 5k race, the first indication that my training has been working and I’m pretty chuffed. 

I went down to Lanark racecourse this morning and immediately I felt the buzz. Here were loads of other people ready to go, people who practiced and ran plenty. They came in all shapes and sizes, all ages and had convened at this cross country course on a blustery Scottish day to run. I was in. I was one of them. It was an exciting thought. 

Number on, ready for warm up. I will point out I should have won an award for best trousers, there was otherwise a disappointing sea of black.

Warm up jams on, an excellent mix of pop and dance doing South Lanarkshire proud. See how my natural disposition goes against the crowd!

Ok! All warm! Let’s do this! Off go the 10k runners and us 5k lot hang around. The wind was fierce and cold. The juniors all stand at the line raring to go and I wonder where I should stand, front? Middle? Back? 4,3,2,1 go!

1k

A flurry of running as the fast go ahead and I try and find my pace. With the speedy gone I resigned myself to being a back runner, defeatist from the start. 

2k 

I continue on, find my legs and my pace and realise theres a reason it’s odd. Im on grass! It felt strange, soft and bumpy. I had no time to focus on it. The track went into the woods and became a mix of mud, branches and mulch. I attacked uphill sections with strides and walked fast down muddy slopes. This was not good. I was going to have a terrible time. 

3k

Out the woods and onto flat concrete. We turn onto the loch and the path around it. This was much better. I enjoyed being able to watch the ducks and swans as they went by. The wind blew the bullrushes and the sun split through the grey cloud. This was good going. I could do it. To my surprise I was overtaking people who looked to be more naturally athletic, or at least skinny. I wasn’t speedy but I figured they had gone out too fast and burnt too soon. Poor sods.

Mum was a star, having come down to a bench to cheer me on as I went by. What a gem. 

4k

I can do this. Go, go, push,push. I was tired but determined. Turn up the hill and onto the straight. Some of the fastest had finished way ahead of me and were milling back to cars. It wasn’t an inspiring feeling. 

But then…

There it was, the row of flags we had started from! The end! The photographer and the water table. Push push, smile, fist pump and yeah!

5k done. 

I was elated. I had done it and I couldn’t stop smiling. The pa guy said:

The sun shines on the righteous and look at that! It’s out for all our winners.’

I collected my bag of goodies, t-shirt and medal feeling like a champion.

Result. The best feeling though?

At the start of the race I figured I’d try hit 45 mins considering cross country…

Under 40 just like in training. Such a good feeling. 

I rest my weary legs a tired and contented runner…. and yea I’m still wearing my medal. 

Playlist Pleasures 😘

My recent songs of choice are 2000s-tastic. I was more than excited when the recent my chemical romance announcement came out so down the rabbit hole I dived headfirst!

It’s upbeat, it’s angsty, it’s full of ridiculous lyrics, it’s fast… and it’s helping me keep going without stopping.

Much like a dancefloor when your jam comes on, you have to stay and dance! ‘Mate, that drink can wait! I need to sing all the words to nicki minaj!’, ‘mate, blur? Dance now, toilet later!’…

That’s how I feel when I hear one of these guilty pleasures. Keep going, before you know it 0.5k has gone by! Anything to keep up the energy and make the task more fun. 

So here’s my jams… part 1. 😉

Little Victories.

This week has been all about my 5k on Sunday. I understand that 5k is not a ground-breaking distance and that ultimately I should be doing that anyway, that there isn’t some special diet or training I have to do to finish it…. but enough of that self-depreciating nonsense! Let’s celebrate!!

At the end of July I managed to beat 40 minutes. Since then the aim has been to keep beating times a little as I go. Today was a 14 seconds better runner. 

Life can be tough and it’s important to take time to appreciate the little victories as they come. In this case I can fist pump to staying under 40 mins and being able slowly chip away at time. Well that and fitting into a size smaller jeans 😉

This gives me hope for Sunday and I look forward to crossing my first finish line, getting that medal and taking that.celebration shot. 

Bring it on!