For any marathon runners out there my achievements will probably seem paltry, but I am feeling very proud of myself after completing my longest ever run yesterday. Like most runners who have the handicap of a family my long runs tend to be consigned to the weekend, when I am most able to escape for more than a snatched hour and this was no exception.
Courtesy of a horrible tummy bug I hadn't run for three days, perhaps not the best preparation for my first attempt at breaking the 1hr time barrier, though I do sometimes find that a bit of time off (albeit not due to such an unfortunate reason) can help to make you a bit fresher for a run. Apparently this is called tapering - I was quite embarrassed to discover that 'all' runners know about this from Running Free magazine, well all runners apart from me that is.
Back to my run. I set off and had the usual struggle for the first half hour. I am really not surprised that most people say they hate running as the majority probably never get beyond this hellish starting point. I felt tired, weak and generally not in the mood, but soldiered on as at least I was out of my house which was infested with grumpy children. Anywhere, even slogging up a hill on dead legs, was better to be than there.
Gradually I got into my stride, perhaps in part due to the AudioFuel Run Free CD I had downloaded to my iPhone. I should add at this point that my blog is in no way sponsored and nor have I received a single freebie (boo) so if I mention something it is because I have used it and liked it. Though I did get the CD free from an old colleague who edits all the great fitness content on NHS Choices.
The CD is a good combination of music which helps to set a beat to which you run and the odd, not too annoying, training tip thrown in. I like the way it tells you how long you have been running as I hate wearing a watch or having to fiddle around with my phone to see what time it is. So after about 40 minutes I had got into my stride and was enjoying taking in the autumnal scenery and generally relishing being outdoors and running.
Not all of my route is so scenic though, I do envy runners who live in prettier parts of the country. I ran at Druridge Bay in Northumberland while I was on holiday this summer and that really is a heavenly part of the country. You can cover 10K and not even notice it in such beautiful surroundings. The same cannot be said for pounding the pavements of our Capital. I have had to dodge splashes of vomit and blood decorating the streets after a weekend night, but such is the joy of running in London.
I didn't let this put me off though and hit my target of running for 90 minutes and covered 14.5K (just over 9 miles to those working in imperial measures) so I am feeling more confident about tackling a half marathon next year. Now just on the hunt for one that is a bit sooner than July.....