On the 5th Feb I ran the London Winter Run far better than I had any right to expect. Hooray! Yesterday I had a terrible run. Boo! I thought I would come and post on here so that those of you who are just starting out can see that bad runs still happen and they are nothing to worry about. It's a long post, though, so get yourself a coffee and settle down!
I started C25K nearly 5 years ago now, about 5 stone overweight and desperate that no one should know I was doing it. It took me 50 runs to graduate, not the standard 27, and I repeated whole weeks on occasion, but I did it. I've had months off because of injury, I've had massive losses of motivation, I've run some 5ks and a couple of 10ks and the one thing that has never failed me is the support from this community.
Let me tell you briefly about the LWR and yesterday, though.
The London Winter Run was horrible. I'm a solitary runner by nature. I'm slow, and had had this dreadful cold so hadn't run for about 10 days before the run itself, so wasn't expecting much. The crowds in the run were terrible, and their manners were worse. Loads of pushing and cutting in front of you - dreadful. Anyway, I managed in a much faster time than I had ever imagined, and in fact, taking into account my actual running time, seem to have achieved something not too far away from a PB. Wonderful!
I didn't run at all last week because I was working away, and then the weather was absolutely foul. Yesterday I thought I had better go for a little jogette just to shake the legs out, and thought that I should do at least 6k and 7 if I felt okay. It was cold - 3C on the temp - and windy, so I put my thermal leggings on, put a running vest under my long-sleeved running shirt, and found my running gloves. Off I went.
The first 2k went fine. Then I realised that it was a lot warmer than I had thought it was. I was overheating. Off came the gloves and up went the sleeves. After another 500 meters I had to stop because I was so out of breath and my legs were like lead. I realised that most of the problem was that I was too hot. But what to do? I couldn't do anything about my leggings. It was still too cold to run in just my vest - and I wouldn't inflict that on people anyway. If I tried to take my vest off a) I'd be stripping off down to my bra in public and b) I'd then have to carry it, as I couldn't tie it anywhere and didn't have a pocket. Fortunately, I run with a hanky safety-pinned into the front of my shirt, so I stuffed the hanky down my bra and scrumpled up my outer shirt, safety-pinning it so that it was twisted up over my shoulders (I must have looked a right fright!).
Off I went again. But... there was a hill. I was so knackered and lathered, I had to walk it. It's only a very small hill, and normally I'd plod up it fairly easily, but yesterday I just couldn't. Up to the top of that, then, and a downhill stretch - hooray! Aaaand... another hill. Walk. It just went on like this. Finally I reached a flat bit and managed another consistent 3k at a slow pace, but that middle section does not look good on the Garmin! I finally reached home and peeled my sweaty running kit off and flung it straight into the washing machine - and believe me, that shower was one of the best!
All this is just to say that no matter how long you've been running for, there will always be bad runs. They don't matter. Sometimes there's a reason for them - you might not have eaten properly the night before, or you might not be hydrated enough, or you might be worrying about something. Sometimes there seems to be no reason at all. I could moan about this run - I didn't do a decent 7k run. I did do 6k though. I was out there, getting the miles on the legs. Yes, there were some walking breaks, but so what? That route was where I first started C25K, and I ran over my first 60-second footsteps. And I said a little 'Thank you'.
Keep it up. Slow down. Keep trying. Come on here for support. Happy running.