Saturday, 25 January 2014

Running Rach

I am having a bit of a mixed relationship with running at the minute.
It batters my lungs.
It breaks my legs.
I am gonna have to learn to like it.
I need to do a lot of it n I can decide to hate it or learn to find a freedom in it.

I fully intend on doing the latter.....When that will happen is anyone's guess.

2 Sundays ago I set of on my 'long run' for the week. This wouldn't be classed as long to most people who are triathletes or runners

But it was to me.

I spent the whole run arguing with myself. Turns out, I won.... But not the me I wanted to win.
When defeatist me kicked in and uttered 'urgh', the other me didn't take much convincing to have a stop. Cos my other me was thinking the same.
I stopped dead. I had vowed I was running it all n I remain unsure whether walking a bit or stopping a bit is a better method. 3 stops later I was home.
Urgh Urgh Urgh.
When I moving, my pace was ok (for a non runner) but I clearly couldn't do that distance at that pace.

After much falling out with myself, I set a date for next long run, drove a route of a further distance and vowed I would run it all but would pace it better from the start.

After a long chat with TC about how to achieve this, I took her advice, dropped the pace n just kept running.

Mission accomplished.
Speed wasn't the goal on this occasion.
The distance was.
I was winning at running.

Following run was 'up n overs' on the dreadmill. Warm up at a 'steady pace' for 1km, run above pace for 1km, drop down the same speed for 1km, back above etc. repeat for an hour.  If i went 0.5 above, i would drop 0.5 below.
Ok. I can do that.
In my infinite wisdom I didn't account for the fact I was doing it after a 2.5km swim n only managed 45 minutes.
I didn't reach the target but I am still counting it as a minor running victory.
I was battered when I got off dreadmill n suspect I shoulda considered better fuelling before starting the run. Lesson for next time.

Friday, Bear was home n we had made plans to meet TC for a run. I had promised TC I would protect her from both his bouncing n pouncing as it was my day off.

Foot note
***For those who don't know TC stands for 'The Crush' n Bear is more than a little bit smitten with her n has been for some time. His flying leaping, spinning round bear hugs are epic

Sarah is a runner.
Bear can run.
I went for the hugs n the day out.

While running I watched TC, looking at how she carries herself, how her feet fall, her stride length. She looked (and was) light and agile, taller than she is. It wasn't natural for her to run at my pace. I could also tell Bear was struggling with my speed and faster was preferable to both of them.
When I run, I feel heavy and cumbersome. There is little to no grace in my movement. There is nothing natural about it.
I feel like a baby elephant lumbering about.
That is what I do. I stumble forward. Occasionally with purpose, occasionally with pace.
My breathing is irregular n while I have strength, I cannot seem to convert it to speed.

The little inner voice that shares my brain space and provides the commentary to my life isn't having a nice time at the minute. It feels my elephant-esq grace and converts that to negative self image and belief.
It rants and chunters and babbles and bitches.
It compares my ability to run with that of the super speedy runners in clubs, on twitter, who attend park run, the ultra runners and those with years of experience as opposed to weeks.
It ignores reason. It ignores fact.
It sees my legs changing shape and equates not being able to fasten boots or find jeans with fat, not muscle.
While running, Sarah have me tips which helped, loaned my a pair of trail shoes to try which felt like water-proof, mud-proof slippers... they were amazing.
I will be buying me a pair of these. Not only are they comfy, but they are pretty too.

I love being in the hills, I love being in the outside and I especially love being near trees and water.
So trail running seems to make good sense to me.

It will be good for my soul in the same way that open water is.

It was a glorious day out meeting TC with Bear.  It was lovely to see them together, comfortable and relaxed.  It was as though all 3 of us have known each other a lifetime already. Their friendship was easy and well established.  It was lovely to see Bear reflect and shine with another shiny soul.  It made me twinkle looking on. The day was too short and the distance to get there seemed too far... but it was so worth it. (this was magnified by broken traffic systems and grizzly bears)
TC has a natural sparkle and shine. Her advice and tips were imparted in a way that was filled with care, genuine enthusiasm and passion.
She filled me with confidence and while I was feeling like an overweight  Umpa Lumpa pretending to be an athlete, she saw progress, ability and direction.  You can't fake stuff like that.
Conversation was interspersed with handy hints and tips and pointers on becoming more competitive.

Bears version of events can be found here (along with pics of the day)

I hope that next time we meet, I will be less of a let down
(yeah, yeah, I know really.... I actually wasn't..... but in my head I was on the hills)
I will be better.
I will be able to run further and faster.

Since meeting TC and since writing the majority of this blog, I ran 10k.
This was both a time and distance PB. I did it alone.
It was a doubly smug achievement as I happened to see my ex on the same day... He happened to ask about my swimming and how it was going. I told him I might need to pick his brains about running (he ran for GB at commonwealth in a previous lifetime and is still listed somewhere in the record books) Many moons ago, he told me I wasn't a runner, nor would I ever be one.... he was busy laughing at me when I told him I'd run 10k before the training course we were on.  He literally stopped mid-chortle.
That was a little bit satisfying.
I will be as satisfied when I run up Carr Lane. My dad told me I would never be able to run it. So it goes without saying that the mother of all long, steep hills is on my list of hills to run.....

I will do this.  I will do it well.... I just need to work out how to stop myself eating ALL the food afterwards.....