It was the first race of 2016, and my first race as a member of a club. It was also the day that I realised that I’m now a member of a running club ! sound daft? Yep, but it kind of just dawned on me that not only is this club someone to train with, but it is the support at events from both other runners and spectators from the club. I suppose until yesterday I hadn’t really considered this aspect of it.
So what was the race like? Gorgeous area, well organised, friendly people – perfect really. It was an early start as registration closed at 8.30am and we didn’t want to be rushing last minute so alarms went off and out of bed we got. One of my biggest issues is trying to get contact lenses into gritty eyes first thing on a morning (anyone got any tips for this?!), but for once they went in first try. Kit together and off we went.
The race is held in the grounds and surrounding roads of South Dalton estate – a beautiful part of the East Yorkshire countryside, which I’m lucky to live fairly near to. The course is described as undulating – and that it certainly was, with one main long hill that was pretty tough. Running four abreast up the hill we sounded like the Flying Scotsman must have done on its trip to York a few days earlier we were huffing and puffing that much!
The finishing mile took us back onto the estate with a cheeky hill up to the finishing line which made for a tough end. Flapjacks from the Pipe & Glass Inn at South Dalton were a very welcome sight at the finish and hit the spot totally. I was quite a way from my PB, but knew that this would be the case so it actually allowed me to relax and enjoy the race. We then stayed and waited to see the others from the club finish, and trophies awarded before heading home to get warm (and walk the dogs!).
I really found that last week’s bad long run had knocked my confidence. I very nearly didn’t go to club run on Tuesday night – my OH was away so it meant going on my own so I could very easily have not bothered. But a bit of a stern talking to myself and off I went. I knew that I needed a steady run and I was not in the mood to push hard.
And then, the reasons for being a member of a club and not running solo all the time showed themselves. One of the girls fell into step with me and we chatted for pretty much all of the 5.5 miles. We weren’t fast, but we weren’t slow – and it was just what I needed. So thank you Sarah, for taking the time to talk to me, it was very much appreciated 🙂
This week’s training:
Monday – 3 miles
Tues – 5.5 miles club
Wed – Rest day
Thurs – 3.1 miles
Fri – Rest day
Sat – 3.1 miles – parkrun
Sun – 10 miles
That is a pretty packed week training wise for me, I normally run four times rather than five times a week. Both the three mile runs during the week were pretty steady though as it was frosty again. I pushed more than I have been at parkrun, and it just shows how far I have to go to get back to pb form.
For Sunday’s long run I decided to run alone. Between joining the club and running with my OH all of my long run’s recently have been in company. I decided that to get my confidence back I needed to go out on my own and just see how I got on. Yet again it was raining and windy, but off I went, with my camelbak on and flapjacks stashed. Very pleased to say that I did manage 10 miles and was able to pick the pace up by 30 secs per mile for the last two miles. It has certainly gone some way to restoring my confidence.
So what is the plan for this week?
Well, Monday was supposed to be a rest day, but after a row with the teenager in the house I just had to get out. So last night was a fast 5k (quicker than I’d run parkrun on Sat!) in the dark. My head needed it, but I’m not sure it was the best way to recover from 10 miles on Sunday…….. Do you use running for moments like this? I’m finding the teenage years pretty hard to navigate do definitely use running as a stress relief.
Club run again tonight, and then it will be a fairly easy week running up to Sunday’s Dalton Dash 10k!
Well I’m definitely trying to get into the mindset of onwards and upwards! The beginning of 2016 has started off as hectic as 2015 ended – I wonder if we will get a slightly quieter period to catch our breath a bit?
So how is the training going? Well it had been OK, but then had a bad run at the weekend. Well, I say bad run – but it was still 9.63 miles – so it was very hard, and hurt, but I did it still!
We got up early and drove to our local parkrun, the aim had been to do 8 miles and be back to start parkrun at 9am. We were running a bit late so I knew we wouldn’t quite get that distance in. We ran from Sewerby all the way down the sea front at Bridlington until we ran out of promenade then turned to head back…….. oh dear……… not pleasant………
Now we can’t choose what the weather will be like on race day. I’m putting this run down to good training for inclement weather. It was awful.
Head wind, driving rain, sea crashing against the sea wall and covering us in spray. And because of the route we had taken, we could look ahead along the coastline and see just how far we had to run to get back! I stopped to visit the loo (lots of public loos along Brid seafront!) and my thighs were bright red and very cold – pulling up cold, wet tights was not overly pleasant. But battle on we did. The last mile before getting back to Sewerby Hall was one of my worst ever miles. I actually thought that I’d be forced to walk – but was scared to as I didn’t think I’d manage to start running again. The invisible treacle that my legs seemed to be fighting with was getting thicker and thicker. I was really considering not even starting parkrun – I thought I could marshal instead, but knew that I’d be so disappointed. We had a very quick pitstop to grab extra coats from the car for afterwards, and I had a bite of a cereal bar. I decided by this point that I would start parkrun, and I’d run as slowly as I needed to – the cliff top that I knew would be head wind was scaring me! I tried to warm up my thighs by staying out of the wind as we waited the few minutes for the start and then set off nice and steady. I fell into step with a fellow club runner which meant chatting to distract from the discomfort (always like a good chat!). Near hysterical laughter when she said she didn’t mind if I ran on ahead as she was running slowly that day – I did reply that I was thinking of slowing down, not speeding up!! So we stuck together the whole way – thanks Kath 🙂 Although the mileage wasn’t what I’d planned for today, I am proud of myself for sticking with it when the going got really tough – so I’m not beating myself up, but putting what wasn’t a good run behind me and moving on.
Sunday was a rest day – and wow did my thighs need it ! Valentine’s day was a quiet day at home, with a lovely meal of steak washed down with champagne – perfect (need to keep the protein up)!
I stopped to take a few pics on Mondays short run – I set off in bright sunshine, with icy pavements making me feel like bambi (it was not a quick run!). Just after I turned for home it started to snow. Now I like running when it is snowing – it makes me laugh, I like people’s reaction when they see you and there is just something a bit magical. But that only lasted a couple of minutes….. before it was replaced with icy cold rain. That doesn’t make me laugh. The only good thing about the rain was that it cleared some of the ice on the pavements. Ah well, it was a run done.
The last few days my facebook newsfeed has been full of stories from women regarding their experience with cancer – be it themselves or their loved ones – and dedicating their runs to those they’ve lost or those that have battled and survived. It has made for very hard reading.
In one way it has been inspiring, the strength that these women have when the very worst has been thrown at them. Mum’s who have had to watch their children go through awful treatments, people who have lost siblings at much too young an age, trying to support parents whilst they go through their battle. It also makes me very, very angry – that so many people are having to go through this – why is it happening so much; why my own family has been affected – why, why, why!
Someone said to me last year that they wouldn’t be able to cope if their parent / child / sibling / other half was diagnosed with cancer. That would be fine if we had a choice. But the one thing many, many people know is that we don’t have a choice when it comes to cancer, it affects way too many of us. This time last year I was terrified. Last February my Dad received the diagnosis that we dreaded – he had cancer. After supporting his wife for over ten years living with cancer – some good years and some bad, and my step brother passing away after a fairly short fight in his mid thirties, my Dad knows just how hard cancer, and the treatments, can be. I’ll admit that I didn’t know how I was going to cope, how I would be able to offer the support Dad needed, but I didn’t have a choice, you just have to get on with it and do the best you possibly can.
But here we are a year later, a year that has passed pretty damn quickly! There have been some very, very tough times, but also some good times too. Dad is doing OK and the treatments seem to have been successful. I’ve definitely learnt some things about myself too – I’m stronger than I thought I was; that showing emotion does not mean that you are weak; that I have an amazing partner who has been there for me and my family every single step of the way; that running has helped me deal with all of the crap that life throws at me!