Session Time: 33 minutes
Distance Covered: 3.2 miles
Total Time: 12 Hours 21 minutes
Total Distance Covered: 62.4 miles
As I write this blog post I am incredibly achy, but absolutely elated.
It has been an incredible day at party session central!
Having had to work late again last night, training buddy was unable to join me for this morning’s session, so I pulled backup training buddy Bubba out of retirement and we hit the streets.
For today, I decided to go an alternate route, so we headed off, party session playlist in full flow.
It has to be said that with the weather as beautiful as it is (at the moment, this is the UK after all!) being out on a party session first thing in the morning when the sun is out really is a great way to start the day.
Just me, Bubba and the open road.
Oh, and confusing random strangers by smiling at them and wishing them a good morning is great fun!
Recently I’ve been thinking that I need to step up the training I’m doing. I’ve been doing very well, but I’ve plateaued a bit.
I’ve still been doing very well, don’t get me wrong, but I have this instinct that I can do more.
So this morning I decided the test the theory.
About 3/4 of a mile into this morning’s run I decided that I was going to try to keep going today.
All the way.
No walking breaks, no stopping at all, just keep going.
I’ll be honest – I wasn’t sure if I could do it, but I was determined to give it a damn good go.
So run I did.
I cleared the 1 mile mark pretty comfortably – this is normally the point at which I would back off and have a walk for a short while before picking up the pace again.
I was actually surprised that I seemed to be doing ok – panting Labrador was in check, shoulders were relaxed, legs were doing ok.
So far, so good.
So I rounded the corner and headed up the next road when I got a fantastic song on my iPod – “You Should Be” by Blockster.
It’s a classic Saturday Night Fever track, and therefore it was only right that Bubba and I busted out some John Travolta style moves as we pounded the pavement.
I’m sure that the drivers from the passing cars were loving it / laughing at us / totally bewildered (feel free to delete as you feel appropriate!)
But having got to the end of the next road (around the 1.4 mile point) I started to waver a little.
This was the farthest point that I was running to and mentally knowing that I had to do what I had already done, plus a little extra (based on the route that I had planned out in my head) messed with my mindset a bit.
But then I remembered, I’d forgotten my crew!!
All the way through today’s run I had been mentally running on my own (with Bubba of course) and at the start it had been great, but around this point I started needing a little moral support.
So one by one I mentally put the team in place: Tony and Joe with their teeny tiny Tiggers, Warrior Princess, Sam, the whole crew.
…and crazy as this might sound, it really did work. I no longer felt like I was doing it on my own.
The team were there, we were rocking and we were going to complete our goal.
Around this point I felt that it was necessary to entertain myself a little, so I decided to weave in and out of the cars that were parked up on the pavement – OK, so it might have extended the route a bit, but it made me smile and that was the aim! 🙂
Things were going well.
I was enjoying it.
And I was determined to make it to my finish line.
One of the things that I kept playing over and over in my head as I was running today was just how satisfying it would be when I got to the other end and had completed my first ever non-stop run. I imagined myself bouncing up and down like a nutter on the front lawn of the house (I think the neighbours are just about getting used to me!) and celebrating my achievement…but I would only be able to do that if I kept going.
So I did.
Now around the 2.1 mile mark I ran past the road that an old friend used to live in – one of the buddies who has been giving me tips and pointers all the way through. It reminded me not to forget the tips that I’d picked up along the way – pull up and remember to keep my shoulders relaxed.
…and keep going.
I even managed a little dance jog along the way.
So things were going well.
Then I hit the 2.5 mark.
And it got tough.
My legs all of a sudden felt like jelly…mixed with lead. Not a favourable combination for a runner!
I also suddenly started to feel a real achy pull across my shoulder blades where I’d favoured the breast stroke a little more than usual on yesterday’s Puffolphin session.
I was struggling.
And I was reaching a fork in the road.
If I turned to the right I could take the fast route home – not the one I’d intended – a little shorter (only by 0.2 miles) and very appealing at this point.
If I turned to the left I could take the route that I had planned out in my head.
At this point the little voice in the back of my head started to pipe up:
“It’s only a little shorter than the other route” it said.
“But I was supposed to go the other way” I responded.
“But nobody will know that, after all, you didn’t tell anyone what you were planning”, it continued, “you can still tell them you ran the whole route today…nobody has to know you were going to do a little bit more…”
And that’s when it hit me.
Nobody would know that I’d tweaked my route a tiny little bit…except me.
And no matter how much everyone congratulated me for doing an amazing job on my first non-stop run, I’d still know that I didn’t do what I set out to do.
If I went the shorter route I’d be cheating nobody but myself.
Left turn it is.
Come on wobbly lead legs…you’ve got to keep going.
So keep going we did.
Down the penultimate road we passed the horses who have become regular guest stars of this blog. Well today they were even bigger stars.
For some reason today they seemed to know that I needed an extra bit of motivation and support because for the first time ever when running past, they actually came up to the fence to say hello.
It was only something little… but it helped all the same!
Now for the last 0.6 miles of today’s session I have to apologise to any passers by who encountered me and Bubba as we lolloped along (by this point in the run I think the lolloping had returned…my legs and arms certainly felt like they had temporarily lost all co-ordination anyway!!) For along the last little stretch I had to resort to verbally cheering myself on, to keep myself going.
The grunts of “Just keep going”, “You’re nearly there” and “Come on Bubba, we can do it!” may not have been appreciated by all, but they certainly did help to keep me bobbing along for the final few hundred yards or so.
I saw the pink blossomed tree in the distance (my own personal indicator that we’re nearly at the alleyway)….then the top of the alleyway…through to the other end…then there it was…the finish line…just a little bit further….
… I MADE IT!!!
MAJOR HAPPY DANCING!!!
…and that extra 0.2 miles was well worth it!!
I know it seems daft, but this was like a little marathon all of it’s own today…and a major milestone in my training.
When I worked out the distance I had run, it was a little over 5k.
I was planning on doing a 5k run at some point as a milestone in my training…I didn’t realise I’d hit this target sooner that I thought…!
I almost couldn’t believe it.
My legs and arms were now all made of this extraordinary lead-based jelly substance, and I was the colour of a particularly impressive prize radish…but I’d done it.
I did what I intended to do, and it couldn’t have felt better.
I realised something important today as well.
I was mentally writing this blog post in my head as I was going along and imagining the look on training buddy and family member’s faces when I told them what I’d done.
The thought of sharing my accomplishment with all the people who are supporting me along this journey was one of the keys to keeping my little feet bouncing up and down (or flopping up and down as it was by the end of it!) along today’s route.
So thanks to each and every one of you who are reading this -please give yourself a pat on the back or a hug from me because each and every one of you are part of the reason that I made it today…and are helping every single step on this crazy journey of mine.
I was about to write that I couldn’t do it without you…but I don’t think that’s necessarily true – I’m pretty stubborn when I put my mind to something, and would find a way to keep myself going…but I can tell you this – it would be a LOT harder and a LOT less fun without you all joining me for the ride.
Another (MAJOR!) step closer x