Like many, I spent Sunday watching coverage of the London marathon. And this time I knew a couple of people running it. So I’ve been reading blogs and posts on running forums. So many amazing stories, experiences both good and bad. Reading about the training, hopes, fears, celebrations and tiny triumphs has been both inspiring and humbling.
My goals this year are for shorter distances, and right now I’m trying to relax and enjoy my running more. On Tuesday I went out for my first evening run of the year. Cool, still air, just the hint of a breeze, running along beside the blue waves, senses tingling with life.
A couple passed me as I was stretching before I set off, and I soon caught up with them. “How far are you going?” I asked.
“There and back again,” the man replied.
“Sounds good to me.”
The woman shouted, “Have a good run,” as I stretched away. And I did.
Tonight everyone had a smile or a wave as we passed each other along the front. I saw a beautiful black and grey Great Dane out for a stroll and a Border Terrier pup, safely on a tight lead, who just wanted to play. A giant bumblebee buzzed by and the waves kept up a steady round of applause throughout.
I set off with a vague plan to run how I felt – at least 6k, maybe 8, 10 if I felt good. And I did.
Not looking at the watch, just relaxing, keeping up the pace but not pushing it. I ran out, out beyond the 5k point, talking to myself in my head, smiling, just enjoying moving through the evening air.
Playing with my perceptions of distance, I turned back just before 6k, fooling my brain into a shorter return leg. As I changed direction, I felt the pull down my right thigh. My old friend the tib band, making himself known again.
But even a niggle wasn’t going to spoil my run. I focused on my form, sent relaxing vibes down my legs and kept on pushing. At some point, the tightness switched to my left leg and I felt pleased I’d booked myself a sports massage later this week. I’ve been able to run it off on the last couple of runs, but it’s time for some prevention and advice.
I finished with a bit of a push, but definitely not a sprint, then walked down the slope to the beach and refreshed my tired warm feet on the cool sand and icy water. I’m very lucky to have such a beautiful landscape to run in.
So, having not looked at my watch, not stressed the pace, and tackled a couple of inclines, I completed my 10k in 54:12 – a good minute faster than a similar route on Sunday. And that’ll do.