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Showing posts from June, 2019

Halfway there!

There is usually a light bulb moment during the week when inspiration comes for the blog; it can be something someone says, a place I'm visiting, something I see whilst running or a random thought that just pops into my head. But once the inspiration hits, it's then a matter of translating that into a post. So this week, inspiration came when I realised we're almost half way through 2019 and that means half way through my blogging challenge too.  It's time for a mid-year appraisal and, overall, so far, so good; 26 blog posts, no missing weeks and I've really enjoyed writing again. I'm not sure if it's a coincidence, but I'm also really enjoying running too.  I've been looking back and have picked out some of my favourite moments so far... Blogging inspiration.... when I spent all weekend putting off my long run and was then saved by a lost scarf (thanks Isabelle Taking on a challenge...  a race day in the Olympic Park in London

Riding the rollercoaster

This week, my running adventures have had a few ups and downs, not in terms of the undulations of the routes but in relation to how I felt and how I ran. I've had two runs where I felt like I was running through treacle - sluggish, slow, desperate to stop - and two runs where I felt great, enjoying the fresh air, finding a comfortable pace, running up hills, smiling! I even managed a progression run, getting quicker with every mile. I've thought a bit about why. What made the tough runs so difficult and the other runs seem so effortless? Was I more tired before I started? Had I done too much during the day? Had I slept badly? Was it too hot or too cold? Had I eaten enough or too much? Was it because I was on my own or in a group? Did I have a plan or no plan at all? It's been my birthday this week... is this just an age thing? Birthday card from my sister! And then I took a step back... does it matter? I can't really expect every run to be easy. Or that I will

Step Outside

When I first started running, almost every step took me outside my comfort zone; from opening the front door for Week 1 of Couch to 5k in March 2011 all the way to my first half marathon in Stafford about a year later. I was a new runner then and everything was a new experience. I was learning how to run faster and further, how to run on different terrains and in different conditions and temperatures. I got scared but fear turned into exhilaration when I completed a new challenge. I was brave. Over time, though, my running habits have changed and there are fewer moments of fear; fewer occasions where I am pushing the boundaries or trying new things. I'm not chasing personal bests all the time. I don't run in new places that often. This doesn't mean running is easy all the time or that I don't struggle with big challenges - I definitely do. It just means that my comfort zone has shifted; long distances at a slower place - training and completing ultramarathons - h

A Half Marathon with a Difference

Today I completed a half marathon in 1 hour and about 5 minutes... unfortunately it doesn't count as an unbelieveable PB as I wasn't running; I was in a car and not even driving! It was the Potters 'Arf this morning - I've completed the race three times as a runner, the first time in 2012 , and it is still one of the toughest half marathons I've done. It's also one of the best supported and a great event in the local running calendar, famed for it's horrible hills. However, since 2015, I've completed the event in a slightly different way, volunteering in the race activation car. This means completing the half marathon route about five minutes in front of the lead runners; alerting marshals and volunteers at drink stations that the runners are on the way; identifying any on-course issues and occasionally jumping out of the car to move traffic signs or cones. Race Day Timings For the most part, it's really enjoyable. Driver Andy and I

It's good to talk!

I'm three quarters of the way through my planned month of recovery following my ultra marathon adventure in May. I'm enjoying the slow and steady return to running. This week, using time normally devoted to running, I've been reading about running instead, learning all about the concept of 80/20 running and managing the amount of time running at high, medium and low intensity (see Matt Fitzgerald's book 80/20 Running: Run Stronger and Race Faster by Training Slower for more information). The key to this is the concept of the ventilatory threshold , the tipping point when you can no longer run and talk in complete sentences. Essentially, according to the theory of 80/20 running, 80 per cent of your running should be run below the ventilatory threshold, at a pace slow enough to hold a conversation. As running theories go, this is music to my ears! I love a chatty run. It seems for almost as long as I have been running and blogging, the chatty run has been a