Category Archives: Run Reports

Running for the soul

Sometimes the gentlest of runs are the best, and good for the soul.

That’s what tonight was with the club. Nice, laid back, no pressure but hugely beneficial.

I had already decided to go with the 30-minute group. I know it was step-up week so, by rights, I should have gone with the 60s but I had an ulterior motive tonight.

As well as only being interested in a comfortable run it was suggested to me today that I should think about signing up to the forthcoming LIRF (Leader In Running Fitness) course being held locally and, after discussing it briefly with an office bearer at the club, I was advised that it might not be a bad idea to go with the 30s and to shadow the leaders just to get a little taste of what’s expected and involved.

I’m still very much undecided whether to apply for the qualification or not, but I am interested in encouraging those starting off on their running journey or lacking confidence in their ability. That’s one of the driving forces behind my 18in18 Challenge so a course such as this seems a perfect fit.

But that’s for another day.

Tonight, in a departure from the norm, I ran up to the club. I don’t normally do this but, encouraged by my success on Saturday, I decided to do it this evening. I’ll admit to questioning it because, as I ran, I could feel a niggle in my left calf, and I was a bit concerned I might struggle so why was I ‘wasting’ my running time now?

However, that niggle well and truly disappeared when the club run itself started. If I had the niggle when the session started it might have been enough for me to have a ‘bad’ night but, as it turned out, it was just what I needed. I was able to focus on the run ‘proper’ with legs that felt good and were already warmed up.

As I said, the session itself was grand. A relaxed pace, good company and the opportunity to chat all the way round … perfect with a half marathon waiting for me.

I ran back home again to bring me to around 7km for the evening. I envisage, as per last week, I’ll do a wee run on my own at some point this week plus a jog to the gym and back just to keep my ticking over ahead of Larne on Saturday. It worked last week so why change what’s already tried and tested?

Relive my run


Bring on the Craic

Tomorrow is the Spar Craic 10k in Belfast, an ever popular run around the city centre to kick off the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in Northern Ireland.

I entered it last year for the first time and set my old 10k PB which stood for almost a year until I bettered it twice lately … and I’m running it again tomorrow.

I’m not envisaging a PB this time, not least because I’ve got the second half marathon in my 18in18 Challenge next weekend so I’ll not be pushing myself too much. However, I am running well at the minute so I’m fairly hopeful of recording a decent enough time, although what will be will be at the end of the day.

As preparation, I decided to go the gym this evening to limber up. Although this is the fourth day this week I’ve exercised I didn’t do anything yesterday so my mind started to play tricks on me again, and I felt I needed to do something today otherwise I’ll dwell on it overnight and convince myself I’m soooo unfit, that there’s no point turning up tomorrow because I’ll be useless and so on.

So I decided to run to the gym (and back) and do 90 minutes on the exercise bike while I was there. Those 90 minutes produced a 26.2 mile ride, and the run there and back took me half-an-hour … a good endurance session all told, but without putting too much strain on my legs.

Running, I felt very comfortable. I kept it slow on the way there but was a lot quicker on the way back, something I always find slightly puzzling and amusing. Maybe I should use those tactics tomorrow, although the temptation to go off quickly at the start is often too great.

Let’s see what happens … but at least I’m going into the race in a positive frame of mind, which is never a bad thing.

Relive my run

Heaven’s above!

I do it every time. Every single time. Do what? Doubt myself, that’s what.

Before tonight I hadn’t run for three days. I know, I know … a whole three days! But that’s how little time it takes for my self doubt to creep in.

It’s ridiculous really. I’m running better at the minute than I have ever done and feeling fitter than I’ve done for ages, so why does my confidence waver after a few days off?

Anyway, it’s Monday night so that meant club night. Walking up my legs felt in excellent condition, so much so that I was very tempted to run there. I’m always wary of doing this because I never quite know how the club session will go and I don’t want to use any more energy than is necessary in case things go badly.

As usually happens now, I went with the session that most of my running buddies decided upon so, tonight, it was 45-minutes. I was happy enough with that, and could easily have gone with the 30s or the hour group … but 45 it was.

Walking up, it was a lovely, clear evening – quite warm, with no need for gloves or a buff. But something changed whilst we were waiting in the leisure centre for the weekly announcements and for the groups to be split up because, when we emerged back outside, it was cold, dark and raining heavily! The heavens had well and truly opened, it would have been so easy just to retreat back indoors.

However, we had a run to do, it was time to pull up my big boy pants and just get on with it. We started off quite briskly – squelching all the way, I think I need new trainers! – to the extent that I actually stopped at one point to look around me, just to make sure I was in the right group and I hadn’t somehow drifted off into another quicker group!

It was indeed the 45s, so I knuckled down and got on with it. For a few moments I thought I wasn’t going to cope but, no, the more we ran the more comfortable I became.

Whilst this was good it also surprised me. I was running in a fast group, and managing to hold a conversation at the same time.

The route took us up the Fry’s Road which, whilst not terribly steep, is a long, steady incline and quite often tough enough going. Tonight it didn’t trouble me and, indeed, I actually recorded my fastest time up it according to Strava.

As usual, when we had finished I elected to run the rest of the way home. In total I did 4.5 miles and, on another night, would have been tempted to make it up to five miles but I was cold and wet so thought there’d be no point running the risk of picking up any bugs for the sake of half-a-mile. It had been a successful evening, and I felt good about it, so I was more than content.

Relive my run