Beating my 10k PB

Sunday 30th April was an epic day for me, I took part in the Simply Health 10k Run in Birmingham.  Accompanied by my wonderful son I set off feeling nervous and wound up like a coil.  Not because I didn’t think I could do it but because I had set myself the target of getting a personal best.

In September 2016 I took part in the Womens Running Race Series 10k and got a great time of 58.58, my target for that race was to complete in under 60 minutes, it was my first race and the start of my true addiction to running.
My aim for the Birmingham 10k on Sunday was to get sub 54 minutes, then on 15th April i have no idea how but I went out and smashed the September time and ran a gobsmacking (for me anyway) 10k in 52.25, which elated and deflated me at the same time.  I could not see a way that I could or would beat this time.  I continued training to plan and worked myself up into a bit of a frenzy.

Being a non competitive person with other people it has come as a bit of a shock to me that I can be so competitive with myself, seeing it as a good thing though so that I am always pushing myself to be better, faster, fitter, stronger.  Something that never before have I done.

We got to Birmingham a little early which was great because I got to soak up the atmosphere and I have to say it really was electric, everyone buzzing, chatting, laughing, warming up, getting themselves ‘into the zone’ and all there for the same reason…. to run.
I started my run feeling happy and strong, very nervous but ready to tackle the 10km ahead of me.  I tried so hard not to check my watch to see how I was doing, pacing myself by trying to keep the 50 minute marker in my sights. This went really well until the 8th km when he started to pull away from me, partly because I was starting to struggle keeping up the pace and partly because at the end of the run coming out of the market area there is a massive (well not really massive, but it felt it) hill. 

Back on Jennens Road it flattened out I then hit the downhill coming into Curzon Street. Along came my second wind and my legs started powering me towards the finish line. Sadly forgetting the photographers along the way!!! Not the best pictures as a result.

Realising my finish time was 50.19 I was overjoyed 8 minute miles!!! I am still in dis-belief at doing it and ecstatic that I have.
2 years ago if someone had said I would be running 10k let alone running an 8 minute mile 10k I would have told them they were mad but a little bit of self belief and a whole lot of work I have. 


Breaking Boredom

I have been doing the MAF training for almost 3 weeks now and today was the straw that broke the camels back! I went out for my Sunday run full of enthusiasm, I went down the canal which is a lovely treat to run. My usual run time is way to early to risk the canals partly safety and partly because I fear I would end up in said canal (not a nice prospect)

I kept my heart rate at my designated 138bpm or as close as. I really enjoyed running by the water but the whole time I had a nagging that I wanted to just run, not controlled by my heart rate just run at a pace I wanted to run at. I buried the nag for a further mile and then I just couldn’t keep it at bay anymore! 

So I ran, I ran at a pace I wanted to run at. I thought I would feel guilty but I didn’t, I felt free, I felt happy, my heart was racing, my breathing was heavy and I enjoyed every single second. 

Whilst I am not going to outrule the MAF training and will most certainly use it when I am on recovery days which in essence will be twice a week, I had started to not enjoy running as much because of constantly having to slow down. I felt I was actually losing fitness. I am more than likely wrong as this system has got many elite athletes  (of which I am not) to top places in endurance events. But full time it really is not my bag.

Giving in too soon? Possibly but I don’t want to lose my love of running and I fear that continuing on this plan long term I will through boredom alone. 

Day 7 Sunrise

Day 7 – 45 to 50 minute Easy Run

Out bright, breezy and bushy tailed this morning for Day 7.  -3° on set off and a beautiful, bright, crisp and fresh morning. 

I always find the 1st mile hard, but this morning was nearly all downhill so it was a breeze. I decided to take a turn past Alexander Stadium and I am so very glad I did. Turning the corner into the stadium I caught the most gorgeous sunrise. 

Getting to see something as gorgeous as a red glowing sun lighting up the sky was a true treat and makes getting out of bed early on a Sunday morning fully worthwhile.

By the time I got home the sun was gone so I felt rather blessed yet again that I run.

My Why

Why do I run?

Why do I love running?

Why did I start running?

Here is my Why! 

On my 40th Birthday I did my best to look great for my party.  I tried to look confident and happy as I was so grateful that so many people made such an effort to be there.

In honesty I wasn’t!  I hated myself. I hated the way I looked. Every step, move, word was painful because all I felt was a mess.

I was overweight, unfit, un-confident and very  unhappy.  

When I looked back at the photos I felt even worse. God forbid someone had also video’d me dancing and did no more than plaster it all over Facebook. To this day all I feel is shame and embarrassment.  
The only person who could change it was me. Moan all I like no one could help me unless I helped myself. 

I joined Slimming World and started cycling. The weight dropped off with alot of hard work and commitment. 

2 stone 4lbs lighter I was at a weight I had dreamt about but I was still unhappy with how I looked. 

I am also a total stress head, I worry about worrying about worrying!

My work colleague told me running was a great way to let go. He told me when you run everything goes, everything disappears. All you have is you and the run.

‘I can’t run’ I told him. ‘It hurts too much’ I said. Then I got to thinking how can I say these things when  I have never tried? So I donned my trainers and got out there.

I hated every second. I was right, I couldn’t run and it did hurt…. way too much.  NEVER again I told myself. But when I got home I realised that I actually felt a great sense of achievement. 

So that’s where it started. 

Little by little….. bit by bit….. I built up my run time and slowly my speed.  I will never be a time trial hero but I can see my speed improving. I don’t do it for speed I do it because I love it.

Now when I run I get the time I am out there clearing my head. It is like a mental filing session. Everything slots itself into place without me having to work at it. I can run, get home and then realise that I have no idea what I have thought about for the hour I have been out.  Sometimes I even struggle to remember my route!

I love running  because it has changed my life.

It has given me a calm I have never experienced, I has given me more confidence, it is helping to make me look better and feel better, it is giving me back to me.

Running is hard work, every run brings a new challenge, a new experience a new pain! 

But every run I conquer and defeat my demons bit by bit.

 That is why I love running.

That is why I run.

That is why i keep running.