With huge thanks to Irish-John for the positive phrase!
I left Pretty Pup at home this morning, after yesterday's rigmarole, and headed out on my own to try and tackle week 8. Warm-up walk was nice and brisk - although I think Runkeeper might have had a funny turn again as it had me going at my normal running pace! Started the run - up the hill, hard work but I kept going without Pup there to give me an excuse to stop Got to the village sign, road levels off, five minutes in, quick check and yep, I'm settling in to it but it's feeling tough. Will keep going though.
Down to the end of the lane, cross the road and down the bridle path. Legs feeling very tired. Ten minutes done, and I find myself slowing to a walk. Less than a minute though, and I pick it up again. But another minute or so later I slow down to a walk. It's ok though - this isn't failure; I'm going to run all the way back. Run the last minute to Laura's mid-way announcement, turn round and head back.
I've realised why the bridle path is so hard (even without having to try and avoid treading on pup's heels!) - the change from gentle downhill road to slight uphill in long grass! That explains a LOT about why I find this bit so challenging every time!
Much easier heading back towards the main road. Cross over just before the tractor pulls out from the field next to me, check he's not about to pull into the lane, but is going up the main road so I can cross safely to the right side. Up the incline back towards home, five minutes to go and it's all downhill from here - literally. I can do this! And we're finished!
So not quite done properly. But I've actually understood properly that it really doesn't matter. I went out and ran for over 25 mins; I enjoyed myself and improved my fitness; next time I might do better - or I might not. But that doesn't matter, either, because the thing is that I know there WILL be a next time. And a time after that. And after that.
Today it feels as though I'm never likely to manage 30 mins continuous running, and I've realised that actually I'm ok with that. Obviously I'm still aiming to get there, and would really like to do another 10k in the future, but when it comes to it, the world isn't going to stop turning if I walk for a minute or two each time. Suddenly the (self-imposed) pressure is gone. And that feels good.