Sunday, 7 October 2012

The one where I ran 4 miles

I'm on cloud nine tonight - absolutely shattered, but on cloud nine.  Today was my scheduled long run of the week and it called for 4 miles.  I've been working myself into a frenzy all week over this.  Nerves have been getting to me, which is just utterly ridiculous because the only person I'm answerable to for running is me!

As regular readers of my blog will know, I've never run 4 miles before.  My furthest distance to date has been 3.5 miles and that was not a great run.  I decided to try out a new route today.  I wanted to give myself the best advantage to cover the distance, so I settled on an out and back route from near my kids' school.  It's practically flat and on road (sidewalk), and I regularly see runners going up and down it, so I thought I'd have a go.

A happy (sweaty) girl after a 4 mile run!
The weather today has been lovely - a typical crisp, cool, autumn day - perfect for running.  The family and I went to a restaurant for lunch (Toby Carvery), and I tried to restrain myself as much as possible because I didn't want a lump of food digesting while I ran later.  I had a modest portion of roast turkey, potatoes, leeks, carrots, cauliflower and stuffing and had an ice cream with chocolate sauce for dessert.  I opted NOT to have an alcoholic drink with it and went for the sparkling mineral water instead.  We finished eating just before 2pm and I decided that around 4pm - provided I felt alright - I would tackle the run.

Just after 4pm, I drove to my starting point, parked the car and got my Walkmeter sorted.  Today would be the first run where I took my water bottle on a belt - I bought this from Amazon ages ago and have been using the water bottle, but have never taken the belt on a run.  Today, I had no other option because I was on the open road, so didn't have the option to leave it somewhere if I needed it.  I planned to stop briefly when I reached two miles, have a drink, stretch and then run the next two miles.

I started running and even though the belt was tightened it still took a while to get used to the motion of it bouncing up and down. I had secured it tightly with the elastic strap, so I knew it wouldn't fall out, but I suppose it was just a weird sensation that I've never had before on a run.  It also added weight - 16 ounces to be precise!  I suppose about half a mile into it, I adjusted and it no longer bothered me.  I felt good during the first mile and my speed was quite good - about 5.37mph.  I tried to slow it down a bit during mile two (to avoid the stitch!) and thankfully it helped.  I was definitely surprised how much further I had to run to get to two miles - I kept thinking to myself "Come on, Walkmeter, beep! Surely it has been two miles!".  Finally, after 22 minutes, I reached halfway.

I stopped my Walkmeter and took a minute's break.  I took a few drinks of the Nuun from my water bottle and stretched my legs and then started running again.  I was so grateful that I had decided on this flat route - it really helped me keep my speed consistent and also I did not suffer with the dreaded side stitch at all!  I headed back to the car with a slightly slower speed, but when my Walkmeter beeped at three miles, I had the adrenaline rush - "I'm going to run 4 miles!  I'm going to run 4 miles!"!  When I got to the point where I could see my car, I picked up the pace.  I kept thinking of what Jillian Michaels often says on her DVD's about "finishing strong".

When my Walkmeter finally beeped at 4 miles, I was elated!  I suppose the thing that I was happiest about was the fact that I still had some fuel left in the tank - I could have happily probably gone on to run 5 miles!  I'm so pleased that I'm making consistent progress and especially after my disappointing 3.5 mile run last week.  I'm also loving my new running gear - having this Dry Fit stuff seriously makes all the difference to your run, especially when there's a chill in the air and you don't want wet cotton sticking to your skin.  All in all, I am thrilled with my overall performance today - I can't wait to blog about the time I run 14 miles (in the not too distant future!)!


So, this post is a bit backwards - I'm blogging about Sunday first and Saturday second!  Yesterday my son had a friend with us who had slept over on Friday night.  My husband took the boys swimming first thing, but after lunch (when hubby was playing football), I had the kids.  They had been playing various Nerf tournaments since Friday afternoon, and frankly it was doing my head in.  God bless the mothers who have the patience for little orange pellets whizzing past their heads at ridiculous speeds!  I located our hiking boots and loaded boots + kids into the car for an hour's walk at our local country park.

Me and my completely bonkers kid at the park
This walk would also count as my "cross-training" session for Saturday, so I was determined to keep a good pace.  I needn't have worried because my son's friend quite happily walked fast the whole way, which was really good because it helped my two speed up!  The leaves haven't quite started to change in the park yet, so it wasn't hugely picturesque, but it was still an excellent outing.  These poor boys had been given so much exercise - swimming in the morning, three mile walk in the afternoon, plus a very late night on Friday - they must have been knackered when we got home!

I was happy because I could tick off my exercise for the day, and was also happy that I had got my daughter out for some good exercise too.  I'm planning on reporting back on my Autumn Goals soon - I'm doing well so far, but have a couple of areas that I need to improve on!  Watch this space!

Well, I hope you all have a good week!  I've been roped into doing X-fit again on Wednesday night, Thursday's post should be interesting!


  1. Woohoo! How amazing is every new personal distance record. I never get sick of them!

    1. Thanks so much Abby! I think the best part of the run was at the end I felt I could have kept on running! I'm looking forward to tackling bigger distances for sure!

  2. Great job! And remember, the only bad run is the one you didn't do. We need those experiences to appreciate the runs where everything falls right into place and you feel like you could've kept going!

    1. You are so right, Linda! Having a not so great run makes me appreciate the good ones even more :-)