Hello… Is it me you’re looking for? Sorry I seem to have fallen off the blog-dar in the past two weeks. But idle I haven’t been! Much I have achieved (I seem to have taken to speaking a little like Yoda… Must be all the running)
In the past fortnight I’ve accomplished:
- Running my first 10 and 11milers in six months
- Completing the Women’s Running 10k race with my sister
- Getting my race number for Swansea Half Marathon in 13days
- And performing on stage with my office choir for a concert of around 1500 people!
I didn’t think this was too shabby!
Running with the pack…and beyond
Rightly or wrongly, in the past two weeks I’ve kicked off my long-distance runs by taking part in our local Parkrun. It means I can run alongside a bigger crowd and feel inspired before taking off on my own for the rest of the journey. My other half has kindly accompanied me and kept me on the straight and narrow for a mile or two afterwards which is great. I tried my first 10miler with a mixture of company and conversation, followed by music and singing to myself. It was really nice to get out into the fresh air and have a breather away from everything. I don’t know about anyone else but I do love that aspect.
My 10miler last weekend was ok but I did have to keep positive speaking to myself to make sure my mind didn’t wander and I didn’t just give up! I really do think a lot of running is mental as well as physical. Music did help but I think I got pretty bored of my playlist by the end.
After doing my run, I hobbled home and took non-pleasure in having a ginger ice bath… That would consist of ginger oil (good for muscle ache), cold water and ice. It will NEVER be enjoyable!
My long run this weekend, again, consisted of a Parkrun start. Though I do believe it’s frowned upon to take part and then take off without recording your time. Oops. But needs must… And I was clearing the way for a cyclist. I was really doing them a favour!
Anyways, I started out with everyone else, taking in the atmosphere and not tuning out with my headphones. I read an article that said you should try and hold off on listening to your music for as long as possible when running long distance. Then, when you start to flag, pop your tunes on and they’ll get you through.
So Parkrun came and went, with a few friendly volunteer marshal faces who really help on the run around the circuit. I got to the end of the course and continued to run up alongside the river, still headphone-less. It was quite surprising, but boredom didn’t hit. I got 7miles in and still nothing. I continued to my destination, turned round and went back the same way to complete the distance. I saw plenty of runners, giving them a smile and a nod as I ran past. It’s funny how running can be really sociable or selectively unsociable. Either way, that’s why I like it.
By the time I reached the 9mile mark, I still didn’t feel the need to dig deep for the music but seemed to instead have a catchy song doing the rounds in my head. I kept telling myself I was only a mile off so there was no point in faffing with my headphones. Which is when I decided an extra mile probably wouldn’t be so bad…
As you can see, my 10mile training run turned into an 11miler and not a bad one at that. I double backed on myself once or twice in order to make sure I didn’t run too far over. When I got to my finishing point (badly chosen as there are plenty of steps to climb to get to the main road), I had epic wobbly leg syndrome. I stretched a bit and then attempted to walk to my car.
Bambi would’ve done a better job. It took me sometime but I eventually made it. And the sun was still shining… Bonus!
Wisely or unwisely, this led onto my 10k race with my lovely little sister. I think she’d been looking forward to her first race for some time and when the day got here, it was damp, drizzly and grey. But it didn’t put us off! We got down to Bute Park for the Women’s Running 10k race and we were immediately surrounded by excitable ladies all waiting to get started. There was a very energetic warm up and stretching session which we modestly took part in.
Everyone was wished well and sent on their way to begin the two laps of the park. We were too busy nattering so ended up at the back of the crowd but seeing as we weren’t feeling too competitive, we didn’t mind. We were also lucky enough to be running alongside Ruth Jones (She plays Nessa in ‘Gavin and Stacey’, if you’re a fan and know what I’m talking about!) who was doing a grand job along the way.
It was a great event and we ended up getting in at 1hour 1minute, with a cheeky shout-out by the compere. Despite the cold, my sis did really well. There’s always a niceness in running an event with no time or competitive agenda in mind. We did a bit of overtaking but nothing too sinister.
She enjoyed the event and is really looking forward to her first ever half marathon in October. She’s going to be awesome, we all know it!
Counting down the Swansea days
It’s just under two weeks until Karlos and I run the Swansea Half Marathon and I can’t wait! Touch wood, training has been going well and as I smugly mentioned above, I’ve done two big training runs in the lead up. Apparently it’s one of the flattest and fastest races in the UK and is going to be pretty scenic. We’re staying in Swansea the night before and going for an epic dinner to load up the energy.
Can’t wait to tell you all about it when we’re finished it!
My final little accomplishment has little, if nothing, to do with running. Although it gives me the same sort of happiness. With my awesome work, I’m part of the Office Choir. We’re one of 17 other choirs across Wales and England that have been set up to help those with cancer, those bereaved by or those who are going through cancer. There are some genuinely amazing and inspirational people in the choirs and the event we got to sing at was the most inspiring yet.
20 of us in the choir stood up in front of over 1,000 people and sang ‘We Are Young’ by the band Fun. and it was totally epic. We had a standing ovation and it was sensational. I did however have one too many beverages afterwards and consequently did fall head over feet off the bed when I got home.
But hey, the only way is up right?
How did you get on this weekend? Take part in a smug-worthy run?