Training for a 10K Race: Yes, 10K!

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I am writing this post a lot sooner than I thought so sometimes when I remember about the 10K run, it takes me a minute to adjust that it is actually going to happen.

It all began after the 5K race was finished; it was a really tough race mentally for me and I had been very hesitant to sign up to another one based off that experience. My boyfriend had been talking about signing me up for my next race and I simply wasn’t interested yet; I was quite happy to stick to the parkrun and prepare to get faster for those. He brought up a 10K run that had quite a unique twist but it was in November and I had told myself that I didn’t see myself realistically training for a 5K until March or April next year. I’m not sure how it happened; I can’t remember if Scott talked me round or if I convinced myself it was a good idea, but he signed us up to the 10K run.

Yes, in August I pulled myself through a 5K race (and now that I’m back from injury, I continue to do 5K runs every Saturday morning) and now in November, I’ll be taking part in a 10K run. It still doesn’t seem real to me and quite frankly, I am very nervous. When I run 5K, I think to myself “If I’m tired after a 5K, how am I going to tackle a 10K?”

20170717_205853.jpg(My local park has the prettiest flowers!)

One of my biggest fears, which is completely understandable, is the fear of the negative thoughts taking over which is where the anger, the upset and the panic attacks will come in. If you haven’t read about my very negative run, it will be linked at the end of the post, but I urge you to read it if you haven’t already. It’s a very raw and emotional post that was not only hard to go through, but hard to write. At the end of the day, I’m writing about my running training and that was part of the experience, so I would feel like a fraud not to write about it. I’m worried about that experience happening again and there’s not a day I don’t think about it.

The 10K is happening in the middle of November so we’re just a month away so what’s my plan? Well, I’m still planning on running in the parkrun each week and continue to work on my timings. During the week, I hope to run at least twice but up the distance; I’ll not be running 10K from the get-go, it might only be an extra half a mile for a while, then we’ll add on a full mile after a week or two. Scott will be helping me throughout thankfully and because I’ve had the constant challenge of upping my speed on the Saturday morning, I’m going to have to slow it down for the 10K. I believe that that will be something that I’ll struggle with at first because I still have no real idea about my pacing and if I’m going too fast or too slow, so he’ll be there to help me along the way with that.

For all my other running posts, have a look below and take your pick!
Training for a 5K Race: An Introduction and My First Run.
Training for a 5K Race: Running and Negative Mental Health.
Training for a 5K Race: The Lone Run. 
Training for a 5K Race: My First (Unofficial) Park Run
Training for a 5K Race: Last Minute Training!
Training for a 5K Race: Race Day!

Training for a 5K Race: What happened after?

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Training for a 5K Race: What happened after?

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It’s been almost two months since my last running update, so that’s what I’m here today to talk about. So what has happened since that 5K race? (You can read it here if you missed it!)

I took part in another parkrun the next week, I didn’t get my code scanned that day because we turned up late and started late so I didn’t want a bad time so that doesn’t count towards my parkrun participation unfortunately. I finished that in just under 36 minutes which I was a little disappointed with but I tried my best regardless.

The next week I took part in something which I never thought I would, it was a mud run. My best friend Leonie asked me did I want to take part and the thought of mud turned me off so I originally said no, but when her sister couldn’t do it, I changed my mind and I’m so glad! It was so much fun!

IMG_20170902_133643_357.jpg(We had to get the obligatory “before” picture)

20170902_122018-01.jpeg(The “after” mud look was worth it. It took two hair washes and three all over body washes to get all the mud off me though!)

I decided to be a little too adventurous on the run however; I thought that I would speed through obstacles under ropes like a little cheetah. That came with consequences where I hurt my groin and it continued to hurt for about four weeks. My running came to a stop at that point; I couldn’t go to the gym in the morning because my walk to work had become unbearable and the injury added an extra ten minutes to my journey just because I was limping so much. After ignoring the advice from my boyfriend for two weeks, he told me that I absolutely had to start using ice gels, heat gels, ice packs and ibuprofen. I’m not a fan of pain killers because I feel like they have never worked for me so I wasn’t too keen on taking them but after two weeks, the pain was getting worse so I didn’t have a choice in the matter.

Thankfully after a few days, I started to feel better and it took about two weeks after I started using the gels and taking the painkillers. I still get slight pains from time to time (on a daily basis) but it’s definitely not as bad as it was.

Last week I went back to the local parkrun and I have never been so thankful to be running again. An injury really makes you appreciate what you can and can’t do and I made a promise to myself not to complain on this first run back. My mental head space tends to take over and tells me that I can’t do it so because I hadn’t ran in a while, I tried my best to push the negative thoughts to the back of my head and just run. It seemed to work and I was really proud of myself for getting back out there.

IMG_20170930_114712_792.jpg(If you’re not red in the face, did you really run?)

IMG_20170930_114712_793.jpg(A very early Christmas present from my boyfriend. It has now become my running shirt!)

With my first parkrun back, I finished with a time of 35:16 and considering I’d been out for about four weeks, I was really proud of that. My groin did start to hurt as soon as I stopped running but that was to be expected.

IMG_20171007_125435_815.jpg(My new Personal Best that I achieved on Saturday 7th October. Just a reminder if you haven’t read any of my other running posts, my FitBit doesn’t seem to recognise the 5K so even though it only says just over three miles, I did run 3.12 miles or 5K.)

So where are we now? Well, this past Saturday I went to the parkrun (which was celebrating it’s 13th Birthday!) and I ended up gaining a new personal best (which is pictured above!). I was completely over the moon! I would say I definitely pushed myself a lot more this run and by the end of the first lap, I was really tired and wasn’t sure whether I could do a second lap but I did!

If you want to run my other runnings posts, they are all linked here:
Training for a 5K Race: An Introduction and My First Run.
Training for a 5K Race: Running and Negative Mental Health.
Training for a 5K Race: The Lone Run. 
Training for a 5K Race: My First (Unofficial) Park Run
Training for a 5K Race: Last Minute Training!
Training for a 5K Race: Race Day!

Three Intentions For Me (#3)

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Happy October everyone! Apologises that I’m coming to you a few days into the month already, but I’m back with another monthly intentions and if you don’t know about my monthly intentions, you can go to my first post from August to see why I’m now setting myself the challenge each month. So before we get into this month’s intentions, let’s talk about last month’s.

❤ Take part in two Park Runs.

I was VERY confident about this because I didn’t think anything was going to stop me doing this. I even told myself I would run in two rather than four, because I thought it was that easy. Turns out when you hurt your groin, you can barely walk to work never mind running a 5K. Thankfully, it eventually healed and I was back at the Park Run at the end of the month. (And for all the runners, I know that’s not how you write Park Run, but I hate seeing it without the capital letters.)

❤ Get back in meal prep mode.

Yes, I did this! I didn’t make the curry, the brownies or the energy balls but I started to bring my bean chilli into work and because I don’t like to reheat rice (I’ve heard the horror stories about the bacteria!), I decided to cook quinoa at home instead and have that with it. It’s just as good as rice too. I felt so much more organised with it and even though I was having the same meal twice in one day sometimes, I don’t mind that at all.

❤ Take my library book back.

I’m not going to pretend this is an excuse but I’ve lost it. It’s in the house somewhere, it’s just hiding but I promise once I find it, it’s going back. I have no excuse when there’s a library down the street from work.

Again, same as last month, one out of three. And moving swiftly onto this month’s intentions…

❤ Run further. 

I was going to put a specific distance for this but I want to run further than 5K, so whether that’s 5.5K, 6K or even just 5.2K, it’s still a longer distance than I’m used to.

❤ Get back into my morning gym routine.

Before my injury, I was on fire with my morning routine, but once I couldn’t go, it stopped completely. Now that I’m not as sore, I want to get back into my early morning gym sessions because I felt so much better going out in the fresh air that early and I felt more motivated during the day. I need that feeling back!

❤ Try a new recipe!

I have lots of recipe books, some that I haven’t even tried one meal out of, so now seems like the perfect time.

Check back next month to see how I got on, and keep your fingers crossed for me! ☀️

SS: Sunday Saves (#68)

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Happy Sunday evening everyone (or whenever you read this!) I’ve had such a busy weekend that the evening of my Sunday Saves was the only free time I had to write my post. I’ve just taken part in the #UKRunChat over on Twitter (it takes place every Wednesday and Sunday at 8pm) and I’ve came across a number of running blog posts during that so I thought it would be quite nice to talk about those.

1) Two Legs One Beard (My First Parkrun)

Reading Richard’s blog post about his first parkrun reminds me of my first parkrun last year (even though I started getting into them properly just a few weeks ago). He’ll give you some advice on what to expect from the Saturday morning run and he also talks about his experience.

2) Honest Fitness (I’m back. Running, blogging and moaning!)

Kev has just started up his blog again and he talks through some of the life changes he has gone through over the last few years. He talks about mental health and taking part in a 10K along with his little boy, so lots covered in just one post.

3) The Run Blog (Winning The Mental Battle)

The mental battle when running is something that I still struggle with and if you haven’t read my blog post on it, I’ll link it here. I love Paula’s honesty around running and how it used to make her feel versus where she currently is now. It’s definitely a relatable post for anyone who feels “off” when they run.

And we’re done for the evening! I hope you all enjoyed my chosen posts and remember to give them a little read and maybe a comment, it always means so much. Have a great weekend everyone!

Three Intentions For Me (#2)

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Happy September everyone! If you read August’s post (which I’ll link here) I talked about having a monthly intentions list where I would choose three things that I wanted to achieve by the end of the month. They don’t have to be life changing activities by any means, it’s just something that motivates me throughout the month. So before I get into this month’s intentions, let’s look at last months: 

❤ Read one fiction and one non-fiction, and finish them both.

●  I was quite disappointed I didn’t complete this one. I started my non-fiction and right now, I’m still only half way through it and haven’t even started the second book. I’ll continue on until I finish the non-fiction one because it is a really good book, but I think I was just too relaxed with it and didn’t start reading until half way through the month.

❤ Take part in two Twitter chats.

● I only took part in one which can be quite hard to believe because there are SO MANY Twitter chats taking place each week. I participated in #UKRunChat on Sunday’s at 8pm and it was the day after my 5K race so I felt like I had something to talk about too.

❤ Complete the 5K I have signed up for.

● If you’ve been following the blog, I’ve been documenting my 5K Race Training and I specifically wrote a post about the race (which I’ll link here). If you read the post, you’ll read how I found it tough for parts of the race but overall, I was just really proud to finish it.

One out of three isn’t so bad right? I can’t really hide my disappointment with my monthly intentions because even though they’re not serious things, I don’t like to let myself down. Now it’s on to this month’s intentions!

❤ Take part in two Park Runs.

In an ideal world, I would like to take part every Saturday but sometimes that’s just not possible so I think if I took part in two over the month, I’d be very happy.

❤ Get back in meal prep mode.

I used to be SO good at this! I would make my curry for my weekly lunches and I would make either sweet potato brownies or almond energy bites so I need to start preparing for my work lunches again because I felt so much more organised for the week when I did.

❤ Take my library book back.

I’m ashamed to say that I have a borrowed library book from last October. Yes, I have a book borrowed from a year ago and this is quite clearly the push I need to take it back with my tail between my legs…

Make sure to check back at the start of next month to see how I got on and to see what I’ll be making a top priority in October. Have a lovely week! ☀️

SS: Sunday Saves (#67)

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Good morning, happy Sunday and welcome back to another Sunday Saves! I hope you’re all having a great weekend so far! Today I’ll be talking about running, growing with your blog and a new face mask.

1) The Running Bug (Why Running a 5K is a Big Deal)

When I first started blogging about my 5K training (which you can read here!) I was worried that people would think “It’s only 5K, why do you feel the need to train for it?” even though if someone I knew was training for the same distance, I would be so supportive. I came across this blog talking about why running 5K is a big deal and it’s so motivating for someone who has either built up to 5K or is about to start. The calorie burn, your own dedication and even being less likely to hurt yourself. If you’re lacking running motivation, give it a read.

2) Elleanor Wears (5 Growing Stages Bloggers Go Through)

As bloggers, we go through many stages including embarrassment, writers’ block, having too many ideas and even feeling like you’re not good enough. Eleanor’s post goes through five stages that, as bloggers, we face at one point or another so if you’re doubting yourself or think you’re alone in not feeling in love with the blogging world, read her post, I think you’ll see that it’s not just you that feels like that.

3) Emer D Blog (Beauty Review: My Body Shop Must Haves)

Emer was one of the lovely bloggers that was also at the Body Shop event a few weeks ago and in her post, she talks about what Body Shop products she’s been loving. I also love her review on the face mask because I haven’t tried mine yet, but if her review is anything to go by, my skin will be glowing in no time!

Again, thank you for reading today’s post; remember to go and read them too because it’s always nice to support fellow bloggers in any way we can. Have a great day!

Training for a 5K Race: Race Day!

Race Day had arrived; it was the day I had been training for for the last number of weeks. I can’t believe I’ve only been training for just over a month! I’ve went from just under 45 minutes to under 35 minutes in just a month, which I’m so happy with.

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Having done the Park Run the day before (and set a new personal best), I knew from the get-go that I wasn’t going to match that time but if I got under 35 minutes, I would be happy. I was quite nervous, I’m not really sure why; I think it was because this was my target that I was aiming for and it was finally here.

Scott was running the 5K with me but there was the option of the 10K and the kids fun run too. We stood in the wrong line but we must have looked out of place so thankfully someone pointed out the right starting line about thirty seconds before we were due to start.

The race began slowly but surely; where the start line had started, it was leading to a bridge so it wasn’t very wide and we both knew we were going to lose some time here. The first minute or two was definitely not at the speed I’m used to, it was slower but with the way the course was laid out, there was really nothing we could do.

20170820_095633(I have no photographs from the race itself because it wasn’t the type of run to stop and take photographs but this was just before the race started.)

For the first three quarters of the race, I would say I was doing well. I had developed a sore tummy and my head started to pound but I was getting through it. If you read my post about running with negative mental health, then how I felt in that run was very similar on how I felt this day. My self-critical thoughts came thick and fast and unlike the day before, I wasn’t able to tell myself “I could do it”, it was like I was talking to a brick wall. I started to hate the running, I hated everyone around me, I wanted to quit, I started to panic and eventually I ended up having a panic attack weasing away not being able to breath. I was so embarrassed! I didn’t stop though so I was overwhelmed, running with a negative mindset, finding it hard to breath and struggling to find the energy to run at all. I cried and I must have looked like I really hated running but there was so much more going on in my head than I could have explained.

Scott every time has been really supportive when I have periods like this, running or not, he’s there just willing to listen. He did offer me some more positive re-enforcement than usual even though he knows I’m not a huge fan of it, but we were so close to finishing that I think he felt like I needed to hear it.

IMG-20170820-WA0004(This is me fresh faced just before starting the race!)

One of the big cons of the race was something that I didn’t notice until after but Scott noticed at just the right point. I seen him looking at his phone quite a lot towards the end and I thought he was constantly checking our time, but I didn’t ask about it because quite frankly, I was mentally drained and I didn’t care about my time. I just wanted the race to be over at this point. We get past a certain point and he said “I think this route is longer than 5K” so we do a sprint to the big “finish” sign and I stop my watch immediately. That’s when I noticed a difference. We all know (if you’ve read previous posts) that my FitBit plays up when it comes to the GPS aspect. So for the 5K in the Park Run, it comes up for me as 3.05 miles but my watch this time came up as 3.16miles so it was more than 5K. Because of this, my time was different and it came up as 35:28 meaning I didn’t hit my under 35 minutes aim. However, because Scott had been watching his distance and time, he stopped it at the exact 5K mark and our time according to his more trusting app was 34:25 meaning I came under my target!

20170824_211024(My timing and wrong distance according to my watch alongside my new medal!)

This sounds like there were more cons than pros in this race and I would say it was pretty evenly matched. I was disappointed in the distance especially for those going for personal bests and timings specifically but the atmosphere was really lovely with so many people there to cheer us on at the start and the end. The starting at the bridge slowed us down like I said but the views going through Victoria Park were gorgeous especially since I haven’t been there before.

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(Scott and I with our medals!)

My next and final post in this “Training for a 5K Race” series will conclude with my overall thoughts on my performance, my results over the last few weeks and what’s next as well as a few more thoughts on the race day too.

Thank you so much for reading today’s post and if you want to catch up on the previous posts of the series, they are all be linked below:
Training for a 5K Race: An Introduction and My First Run.
Training for a 5K Race: Running and Negative Mental Health.
Training for a 5K Race: The Lone Run. 
Training for a 5K Race: My First (Unofficial) Park Run
Training for a 5K Race: Last Minute Training!