Tag Archives: Running Race

Getting Back Out On The Road Again.

Copy of I Never Want To Run A Marathon... And That’s Okay (4)

Happy Sunday all! It’s been a little while since I’ve been blogging, it’s definitely been a busy few months for all the right reasons and while we’re currently (at the time of writing) in a crisis of the Coronavirus, I wanted to talk about something I’ve been working on recently to distract myself and that’s getting back into running (again!) and if you haven’t read my “2020: The Year of Running?” I’d recommend reading that first.

Towards the very very end of the year last year, I was on a roll with the running and on New Year’s Day, Scott and I went out for a lovely run to one of our local parks and it was great. I didn’t care about the time at this point, we were just glad to be out for a run. However… that’s where it stopped for a while. That’s the thing about the dark mornings and the dark evenings; you might be the type of person who can get motivated during these times but for me, it’s a time that can get me quite down especially after a day of work and I couldn’t think of anything less appealing than going to the gym or out for a run. (However, I love going to the gym, but getting myself out for a run was much harder)

So initially, I was training for the Craic 10K race that takes place on St. Patrick’s Day every year in Belfast. However, due to the Coronavirus, many races like these have been cancelled or postponed until a later date. It wasn’t something that shocked me because of course, it’s the right thing to do but I was aware that there was a high possibility of this happening. 

The next postponed date in June gives me quite a lot of time to improve my timings which I think will give me an aim for the next few months. I’m 100% confident that I can run the distance because I’ve done it before (and if I wasn’t confident, I know that would be about the mindset rather than the physical challenge).

For the meantime, we have no other races booked because we don’t know what position the country will be in over the next few weeks or next few months.

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I’ve started running on the treadmill more recently than I ever have before. I tend to get bored on the treadmill but I find that I get intimidated by outside sometimes; I would make excuses to run with Scott but in all honesty, I was worried about not being able to run the length of myself. While I was trying to get out of my own head, I found the treadmill in the gym really helpful because even though I wasn’t going a full 5K distance, I was still pushing myself and working out my perfect pace, so I was still doing the work. 

Our most recent run went really well in fact; we ran 8K (or five mile) altogether and only stopped twice. Scott and I normally walk for about ten minutes or so before we start our run, to give our bodies time to warm up, we’ve found it’s a perfect warm up tactic for us. 

It started off at a slower pace but we had talked about not worrying about the time, the distance was more important. You have to choose one or the other when you’re getting back into running, so, because we were originally preparing for the 10K race, that’s why we choose distance. I was really surprised how clear my head was; if you’ve read previous blog posts of mine, you’ll know that mindset is a huge barrier for me and if I’m not in the mood to workout, I CAN NOT push it.

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We ran down one of our favourite routes that goes towards the water and we were absolutely fine until we got to the park where the beach is partially exposed. That’s when we discovered that some families have no consideration for anyone but themselves. As a runner, walker and cyclist, I’m very aware that we all need to be aware of our surroundings. I let others runners run past me, if a cyclist is behind me and I don’t realise until late, I instantly move out of the way. If there is a large family, I try my best to give them room but I get frustrated when a family take up an entire path and I believe that’s where my limit ends. It ended up putting me off my run a little and it was frustrating. I know now that we need to take another part of the route next time to make sure that doesn’t happen again but if we’re all more aware of our surroundings, then it will make everyone’s journey a much happier place. (Rant over right?)

Apart from that one issue, I was happy with the run. We did over the 5K distance that I wanted to do, my breathing was fine throughout the majority of it and I was so pleased that my head let me go further than I originally thought. Our time was 1 hour and 5 minutes and while I wasn’t concentrating on time, it’s hard not to reflect back on what you used to do. 

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I was talking to someone about this on Instagram this week about my mindset when it comes to running. It’s hard not to reflect on what you used to do; my fastest 10K was 1 hour and 4 minutes so for a 8K to have a slower time, it can have an effect on me but I’ve found it really important to be present in my runs and I know the more I run, the faster I will be. That’s how I originally became faster; my first ever 5K was 40 minutes and it got down to 30 minutes and 2 seconds and all that was because of hard work and consistency. I also have to think about where I was in my life at that point, I wasn’t particular happy in my job at that point and I used it as a distraction, whereas now I’m very happy with so many elements in my life that part of me doesn’t mind that I’m slower, because I’m now a lot happier.

I’m currently working on what my running goals are going to be, now that I’m getting back out there more often. Whether I will post them on the blog publicly, I haven’t decided yet. Thank you so much as always for reading today’s post and if you have any tips or advice surrounding this, you can let me know over on my usual Twitter and Instagram social channels. Have a great week! 🌻

Taking On My Biggest Challenge Yet: Ten Mile Race.

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It’s been a while since I posted about an upcoming race isn’t it? Well, that’s what I’ll be talking about in today’s post and it’s my biggest challenge yet! *cue the sweats* 

If you’ve been a reader of the blog for a while, you’ll know that I have been absolutely in love with running and other times, I’ve found myself at a low point with it. I also talked recently about my running confidence (which I’ll link you to here) so when they tell you that running isn’t linear, it’s one hundred percent true. I’ve been feeling more motivated with my running recently when I set myself a challenge of running twenty miles in June and July, and I smashed that goal. I’m very aware that for a runner, that is a very small goal but what I think is more important is that I start small and work my way up. For example, in August and September, I’m aiming for twenty-five miles. Again, slow but simple steps. 

I realise the irony in that last paragraph when I talk about small steps and taking it easy when I’ve just signed up for a ten-mile race that takes place in less than two months. Yes, two months! To give a little more context; I have ran nine miles twice; both times were last year, once in May and once in October so I know I have the physically capability to do it, but it’s just the mental capability I will need to battle with now. I told myself I needed a challenge; I had wanted to train for a half marathon but not necessarily sign up for one but thirteen miles just seemed far too much for the later stages of this year. When I came across ten miles, I knew that was something that I was going to have to work hard for but in the few months, I knew I could do it. With the motivation I have been getting back recently with running; I knew that if I kept that up while increasing my mileage and building my speed back up again, I would be fine. It’s that initial stage of those first thoughts, “Okay, so how do I get my head in the right space for running this distance?” 

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The race itself is the Armagh 10 Mile and 4 Mile Fun Run challenge that takes place on Sunday 13th October that starts and finishes at the Navan Centre in Armagh. It’s actually the 20th anniversary of this race this year so I’m sure it’ll be exciting to be a part of that celebration as a whole. I’ll be running it with Scott as always, so I’ll have company with me if I hit a mental block (but fingers crossed I won’t, with the right training). If you fancy reading more about it (and potentially signing up to it) I’ll leave it linked here. 

My plan is over the next few weeks to keep the blog updated with my training runs, how I’m feeling, about the highs and lows, and the overall build up to the race. I’m genuinely so nervous so if you have any tips or advice for me, I’d absolutely love to hear them either down below in the comments, over on my Twitter or on my Instagram. Thank you so much for reading, I really do appreciate it! 

Mo Running (2018) Race.

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As with most of my races, I love posting about them on the blog so today’s blog is about my most recent race with Mo Running that took place at Stormont in Belfast. 

If you read my post about the Mo Running race last month, you’ll know that I kindly got asked to take part to cover it on the blog. Having done it two years ago, I was thrilled to be asked again because running posts are one of my favourites to write about. This time however, I decided to go for the 10K rather than the 5K, because I had been used to 10K distances. 

Scott and I were doing the race together which is always lovely to have someone with you while racing, so we were training in the gym as well as getting out on the odd run together. In the middle of October however, I acquired an injury in my foot when I went on a longer distance run. I was so proud of the run but it came with consequences. My foot was really painful to walk on for weeks and we narrowed it down to my trainers being past their “best before” date and it was impacting my foot. Unfortunately, I was out from running for over a month and with a 10K coming up, I was worried about the lack of training. There was clearly nothing I could do about it and thankfully Scott was very nice and bought me new trainers for when I was able to run. We continued to go to the gym though, so I wasn’t completely out, but walking was pretty painful. 

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The day before the race was wanted to see where we would be running; Scott has ran up and down Stormont many times but I have only ever walked it. We thought it would be a great idea to go to the Stormont parkrun on the Saturday morning to see where part of the route would take us. I didn’t expect it to be quite a trail run, because I’ve never done anything like that before so it was a new experience for me. I really loved that particular parkrun and even though it’s a little further than our local one, we’re hoping to keep it up for a while. This run on the Saturday morning was the first time I had ran in over a month and while it might seem odd to run the day before, I wasn’t willing to go into a 10K race without having run beforehand.  

Before the race, I posted on my Instagram stories that we made the decision to change from the 10K to the 5K. This was because my foot started to play up again and I had hurt my hip from the run the day before. We think my hip acted up because it was my right foot that was sore so the left hip was taking the impact from that. These things happen of course to every runner but I was very disappointed having to go down to the lower distance. I’ve learned since becoming a runner that your health and body comes before your pride, always!

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The day itself was really fantastic, there was a good turnout despite the cold weather and there was a great atmosphere. Three races were taking place on the day; the Mini, 5K and the 10K. The mini one happened at around 9:30am, 5K at 10:00am and 10K at around 10:10am. It was quite accessible for the get-go, the grass was pretty wet so I was worried about slipping down the hill to registration but it was grand. We were able to change over the distance very easily and I was so glad that it wasn’t a hassle for the team because I would have felt terrible.  

My foot and hip was getting worse towards the start of the race and I was starting to think would I not be able to run but I told myself I didn’t have a choice in the matter. Ten seconds after we start, my shoe lace becomes undone and I thought “is this what’s to come?” It didn’t hold me back too much but it was a little annoying because we had JUST started. We had to run up part of Stormont hill and I didn’t find it too challenging, it was more about taking smaller steps like Scott has told me but I eventually got into the rhythm of the smaller steps.

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Having grown up in Dundonald, I didn’t live too far from Stormont Park but I had never been through the trails around it. I don’t know why but I soon discovered that there were hills longer and steeper than the one up to Parliament Buildings. It was then when I was thankfully that we changed to the 5K because if I had have known we had to run up them again, I would have cried. Lack of training is a huge factor in this but it also give me the momentum to start running through more trail areas rather on my regular clear paths. Of course, being around the Autumn season with the wet weather and the leaves being on the ground, it’s important to keep a look out on the ground at all times because a fall can be too common without even realising it. 

For the rest of the run, I generally felt okay. My hips weren’t giving me much bother and I was really surprised by it. My foot was still quite sore but when you’re putting weight on it, it’s not that big of a surprise. What I was really surprised about what the variety in the route; we had the long clear hill at the beginning, the twisty trails in the middle and then we were able to run down the hill at the end. It was quite different to the route we had ran the previous day but I still really enjoyed it. I was exhausted by the end but I know that that was the lack of training that I wasn’t able to control. 

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I finished with a time of 37:07 which is in no way my best time, far from it in fact but I’ve had a massive mindset change when it comes to judging myself with timings. I was still injured and I still ran, and that’s the most important thing to me at the end of the day. I know I’m capable of being faster and I do plan to be at some point.  

I had such a great time and thank you so much to the Mo Running team for inviting me along to take part along with Scott, we can’t wait to do it next year (and actually do the 10K this time!) Thank you for reading today’s post, I really do appreciate it!