Running commentary 008: Making it to the finish line

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


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It’s getting towards the end (ok, it’s ended) of my outdoor running season. The luxury of being able to pop my running shoes on and hit the road as and when I please was one I took for granted as it's actually been the first year I've actually been running. (Last year I managed January to April before I petered out). At the beginning of the year we were only going out at weekends only but as my stamina built up I started to head out a couple of more times in the week and it's kept me ticking over just fine. Sadly, the evenings are drawing in rather too quickly for my liking and I doubt I'll be able to get out again during the week until around April, which sounds alarming. The idea of getting a treadmill has been mooted but GOSH they cost a lot for a half decent one, plus I have some doubts about whether I'll be able to cope with running on a machine.

I've written about what motivates me to run before; one of the things for me is that when you are running a loop, you have to run back home. If you give up running you still have to walk back so it makes sense to press on home at a faster pace. The problem I fear with a treadmill is that when I get tired  it would be oh-so-easy to just stop and get off. Do I have the discipline to keep going? I just don't know. Do I have the commitment to bother with it at all or will I just hang laundry on it? I can’t really say until we’ve got one and at least there are two of us to hopefully use it. Tricky.

Anyway, in recent running news I took part in a 10k charity run for the local air ambulance, which was held at an airfield and it was one of those confusing runs where a 10 and a 5k are run at the same time then at the halfway stage some of you filter off as appropriate but you have no idea who is running each distance, all very odd. As there was a small field of runners I decided to buck my usual trend and start at the front (aim high, yea?!) which would have been laughable to see because as the starting horn sounded some of the younger, fitter runners to my mind sprinted off into the distance leaving the rest of us choking on their dust. This did in fact mean because I was surrounded by faster than usual runners I set off at a frighteningly fast pace for the first 1k which had me seriously worried that I was going to burn out and have to crawl back in shame. I honestly don't know what happened that day, but I finished in a time of 47:12 (first female, not that they acknowledged this *big frown* was for charity so mustn't grumble. A full one minute and thirteen seconds faster than my previous pb, set just two weeks earlier and I thought that would be unbeatable. Maybe it was the flat surface?

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Something unexpected happened on Sunday. I went for my usual 10k route in the pouring rain, with the light fading stupidly fast. Maybe it was because I was desperate to get home in one piece but I made it back in 46:53, which is beyond my comprehension as it was just 4 weeks earlier it was 48:25 (so that's 1:32 difference). As the 10k actually registered me running 10.17k on my watch it was proportionately a faster average pace, but for ease of memory I will use 46:53 as my pb
The gloomy thing is that I really really can't expect to see any improvement especially as I can't even run as often. I don’t tend to set goals because I tend to think that going any faster than I already have is a bit unrealistic and I just don’t know how much further improvement can be made. Let’s face it, I’ve got lucky so far and have managed to make some gains but how good have I got the potential to get? I’ll reserve judgement.

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