After the excitement and over-indulgences of Christmas day, I found myself the only one showing any signs of life at 8 am this morning. There was still a chorus of snores at 8:30, so I decided that rather than sit about waiting for life to emerge, I may as well go for a run.

I left a note saying I’d be back by 10 am and set off. It was a lovely morning. Fairly warm, a bit of a breeze, but bright sunshine and only puffy clouds in a blue sky. I certainly got the best of the day’s weather – it’s now as grey as a very grey thing. Saw any number of people walking their dogs, and one runner, who I came across just as we both reached the only single-file bridge on the entire route! Typical. He was very polite and waited for me to cross. I went a slightly different way this morning – taking the path on the other side of the nature reserve to usual. A little longer and it’s better underfoot. More gates, but less boggy; probably an easier run.

Facts & Figures:
Distance – 6.05 miles
Time – 1:12:05
Average pace – 11:55 min/miles

Got back to find that there was life after all! Although no-one had yet made it downstairs to find the note I’d left. Family all asked was I about to go for a run, and looked at me slightly sideways when I said I’d just got back. I suppose it is a bit out of character, this voluntary exercise lark, but I felt really good for getting out. Certainly helped make space for my favourite Christmas meal – Boxing day’s cold cuts, jacket potatoes and pickles. mmm.

Busy busy

I thought weekends were supposed to be relaxing?! I seemed to dash about like a mad thing. There’s an element of being out of routine, which always makes things seem different. Started with a more relaxing early morning,  not having to be out of the house quite as early as usual. Ringing was for the Remembrance day service, so we didn’t need to be there until 10:15, rather than the usual 8:45. Half muffled ringing sounds lovely, but we don’t get to practice too often.

Home, then a bit of a potter about until the Grand prix started at 1. Lunch during the preamble, so we were ready for the off. It wasn’t a cracker, but had moments of interest. Would have been interesting to see if Hamilton could have stayed with Vettel, but the puncture at least gave us a different winner. Then, as soon as they’d finished, I started sorting out to get off for a run. Downed a pint of squash, but didn’t have quite as long to let it settle as I normally would; what with needing to get the joint in the oven for dinner and the darkening evenings I had to get on with it.

Went out in short-sleeved top, as I need to save the three long-sleeved versions for the evening runs in mid-week. But I did add my new lightweight gloves to the ensemble. I did think that was a mistake initially. For someone who always has cold hands, they seem to overheat very quickly when out running. Within a mile they were sweating, and I did think this was going to be uncomfortable. But they seemed to stay at that state, and not get any hotter, in which case that was bearable.

Set off aiming to do 10 miles. Down to the sailing club lake and round there as usual. However, the last 3 or so miles of the usual route are along a fast back road with no lights and no pavement. I’d not put the reflective vest or head torch I would usually wear in the dark on, as it hadn’t been dark when I’d left, but it was getting dark now. I decided to change plan, and headed back towards town. I figured that I could run around town, keeping to footpaths in a bit more safety than a dark road. And so the last few miles were a bit made up as I went along, and I got back to the end of our road with 9 miles showing on the Garmin. Made a decision to call it quits at that point – not as far as I’d have wanted, but far enough.

 Facts & Figures
Distance – 9.03 miles
Time – 1:50:54
Average Pace – 12.17 minute miles.

Which is reasonable. Brings me to what I’d be prepared to bet is my highest weekly mileage, at a grand total of 23-24 ish (a bit ish due to 2 Garmin-less runs). The intention for this week is to try and run 5,6,5 during the week and 8 at the weekend. It’s my next half in 2 weeks and I want to have an all out go at that before knuckling down to Marathon training as of the 28th November. It’s getting awfully close now!

Sunday, Sunday

A bit of a disjointed day. Had to collect the husband from the station this morning , meaning I didn’t head out the door until midday. Fueled by toast for breakfast and a post gardening smackerel of Millionaire’s Shortbread. Utterly yummy, but possibly not the best pre-run fuel I’ve ever seen!

Was on a bit of a tight schedule, as I’d put a casserole in the oven before I set out,  meaning I had to run 10 miles, stretch, shower, dress and be ready to eat in 3 hours. Possibly because I was aware of the schedule, I was just pushing on a little. Not trying to break any records, but keeping the pace going nicely.

Facts & Figures:
Distance – 10.0 miles
Time – 1:55:27
Average pace – 11:33 min/miles.

It was quite nice out, sunny in spells and not too breezy. Short sleeves were certainly the way to go. The walkers were out in force, all tucked up in their coats, hats, gloves and boots. I love the slightly strange looks I get as I pass by – I suspect they think I should be sectioned.

I managed to run up my nightmare hill again. Again, not fast, but it was at a run. I was slowed a fraction by the state of the next two fields. The recent rain made the soil adhere to my shoes – those nice cut-outs that are supposed to improve rebound from the road also act as really good mud attractors! Got to the end of the second field and had to stop to shake most of the county from my feet.

I got home to be greeted by the smell of a casserole cooking, which was lovely and welcoming. I’m now happily fed and would be set for a snooze – only  I’ve got to go to a Fireworks party. Well I suppose the bangs will wake me up!

Nice and easy does it.

And so we reach half plus 2 days. By Tuesday morning, the aches in the legs had started to ease up. In fact, the aches had moved from the sides of my hips on Monday morning, to the bottom of my thighs and bottom of my back. Despite this, everything was feeling better and walking was no longer being undertaken at a snail’s pace with little shuffly steps. In fact, Tuesday I even went so far as to wear low boots, rather than trainers – not heels quite yet though.

So I was very good and went out just for a little run on Tuesday night. Not far, not fast, but just enough to make sure everything was still functioning. 3 miles in 37:32 won’t break any records, but it was an even pace and felt good. It all ached a bit at the start, but the aches soon subsided. I was most relieved that my left ankle, that was hurting like billy oh on Monday was, in fact, entirely happy with the concept of running, including over some uneven ground. No tweaks or twinges anywhere. What a relief!

Followed this up with a good stretching session and feel that I’m pretty much recovered from the exertions of Sunday. I’ve certainly been making up for the calories burned, been starving hungry at unusual times and eating like a horse ever since!  Not sure I’m up to speed work on Thursday with the club, but I think I’ll give it a go regardless.

I’ve got it bad!

The running bug, that is.

Talking to the husband today and he’s off for a weekend’s fun and jollity (and a sunday morning headache, if the evening goes true to form) next month. So what do I start doing? Plot a nice girly weekend in? No. I start looking for a race. Oh dear, that’s serious. Sits 3 weeks before a half, so I’m thinking 10 k…

This weekend’s running can be described with a big, fat 0. None, not a footstep. But, given the unseasonably HOT weather, I don’t feel too bad for that. The calendar says it’s October and should be autumn – looks more like August out there. I did a reasonable amount of walking on Saturday, on a day out in Bath – which has hills, in case you han’t noticed (I won’t be putting the Bath half on the “to-do” list!). I had thought about heading out this morning, but got distracted by the Ireland v Italy rugby match, and the first of 6 loads of laundry I’ve got dried on the line today. And then it was Touring cars, then lunch and now it’s nearly time to do the roast potatoes, and I’ve still not run. There’s always tomorrow.

And I’d like to formally welcome my family to reading my blog. The fact that some people might read this was one of the things that had exercised my mind before I started writing this. I am writing this as a means to vent my running enthusiasm without boring all my non-running friends. I also want to be able to look back on this as my voyage to my marathon. You, dear reader, have stumbled in (possibly by mistake) and want to be diverted or entertained; or to find someone suffering the same trials as yourself, or to laugh at my novice mistakes. Whoever you are, I cannot know you. Obviously some of my readers will be people I know; those I’ve directed to the site might be kind enough to read a page or two. But it can seriously cramp your style, knowing that your aged rellies are reading in on your exploits. >;-) Where’s that edit pen?