The difficult parts have been sickness and shin splints. I had two chest infections in the space of five weeks, and with both cases requiring antibiotics, my body was not happy with me. When you start to run again, there is always a concern in the back of your mind whether you will end up in a coughing heap after your first few steps. Thankfully, I gave myself enough time to recover and when I started again, I took it slowly.
My shin splints are ongoing. Some runs they are good, some runs I limp back to the car afterwards. I’ve invested in some Skins which have been of amazing benefit. I’ve been using the calf socks even when I sleep and I now have a pair of full length tights. Add into that I am now taking Pilates classes and working on my core strength, I think I might have a chance of managing the shin splints enough to keep running.
After each run I’ve been posting something on Instagram. A picture of me, a picture of my running shoes, a picture of the sky or where I’ve been running, my RunKeeper stats. Through the beauty of the ‘A Beautiful Mess’ app, I can add text to my photos and I’ve been encouraging myself with words and little reminders. Simon has pointed out that I give great advice to my friends and it’s about time I did it for myself. I have to admit it has been helping me when I look back at these.
One of my milestones for working towards my 10k goal was a 2k run on August 18. I wasn’t prepared in the way I wanted to be. I’d had one chest infection at this point and we’d been travelling quite a bit before it. I woke up on the Sunday morning of the race and I seriously considered staying in bed. It was early, I was conscious of my lack of preparation due to illness and it was early. I got up. I got up and we went to the race. I didn’t run the whole 2k. I used my normal training app and did my intervals until I got to the end. I did the 2k in 14.57. I amazed myself and it felt so, so good. I was glad I got out of bed and made the effort. I kept going and stayed true to my goals.
And even with my ups and downs, with my little voice saying ‘You aren’t ready to run this!’, I get out there and I keep going. Each run is a step closer to my goal and it is bigger than each of the milestone races I’ve entered this year. It is a longer term goal of being a runner and making running a part of my life. It’s that feeling of ‘Wow! I am doing this!’ each time I surprise myself. When I surprised myself during the week with that run you see above. I wasn’t aiming for a distance of 5k and there were two five minute warm up/cool down walks in that. I did my first 8 minute long run and that in itself was enough to make me super happy, but to see that time for a distance of 5k? Mind = blown.
This feels like a turning point in my running. I had never gotten past the start of week four in C25k in any of my many previous attempts to start the program. I had given up so many times when I’d gotten sick, when we travelled and there was no time or place to run. I’d found plenty of excuses in the past with my legs, my shins, my weight for why I couldn’t do it.
On the training app I’m using (I’ve swapped from C25k to a 10kRunner app), it says I’m at week 5. I’m much further along on this journey and I’m still going. When I finished that training run on Tuesday I realised I still had much more left in the tank and I knew it wasn’t 5k. I was conscious that this year’s Twilight 5k was looming on the weekend and again, I felt I wasn’t prepared. I decided to do a couple more little runs to get back to my car. I held my head high, I kept moving to the points where I’d said I would stop and walk for a bit, and I was running by my own guide not the app. I felt like a runner. I AM A RUNNER.
This afternoon is the Twilight 5k. Last year Simon and I ran it together. Simon has entered this year but he has told me I am to run my own race. My goal was to RUN the whole 5k but again, life intervened. I am okay with that. The bigger picture is to be a runner, to be running 10k by the end of the year. This milestone is there as a marker that I am still doing this and for me to see how far I’ve come. Last year’s time was around 43 minutes. My aim is to better that and to be proud of the race I run. I’ve got a playlist of 42 minutes set up with Pink’s ‘Raise Your Glass’ as the last song. If she can’t help motivate me over that line for the last push I’m doing it wrong!
I’m also running in my Oatmeal ‘I believe in the Blerch’ running shirt today. When I read this comic of Oatmeal’s it resonated so strongly with me. I ordered my shirt awhile ago and it finally arrived this week. With my new Skins, my Oatmeal shirt, my trusty shoes, my over ear headphones and my running playlist, I’m feeling ready for this.
Must go drink more water and have another banana!