I have not been running much this month- truth is since the marathon I have not yet got back into a proper running groove.
It is only 3 weeks since the race, so early days – but knowing of other marathoners who have struggled to find the motivation to run again after training for a big event- I hoped this would not be the case for me.
I thought it unlikely, as one thing that kept me going through the latter stages of marathon training ( aside from the fear of running the marathon ), was the thought of getting back to just running for fun. Running with friends, running punctuated with stops to take pictures, running without the dread of speedwork and just running without it feeling like I was doing my homework!
But it is funny that when the pressure is off and there is no ‘reason’ to run, no plan to tick off, no specific session to complete, how it can be very easy to find lots of reasons to just not bother.
Late afternoon today, after another day of not running – with the sun shining and the bees busy in the garden – I heard the running sirens calling.
Turns out, when running motivation is in short supply the best cure is a run.
With 6 weeks to go until the Stirling marathon, training is continuing and the verdict is so far, mostly so good. But I am discovering that marathon training can be a bit relentless and turn running into a very serious business. Don’t get me wrong – I totally respect the distance, and know I need to put in the miles if I am to have a decent chance of getting round in one piece, but it is still hard some days to find my marathon training mojo.
So with all those miles ( 409 so far) and many weeks of training in wet, cold, windy winter weather behind me – it was nice* to see some sunshine forecast for last weekend when the plan included a 10k trail race.
*Or so I thought!
I was running in the Winton House 10k – a trail run, also previously known as the Pencaitland fun run and it is a while since I did a 10k race. From memory, the last 10k I entered was also a ‘fun run’ at Direlton – and it turned out to be a sunny, hot and hard 6 miles. Fun runs can be deceptive and sunshine on race day must be an East Lothian thing 🙂
As this 10k was part of my training, Sally had given me the race tactics to follow, which were the usual run fast, then run faster 😉 Timing was a 2 pm start – and with the sun shining it was lovely for spectators but maybe less so for runners.
I do know I go on about the weather – but this is mostly because – I am British and I am always out running in it!
When it comes to the weather I fear most when running – hot is probably top of the list. As a Scottish native, fair of skin and acclimatised to year-round cool temperatures – I am really not built to move quickly when the sun is splitting the sky and the thermometer reaches into double figures.
But 10k – is only 6+ miles, and a trail must mean we would run through woodland and woods mean shade – yes ?
Yes we did run through woods, but the leaves on the trees were sparse, the sun was high in the sky, and it felt pretty hot and uncomfortable for all 10 of the 10ks ( not to mention a sting in the tail hill finish).
I can’t remember what time I did on my last 10k race, but despite the heat and the trail route, I managed to finish this one in under 1 hour( 57 mins 53 secs ), even though it was not pretty and I did not manage to follow the recommended race tactics.
And now I have new nightmares to add to my marathon worries about how I might survive 26.2 miles if it is as hot as this come marathon day – but I will just have to keep doing a rain dance and if that does not work – deal with the weather closer to race day.
As to the Winton House trail race – as an event to go to and have fun as a family, it was spot on – very well organised with a friendly atmosphere and in beautiful surroundings – not to mention the most luxurious toilets I have ever encountered in a race!
My husband and daughter enjoyed soaking up the sunshine, eating ice cream, taking pictures and saying hello to the lambs, while I was racing.
I bumped into a few familiar faces and met ‘IRL’ for the first time – fellow blogger and Stirling marathoner Owain Williams (@Scottish Runner)and his wife Mandy. Check out their blog running beside.me
Taking part in this marathon is for me, mostly a personal challenge, but I do also hope to raise funds for two charities that support women and girls in different ways. One of these is Smalls for All – a Scottish based charity that collects and distributes underwear for women and children in Africa and is also hoping to fund an education programme to help girls.You can find out more about the charity’s work at their website Smalls for All
If you would like to make a donation to support this charity, you can do so via my page at MyDonate
I am also raising funds for Scottish Women’s aid – I had to set up two fundraising pages because of how the charities are set up differently to take donations so here is the link to the Justgiving page if you would prefer to make a donation to that charity.
Any donations will be very much appreciated and will definitely help put a spring in my step come May 21st .
Today after a misty kind of gloomy Thursday, the sun is shining. I frequently walk along various lengths of this stretch of the canal – and prefer walking over running or cycling. The slower pace of walking is meditative and I see more. Early morning sunshine is always uplifting but maybe even more so when you live in a place where these few sunny days are to be cherished. Late August there is a tiny hint of Autumn and a reminder that these lovely long days of summer daylight are beginning to shorten. Sometimes when I start my working day with this 30 minute nature interlude the temptation to bunk off work and just keep walking is very strong.
I am not long back from a lovely sunny holiday in Ibiza. As is my new holiday habit, I took my running kit with me and despite the 30+ degree heat, I managed to go out on a few short runs.
While I love my regular runs back home, I always like running in a different place. Of course you can explore a new destination as a tourist on foot at walking pace, but there is something about putting on my running clothes and going out for a run- often early in the day – that makes me feel I am temporarily a local and getting a different sense of the destination.
Regardless of where I am running – early in the morning I will encounter much the same collection of folk – dog walkers, boot camp exercisers, shift workers , early morning night time revellers on the way home – if it is a city, the quiet army of people who clear up after the night before or set up for the new day, and of course fellow runners.