Wednesday, 6 July 2016

No more excuses...

My training feels slow at the moment and I am beginning to wonder why I thought training for a half marathon again was a good idea…
Last week saw my return to the North East and the start of my new job. It still feels a bit surreal that I am actually back living and working in the North East and I wasted no time in joining Ashington Hirst Running Club last Tuesday. I decided to go to the effort session as I was feeling guilty that I’d not done much running in my final weeks in Leeds. I really enjoyed the session (400m relays) but I think I found it difficult and struggled with the gentle run back at the end of the session due to overdoing it in the efforts themselves. Everyone was so friendly and I am excited to have a joined a club! Looking forward to future sessions!
On Saturday I ran my 49th parkrun at South Shields. It’s been a while since I ran here and decided it would be nice to do it again before I hit the big 5-0! (number of Parkruns completed…not my age!!) I love running near the sea, there’s something about breathing in the sea air that makes me feel truly alive.
South Shields
I love the route at South Shields but it’s not the easiest, with a hill near the beginning and undulating the rest of the way round. There was also a head wind on the final stretch which added an extra element of difficulty. The sun was shining and I had good company so I was determined to keep going until the end. My calves have begun to feel tight again and I could feel them getting heavier as the run progressed. When the finish line was almost in sight, my brother in law came and joined us for the final bit which was just the final push I needed to get across the finish line. After the run, Craig, Tone and I went for a cup of tea and I enjoyed taking in the view of the sea from the window. I missed the coast so much when I was in Leeds and I appreciate it so much more now I’m home J As we finished our cuppa we saw Tony the Fridge outside the window and I shouted well done as we were leaving. He had just completed day 29 of his 100 Great North Runs in 100 day – what an inspiration!!
Tone, me, Craig before we ran
Sunday saw the arrival of the Great North 10K once again and having not ran much recently I wasn’t as prepared as I should have been. The music at the start of the route made me feel excited and I was determined to enjoy the day with great company. As the run progressed my legs felt heavy and tight and my feet began to tingle – it’s been a while since I experienced this and I think I need to re-lace my new trainers. We stopped a few times on route so I could stretch my calves and make my legs a little more comfortable. It was pretty warm on Sunday too… I always find running in the heat extremely uncomfortable and my struggle on Sunday was no different. Tone really tried to keep me motivated throughout and I couldn’t have kept going without him. At points I was close to tears, with the tightness in my calves and the heat. I loved running into the stadium, partly as I knew how close the finish line was, but also because the music and cheering really increased my motivation! Tone and I often have a bit of ‘finish line competition’ which is often my favourite part of our runs but I knew my legs couldn’t carry me any faster than they were already so we kept a steady (possibly ever-so-slightly-faster) pace.
Tone and me at GN10K
Receiving my medal and (tech!) t-shirt made the run worthwhile and I was glad I had done it. I’m also glad because it reminded me that I need to start training properly again and remember to do all the other parts of my training in between running that have just completely slipped due to how busy I have been over recent weeks and months. I have no one to blame other than myself but I know I need to stop making excuses and just get on with it. I’ve been resting, stretching, foam rolling and using ice over the last few days and I missed running club last night in an effort to get my niggles sorted.
I think I’ll do a gentle run tomorrow as they are feeling much better now. I am looking forward to my 50th Parkrun on Saturday at Druridge Bay Parkrun (it would be lovely to see you there!). I still can’t believe I’ve made it to 50 as I used to say I didn’t have time to Parkrun at all…funny how priorities change and what you can achieve when I stop making excuses and just get on and do it…
Now that I’ve had a few days to recover I am feeling more positive about the Great North Run again though I still think I underestimated how much time I need to find for training (even though I’ve done it before). But I’m determined that there’s going to be no more excuses…
If you would like to help me on my fundraising journey you can sponsor me here. Any support is greatly appreciated and will mean a lot to the members of the North East Trust for Aphasia.

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