Ballymena Runners 6.1

runnersOnto week six (SIX!) tonight, just another three weeks left or something like that. Tonight’s session was a big one psychologically as we moved into double figures for the first time …. 10-6-10 with two minute walk breaks in between.

fullsizerender-22All the usual nerves and worries hit me beforehand ….. and even standing in the carpark waiting for everyone to gather I flirted with the idea of just going home.

But I stuck it out and thought I’d at least give it a go. It’s ridiculous considering  I’m competing along with 15,000 others on Sunday that I should get so nervous. I need to grab hold of myself sometime soon.

Anyway, we set off and it wasn’t too bad. Pace wise it felt roughly the same as every other week, although the stats showed it was a fair bit quicker, over 30 seconds faster per mile than last Tuesday.

It felt relatively comfortable throughout and although my legs did tire a bit I remember clomping only once which is surely a good sign. The real test will come when I have to do it on my own without the group around me.

I still need to fit two more sessions in this week before Sunday. Maybe one tomorrow or Thursday (weather/mood permitting) and then the other one in Fareham on Friday. That’ll be slightly longer – it’s up to 12-6-12 but maybe the change of scenery will be enough to get me round it and loosen my legs up after the flight. We’ll see.

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Centra Run Together

img_4174Today was the Centra Run Together event in Antrim, a 5k race that you had to complete in pairs, so I persuaded Isobel to take part for what was her first proper running event.

The Met Office had issued a yellow weather warning for the day but, thankfully, there was no rain at all. The only ‘weather’ were the strong winds in certain parts of the course, which took us along the Six Mile Water and then the shore of Lough Neagh before turning to go fullsizerender-21
back the same way.

In places it was more like a trail run – puddles, grass, dirt paths etc. – so it paid to keep a wee eye on the surface, but it was a really nice and scenic course.

Following a discussion beforehand, Isobel decided we would set off on 5 minute run-2 minute walk schedule. I knew she wouldn’t stick it but she thought it was feasible so I decided to go with it.

We also set off too quickly. Because it was a pairs event we had to stay together which meant I had to push myself to keep up – but I plodded along knowing it wouldn’t last. I suppose that’s where my experience kicks in.

img_4178From memory, the schedule lasted two cycles although, to be fair, we did keep up quite a pace throughout. I decided just to let Isobel dictate the running, I knew I had the legs for it so obviously the more important thing was making sure she was comfortable.

In the end we did it in 41:12 which was pleasing, and could have gone quicker if it wasn’t for the conditions underfoot in places.

It was a fun, relaxed event and something different. A decent technical t-shirt, a tasty goody bag and a quality medal. An all-round enjoyable afternoon.

My calves felt a little tight at the start but they soon settled down and seem to be ok now.

I only did seven miles this week but that’s maybe no bad thing, given what awaits me next Sunday. I still have to do the third Ballymena Runners session (three eight minute runs) before Tuesday night, although it’ll be no big deal if I don’t manage it, I’ll see how my legs feel tomorrow.

Ballymena Runners 5.2

fullsizerender-20Not an awful lot to say about this run, as per Tuesday night it was 3-8-3-8 with two minutes walking between each split.

I haven’t been feeling in a good place mentally for the past few days so wasn’t really in the mood for running tonight. Indeed, I didn’t go out until it was dark, the first time I’ve done that in ages. Perhaps that says something.

Because I wasn’t really up for it I just went through the motions without really pushing myself too much.

The run itself was comfortable enough and the slight niggle I’d felt just below my left kneecap before going out wasn’t an issue. My breathing was grand, I felt well within my comfort zone and, on another day, I could have easily have covered a greater distance.

In other news, I received my Asthma UK top despite only requesting it yesterday afternoon! Excellent service. It’s a vest, is a bit snug and shows off my ample rolling gut so I’ve ordered a compression top to go below it, to hopefully hold me in.

That’s going to look charming in the Great South Run pics.