Thank you to everyone who stopped by to say hello over the weekend, it feels really good to connect with my blog friends again. There seems like a lot to catch up on in terms of running and fitness. In general, I still love running and I’m as enthusiastic as ever, but I’m not someone who can stick with the same routine for very long, so there have been a few changes.
Before I get into the details I want to mention the two major races that I’ve participated in over the past few months. The first was Sheffield Half Marathon in May. I entered this one because most of my running group were training for Leeds Half that was a couple of weeks earlier, but I couldn’t run that one because I had a pesky exam a few days later. I wanted to train with them and I thought that I may as well run a race at the end of it.
It was a really hot day, which is ironic seeing as the rest of the spring/summer felt more like November. I drank water almost constantly the day before and added a bit of extra salt to my meals to try to avoid dehydration, but I was still worried about running that far in the heat. As a consequence I took it slightly easier than I would have done otherwise and stopped at all of the water and sponge stations. I still finished in 1:56:09, which was a PB. What pleased me more was that on a cooler day I think I could have knocked a minute off that, especially seeing as I had to queue at a couple of the water stations. It was also the first half marathon where I actually felt human at the end of it, without too many blisters, aches or pains. I hope this means that I’m building my endurance.
I would definitely do this race again as I enjoyed the course a lot. It was more or less uphill for the first 8 miles, which means it was downhill on the return leg, which made the heat much more bearable. The crowd support was fantastic as well, with live music to get me up the longest uphill stretch. I was glad that I was cautious about the heat because the last mile was littered with people being treated by paramedics, although I checked later and no-one had been taken seriously ill.
The other race I ran was the Jane Tomlinson Run For All Leeds 10k at the beginning of July. This was my first ever race last year, so it was good to do it again, but it’s not the most interesting course. I did it as part of a team put together by my work health and social club, so my entry was paid for which was a major incentive. Again, it was a really warm day (the only warm day in July … I’m sensing a pattern here!), but I finished in a PB of 49:25. I was so happy to break the 50 minute barrier. I was going to do this one “for fun”, but once I got going my legs didn’t want to stop. I was extremely hot and my lungs were burning, but somehow my legs kept motoring, which was a very weird feeling. It was like my mind was saying “slow down”, but my body wouldn’t.
10k is my favourite race distance at the moment. I don’t feel the same pressure to go fast as I do in a 5k, yet it’s short enough to go out all guns blazing without worrying that I won’t finish. According to the Runner’s World race time predictor with a 10k time of 49:25 I should be able to run a 1:48:55 half marathon. Obviously I’m a long way off that at the moment and it might be that I’m not built for endurance, but it gives me something to work towards. It also predicts a 23:42 5k, which I’m some way off too as my current PR is 24:25, but again it’s a nice target over the next year.
I have two other races scheduled for the autumn, the Great North Run in September and Bridlington Half Marathon in October. I just want to enjoy the GNR and I’m not looking for a PB, instead I’m hoping to improve my time in Bridlington.
Now that I’ve rambled about the races, I think that I’ll leave the details of my current running and fitness routine to another post otherwise this could become a dissertation.