Kanye, Nike and 10k

So here we are, 10 days before the Bristol 10k and since the last blog I have run 6 times over the distance of 38.56 kilometres and I am finally, 3 pounds away from having lost 3 stone in total. Will I get to 3 stone by the time I run the 10k? I really hope so, but as we’re going camping this weekend, I suspect there will be some carb loading of the croissant and lager variety, so possibly not. Still, you can’t have everything. If my choice is to lose 3 pounds but not eat the croissants, I will happily let the 3 pound loss roll into the following week.

As I sit here, typing this, I am finally wearing flip flops and Summer seems to have arrived. Honestly, I was beginning to think we would skip straight from Winter to Autumn as I ran in SNOW on one of my runs last week (seriously, snow?) The chap running in the opposite direction to me, shouted to me with his thumbs up “what are we doing out here?….it’s ******* snowing!” (he had a point) but happily snow days seem to be behind us now as summer has finally arrived.

Summer brings new challenges to a runner. Firstly, it’s hot. Obvious I suppose, but when you surprise yourself by how much sweat you can produce when it’s snowing, the realisations on this topic on a hot day are frightening. I ran to work this morning and when I arrived, I could wring my headband out. Hockey Sister was not impressed by my “musky aroma” at all and was relieved when I returned from the shower we have at the office. At 7.25am when I left home, it was gorgeous and sunny and I was feeling in the zone. I had a good run in and I was surprisingly speedy. I clocked 7.1k at 62.53 minutes which is considerably faster than any of my runs to date. I do seem to be much quicker and more effective in the mornings. This is good in that the 10k race will be run in the morning and with the arrival of Summer with the heat, I suspect that most of my runs will need to take place in the mornings from now on.

The Obstacle Colour Rush definitely did NOT take place on a beautifully warm and sunny day. It was felt like the lower Baltic up at Bath Racecourse. It was also much more physically challenging than any of us could have anticipated. Fitbit Sister, myself and the Red Lady ran half and walked half of it, as climbing over cargo nets, hauling ourselves up inflatable steps/ladders to slide down the inflatable on the other side and racing on giant space hoppers (which was the worst and most painful of all the obstacles by MILES – my thighs still haven’t forgiven me) is exhausting. Incidentally the ladder and slide obstacle appeared twice over the course, and humiliatingly, I couldn’t pull myself to get over it on the first attempt and kept sliding down to land into a muddy puddle at the bottom in front of everyone queueing to get on. After 3 tries, I gave up. I was much more embarrassed about it than I let on and so was determined to get over on the second one – and was relieved that I managed it, else the shame would have been too great.  For the 3 days after the event, I felt like I had been beaten up as the muscles in my upper body were screaming at me.  This led to a different realisation, that although I am definitely getting fitter and smaller, I am still very weak and my core needs work. A LOT of work.

Husband and I have started to do some planks. This is not a euphemism, it an excruciatingly painful exercise that demands you hold your body flat in a press-up position for as long as you can (30 seconds for me at the moment) and also a few box press-ups (full press-ups for Husband). The problem is, I feel like this is the tip of the ice-berg and if I am to improve as a runner I will need to investigate more of this and almost certainly return to Pilates. We will probably need to do it more regularly than we are at the moment – which is “when we remember”.

The daughters are also into the running swing of things too. Last Friday I really didn’t want to go for a run but Youngest daughter offered to go with me so off we went. I took 3 minutes off my 5k personal best (PB) as I didn’t want her to be embarrassed by my speed. 3 minutes? She then also beat Sporty Daughter in the Junior Park run 2 days later, placing as the third girl overall! I’m beginning to think that I may have mis-named my daughters for the blog. Running daughter?…we’ll see.

All the runs have NOT been brilliant though. Last Sunday I learned a very important lesson – don’t go for a run 90 minutes after a massive Sunday lunch. Yikes. I nearly threw up on the Feeder Road and I was very, very slow. Running 6.2k in the same time as I ran 7.1k this morning. Oh well. You can’t win them all. Contemplation of death featured heavily during the run as did indigestion and chronic stomach cramps. You live and you learn. This is not a mistake I am likely to make again.

Husband is banging out 10k runs now with alarming regularity and is getting extremely fast. He will definitely smash a sub 60 minute 10k and I also wouldn’t be surprised if he manages a sub 53 minute time on race day.

However, it’s important that you all know that I managed to run 10k before he did! *evil cackle* Last Tuesday, I had plotted an 8k route home, which was to be the longest run I was planning to attempt before the actual race. I plodded along and was feeling fairly ok. I had only had to walk once (which was for less than 20 seconds and at the top of a hill I had just run up) and as I approached the homeward straight, I glanced at my watch and decided to go the “long way home” which then took my distance to 9.1k. I had to keep going. I had to see if I could get to 10k alive, so barely running, more shuffling, I ran loops around our street until my watch buzzed. At around 9.8k I passed some friends who high fived me (I needed that more than they will ever know) and then when my watch buzzed at 10k I burst into tears (thankfully they weren’t there to see that) and stopped, walking the last few metres home. I have to tell you that I felt pretty chuffed with myself. 10k. 6 miles. Whether you use metric or imperial, it’s a long way. Husband was equally delighted and annoyed (whilst chuckling), that I had managed it before him but mainly chuffed. He will always be much faster and stronger than me (my first 10k attempt was 96 minutes) but I ran it first. I also now know that I can run 10k and the fear about next week has disappeared. I am still excited and looking forward to it but I don’t fear it.

I’ve treated myself to some Nike running capris (trousers). I was able to buy women’s capris for the first time EVER. This might not sound like a big deal, but I promise you, as a hefty lady, used to having to buy men’s sport’s clothes, this is MASSIVE (no pun intended). I have also been into Sweaty Betty and tried stuff on in there too. The Sweaty Betty lady who helped was amazingly supportive and helpful. I was quite daunted by the array of designs and was worried if I tried things on they might have to cut me out of them (not something you ever want to happen), but she assured me that it would be ok. It was better than ok. EVERYTHING FIT! I was so happy I can barely put it into words.

I still might go back to Sweaty Betty and buy something as it was all gorgeous but for now I am good with my fancy new NIKE trousers. This morning, I was listening to Kanye’s “Stronger” on my iPod (killer running playlist track – trust me), wearing my Nike capris, training for a 10k. Who am I?

This is the outfit I am going to wear to run the 10k. If you are going to be watching, please give me a wave, or high five or shout hello. I promise I’ll wave back or if you’re really (un)lucky, I might even give you a sweaty hug.

10k outfit