Session Time: 56 minutes
Distance Covered: 4.17 miles
Total Time: 13 Hours 49 minutes
Total Distance Covered: 69.37 miles
As today was another gorgeous bank holiday here in the UK (yes we’ve got quite a few of them at the moment – it’s great!) we decided that today we would push the boat out (hypothetically speaking) and try a run that was a little further than usual.
As you know, we have been visiting a local leisure suite to do the puffolphin sessions, so today we thought that we would have a go running all the way there before having a little swim and sauna to celebrate.
On the back of the two longer continuous runs that I did last week I was feeling good, but also a little nervous about one particular part of today’s party session.
The hill that when I suggested running up it the response has fallen into three categories:
○ Stunned Silence
○ Some form of expletive
This could be a challenge.
Putting that aside for a moment it was time to hit the streets.
Training buddy was by my side again and we set off.
The weather was warm again, the sun was out and in spite of the heat it was wonderful to run in.
My legs were a little achy, but they are getting used to this running thing now…so no complaints.
Party session playlist was in full flow, and I was feeling good.
When all of a sudden, my party session playlist disappeared from my right ear.
Cue lots of mucking about with cables etc while bobbing along.
My earphones were obviously partied out…and I was left with just the one ear.
Never mind, at least I can still hear the music in my left ear…and I can hear training buddy in the right. No problem.
So on we ran.
About a mile into today’s run, I remembered a suggestion from training buddy…as well as listening to my party session playlist, I could also use the running time to catch up on my ‘reading’ by listening to audio books.
So I decided to switch to a Tony Robbins audio book to entertain me as I ran.
And entertain it did, in fact I was so focused on the book and the running that I completely missed a couple of friends waving to us as we bobbed past (sorry Liz and John!!) and it was only when training buddy pointed them out that I gave them a big wave and blew some kisses their way!
Things were going well, and I knew that the hill was on the horizon so mentally I was setting myself a goal to keep going until we got to the top when I realised that training buddy had stopped and started walking.
Hang on…TRAINING BUDDY had stopped, and I was still running?!?!
What’s going on?!
It turns out that as this was training buddy’s first trip out in a week that he was feeling it a bit.
In addition, as my running stride is significantly shorter than his, he was finding it very difficult to relax and still to keep in pace with me (without whizzing off ahead!) which was adding to the situation.
Although I could have easily kept running at this point, it was good in a way to be able to repay training buddy for his patience on this journey to date. I’m sure that the training we have done to this point has been (at times) a bit frustrating for him as he has had to hold back and not push his own limits as he has been supporting me along the way. We’re doing this as a team, so if one of us needs a little walking break, then a little walking break we’ll take.
So we had a little walk to get ready for the hill.
The dreaded hill.
We decided to get running again a little way before the start of the hill to get the rhythm ready by the time we started to climb.
So I put my earphone back in and picked up the pace.
…when I realised that there was now no sound whatsoever.
The party sessions had obviously taken their toll on my earphones and they were no longer willing to party.
Just before the climb began.
So no music and no Tony for my hill climb.
Oh well, no point in worrying about it, I’ve got a hill to take on!
I had a good rhythm when I reached the bottom and was feeling good.
I had decided that my technique for tackling the hill would be not to focus on the hill itself and how far I’d gone or how far I had to go, but (as with my marathon training) just to keep focusing on the next step.
Because the next step is always do-able. The hill might feel like a gargantuan task, but the next step is always just another step.
So we started.
Things went well to start with…I kept my rhythm and was making good progress.
I kept telling myself “just keep focusing on the next step”.
…and I did…
…until about halfway up, when I suddenly realised that I was only halfway up…
…and then realised that that meant that I’d already done half of it…
…but the toughest bit of this hill is right at the top, and I still had that to go.
“NO! Don’t think about that!! Just keep focusing on the next step!” I reminded myself.
So focus I did.
The teeny tiny Tiggers were worth their weight in gold today (which luckily isn’t very much, or they’d be weighing my feet down!)…as I took each next step I kept on my toes and bounced back and forth from foot to foot.
“Next step, next step, next step, next step”… it was like my own personal mantra…”next” with every left foot, “step” with every right.
It was tough, the panting Labrador was threatening to return and my legs were most definitely feeling the strain…but I kept going.
…Next step, next step, next step…
When I was nearly there I allowed myself to focus on the top of the hill.
Just keep going!
…WE MADE IT!!
All the way to the top, without breaking the run.
Woo hoo!! 😀
Time for a little happy dance!
It looked like a hill from the bottom, but it felt like I’d climbed a mountain when I happy danced at the top!! 😀
Both training buddy and I decided that this was a good point to have another walking break (to allow the wobbly lead legs to subside!!)
So we walked to the pub (no, we didn’t stop in for a pint before you ask!) before picking up the pace again.
It has to be said that without my party session playlist I thought I would really struggle on today’s run, but the day was so pleasant and I was enjoying it so much that it didn’t bother me at all.
I just kept a smile on my face and kept on running.
Training buddy had pulled a muscle in the top of his leg…and was limping while he was walking.
Not a good sign.
We found somewhere to pull off to the side and I helped him to stretch the leg out (thanks go out to Sarah, my old physiotherapist, and to all the old yoga / pilates / exercise class teachers for the exercises that helped get us back on the road today!)
Sidebar – thanks go out to warrior princess for sending through details of a FANTASTIC yoga stretch which has been my saving grace over the last few days: Vipa Rida Kirani (legs up the wall) – I can’t recommend it enough!! 🙂
So with training buddy back up and running again (literally) we set off on the last little stint of today’s run.
I told training buddy to set the pace that was comfortable for him and that I would try to keep up – and I didn’t do bad, even if my legs are a little bit littler.
With the sun out, surrounded by fields, it was fantastic.
The finish line was on the horizon, and I bobbed up towards it and crossed it feeling great.
While stretching out in front of the leisure suite, something occurred to me.
Not only was I feeling good, but even after our longest run to date I could have kept going if I’d wanted to.
Happy Dances a-plenty!! 😀
So training buddy and I rewarded ourselves with a leisurely swim, a lovely bubble in the hydrotherapy pool and jacuzzi and a relaxing poach in the sauna (where I gave Vipa Rida Kirani a go, until I realised that it scorched my toes as they were so much higher up than the rest of me!!)
Most importantly I realised today how much progress I’m making.
The panting Labrador is well and truly in retirement (he tried to make a comeback on the hill today, but wasn’t allowed to make an appearance!), I’m finding the running for the most part comfortable and (shock horror!) enjoyable and even when I’m pushing further I know that I’ve got more in me to give.
I’ve come a long way from the lolloping Labrador that couldn’t make it to the end of the road…which is very exciting…and what’s even more exciting is how much further I’m going to go…
Happy Dances are going to be in high demand!
Another step closer x