W8R2 - Attack of the Gremlins!

Hello everybody!

So I decided to try something different today. Usually I run in the evenings (out of necessity), with the exception of Sundays when I usually head out a little earlier and get in a morning or early afternoon run. Anyway, I decided to have a run without having any breakfast. I had a big glass of water before I went out and two strawberries (for a bit of a sugar rush!), but that was it. I wanted to see whether it would effect me, or if I'm the kind of person who prefers to have eaten, leave it for 2 hours and then leave the house for a run.

Initially the weather looked a bit grim - I've always been very fortunate before now and have never had to run in the rain. It was spitting a bit but then when I stepped outside the weather miraculously cleared up. 'Great stuff!', I thought to myself.

It's often said that Couch25K is as much as mental challenge as it is a physical one. I really felt that today. My legs felt very heavy and were struggling to cooperate with me, and I started to hear little Gremlins, for the first time in a long while, mumble in my mind.

'Wow, you haven't even been running for 10 minutes and your legs hurt. You can't do this.'

'Why did you even think you could run without having any proper breakfast? You're stupid.'

'Your legs hurt so much, it's like running through honey.'

'Well', I thought to myself, 'I rather like honey. Maybe I'll have some with my breakfast when I get home.'

I struggled through and the Gremlins relented a little. Then one of them took physical form! A man made some comment as I ran past him. I couldn't quite catch what he'd said but I knew it wasn't positive. I just yelled, "THANK YOU!" and kept on going.

When Laura announced that there was only a minute left, I willed myself to go faster, and I did. 'Why the Hell are you doing that?' A Gremlin asked. 'Because I'm mental!' I replied, and I really upped my pace. I visualised a finish line with cheering faces and water and breakfast and a shower and I just went for it. It wasn't a full-on sprint, but I certainly couldn't maintain that kind of pace for long! I let out a silent cheer as Laura told me to slow down to a walk, and I felt as though I had slayed the Gremlins... for now.

This time, RunKeeper said I'd broken another 3 personal records. I was really surprised as at times I had slowed to a dangerous 'this is walking' pace. Including the 5 minute walks on either side, today I covered a distance of 3.13 miles, was tracked for 41.29 minutes (my 5 minute cool-down walk went on for a bit longer than 5 minutes), and I burned 327 calories. I was really surprised, as I had really felt like I was going much slower today, but apparently not! Maybe that's why my legs had been giving me grief. Next time I go for a run I'll pay more attention to how fast my little legs are carrying me in those first 5-10 minutes.

When I returned home, I saw my cousin's pictures which she'd uploaded of her and a friend participating in a 10K earlier this morning. She was thrilled as she achieved a new PB. I felt very proud of her and wondered whether one day I could join her on a 10K race.

I hope that everyone's had a lovely weekend, and that you too can conquer the Gremlins. :)

10 Replies

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  • Oh I like your visualization of the finish line! I shall steal that if I may!

    You know though, that you might not take the gremlins with you if you eat something before you go. I found I had to have something like porridge before a run. I never normally eat breakfast. Play around with it and see what works for you. Great post, thanks for sharing x

  • Hiya! :) Yeah, I think I can see the benefits of going with and without, but everyone is different. It will be fun experimenting with what works well for me over the next few Sundays until I can figure out what makes me my best :)

  • Loved that post because we have all had runs like that! You saw off those gremlins and are thinking and talking like a proper runner! I am 50, graduated in October last year and am now running up to 10k on my long runs - a distance I though was beyond me not so very long ago! I was a sporty kid at school but used to huff and puff my way through cross country. Now I am happiest out on muddy trails with my first 10k event planned for May, running further than I have ever run in my life! I would say keep that goal of running that 10k with your cousin one day. Of course you can do it!πŸ™‚

  • Hi, I am reading your post chuckling to myself. It's strange how one day we seem to struggle and on others it's a breeze.

    Today was run 1 of week 9, and it was the best run so far. I have tried running after having breakfast, but I prefer to have a just a cup of tea and that suits me fine.

    You are doing fantastic and it won't be long before you get your graduation badge. Good luck with your running, and I hope you have a better week at work xx

  • Thanks, Diamond :) Go you on week 9! It's exciting knowing that graduation is so close. I have no idea what I'm going to do for my graduation run!

  • Great run. Hope you enjoyed a well earned breakfast. Go you for breaking pbs too. :)

  • Well done! Graduation is right around the corner for you :) I'm going to remember to talk back to the gremlins instead of just trying to ignore them!

  • good for you yam! but don't worry about numbers at the moment , just do the plan listening to Laura.

    as for people making remarks or giving odd looks, just treat them as you did, like you would your naughty pupils.

    Doing c25k, I had just tea, water, and a few plain biscuits a couple of hours before the off, still do now going over 5km, always like something small in the belly! keep up the good stuff, graduate soon!

  • Yikes, you definitely battled against those rotten old run 2 gremlins with style today, good on you, those runs are tough to get through. Randomly, I really fancy honey on toast now ;)

    You can have one of those smiley 'just finished a 10k' photos of your lovely self soon enough, almost a graduate... I sense a new goal forming for you already - entirely achievable and i believe you'll do it - and post the pictures here so we can cheer and fist pump for you :)

  • Oh well done!!! That's such a good idea to talk back to your gremlins. And I may try doing a sprint finish next time - it sounds like the right way to celebrate!

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