Sunday, 16 September 2012

A run in the woods (and crazy animal escapades!)

I just want to start this by saying a huge thank you to everyone who has commented on my last post, both here and on Facebook.  I truly appreciate your encouragement.  I know helping my daughter to be the healthiest person she can be will be a very challenging journey.  But I also know, having nearly reached goal myself, that it can be done!  I will keep the blog updated regularly with our progress, so watch this space!

Today my 8k training programme called for a 2.5 mile run and this was also going to be my trail run for the week.  The temperatures have dropped here over the past week, so I was really looking forward to a crisp, cool run this afternoon.  We had our usual roast lunch today (today was roast chicken, with potatoes, carrots, broccoli and stuffing, followed by raspberry trifle - yum!), so I had to wait until later in the afternoon to do the run.

I got my iPhone, armband, headphones and water bottle together at just after 5pm and drove to the start of the school trail.  As soon as I arrived, I had to go to the toilet (again!) - so walked up to the sports hall.  This was my own fault - I'm so paranoid about getting a dehydration headache after my run, that I drink like a fish before my run - but need to remember to leave a wee bit of time (pun intended) before I actually head out the door to make sure it's all out of my system!  Having given birth to two kids, my bladder is not what it used to be (apologies - TMI) - so I'm not wanting to get caught short on a trail!

The start of the trail
The sun was shining just above the tree line when I started running and the wind seriously kicked up!  Why is it when I am running and there is wind it is most always a headwind?  Just once, I'd love a really strong tailwind!  I got about 1/3 of the way down the trail when I encountered the "Essex Lion" - ha!  No, seriously, it was a big ginger tomcat and he was creeping in the grass right by that hill I've nicknamed "The Bastard" - as if the Bastard wasn't bad enough, now I have cats stalking me there?!  I was worried he was going to jump and pounce on me because he was crouched down like he was stalking his prey!  He was there for the whole run - glaring at me every time I ran past!  Thankfully he never pounced!

When I got round the trail once I thought it seemed pretty quick, but when I had completed the 2.5 miles and checked my stopwatch I couldn't believe my speed!  On Friday, I ran 2.0 miles on the road with an average speed of 4.79 mph - today my average speed was 4.96 mph!!  Now to you seasoned runners, 4.96 mph probably sounds like a snail's pace - but I'm thrilled with it!  More to the point, I am thrilled that my speed is getting faster!  That means I'm getting fitter :-)

I never expected it, but I'm starting to think that trail running really suits me!  If I can make that big of an improvement in my pace simply by changing the running surface, I think that's pretty amazing!  Next week my long run will have to be on Saturday because Sunday I'm working at this design exhibition in London.  I'm thinking about doing the trail run at our local country park.  This will be a true test of my fitness as there are lots (and lots) of hills... We'll see - I haven't made up my mind yet!

Me after the run - you can't see how RED my face is in this pic!
On the drive home, there was a small squirrel trying to cross the road up to the school.  I stopped and waited for him - but he just kept running in front of my car!  When I started driving again slowly - he just kept running in front instead of going off to the side!  Eventually he discovered the grass at the side of the road and ran off (or at least I didn't feel a lump under my wheel as I drove past, sorry animal lovers!).  What a crazy animal day today!


  1. I love trail running. Beautiful & easier on my knees, hips, etc. Glad you enjoyed it.
    Congrats on the time too. You are improving so quickly it is amazing!

    1. Thanks Abby - yes trail running is definitely easier on my joints, which is a bonus :-)

      I still cannot believe my time yesterday! But I'm super excited because I desperately want to improve both speed and distance. It just goes to show if you train regularly how much progress you can make in a short period of time!

  2. At the 10k on Saturday, I peed at the school before the bus took us to the starting line and then I peed 2 more times in an hour waiting for the start. I do NOT want to run with anything in my bladder! It seems like some days my body releases every bit of water it's holding onto and I do nothing but pee! It was so bad one day I was in Target for 1 hour and peed 4 times! But that's not every day, so I know it's not a problem.

    1. Linda, your comment made me laugh out loud a little - it's like reading about my own bladder!! I'm the same, but it's not every day, it just seems to be the times when I don't have easy access to a toilet (typical!)!

  3. You rock! I love running trails. The scenery and quiet makes for a much more pleasant run:)