The Scribbler

2 October 2010

It's good to be back

Filed under: run,training — The Scribbler @ 13:51
Tags: , , ,

I’d always intended to take a bit of a break after the Great North Run and shake my training up a bit. In the last few weeks before the race I dropped a lot of cross training in favour of fitting quality miles and recovery into my week.

I haven’t felt the urge to go for a long run, which has formed the pattern of my weekends since the end of June, but I wanted to see how I felt over 10k. In my Great North Run training I’ve run over and above this distance time and time again, trying to aim for 9:30 min miles, with the aim of running 9 min miles throughout the race.

On a cool Monday morning, with no pressure on to get to work, I headed out on my familiar coastal route, enjoying the damp drizzle. The chill air reminds me of winter runs, just wanting to get moving to keep warm, wondering when I’ll be forced into long sleeves and extra layers. I’ll hold off as long as I can. For someone who normally feels the cold, I seem to be quite hardy when I run.

Even with a Sunday spinning class in my legs and cold air in my lungs, it feels good to be stretching out and running again. Not a fast blast, but not feeling like I have to hold back either. I take my time to settle and warm my legs through on the first mile. Always the mile of doubt. How’s it going to feel today, how far will I go?

The familiar landmarks pass and I’m keeping to my half marathon race pace. Strange how 9 min miles feels relatively easy now. The pressure’s off, I’m just running for me. No crowds, just my inner thoughts keeping me going.

There are moments when it feels hard and I puzzle through it, knowing I can go much further or faster than this. At the half way point I allow myself to slow to a jog, while I pull out my headphones and grab a mouthful of dried mango. The tunes kick in with a welcome boost on the way back and I almost overblow it to an Eminem track.

But that’s the joy of running, pushing faster and further, the surge of adrenaline making you feel like you’re invincible. I have to reign it back a little to finish the distance and the backs of my legs tell me they’ve worked hard as I finish and stretch. No goals for time today, but I’ve been working out what would be good. 56 minutes I tell myself, secretly hoping for 55. I stop the watch at 53:30 :-).

A couple of days away in Scotland and no chance for training, just plenty of good home-made food and sleep. Lots of sleep. It leaves me feeling indolent and lazy, eager to burst out of this resting bubble.

And so Friday morning sees the return of my much-loved PT session on the beach. It’s been five weeks since I tackled anything that Ian had to throw at me and I’m ready to test myself. A good catch up and warm up with the med ball and it’s like we’ve never been away. Burpees, pushups, squat jumps, lunges, bear crawls. Short bursts of activity and shorter rests make up some tough interval style workouts.

A couple of times we get to rep 3, and I think, I’ll never make 8. But something in me won’t let me be beaten, even when I’m finding it hard to catch my breath and my ears are popping (signs I still haven’t completely shifted my cold). I make it to the end, feeling muscles I haven’t used for a while, jog up the steps and stretch while planning the next challenge. I have lots to look forward to.

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