Countdown to 10 miles: 5 weeks to go
RUNNING WITH TUNES AND ALCOHOL
It’s week four of my preparations to take part in the Stebbing 10 mile race on Remembrance Sunday in November. Each week I’m sharing my running journey, my training plans, my gear and my thoughts and feelings about running. I hope you’ll join me on my countdown to 10 miles! (In week one I ran shared my first 8.5 mile run, in week two I ran 9 miles (without really meaning too!) and shared my favourite running kit. Last week I did a mini review of the Garmin Forerunner 10 running watch.)
With five weeks to go I’m still running 9 miles. Next week I’m going to increase to 9.5 miles as it’s unlikely that I’ll be able to cover much distance while we’re on our two week adventure in Spain with James Villas Holidays (more about this soon!). So I’m running 9 miles again. How do I stop it getting tedius? More on this in a moment, but first something that definitely stops me getting bored while I’m plodding…
Running item of the week – my playlist
I love running, I do, but one of the things I love most about it is having some time to myself with my thoughts – and some great tunes! I’ve written before about music for spinning, but when I’m running I like to take a less frenetic approach. After all, I’ve got a lot of miles to cover now and I need to pace myself – ‘Firestarter’ is going to get me out of the blocks WAY too fast!
If I’m feeling mellow I might opt for a whole album of Coldplay or Keane (or even Genesis 70’s and 80’s styleee) but for a typical run I’ll pop on this playlist that’s a mad mix of old school beats, rap, dance and pop – tried and tested tunes that get me humming along and forgetting my feet. Spot any of your favourites in here?
- Switch – Will Smith
- Wat do hook gon be – Murphy Lee
- Single ladies (put a ring on it) – Beyonce
- Viva la vida – Coldplay
- Chasing cars – Snow Patrol
- Amazing – George Michael
- Summertime – Will Smith
- Hand in my pocket – Alanis Morisette
- Shoot the dog – George Michael
- Paradise – Coldplay
- Precious Box – George Michael
- Virtual insanity – Jamiroquai
- Think – Aretha Franklin
- Outside – George Michael
- Miami – Will Smith
- Say a little prayer – Aretha Franklin
- Switch – Will Smith
- Hurts like heaven – Coldplay
- All together now – The Farm
- Too young to die – Jamiroquai
- Sexyback – Justin Timberlake
- Canned heat – Jamiroquai
I love losing myself in these tunes. But here’s where I’m starting to worry. Because when I’m actually running those 10 miles in November I won’t have any tunes to help me do that – to help me forget that I’m getting tired, that my knees are aching, that this hill is SO long or that puddle just soaked my trainers. Like a lot of road races we’re not allowed to wear headphones for safety. How am I going to get through it without my tunes I wonder?
I’d love to know your strategies for keeping going without music in a race and what’s on your fav workout playlist too – let me know in the comments!
Next week: My Gymboss timer and staying hydrated
This week’s run
It was so foggy when I woke up on Saturday morning I was sure it was going to be cold outside so I switched my capris for running tights (part of my fav running kit). Then just over a mile into the run the sun came out and it was suddenly too warm for tights – I forget how hot I get running! I consoled myself that the extra heat would be good for my leg muscles and, as it turned out, I needed all the help I could get on this run…
I set off feeling less than bright-eyed after a family celebration on Friday night. The combination of champagne, Belgian beer and whisky seemed like a good idea at the time. Not so much the next morning! I didn’t feel hungover exactly (I’m not a big drinker and really only had sips of the beer and spirit) but any alcohol seems to put me off my running game. I MUST remember this for November! I knew straight away that this wasn’t going to be a record-setting run, more get-round-somehow. I decided to give my brain something else to think about and run part of the route backwards.
At mile two I spotted a sparrow hawk hoovering above the field I was running next to. It was so graceful, moving only it’s wings to stay perfectly in place, looking for voles or mice, then moving a few feet away and hoovering again. I thought again how grateful I am to be able to run through the beautiful Essex countryside every weekend.
Half a mile later the nausea kicked in.
And I didn’t feel quite so grateful for that.
At 3 miles I ran past an elderly lady standing by the gate outside her house. She was leaning on her shopping trolly and as I panted ‘good morning’ to her she smiled. Did it bring back memories of her younger-self I wondered? I often get reflective while I’m pounding the road and I spiralled into a world where I was an older version of me, watching my daughter running effortlessly while my arthritic pins strangled my every move.
Finally at 4 miles I started to feel comfortable on my legs and I remember thinking how fab it is that I’m starting to enjoy running these longer distances now. It wasn’t that long ago that I was only managing to get to the end of the lane and back!
Then at 4.5 miles, halfway, I realised why it wasn’t such a good idea to run this part of my route backwards. The flying mile that I had on my first training run is actually slightly downhill so running it the other way meant it was slightly uphill. Another long, slow hill. Plod on legs, plod on.
At 6 miles I almost threw in the towel. It wasn’t fun anymore. I hated running. Why was I doing this again? All my doubts surfaced at once. But so far from home I did the only thing I could do. I put the fundamentals of running into practice – one foot in front of the other. Repeat.
At seven miles my calves felt tight and I concentrated on my posture, making sure I was planting my foot heel-toe instead of running on my toes. I sucked in my stomach and relaxed my shoulders, stealing myself for the last two miles and another long slow hill.
The last mile was horrendous. Leaden legs, sore knees, even my hips were grumbling. As I rounded the last bend I couldn’t even muster the enthusiasm for a little sprint finish. There was no flying mile on this run. I’m glad to have just made it round. This was my hardest run yet and I can still feel my leg muscles two days later.
But I did it. And that is enough.
Linking up with All About You at Mama and More.