If you’ve been following this particular running journey for the last few posts, you’ll know that I’m running a 10K race on 8th April which means that this will be my last running update before that race. I understand that there hasn’t been that many but even in these few posts, my running ability has grown massively and I couldn’t be prouder.
We’ll start off with St. Patrick’s Day; not an occasion I celebrate personally but I knew I had to work for a few hours that day so I wanted to get out and get some exercise done, so I planned out my usual loop route that I had ran quite a number of times last month. It wasn’t a particular warm day but it wasn’t the coldest one that we had been seeing a lot. However, this was the first run in a while where I didn’t stop once (apart from to take a few photographs) and I was so happy about it because it was a battle that I kept losing, but not this time.
My next run was a much earlier run because even though I was off all week, I wanted to make the most of the mornings and I knew I was going for brunch with a friend so it made sense to head out early. I done something on this run that I had never tried before, it was unplanned. Now, maybe that doesn’t seem strange to many of you but I liked to know the exact distance and the exact route of each run because sometimes I find it hard not being in control especially in running circumstances. However, I went by the words of this quote “Change begins at the end of your comfort zone.” and it seemed to work wonders. If you know Belfast, I ran down the Shore Road into Belfast, down at the Lagan Weir, crossing the bridge and up by the BT Tower and back into the city centre before making my way back up the Shore Road. Again, I had no concept of the distance at this stage and it was only when I arrived home, I stopped Strava and realised the time and the distance. While the distance wasn’t ground-breaking for me, I was over the moon that I was able to run and not have a plan in place. Much like the last run, I didn’t feel the need to stop except to get a few photographs, but that was it.
I stuck with the previous comfort zone quote and went one further with my next run. This was quite a few days later because on the same day, as well as running the 8.4K, I also clocked up over 30,000 steps. My feet did not love me for a few days so I had to take it easy. Back on Saturday I woke up early again with the intention of another early morning run and had the same mindset of not planning out my route, so that’s what I did. The only difference with this however, if you see by the map, I didn’t run through the city centre streets and when I was coming back home, I ran the opposite way to what I would have done in previous runs through the industrial estate. This one tired me out but I stopped two or three times which I was happy with because I knew that it was going to be a slightly longer distance than last time, I just didn’t know by how much. I was running back home and I knew I was near the street where I had to turn off and I looked at my phone and it said “10.9K”. My first thought was “Oh my god, I’m almost at 11K” and my second thought was “I’m almost at 11K, I can’t stop until I get there” so I didn’t. I ran 11K and as soon as I hit that mark, Strava was stopped. You have no idea how happy I was! It was my longest distance, I didn’t think the time was too bad either and I had a runners high.
Now because I’m still a new runner, you would think that after my longest distance, I would take a day off. Scott and I had set a plan up to go and try out the route for our 10K race coming up and I didn’t want to cancel on him, because we hadn’t been able to run together for a few weeks. Unfortunately, my “comfort zone” came to a standstill and a number of issues popped up for me. This could have happened for a number of reasons but my guessing is that because I had ran the day before, I was physically and mentally exhausted. I got into a major panic at about the 6K mark, I had zero fight left in me and I wanted to stop and cry, and I almost did. It was not a nice run at all, I’m hoping that now I know the route and the markers that on the day itself, I’ll be okay but that’s a huge worry for me now. On our first 5K race together, I had several panic attacks and cried while running and I don’t know if I could deal with that again. If it does happen, I’ll have to strongly consider whether running in races is for me but we’re going to cross our fingers that it doesn’t. Once we finished, I was so glad and Scott said for the distance I had ran the day before, he was surprised that I kept my pace up at a good rate. If I took anything away from that trial run, it was that.
Despite my bumpy last run, I can say that I am proud of myself. Last year I doubted I could run more than 5K without getting tired and now I’m running further at 11K. I’m still breaking down that mental barrier that my head and my feet play with each other but that’s not something that is easy to do with a few runs. It will take many more months but I know it is getting better, one blip doesn’t mean I’m back at square one.
If you’ve missed my last two posts on my latest race, I’ll leave them linked below. Thank you so much for taking the time to read my post today, I really do appreciate it 💕