No, not running towards the light at the end of a gruelling run...
So today I ran Week 9, Run 1. I managed to escape work at a decent enough time to escape the worst of the traffic and get home so that I could run in the daylight. I took the same route I have done for the past 9 weeks (I want to experiment with different routes after graduation), which I enjoy because it starts out facing West. The sky was a beautiful blue and I was running towards what would soon be the sunset. It gives me something nice to focus on for part of the run.
I wasn't nervous as Laura told me to begin the 30 minute run - 2 extra minutes seems like nothing now. I think adding a couple of extra minutes onto my runs might be a good way to go after graduation, but I haven't given it much thought. Granted, my legs did feel a little heavy at around the 10 minute mark, but I prevailed. No Gremlins tonight, which is a good thing. In fact, my mind was totally switched off during the run. I was just enjoying taking in my surroundings and going forwards. It was such a relief, as this week work has been so full of drama it could win it's own Oscar. My mind had been whirring with moral dilemmas, union meetings and the like, but running distracts me from that. I try to think and focus on something, and I actually find it quite hard to do when I run. So I let it happen, because this is the weekend and I want to be able to relax on my weekend, not worry about what's going on at work!
At around the 20 minute mark, I developed a stitch! Fortunately it wasn't a bad one and I was able to breathe it away (if that makes sense?). I extended my route a little bit. I've been going back on myself on my route, which is why I'd like to come up with a different one. I'll spend some time looking at Google Maps this weekend, maybe.
Although I was doubtful as to whether I'd be able to finish in style this run, I managed it. It wasn't a full-on sprint, but I certainly upped the pace. I held back a cheer as Laura told me to slow down to a walk. 'I've practically graduated', I thought to myself, and I beamed.
Runkeeper let me know I beat a couple of new personal records today - most calories burned and furthest distance (3.16 miles, including both walks). They both make sense as it's the first time I've ran for 30 minutes. I think as long as I can run 5k in 40 minutes or under, I'll be pleased. If I recall correctly, Runkeeper told me I'd ran for about 2.88 miles as I started my cool down walk, so maybe another 3-4 minutes would see me achieve 5k. Maybe when I graduate I'll set up Runkeeper so that it tells me once I've reached 5k, and then I'll take it from there.
Going forward, I feel really positive about the rest of the week. Tomorrow I'm going to do a fair bit of walking as I need to go into town and buy my mom a mother's day present, and my Grandad something for his 80th birthday (!) next week, which I'll track using Runkeeper, too (may as well, it all counts!). I really do feel like a runner now, which I never thought I'd be able to say about myself. I'm going to recommend this plan to a close friend from university, as she's signed up to a 5k in the summer but suffers from asthma and so needs to gradually build up her fitness. I hope it will be as enjoyable and useful for her as it has been for me so far!
Also, I have a confession to make. Reading through people's posts, a lot of people have had enough of Julie. I have to confess that I adore Julie and want more!
I hope that everyone else has been able to enjoy their runs this week so far! Good luck to you ParkRunners over the weekend