Sunday, 26 April 2015

Two running milestones

So as you can probably tell from my last post, running has been on my mind a lot lately.
I've started running again in the mornings, something I haven't done for almost a year. On Tuesday I ran an easy three miles before work, and on Thursday I ran four. I've fallen head over heels back in love with running and I'm 100% sure now that I want to run a marathon next year. 
One thing that has really helped is listening to podcasts while I run. I've always liked the idea of listening to a podcast while running, but I was concerned that trying to concentrate on something other than running would make me confused, or that I'd get a few miles in a realise I hadn't been paying attention. Instead, I'm coming back from runs buzzing with new information and I'm finding the miles just fly by. Currently I'm obsessed with the TED radio hour. I know these will really help me through my marathon training.
So two big running milestones this week. One is that I've joined a running group! I kept seeing Chorlton Runners at my local parkrun and when I decided I wanted to run a marathon I thought I had better start thinking about joining a group. There are just so many questions I have - which training plan to follow, what to do about gels, what pace to run my long runs etc. - that I'd rather ask a human than Google. So over the past week I've been talking to people about the group and getting more information about getting involved. Unfortunately it's a very popular group, and there's a wait list for affiliation, but I can still join in with most of their runs.
So I decided earlier in the week that I would join them today for their Sunday run. I hopped on the bus, got completely lost when I got off at the wrong stop, but eventually I made it to the meeting point at 9am. Thankfully I wasn't the only new person. Straight away, people were lovely, and I got chatting straight away on the warm up mile. Once we finished the warm up we started to split into groups. One group were running 5 miles at a 9 minute mile, and one group were running 7 miles at a 9 minute mile. Now I admit I did panic a bit. I run about a 10/10.30 minute mile now, so 9 minutes for that long might actually have killed me! Thankfully, there was another group that wanted to run 5 miles at about a 10 minute mile pace, so I tagged along with them.
The route was absolutely beautiful. It was at Chorlton Waterpark and it was just gorgeous to run by the water. I was running in the middle of the group, a few seconds behind the leaders, but on my own for the first few miles. We stopped every mile or so though to make sure nobody was left behind. When it got to the last couple of miles I got chatting with the girls around me, and it was lovely to just talk and not be looking at my watch all the time! We ran a lovely 5 miles and then finished off with a good stretch. 
I'm so excited to meet more people and get involved with more and more runs. I've always been a real solo runner, but it was a nice change to run with other people. It definitely pushed me, and I think when you run alone you need that.
And on that note, my other running milestone, which actually happened on Saturday. I've been trying to break a 30 minute 5K at parkrun ever since I started running, and while my PB was 30:12, I'd been mostly running around 31 minutes the last few weeks. I found out a few weeks ago that Chorlton Runners (the group I've now joined) run as pacers for parkrun on the last Saturday of every month. I knew this was my chance to finally break 30 minutes.
I tagged on with Rob, the 30 minute pacer, straight away, and for the first mile I was just at his heels. The pace felt slower than I normally run, but I know I often start out too fast and then fade after the first two miles. As we started the second mile, I ran alongside him and we got talking. We were well on target for 30 minutes and I was feeling pretty good. I've never talked to someone while running before, so it was definitely a few words between gasps at first, but after a while I found my pace and we could happily chat. As we approached the last half a mile he told me to run ahead if I wanted to, but I knew I wasn't quite ready. As we turned around the penultimate corner though, I went for it. I felt absolutely amazing running around the last corner, glancing at my watch and knowing I was well ahead of my usual time.
I crossed the line at 29:19. Almost a minute faster than my PB.
I can't thank the pacers enough, but I know I did this. I kept up, I kept pace and I pushed ahead at the end. I've come so far in the last few months and I'm so proud of myself and so excited to see where I can get to. One of my goals for 2015 was to finally run a 5K in 30 minutes, so I need to think about my next goals now! Maybe I'll try to stick with the 29 minute pacer next month!
I'm excited for the next few months. I'm excited to be running again, and I'm planning to mostly run now instead of just doing workout DVDs. Now it's nice outside it's good to get out for a run, but I think I'm going to do a couple of days a week of Piyo as cross training, because I think Insanity Max 30 might be a bit too much.
So those are my running updates! I know these achievements might not seem much to you, but they mean the world to me!

2 comments:

  1. Congratulations on getting your new PB! You're a superstar x

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  2. Well done, fab achievements - good luck at #greatmanchesterrun

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