New Year, New Mindset
It was all going so well in the run up to Christmas. I was managing to get out at least 3 times per week running; mixing up shorter, faster 3 miles with a longer 6-8miler and feeling good too until the holidays started. At that point there was hardly enough time to draw breath never mind try to get out a run!
I’ve always said that running wouldn’t compromise family life, so over the 2 week period running took a back seat. I still tried to keep reasonably fit however by walking the dog up to 5 miles in-between working and enjoying quality family time. I did manage to sneak 2 short, flat 3 mile runs in which were good fun, trying to aim for under 7.45 min/miles.
I was looking forward to getting back out for a longer run first week of January, although I knew it was going to hurt. I decided that this year I am going to focus less on times and just enjoy the running.
In the past I have put myself under a lot of pressure always running as fast as I could, chasing a new PB or achieving negative splits. I felt this more than ever last year at the Scottish Half Marathon where I was desperate to beat my time from the previous year of 1:37.
I trained hard and felt I was in good shape to achieve it but was also nervous and felt pressure from others (often non runners I may add) saying that a new PB must be my ultimate goal and I could beat last year’s time no bother.
I started off strong…… too strong, first couple of miles were 7:10. 7:15 followed by 3 more under 7:30. The problems started when started running along the seafront; it was a lovely day but there was a wind coming off the sea so I got cold, my legs started to feel it too. By mile 11, I was still running reasonably fast but had slowed down to 7:40 min miles which are probably more normal for me on long runs. Mile 13 was a killer and I was so glad to see the finish line.
I managed to cross the finish line in 1:38, 15 seconds away from my previous time. I was so gutted not to have achieved the PB but on reflection I had set out all wrong – too fast at the start and much slower at the end, I was not pacing myself properly.
Thinking about good advice I’ve previously been given of not increasing distance and speed at the same time and the fact getting back on it in January was my first proper run in 2 weeks, I decided to hit the trails.
6 miles at an 8:10 pace along the river on a beautiful morning was a perfect feel good run. I was also able to take my 6 month old puppy Ozzy out for his first run too although I think he covered double the distance and was much faster than me. I think we will become good training partners!
Night Shift has been a bit of a running killer over the past few weeks. I still like to get out after I finish in the morning but it’s often like a form of self punishment with heavy tired legs. Only ever do 2.5-3 miles, it’s good to clear the head a bit, feel better afterwards and I always hope the running helps me sleep a bit better.
Over the next few weeks I hope the weather is kind and I will be able to get out for some decent long runs, mixing the trail running with faster road running along with getting back into the Metafit which is a killer but great for strength and improving stamina.