My First Race in 3.5 Years

first 5k race in 3.5 years

Last night I ran a 5k race.

It’s a local race series that has five runs, each one month apart, and it takes place every year from April to August.

It’s heavily attended by runners from all the running clubs in the area and the results list contains some pretty impressive times. A friend of mine was running in it, having been building up her running over the last few months, so I decided to join her. Last night was the third race in the series and we were feeling pretty nervous after seeing the results. The slowest time from over a hundred runners in race 1 was 31:45 , which is faster than my best parkrun this year.

The race started at 7:15pm, so I had all day to feel worried about how I was going to do. I ate a massive lunch because I didn’t want to have dinner before running and then spent most of the afternoon wishing I’d eaten less because my stomach was so full. When we arrived everybody was super-fit looking. I was grateful to pin my run number over my slightly wobbly baby-belly because there were some super-flat abs wandering around.

My friend and I followed everyone else to the start (we weren’t sure where it even began), and we hoped we’d still be able to follow the course when everybody else had run off into the distance and we had no fellow runners to guide us. The route turned out to be really well-marked, which I was grateful for.

Suddenly we were off and everyone surged ahead – they were all SO fast! After I’d been running for about 14 minutes I saw a sign that said 400 metres to go. I was really out of breath and my brain seemed to have stopped working – for a moment I thought I had somehow sprinted 5k in 14 minutes and I was going to be one of the first finishers. I was even more confused when people started clapping and cheering. My brain couldn’t deduce what was happening until a runner went past me and I finally realised we were doing two laps and he had already run it twice, while I still had 2.5km to go.

At that point I think I psychologically took a bit of a dive because I much prefer to run a route that doesn’t repeat (not to mention being lapped by the winner), and to know that I had another lap of what I’d just covered still to run made me feel so tired. However, I carried on and just kept putting one foot in front of the other.

My legs felt strong, but my lungs were burning – what held me back was a lack of lung capacity I think. The kilometres ticked away on the Garmin I’d borrowed from the husband and the last one felt so long. At the 400 metres sign, second time around, I knew I should be picking up speed, but I felt really tired by that point. I checked my time and I had about 90 seconds to go before the 30 minutes mark. I tried to put a bit more into it, but I was running out of power.

Finally the finish crept into sight and I put on a spurt for probably the last 20 meters. I knew I hadn’t broken 30 minutes, but it wasn’t loads over. My official time was 30:39 which I am actually really, really chuffed with. My friend did amazingly and was ahead of me for most of the race, coming in just 5 seconds shy of a sub 30.

The last race I ran was at the same site – they sometimes run a prologue to the series in the winter and that was the one I did in December 2013. My time back then was 30:56, which means three and half years (and one baby) on, I am 17 seconds quicker. Not bad in my book.

The fourth race in this series is in a month’s time. I am going to push for a sub-30 time in July – it’s a goal I’ve had for so long and it will be so great to achieve it. But even if I miss it, I get one more shot in August. I will get there!

This Week’s Goals – Week 2

weekly todo list

I am really easily distracted. My brain runs at about 100mph from the minute I wake up, so having a little public to-do list like this worked brilliantly last week for making sure I got the right things done.

I think each week I need to make sure I always add one procrastination-prone goal to the list (this will inevitably be something I have been putting off for ages). It’s really good to clear these kind of things as it just gives you a bit more mental get-up-and-go when you get them done. I also need to balance it with things that are easier/more enjoyable. Last week was a good mix, so let’s see if I can repeat that again this week.

On the agenda:

  1. Carry on getting photos sorted out on Mac/Phone
  2. Get back to inbox zero, for both personal and business accounts
  3. Three runs (one of these is a 5k race) and one strength session
  4. Get to the bottom of each of the washing baskets and put the mountain of outstanding clean clothes away
  5. Plan out shopping, meals and cooking for the start of the 3 week healthy eating challenge I’m doing from Saturday
  6. Keep within a £60 budget this week for food (no spending until Wednesday as that’s when I get some money!)
  7. Send Dad the book I bought for him
  8. Business goals: decide where/how/if to blog about these, but in the meantime get a quote out, do design changes for current project and get new email list up and running.

And here’s how last week turned out:

  1. Start my tax return (yawn!) – Done! Did the whole thing and got a £15 rebate, which will go straight towards debt reduction when it arrives.
  2. Do not buy any food except bare essentials like milk and bread (I am trying to use up everything in the cupboards/freezer/fridge as part of a money saving drive) – Done!
  3. Do two more runs – Done. And got a PB at parkrun on Saturday.
  4. Ring up and check what happened to my pension (I got a statement and its value had gone down by 20%) – Done. This was a paperwork error, the value has actually gone up. Phew.
  5. Start sorting out my photos (oh lordy – I am in a mess with these. My phone isn’t syncing with my desktop and everything is all over the place) – Done. I’ve fixed the corrupt library issue I had on the Mac, so getting it updated is now underway.
  6. List baby carrier and pro microphone on eBay – Not done. I decided to keep both of these items as the sling works as a back carrier (which I didn’t realise), and I’m not 100% sure I’m ready to sell the microphone in case I use it to develop any online course material for my business.
  7. Think about adding household accounts to YNAB (I am a total YNAB convert – it is the best personal budgeting tool I have ever used!) – Done! I thought about it and did it. I’ve added the household account and the mortgage account to a separate YNAB budget. The husband is going to transfer the TV licence over to the household account (he’s been paying that on the side for years), and I’ll be able to save any money from the household account that we don’t need each month and put it towards a) a kitchen/holidays/emergencies fund and b) mortgage overpayments. We’ve been working really hard at getting the mortgage paid off and are hoping to see the back of it within the next six years.

Week 10: Training Log

training log week 10

Week 10: w/c 19th June 2017.

Check out my new blog graphic that actually makes it look like I’m some kind of proper athlete, hah!

Anyway, this makes ten weeks of exercise – woo hoo!

It’s been a good week, and I got a PB at parkrun on Saturday, yay. In fact I finally feel like the whole exercise thing is falling into place. You know how it is at the beginning when you first start – everything hurts, everything is exhausting, everything is such hard work. Well, I genuinely have reached a place where it really isn’t that horrible any more. Of course it’s still hard, but my body copes better, and it’s a nice feeling. My headaches have been less this week but they are still niggling every day. They are driving me crazy, but do seem to be settling down, so I’ll hold tight for now and hope next week brings some relief.

I really need to add some more strength training in. I know it will help my running and I know it’s important, but I always feel such resistance to doing resistance, haha. Maybe when I’m ten weeks down the line with it, I’ll feel differently.

This weeks training covered the following:

Monday

5km Asics Pace Academy run from Runkeeper. 33:22.

Tuesday

4km run around the village in the evening. 26:15

Wednesday

Rest

Thursday

5km progression run, 10 slow, 10 medium, 10 fast, slow remainder.

Friday

Rest

Saturday

Parkrun – PB 32:06 5km

Sunday

Rest.

Next week I have an actual 5k race on Wednesday evening. It’s a 5-race series, running once a month from April to August. My friend has just this minute sent me the results for the first two (that I didn’t enter) and it very much looks like I am going to come last. Full race report to come. And I’ll definitely be doing some strength work after that.

Parkrun PB

lakeside parkrun pb

I ran 5km in 32:06 this morning, which is a park run PB, hurrah!

It was a good run – the weather was warm, which is always better for me, and I’ve been feeling much better since being super-strict about eating gluten. I have a 5k race on Wednesday evening, so I didn’t want to push too hard today and I think I did have a little bit left to give, so all in all I am really pleased. Especially when I think back to two weeks ago where my time was 34:12 after all the hill work I did. Big leaps forward! I love this part of the journey because I know that the lower the time gets the harder it gets to work for the extra seconds in speed. Taking 2:06 out of my time across two weeks is pretty phenomenal and I’m feeling really good about how I’ve been managing my training.

Best of all is that compared to last summer, when I was running on no sleep, I finished in 32:12. That was my previous best and I just felt bloody awful afterwards. Exhausted beyond belief, shaky, miserable, aching. Today I finished and felt fine across the line (I could definitely have pushed harder), and within a few minutes I was breathing normally again and no complaints from my muscles or joints. My recovery is so much better. Sleeping a whole lot more makes a world of difference. I think I just did the right thing stopping last summer. It was my arthritis that was main reason, but the lack of sleep was killing me, I think.

So, a great morning for me, my fourth run of the week and the end of my 10th consecutive week of training this year. I’m so looking forward to Wednesday’s race and although I don’t think I’m going to break 30 minutes just yet, I know I’m not far off it. I also start a three week healthy eating challenge on 3rd July run by a local nutritionist (more on that soon!), and I am so ready to power up my nutritional intake and hopefully see the benefit of that.

One other thing is I did a weigh-in this morning and I have actually put 1.8kg on in the last couple of weeks. I almost fell off the scales when I saw this as I know that I’m not getting (much) fatter because my clothes still fit the same. I also knew that I hadn’t lost any fat as my post-baby-belly is still jiggling nicely when I run, so I’m guessing I’ve been building some actual muscle? I definitely feel a lot stronger, so I’m happy with that, but it just goes to show that the scales really don’t tell the whole story.

Getting Back Into It

Boo has learnt to climb up onto the sofa. She fell off head first the other day and has a nice bruise to show for it.

It’s funny, but when I’m happy and content, I find that my blogging inspiration dries up. When things are hard, or I’m suffering with self-doubt, I can write thousands of words – they just pour out of me and onto the screen.

I blame obsessive diary-writing for this as a teenager. All my teenage angst gave me so much practice in writing about emotions like frustration, anger and sadness, that it set me up to be a maudlin blogger for life. Writing about secondary infertility kept me going for three long years – there was so much emotion there I practically burned through my keyboard.

These days however, life is good. And my god I am grateful for it. I think partly I worry about somehow tempting fate to take all the good things away from me if I publicly talk about good things happening in my life. But partly it’s just that I’m happy. And my brain is less busy when I’m happy, which means the need to write (which is very cathartic for me) decreases.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t make for a) decent blogging and b) ever finishing any of the books I have started to write and not finished (because my mood affects my desire to write also, and writing is one of my big loves).

So.

I’m going to try something new.

Firstly, I’m going to write a “On The List This Week” post at the start of each week. I love my lists, and this is a great way for me to be even more accountable to the massive list of things I want to get done. It also means I share what I’m up to and hopefully find other people doing similar things.

Secondly, I’m going to try posting more often, even if it seems like I have nothing to say (omg, I can hear you all clicking ‘unfollow’ now).

Thirdly, I’m going to try to find more bloggers out there like me. I really want to read and share and see what other people are up to. It’s really the most fun part about it. I struggle a bit with the WordPress reader, but I’ve been clicking around trying to find new blogs to follow and have a few new ones on my list now (yes, that’s you I’m stalking, mwah ha ha!).

So, without further ado, this weeks “On The List This Week” is late as it’s Wednesday, but here it is anyway:

  1. Start my tax return (yawn!)
  2. Do not buy any food except bare essentials like milk and bread (I am trying to use up everything in the cupboards/freezer/fridge as part of a money saving drive)
  3. Do two more runs
  4. Ring up and check what happened to my pension (I got a statement and its value had gone down by 20%)
  5. Start sorting out my photos (oh lordy – I am in a mess with these. My phone isn’t syncing with my desktop and everything is all over the place)
  6. List baby carrier and pro microphone on eBay
  7. Think about adding household accounts to YNAB (I am a total YNAB convert – it is the best personal budgeting tool I have ever used!)

That’s it for today!