19. Adrenaline Rush

Since starting this marathon mission, I keep finding myself saying things that I never thought I would. And here’s another one: running is an adrenaline rush. There’s the elation of finally finishing a short run in arctic conditions, or running the longest distance yet, or a quicker than usual mile. Then there’s the more unusual situations such as having a dog chase you down the road (like yesterday).

Run 28 – After Saturday’s longer run I had two days of recovery again. Tuesday I woke up and just couldn’t work out why my alarm was set so early…so duly rolled over and went back to sleep. A good start to this weeks training. The only thing I wrote in my notes for this run was ‘got up late’ – says it all really. After jumping awake with a start a while later, I quickly got ready and dashed out for brief run. Figured it was better to do something (even if it was only a mile) rather than nothing. Partly out of guilt, partly because if I don’t run for a few days I start to go a bit mad.

Run 29 – Thursday was double Tuesday’s run, but the route was a bit of an error; it was uphill the whole way back. Big effort for that time in the morning.

Run 30 – Am starting to see the benefit of actually running the distance I’m meant to during the week in order to make the most of the long runs. Eg, I haven’t been doing what I should be, and will endeavour to get back on it (like Sonic). Considering this, Saturday’s run was pretty darn good actually. 5.5 miles in 1 hour 5 mins. Ooooh first time ever of running more than an hour without stopping. Again it was hard as its the furthest I’ve been, so I made up the route as I went along. I had a rough idea so it wasn’t too bad, and even gave me an excuse for walking up our hill at the end – a good cool down having completed the planned mileage.

Next week is a bit of a milestone – 6.2 miles – a 10 km! I can’t wait…

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10. Breathe in, breathe out

The past week has seen a few first and second helpings, though sadly I’m not referring to any food related incidents. Fortunately the storms wern’t as bad as anticipated which was good, but that just meant my running route was clear and I had no excuse not to run.

I’ve been joined for parts of runs by two different people, and it was great to have them both there – not only to help me keep pace but also just as company to encourage each other to keep going. Interestingly, both of them run with headphones in, but as I find them (the headphones, not people) incredibly annoying flapping around, I just talk or sing to myself. A lot of it is motivational chat to get me up an incline or counting down to the next landmark. So if you see me running (which some people have!) and I look like I’m talking to myself, I probably am.

BIG NEWS! I’ve also met a milestone in terms of distance. I’ve now done my first, second and third 5km runs!

Run 14 – Eeeeeek I actually ran 5km, in just shy of 40 mins! It was an odd feeling; I hadn’t realised I’d actually done it. I decided to increase the distance a bit at the start of the week to build it up more, and so ran a bit further than usual. Then it dawned on me I also had to run back again, so it was further than planned, and when I got back to where I started I only had 0.1 mile to go before it was a 5km. I ran round the car park a few times and made it just long enough. Bingo! I was quite excited afterwards, as it wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be to go a bit further, and so decided to stick at this regular distance for my runs before work. I’m not gonna lie, you do feel good knowing you’ve been for a (not very) casual 5km run before you really start the day. I told people afterwards that I hadn’t realised I’d done it, which provided some amusement and I was told to just think of the marathon as a 10km but just a bit longer and I’ll do it without realising it. Well, it might work…?!

Run 15 – I was a bit late starting so it had to be a bit of a shorter run, It was hard work to get started, my legs felt tired and it was starting to spit with rain but I’d started so was committing to the cause. I met guest runner no.1 at the top of the road and definitely found it easier to keep a steady pace.

Run 16 – 5km number two.  Second guest joined in the fun for a mile or so. Wasn’t a bad run, but I always find the Friday afternoon run a bit harder. Probably a combination of running two days in a row, and that I’ve already been busy all morning. Having said that, it was cool in the air, so nice to run in. It was a bit touch and go as it had been raining earlier in the day and I couldn’t decide if it would hold out long enough for a dry run. Fortunately it did; Friday is certainly my preference over Saturday, so it was good to get it in.

Run 17 – This morning was the third 5km of the week, and I felt a bit more prepared in knowing what to expect. That was until I saw two people I knew, both within a minute of starting. I did that thing where you try and speed up when you see someone you know to look like you’re going faster/more efficiently/more Olympian-esque than you really are, which is rarely maintainable for a few seconds after passing them and then you go back to normal. Trouble was, I sort of forgot to go back to normal speed, which was a bit of a fail as I was running up hill. I got to the top and suddenly realised why I’d found it harder than usual. It was pretty chilly with more of a wind than previous days, and I’d had gloves on – these soon came off after warming up so quickly. I kept going the rest of the way at what I think was my normal pace, but having sped up at that initial bit, it actually bought my average time down to 12 min 14 sec, and I shaved 2 mins off my 5km time. Maybe I should have people I know stationed around for me to see so I keep the speed up! (hint hint – please do come and line the streets of London on April 13th and make lots of noise!)

So all seems to be going well and on track so far. And the fact that it’s raining outside right now and I know I don’t need to run tomorrow morning makes it all the more satisfying.