Sub 30

In 2 weeks time I will be running in my local 10k race and I have high expectations for it. Lately, as you know I have been feeling down with my times and it took a look back at last year’s posts to see how far I have actually come. I run once a week with a friend and it’s always a pretty slow one as we spend the whole time gossiping, whinging and putting the world to right! She has recently found a lot of speed in her running and smashed the sub1hr 10k she was looking for back in March. I was complaining to her about my lack of speed and she told me how she had only found her speed since she dropped a stone in weight. It really made me think as I know I have put on weight recently and after weighing myself I was really shocked by the fact I had put on a stone!

I haven’t joined any fat clubs or started any faddy diets but by using an app on my phone to track every thing I eat I have already lost 5lbs in a month. 🙂 It hasn’t been easy as I do like to snack on biscuits when I am at home with D but it also hasn’t been that hard either if you see what I mean? Basically I’ve just tried to make better choices at mealtimes and lower the amount of snacking I do.

Alongside this I have tried to up my running. Between Hubby who works shifts, Little Lady and all her activities, work meetings and various life stuff, I don’t run as much a I would like to. Hubby has been really supportive and has offered to look after the kids while I go out for a run if he is home early. I know that may sound a bit funny but I do feel guilty if I run out of the door the second he gets home so I don’t always go unless he suggests it.

I’ve been doing a lot of speed endurance sessions, run by my running club and I have been improving. Not always time wise but the coach has told me that I run stronger and regulate my breathing a lot better now than I used to. So that’s good too.

At these sessions I’ve been running 5k at 31-32 mins on a hilly course. I have been working hard as my goal for the Caerphilly 10k is to get below 1:10mins. I’ve been so close before (1:10:23) but I can’t get under it!

I then heard read on twitter that Cardiff parkrun was putting on a pacer day and I was really tempted to go. They were pacing even numbers and as I have been getting low 30’s on a hilly course I decided to just go for it and see if I could get a sub 30 on a flat course. Hubby and I juggled arrangements for Little Lady’s swimming lesson so that I could take the car and off I went.

Once there I found the sub 30 pacer and stalked her until the start. I was so geared up for this. I was determined not to give up. The gun started us off and it all went wrong. There were over 700 people trying to run down a narrow path, people were weaving in and out and stopping dead in front of other people. The pacer had to keep the pace so she weaved in and out of people to keep her time. Unfortunately that made it hard for the group to keep up with her as there were so many people and it was so narrow. I had lost her before the 1km marker! I was gutted. I had decided beforehand that if I could keep up with her most of the way around and I struggled near the end and had to drop back then I would accept that as I would have tried my best. But to lose her so early on, and through no fault of my own? Gutting!

We passed the 1km marker and my runkeeper app reported a split time of 5.02min/km! I could have fallen over! For perspective a fast run for me is low 6min/km. I don’t think I have ever had a split that started with a 5 never mind a very low 5!! I decided to keep going as fast as I could just to see what would happen. The second km split was a bit slower but was still a low 5 (5.21min/km) I couldn’t believe it. I was wearing both a long sleeved top and a vest and the sun had decided to make an appearance at this point so I had to stop to take off the long sleeved top. I was boiling! This stop meant that the 3rd km was my slowest at 6.18min/km (usually a fast time for me).

I gave it my all and I honestly don’t think I could have given it anymore. I could barely pick up the pace for a sprint finish and I stood squashed up in the finisher funnel wondering how I was going to be sick without getting it on anyone! Thankfully I wasn’t sick but my legs were like jelly walking back to the car. I had to sit in the car park for awhile before I felt safe enough to drive home!

But it was all worth it. My time? 29.26 😀 Oh yeah! A sub 30 woohoo!! I know I couldn’t keep up that pace for 10k but my sub 70mins is edging closer. Let’s hope I’ve got the pace in a fortnight’s time.


Opening my eyes

I know I’m not the best blogger in the world. I don’t post regularly, I don’t have one particular topic that I write about, I don’t have hundreds of followers. I started writing this blog for me. To keep track of the work we were doing in the house. It has moved away from that a little bit as DIY isn’t the only thing I talk about (or very often these days!) but I still write mainly for me.

After Christmas I started writing my round up post. In order to do that I read through a year’s worth of blog posts. Okay so I skim-read my way through 😉 While doing that I came across this post. The post shows my first running medal of 2014 and also talks about the virtual run idea. I was amazed as I read it. In one part I talk excitedly about my time “I’m pleased to say I smashed my PB by over a minute and I ran the whole way!” A whole minute! How fantastic. I looked back to the photo to see what my time was and I was shocked. The PB I was so excited by?? 36:32!! I was gobsmacked when I saw this time.

Back last year I joined a running club. I am always the last (wo)man home. Always!! I am so slow sometimes I wonder if it’s worth me being part of the running club at all. They have to wait around for me to get back to the studio when we do a long run. They have to hang around at the end of races to have the group “with medals” photo. No one can move on to the next interval until I’ve finished the previous one. And I’m not getting any faster! It’s deflating to say the least.

Reading this post really opened my eyes. I decided to sign up for the Virtual Run for this January to actually compare my times. To have visual proof of how far I have actually come in a year. To prove to myself that I have the right to be a part of the running club.

So I signed up.

And I went out and ran 5k.

My time? 33:47 on a very hilly route!

My current 5k PB? 32:52 😀

3 minutes and 40 seconds faster that the PB I set this time last year. 😀 I actually can’t believe it! I’ve been getting so hung up on recent times that I haven’t been able to see how far I have actually come! Now if I can do the same thing this year then that sub 30mins is mine 😀

Running Club

Well I actually did it! I joined a running club! I can hardly believe it myself. I have always been intimidated by running clubs. I mean, it’s a club for “runners” right?? And I’m not a runner. Yes I have recently ran a few 5k’s and a 10k but I am not a runner. How can I be? Runners are good, right? Runners run marathons and stuff.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA 

I have been making these excuses for a while and I really believed them. I just knew if I joined a club, everybody else would run off and I would be stuck at the back, miles behind, while they all laughed at me and my times. 😦 Then I realised that I haven’t been out running since my 10k. Well it’s too dark and too cold to go out running now. Isn’t it? No one else runs in winter surely? I’m ashamed to admit that even though I wouldn’t join the running club I still follow them on twitter. Guess what? They were still out running. No matter what the weather. 20131206-210210.jpg

I realised that I am lazy an excellent procrastinator. I put things off and off until I can’t put them off any longer. In reality I won’t go running again until I sign myself up for another race and I have to go out running to train. What I need is someone to give me the kick up the backside and tell me to stop being lazy. A running club would give me that kick. If I joined then I would have an “appointment” if you will, to go running. There would be others there who may (or may not) ask where I was if I didn’t go. And “I decided I’d rather get into my pj’s” isn’t exactly a valid excuse is it? So I contacted the club on twitter, just in case they had a policy about not accepting fake runners like myself. Turns out they’ll accept anyone!! Well maybe not anyone but they said yes to me! So Wednesday night, after getting the kiddies ready for bed, I put my running stuff on and left hubby in charge of bedtime.20130625-143041.jpg

I nearly didn’t go. It was cold. Hubby would have to put the kiddies to bed by himself. It was cold. It was dark. Did I mention it was cold? I forced myself to go even though I felt quite sick. Do you know what? The people were lovely. Yes I was in the group bringing up the rear but when I was told that those ahead of me run half marathons in the time I run 10k I didn’t feel so bad. We ran 6.5k uphill. I struggled a little as I have a cold and it was very smoky out for some reason (I have no idea why? Would it be due to the heavy fog we had?) and thinking about it I had been to the dentist that morning and had injections in my mouth. (Maybe, in hindsight, it was not the best idea to run after that but I had forgotten about it to be honest.) This sounds quite like a list of excuses but they are not really. They do account for the slow time but I was told by the woman who runs the group that I am a “nice little runner” so I obviously don’t run like Phoebe in Friends. 🙂OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I actually enjoyed running club and I know that I would keep up my running if I had others to run with on a regular basis. Little lady’s swimming lessons have moved from 9.30am to 11.30am on Saturday mornings now too, meaning that I can go to Park Run more often. My closest Park Run is in Cardiff so it’s not exactly close and little lady’s swimming lessons come first,hence why I have only been once since I found out where it was. Little lady and I are going tomorrow actually.

2013 medals

2013 medals

Maybe this time next year, if I keep going to the running club and to Park Run on a regular basis, maybe, just maybe, I may become a “proper runner” 😀