10k-tastic

If March was the month where much travel occurred, April was the month where I jumped back into my groove and dug myself deeper. Yes, readers, it was the return of the 10k.

 

I started March feeling all delicate and slow, and was doing 5 or 5.5k runs in about 30 mins. It felt like that distance was now my top line, and to push past it was too hard, I didn’t want to, where was my chair to sit down in going to make me too tired.

homer_running

But then I returned to my running club, and my whole world changed. Well, the world that I’d created throughout March whereby it was ok to ease off the running. Don’t get me wrong, I know it’s ok to ease off the running, but sometimes my mind is split in two: one half shouting ‘come on get out there! Go get those endorphins!’ and the other whispering ‘or you could just stay here. In your armchair and your robe. It’s enough for you to reach over for more chocolate caramel shortbread’, and for some reason the whispering is louder than the shouting.

 

So when I rocked up one Wednesday and found the group who was now my pace, and they said they were doing 10k/6 miles, my heart fluttered a little bit. But I took it nice and steady, and before I knew it (well, actually after an hour and a few stops to catch my breath after the hills), the 10k had been smashed! And nothing bad happened: I didn’t get a stitch, the baby didn’t fall out, I didn’t fall down in a daze after 5.5kms. I did go home feeling like I’d run 10 miles not 10k and have to go to bed early.

 

There was a bit of distance between my running pal and I …. and the rest of the group!

There was a bit of distance between my running pal and I …. and the rest of the group!

So three days later I ran it again. Some of our friends were doing a charity event where they covered 200k in one day:  they did one 10k run followed by a 40k cycle, and then repeated it four times in total. So, like the heroes we are, SB and i joined in. For one 10k. Yep – I told ya: heroes 😉 Some other friends joined in for a run and cycle, or did all the cycling, and there was a core team of about 10 who did the whole day.

 

It was a really good day, despite the pouring rain the whole way around. The adrenaline and good will helped us all – those who were feeling tired because they were doing the second of  four 10k runs, and those who were (pregnant and) a little out of shape.

 

Running slower = easier for running selfies. #veryimportant

Running slower = easier for running selfies. #veryimportant

Since then the 10k has enthroned itself as the staple of my training again, and it feels gooooood.

 

And in other news, could this weekend be any more exciting?? An royal baby and The Fight of The Century. I mean, I for one couldn;t wait to get up at 5am to see the richest sportsman alive win more millions. As if I did: we recorded it, and when it came time to watch it the next day, I was banished from the living room because I talked too much. So I went and got me some cake.

photo-158

But seriously, this weekend had something for everyone. Sports, rivalries, bright lights, pretty dresses, new babies, baby names, gambling, Royal Family, celebrity endorsements (for the fight anyway…). What a time to be alive.

 

Ellie B

National Running Day!

Yesss!! 4th June – yesterday – was National Running Day! A day to celebrate all that is awesome about running, a day to get off the couch and take your first steps towards running-obsession, a wear your stinky, sweaty clothes with pride. Let’s ignore the fact that I didn’t know it was NRD until I saw it on Twitter yesterday. And the fact that there is National Day for everything – even Dress Up Your Pet Day (January 14th), and Tooth Fairy Day (February 28).

awesome

 

What did you do on National Running Day? I spent the day looking outside at the pouring, pouring rain and regretting that helpful post I wrote about how to run in the rain. But the skies cleared, and the evening was lovely and blue.

I know, another Cathedral pic. But look how pretty she is, just sitting up there.

I know, another Cathedral pic. But look how pretty she is, just sitting up there.

 

I went on a Club Run with my Striders – which is when the whole group runs together. There must be about 50 of us in total. It was the first proper run since Edinburgh, and it felt good. I didn’t time it or track the distance, and it was lovely to go for a run that didn’t have a purpose other than running itself. Pretty fitting for National Running Day I’d say.

 

Blue sky, lots of runners. Pretty good  National Running Day!

Sunny sky, lots of runners. Pretty good National Running Day!

Marathon-come-down is  same kind of blues you get when you come back from holiday. Some people in my club barely give themselves a day’s rest before they’re out there again. I adjusted to post-marathon life by introducing smoothies into my life once more and easing myself off the carbs: towards the end, I basically turned into a Baguette with a face for all the bread I was eating.

 

I’ve also thought about the rest of the year now that I can sign up to other things!! I have a few 10ks planned with SB, a 5.6 charity race with work in July (lots of  pride is at stake with this one), and I’d like to do a couple of half marathons in September. Looking at my half PB, and the paces I had during training this year, I am wondering if I can aim for a sub 1:30 half. That would be ace. 

 

Today, if you’re wondering, is National Gingerbread Day. Of course.  So why not take some some time today and work out your personal running goals for the next half of the year over a nice gingerbread man?

 

Ellie B

 

Good things come to those who… work

Two good things happened this week:

  1. I bought some new Pure Cadence 3s after trying them during the Brooks My Try It On promotion last month
  2. I got a new PB!

 

Shoes first. I’ve noticed, on longer runs when I get tired and my form drops, that my little toes are covered in blisters afterwards. They are like two big white bubbles on the end of my feet. Sorry about that mental picture. After about 10k, I can feel my feet sliding around in them, and rubbing on the shoes. I have always had Asics, but my feet have reacted this way with the two most recent pairs I’ve had.

 

The Pure Cadence 3s are a snug fit, and as soon as I tried them on I could feel the support they gave my arch.  During the promotion I had a size 4, but now I have 4.5s, which are a much better fit. Weighting only 195g, they are very lightweight too (my Kayanos are 252g), and they have a heel-toe drop of 4mm, which isn’t a major thing for me as I tend to run on the balls of my feet anyway. This makes for giant calf muscles!

 

I took them for a test drive on Monday, which coincidentally was when I was due to run 8m with a sub-46 10k in the middle. It might not have been the best idea to try new shoes on such a strenuous run, but having tried them out last month I at least knew how they would feel.

 

photo-104

 

A sub-46 10k would mean my fastest 10k yet. Squeezing the run into my lunch break (another reason to make it a fast one!), I treated it like a race day, eating porridge for breakfast and nothing but a banana before the run. I knew it would be hard, but it wasn’t until SB said that I should respect the distance and not just go at it that I started to feel nervous.

 

I started with a 1 mile warm up before starting the 10k Challenge. I chose the route carefully – there were slight inclines, but no major hills, and I was able to get a strong start. Throughout the run, I tried not to check my Garmin every kilometre, but it was too hard not to! And it helped with the overall pacing: by half way through I knew I had a certain amount of grace period to make the sub-46 mark.

 

The route was an out-and-back, and as I turned around, and knew the inclines were ahead of me, there was a little mental toughening up going on to keep the pace. I stopped focussing on the entirety of the distance, but focussed on that particular kilometre that I was in, concentrating on not dropping my pace and doing the best I could in that moment.

 

It was a great feeling to get to 8k and realise that, unless I majorly stuffed up, I would make the goal! Then it was challenging: those 9 minutes went on for ages as I pushed to the end! But I was rewarded: I finished in 45:18, which is 1:16 faster than my last PB. I rounded off the run with a 1.5 mile cool down, making 8.5 miles in total.

 

Here are the splits:

  • 4.10
  • 4.19
  • 4.21
  • 4.42
  • 4:35
  • 4:22
  • 4:58
  • 4:41
  • 4:22
  • 4:46

 

So all this speed work is paying off! And at the end of that run: supported feet, with nice, pink, non-blistered toes! Thanks Pure Cadence 3s :)

 

Happy Friday everyone! The weather in the UK is supposed to be warm and sunny – I hope you have a good run :)

 

Ellie B