…until the Swansea Half Marathon.
To say I am scared and nervous is an understatement. I’m excited about it too and cannot wait to meet some more amazing friends Vikki, Jon and Karen, but my overwhelming feelings at the moment are fear.
I’m scared of not being up to running it, of it being as awful as I found Silverstone, of not running well and being disappointed.
I know it’s irrational to feel like this, especially when I have run two 10k PBs in my last two races and I’m running better and stronger than before, but I haven’t run further than a 10k since Silverstone and my training plan has kinda gone out of the window too, which isn’t ideal.
Today was long run day and I really wasn’t feeling very positive about it. A few friends from Vikki’s Runner friends facebook group told me that I had got this, to start believing, that they think I’m awesome and that I have so much determination and sheer damn guts. So many things that I would never have said about myself.
I pulled on my big girl pants (so to speak), laced up my (new) running shoes and put in my earphones. I had no plan of where I was going. I was just going to follow my feet and try to keep going, keep running and only walk when I really had too.
I headed down the lanes, where I have done the majority of my long runs before and started off at a good pace, but my legs felt really heavy and my hamstring and calf felt tight on my right leg (I think that is from Step Aerobics on Saturday). I just kept telling myself to keep going, started singing along to my music and tried to remember what my friends had said pre-run.
I already knew that I was going to encounter some inclines during my run, but think I had somehow forgotten quite how many and how steep some of them were. I was focused though and just kept going, it wasn’t fast and certainly wasn’t pretty, but I was going.
I got to 4 miles (after running up a really long incline) before I stopped to walk for a few seconds so I could get my breath back, but I was soon running again. I had to stop a couple more times to walk, but I wasn’t too disappointed with that, I was just happy to be running and being out there, not thinking about anything but running, my music and listening to the birds and out for cars. Running was my escape today for sure.
I ran past a few runners today and we swapped hello’s or thumbs up and big smiles. A total contrast to the grumpy runners I encountered on Friday nights run.
In total I did 7 miles in 1:26:58 with an average pace of 12:24/mile – I had set my watch to 13:00/mile so was much quicker than that. A good solid run, on heavy legs, in my new running shoes. I can’t complain at that. And I ran up that incline too! And appeared to find some speed in my legs in miles 6 and 7 – i literally felt like I was flying at times. Legs were flying and my breathing was good. Not quite sure what happened!
Feeling much more positive about the Swansea half now, just need to make every mile count.
I feel very lucky and blessed to have such amazing, supportive friends, who keep believing in me and keep picking me up when I’m feeling down.