Aviemore no more!

It’s almost a week since I ran the Aviemore half marathon. Since then I’ve been resting, recovering & reflecting. It’s time to write this post to wrap things up.

A year ago I had never done a running race, unless you count primary school. Now I can boast a handful of 5ks, a couple of parkruns, four 10ks, a ten miler and two half marathons. Not a bad haul.

Heading into Aviemore I was tired. It dawned on me that I hadn’t had a break at the end of last season’s bike racing, so my body hadn’t had a chance to recover before I plunged into the running scene. As last week went on and the taper kicked in I was feeling better and on the day managed to take a couple of minutes off my PB. It wasn’t the time I had hoped for, but I was proud of what I’d achieved. I felt like a runner a lot during the race and passed a whole bunch of people as I picked up the pace over the last 3 miles. It gives me goosebumps now just thinking about it.

In the days after the race I have never felt so tired. I met Steve Bonthrone for a coffee on Monday late afternoon and I was struggling to speak coherently. Just. So. Tired. But as the week has gone on I’ve felt better. I’ve enjoyed eating ‘normal’ food, having a few drinks during the week (something I rarely do when I’m training & racing) and just chilling out in the evening. My brain’s enjoyed the mental break too.

This week is more of the same. I have a couple of dinners in Dundee this week, Wednesday & Thursday, so I’m just going to enjoy them without any of the normal feelings of guilt at having a dessert & a glass of wine. But I’m already thinking about getting back into training. I plan to get out for a run next weekend. Nothing long, or taxing, just a steady 10k to get the body & mind back in gear. Then I’ll pick it up a little the following week before we head out to Cyprus for some late autumn sunshine. I’m looking forward to running with the sun on my legs a few more times before I have to dig out the winter gear.

Thanks to everyone that’s supported and encouraged me on this journey. It’s been a blast!

Aviemore no more!

One week to go 

I realise that I haven’t written for a few weeks. Blogging is something I always struggle with – at least on a personal level. It feels somewhat self-indulgent, especially when i’m talking about something like running. It’s not exactly changing the world stuff.

And so I find myself with a week to go before the Aviemore half marathon. The last race of my first season as a runner. I’m looking forward to it, but mostly I’m looking forward to taking a complete break after it for a couple of weeks.

I realised just the other day that I raced my bike all of last season then morphed straight into running. There was no break at the end of last season, and this year the most I’ve managed is a couple of easy weeks after Edinburgh. I’m tired, and my body needs a break. A chance to recover, refresh and get the motivation back.

Today was my last long run before the race. The plan was for 30 mins easy, then 30 mins at half marathon pace. The first 30 minutes, my heart rate was elevated and I felt flat. I wasn’t looking forward to raising the tempo up to HMP. How long was I going to last I wondered.

At Longforgan I duly upped the pace, and before long I had settled into a steady rhythm, clocking 7:19 for the first mile, then easing off a little to 7:31 for the next. My HM target pace is 7:37, so this was a promising start. Another 7:31 for mile 3 and I was feeling on top of this run. Sometimes it’s amazing how you can lift yourself. The final mile was helped by a wee push on at the end, so I clocked 7:28, then it was a cool down mile and a bit back through the village.

I honestly don’t know what next week will bring. I’m tired and I need a break, so I’m not setting any targets. My only expectation is to enjoy the race and take in the scenery. If I can do that it will have been a success.

Onwards! 

One week to go