I had a bit of a rough night last night - OH was in a bit of a bad mood and it felt like a disaster, probably because I was so hyped up about doing the run this morning - it was actually something really trivial. I didn't sleep well, the rain and wind kept waking me up and when the alarm went at 5.45 I wasn't sure I wanted to get up at all. But I knew I'd regret it if I didn't try. My stomach felt a bit iffy but I decided to just try and ignore it.
The route I'd planned was 4 miles long and I haven't run it before - one stretch I'd never even looked at before. I wanted to allow a bit extra in case I felt good at 30 minutes and wanted to do a bit more. It wasn't raining when I set off but it was a bit blustery. By the time I'd completed the five minute walk, the upset stomach was forgotten and I concentrated on trying to keep a steady pace.
The route was downhill to start with, then a long gradual incline and I didn't feel that the uphill section slowed me down as much as it would have a couple of runs ago. I knew there was a slight downhill slope after the uphill stretch so I planned on using that as a recovery interval but as I turned the corner, I found I was running into the wind so there probably wasn't any real change in pace ! I'd run out of footpath by now and was running on the grass verge, which was fairly soft and uneven and I had to lift my feet higher. I found that quite distracting in a good way and by now Laura had told me I'd been running for fifteen minutes.
Next I reached the bit I'd been most worried about - having to run on the road along a stretch of more rural, but fairly busy, road. As it turned out, I really enjoyed it. Most of the oncoming cars gave me plenty of room so that I could even run around the puddles - being a nice, polite sort of person I acknowledged them all with an appreciative wave and was surprised when a few waved back at me. I don't think they were laughing at me......
Next, I turned off into the road I'd never been along before - a winding lane with nice houses and gardens to look at. I guessed that I'd probably finish the 30 minutes run at about the same time as I got to the main road. The last stretch was uphill again but I was feeling comfortable. As I reached the junction, Laura told me I'd finished. Stopping would have felt like an anti-climax so I carried on for a few minutes, running on the grass verge at the side of the main road - again, it was quite rough so I had to do quite a bouncy run but as it got more uneven I decided it was better to stop and walk home. The footpath home took me through a flooded section that I couldn't avoid so I squelched the rest of the home, feeling very grateful I hadn't run the route the other way round and had wet feet for the whole time !
All in all, the whole run was just a really pleasant experience - I felt comfortable almost all the time (apart from the soggy, sweaty hair!). It was also SO much more interesting than my W9R2 run, which I did on a treadmill. I think the fact most of it was a route I hadn't run before made it easier too. I used MapMyRun and Google maps to work out that I'd run for about 34 minutes and covered over 5km.
It's not so long since I wouldn't have believed I had it in me to do this. The shared experiences here have been inspirational, motivating, encouraging, not to mention entertaining - it's been a joy to become part of this community and I'm very grateful for all the support, advice and inspiration I've found here. Thank you all !
Oh, and the nice surprise ? I told my boss at work that I'd graduated and he told me I deserved a Garmin 110 for being a good girl so I should buy myself one on the company - I collect it tomorrow