27th March 2021 – 190 Days to go

Distance2.33 mi
Duration 00:34:07
Pace14:38 min/mi

Sitting down to write this post I have to wonder where the last 42 days have gone? In some ways, it feels like I blinked and missed it, but deep down I know that most of it was lost to procrastination. There have been a few genuine reasons for not running: the knee injury after the fall last time out, having my first dose of the vaccine, and a pre-existing shoulder injury thats’ causing me a lot of pain but I have no real excuse.

Setting off today and knowing that this training plan to get me back up to 5k meant I only had 25 minutes of training to do, I couldn’t help but think back and compare it to when I first started running. Back then, every run was an achievement. Every distance I increased was exciting, every step I took was another step towards my goal.

As a lapsed runner I feel that there’s much more of a mental challenge ahead of me to get back into a routine. Now I know that I used to be able to do this, but right now I can’t. I also realize that I have to do almost thirteen times today’s distance come October. I’ve done that distance twice, once in London and once around Ullswater so why am I finding it so hard to just do once round the lake and back?

I’m sure that many people will identify with the apathy that seems to have overtaken me during the lockdown, I’ve certainly wasted a lot of time watching Netflix and eating junk that’s for sure. I’m just grateful that I have a job that gets me out of the house five days a week or I think I’d have been even more out of it than I am.

I remember when I used to buy new running kit and I couldn’t wait to take it out of the packet, get it on and get out there and test it out. I’ve had my new kit for over a month and only just worn it this morning. Fairs, fair, it’s nice kit although I found the leggings sitting too low despite the fact they’re supposed to be high-waisted, but on the plus side, they didn’t fall down and embarrass me mid route. That’s something to be grateful for.

I think I’ve almost got my head in the right place, but I know it’s not quite there yet. I suspect that this time around I will find the mental aspect of the marathon training much more challenging than last time around. I’m definitely asking myself why I signed up for this and questioning my ability over marathon distance when right now I can’t even run a 5k. My brother asked me why I was doing this if I don’t enjoy running? It’s a bloody good question. I enjoy finishing and the shower at the end of it, and I like proving to myself that I can do more than I think I’m capable of. Is that really a good enough reason? I’m not a quitter, that’s probably more the truth of it.

The official training plan starts in May and will supposedly take me from 5k to marathon distance in time for London in October. I just need to get to 5k by May. It’s certainly doable if I stop self-sabotaging. It’s eight years since I ran regularly, over those years I can probably count on both hands the number of 5k or 10k runs I’ve done. That’s quite shocking really. I work in an office at a desk, some days I barely scrape 2000 steps. I need to do something to be more active, to help lose some of the weight I’ve gained over the last few years, and to just help myself feel healthier.

I know that running is as much mental as physical. I know that I am my own worst enemy. I also know that I am a stubborn old girl and that if push comes to shove I can walk 26 miles. The next few months it’s up to me to overcome all of that and to put my best foot forward.

So hopefully, you’ll see more frequent run posts on this blog and the more I run, the easier it will get. We’ll see!

13th February 2021 – 232 Days to go

Distance2.19 mi
Duration 00:36:39
Pace16:44 min/mi

Day one of the Runkeeper 5k training plan, today was a mix of a walk for three minutes and then run for one minute accompanied by a commentary from a rather too perky female on my app. She gives you countdowns to when the next session starts which was quite helpful, and does tell you if your pace on the run needs to be upped. At the halfway point she started giving me handy tips on how to place my feet, hold my shoulders and arms as well as how to breathe. I’d never considered how my feet hit the ground before, but she said to land midfoot and I actually took the time to think about how I was doing it and believe I had it right, I’m not hitting the ground with my toes or heel at least.

Today’s route, knowing that it wasn’t going to be a long one, was down to the lake and once around then head back. Not too bad to be honest aside from some tricky icy patches, zero-degree temperature and a fall on the way back that left me with a badly skinned knee, as well as a fair bit of embarrassment. Not the best way to start off but at least I finished!

It feels strange starting from zero again, but having had so many injuries in the past from overdoing it I can see the wisdom in taking the time to do it properly. Knowing I managed London Marathon with an average pace of 12:30, which I’d like to repeat, the 16:44 pace today means that there’s a long way to go, not just in terms of distance.

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