It was the first time it felt really cold leaving the house this morning. - Okay it’s only 6C but I’m a soft Southerner. I was glad of my new running tights, thermal top and moth-eaten Oxfam-reject, cashmere sweater and wished I’d worn gloves. Having tried Stepping Stones on the previous run, I’d decided to have a go at Speed. It sounds terrifying. As the sky looked full of rain I chose to forgo the delights of the Heath’s woods and meadows and streams and stick to the paths near the boating pond. I liked the idea of a shorter run and wanted to be able to concentrate on Laura’s words of encouragement without having to worry about mud and leaves and flashers.
I made the mistake of accidentally going up a hill for the first burst of running and was immediately overtaken by a man wearing a T-shirt that read 'Running the Big Beast Isn’t Hardcore – Finishing It Is.’ I’ve really no idea what the Big Beast might be but the message seemed horribly boastful and macho, and reminded me of all the reasons I’ve always hated running in the past. (Back home I googled the Big Beast but all the search engine could come up with was Big Breasts, some of which were pretty hardcore to be honest.)
Back on the flat I dutifully ran up and down alternating 1-minute runs of 165 and 150 beats per minute, repeated 6 times. In the 9-week programme I think my least enjoyable run was week 3, because I found all those short runs interminable - much more irritating than simply getting into the rythmn of a long one. Today, it didn’t bother me so much. I just padded up and down avoiding the dogs and fishermen, and trying to keep my shoulders relaxed and my arms at 90 degrees.
I was glad to finish but not quite as exhausted as I’d expected. (Can I be doing this right?) Next time I’ll try Stamina, though I’m missing listening to real music. I think I’ll go and research some more tunes that will keep the pace up.