Run #8 Reflection: First long run of 2017 DONE!

nYou know the bit where Charlie, in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, shows Grandpa Joe his golden ticket and, after years of being bed-bound, Grandpa Joe yelps “Yippee” in a burst of glee and springs from his bed, rejoicing with a little jig? Well, how Grandpa Joe felt about Charlie finding the golden ticket resembles how I felt doing Sunday’s run.

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WAS BUZZING!

I went with my old running partner, Rachel. We did the Cardiff 10k together in 2016 and attempted the Bristol Half a couple of years before that (let’s not go there…!). The aim for this run? 50mins, non-stop. Running around the Downs in Bristol on a Sunday morning was very different to running around the small streets of a little north Wiltshire town. Not only were there other runners out and about, of all shapes, ages and levels, but there were loads of people out for other reasons, too; walking, cycling, boot camp, football. I felt energised for running with someone else (Rach is great at setting a pace for me – her stride is longer than mine and so I run behind her trying to keep up), energised for being surrounded by other runners and people, and simply energised by the run itself. The sun was shining but there was a lovely cool breeze to keep us at a comfortable temperature. Oh, and I gave my new bit of kit a go, too: my running belt!

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I decided to get one of these as I get so, so thirsty on runs. I try to hydrate enough throughout the day and ahead of runs so I don’t need to bring water with me but any run over 45 minutes and I’m gasping for a drop of H2O. So I thought I’d give this a go as when I run with bottles in my hands, my shoulders get tight and I my focus moves on to them instead of my run which isn’t all too helpful. And I was really surprised, the belt worked really well and didn’t annoy the hell out of me like I thought it would. Winning.

With people, the run and water fuelling my body and mind, motivating me to put one foot in front of the other, we not only achieved the run’s aim but we surpassed it (ok, only by 5 minutes, but still!). I still can’t quite fathom how I’m supposed to do this just over 5 times more but let’s just keep on taking one run at a time and hope that across that time it just happens!

Run #8 Rating & Reflection

Achievement = 5

I don’t feel like this run could have gone any better!

Enjoyment = 5

I felt like I’d won the golden ticket.

Oh, and as a reward, Rach and I went for brunch after – well done to us!!

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Pre-marathon-training ‘training’ reflection… 

“So how’s the marathon training going Rhiannon?” is a common question that’s been asked many times by friends, family and colleagues in the past few weeks. It feels good to have people take an interest in something you do. It doesn’t feel good when you give the answer I’ve been giving. “It’s… er,” I stammer. “Well, it was going and now it’s… well, now it’s kind of not going,” I mutter, with my cheeks blushing the way they should blush after a run, not a sheepish admission. 4 runs achieved out of a planned 24. A sixth of runs completed. 16.6% of runs done. Or you can look at it as 20 runs not achieved out of a planned 24. Five sixths of runs not completed. 83.3% of runs not done. Those aren’t great stats.

When I put it all in to context, I’m not surprised nor am I as ashamed with my minimal-track record. The past 3 weeks have been emotionally and physically turbulent to say the least and with a routine going out the window with moving house plus Christmas and New Year, I’m amazed I even know what day it is. And before the break up (see next post) there was the week that knocked me for six as my (then) partner was in hospital and I literally worried sick about them. I don’t want to make myself sick in this process; that’s the opposite to the desired effect! Running on empty is going to do me no good, literally and figuratively speaking. So I get how around 12 runs have been wiped out right there in one big swoop.

But what about the other half? Indeed. What about the other half?

While I keep reminding myself to strive for progress and not perfection, I’ve got to remember that I’ve actually got to put the effort in to make the progress at the very least. I knew that committing to the training would be the hardest part for me, especially when going through a tough mental period. But somehow and from somewhere I’ve got to suck it up. I decided to do this, no-one forced me to do this. I wanted to take on this challenge. So now I’ve got to show up and do that: take on the challenge. I’ve got to go out and train, even if I end up walking for the duration/length. Because come the marathon day, I will complete those 26.2 miles even if I crawl across the finish line with stewards patiently meandering behind me clearing up the banners and barriers, hours after everyone else has finished. I owe it to the Mental Health Foundation, I owe it to those who have – and hopefully will – sponsor me and, finally, I owe it to myself. So yes I might not make every training session becuase life/shit happens, but man alive do I have to give myself a good kick up the arse to get those stats more in my favour because otherwise I’m not making the most out of this experience, I’m not giving myself a good chance and, ultimately, what’s the point if I’m not putting the effort in?

So next time someone asks me how the marathon training’s going, I am going to say “it’s going and it’s going well, thanks.” And I’ll say that with a smile on my face from the satisfaction of knowing that I’m telling the truth because I have been training. Just if you see me over the next few days, hold off asking that question until the start of next week, thanks! 😉🏃🏻‍♀️👟🏅🏆👍🏼💪🏼

Run #4 Reflection: Well, I turned up at least!

A short post because I got distracted writing another post I’m yet to finish and only just realised the time – I need my beauty sleep!

As you’ll soon find out in the pending post, I haven’t ran for a couple of weeks. I won’t wang on about why here. And I won’t wang on about how crap today’s run was either. Essentially, I was too warm, too slow and too unfit. Oh, and I lost a glove… twice! But as the vibrations on my wrist reverberated signals to my brain (my Fitbit telling me I’d reached 10,000 steps) I at least realised that today I showed up to my run and gave it a go. I know as time goes on I’ll need to be tougher with myself if I’m actually to run any part of the London Marathon but for now, with still 4 long wintry months to go, I think it’s enough to give myself a pat on the back for at least going out for a run / jog / walk / wander. Next time though, I need to do a bit more to get a pat on the back.

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Run #4 Rating & Reflection

Achievement = 3

Bit disappointed in how much I’ve lost in 2 weeks in terms of habit, fitness, stamina and just sheer grit. I know if I put it all in to context given the past 2 weeks the achievement rating should probably be higher but I know I can do better than today.

Enjoyment = 1

As I said, too warm, too slow and too unfit. Although I did run across my favourite part of Bristol: the suspension bridge. Still not enough to lift the run’s enjoyment rating. Onwards and upwards…

Making the most of now…

A short pre-run post…

I do not want to go for a run today. It’s cold (and soon to be freezing); I’m tired (when am I not); I have a sore throat (and the sniffles); and my feet hurt (from wearing ridiculously high heels to a wedding on Sunday). But none of these reasons are good enough for me to not run today. Plus, I’ve missed 2 training sessions so I have some catching up to do.

What I need to do is make the most of NOW.

I’ve finished work early after a really fun and interesting day learning how to use a camera and shoot for TV. I walked to and from work with the sun shining. And now I’m home early, I’m home just in time to run in the dying moments of today’s sunlight.

So it’s not going to be pretty, but that’s not the point. Run I must.