What a Week!

Well I’m at the end of another week.  So much has happened this week, I’m not quite sure where to start.  I guess the best thing would be to start at the beginning.

Managed to get a flexi day off on Tuesday and did pretty much nothing.  It was totally brilliant.  The training has meant that I don’t have as much of the weekend to myself anymore, so I do find it quite tiring trying to fit everything in.

On Friday I was up at 03:45 to catch the 04:40 bus down to Glasgow for leadership training for my commonwealth games post.  Thankfully the course was really good and although I did start flagging around 14:00, our afternoon break consisted of getting a little peak of the athletics track at Hampden.  It looks fantastic.  No photos though as they want to do an official press release, but they had just finished putting the lane numbers down and I must say it looks fantastic.  Would have loved to get out and have a little jog round.

In saying that, due to my lack of pre-planning I did end up having to run from Buchanan Street bus station to Glasgow Central train station and then from Mount Florida to Hampden, so I did get a little bit of running done.

After the course I headed into town because it finished a lot earlier than it was supposed to, so I had planned to do a bit of window shopping.  Unfortunately my mobile had died, and I needed some charge for the bus home as the booking was in my e-mail.  Thankfully the lovely staff in Carphone Warehouse offered to put it on to charge for me to give it a boost, so I just wandered round the shops for a bit and then wandered back later to pick up my now almost fully charged phone.

Tried to sleep on the way back as I was pretty tired by this time.  Didn’t get back into Aberdeen till after 22:00 and wasn’t home until getting towards 23:00.  Was pretty much straight into bed when I got home as I was shattered.

Then came parkrun day 🙂  I love my Saturdays as I really enjoy Aberdeen parkrun and I don’t mind if I’m volunteering or running.  I’ve been having trouble lately getting anywhere near my 5k PB of 38:01 which was set in January 2012.  My aim was to try to crack the 40 minute barrier which again I’ve been struggling with of late.

Before the start I was handed one of the biggest gifts.  A friend wanting to run a slower race, so offering to run with me.  Jennifer comes to Speedsters with me and often helps me when I’m struggling, so I was delighted.  Little did I realise what I was going to achieve.

I took it easy from the start up the incline until we got on to the flat of the top prom.  Then I opened up the throttle a bit.  It felt pretty comfortable and I was still able to speak pretty easily, so I kept this pace up and soon I was starting to pass people.  First mile was completed in 12:14 which is a reasonable pace for me.  I’m not quite sure if I speeded up or if Jennifer speeded up and I just stayed with her because at the turn I could not believe how well I was running.  I had passed quite a few more people by this stage and I was picking out folks I thought I would be able to pass before the finish.  My second mile was completed in 11:50 and again this felt fairly comfortable and I must have been gradually speeding up.  I passed my jogscotland buddy Tony, who is coming on in leaps and bounds and a lovely lady called Tracey who always gives me a shout out.  I’d never got passed her before and I don’t think either of us could quite believe it at that point.  I just kept motoring on although I was starting to get a bit tired.  I wasn’t able to chat all that much now, so poor Jennifer had to do all the talking, but kept encouraging me onwards.  Mile 3 was done in 11:26.

Before the final approach to the finish some of the guys including fellow Speedsters Neil and James came back to get me.  I was tired but now they were running behind me I felt the only option I had was to speed up again and finish in style.  Not quite sure how or where on earth I got the energy from but I not only did I crack the 40 minute mark, I shattered my PB with an official finish time of 36:59.  I’m still not entirely sure how that happened, but just shows that with the right help and encouragement, something I thought was impossible a few weeks ago was totally achievable.  It does however make me wonder about what I am really capable of if I put my mind to it.  I’m sure I’ll find out in time.

That run was the icing on the cake for me, but today’s long run firmly put a cherry on top of it.  Needed 10 miles today so went out with fellow run chums Rachel, Elaine and Maz.  Rachel and Elaine were doing quite a bit more than that mileage wise, but Maz was going to stay with me since the other ladies are somewhat faster.

We had decided to do an out and back along the old Deeside Line as it is an easy route and well known, so even although it was a bit misty and actually quite muggy, off we went.  We managed to get past Peterculter before we hit 5 miles, so time to turn round.

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“Stop, I’m not going a step further!!

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Happy at half way 🙂

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Only 5 more miles to go!

All photos courtesy of Maz Heeps and the one above was taken by Mr Banchory (that’s what we named him).  He was walking from Duthie park to Banchory in preparation for next Sunday’s Kilt Walk.

The run back was seemed to pass thankfully quickly as by this time I was starting to get quite tired, so the others must have been shattered.  As we approached the end of the 10 miles I just had to speed up and see if I had a sprint finish in me and apparently, yes I do.  Let’s just hope I still have something left at the end of 26 miles!

It was a great run with lots of chat which included such random topics as nicely shaped bottoms and breaking wind whilst running.  What a classy bunch we are 😉

A fantastic week of training with some wonderful friends.  This coming week marks 10 weeks to go and I step into uncharted territory for me.  My scheduled long run is going to be 14 miles which is longer than I’ve ever run before.  Thankfully with the passing weeks I’m becoming that bit more confident about my ability.

I may not be the fastest, but yes I run and above all I really enjoy it.  Through running I’ve met some very dear friends and I find it so inclusive.

I’d also like to say a big congratulations to all my friends who were running and racing this weekend.  You folks are the best 🙂 xx

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