Couch to 5K
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An update from the tortoise lane week 7 - running with your shadow

This morning I overtook several toddlers, a man with a stick and some really quite fast people with push chairs. I'm not counting the woman running at some speed pushing twins in a buggy because she was going in the other direction.

Maybe because I've had to take a break for 3 days since the last run, but boy this one felt like a slog. I sometimes very roughly map the runs online afterwards - and yes, I managed to cover less distance than in the same time at the end of week 6.

But I noticed in the winter sun that my shadow was stretching out ahead of me - taller, leaner and faster than me. No matter how much I tried I couldn't catch her. By the time I was onto the last stretch she was behind me - and I imagined her pushing me on.

It's amazing how much playing mental games with yourself helps. On a good day I can imagine I'm on some kind of victory stretch on the last bit of the run.

Today I felt more like a grim faced survivor staggering on to the end.

3 Replies

The shadow game seems to be working for you :-) I too overtook some people today. Admittedly it was an elderly couple out for what could only be described as an amble, but I did overtake them. They said spoke words of encouragement as I wheezed past them too.


Birdy I'm REALLY enjoying your blog. I run in the evenings these days, so no-one can see me... But I do enjoy running in the morning for the reason of exchanging 'good morning's' with other folk...

And part of me I enjoy that bit of shared humanity because I'm fed up of seeing runners too far in the zone to notice anyone else's existence (the ones you diligently move out of the way of, but who then just hop onto the road anyway without so much as a sideways glance at you, making you ask why you bothered wasting time moving out of their way...). Even if I'm working hard I still try to say thankyou!


I get a lot of encouragement from an old arthritic dachshund who will run small sections with me :-) Whatever gets you through :-)

I did final run of wk 6 this morning and slowly caught up to the chap slowing ambling along. Just as I was about to overtake he veered off the path and up the grass close to a legitimate overtake only to have it cruelly snatched from my puffing clutches! Oh well, next run maybe :-)


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