Today’s run was a quick 3 miles in the humid AF pea soup air that is currently encompassing Glasgow.  As much as I hate running in the rain, I hoped that the light shower that began during my last half mile would turn into a downpour!

The Basics

Run type designation: easy

Distance: 3 miles

Goal pace: 11 minutes per mile

Actual average pace: 11’16” per mile

Weather: humid AF, 19C, cloudy

How did the run go?

This run went fine.  It was just an average 3 miles that seemed a bit more difficult due to the humidity and the fact that my legs were still wobbly from 2 hours of Pilates the evening before.

 

Hello! Welcome to my training for the Royal Parks Half Marathon! I’ll be blogging each of my running workouts over the next 16 weeks. Maybe I might even post a vlog, if I can get over the fact that I sound like a 10 year old. Each post will contain the basics of the workout, what kind of run, distance, goal pace, actual pace, and weather conditions as well as a summary of how the run went.

I’ll also be talking about how I’m running for Switchboard and fundraising for them again! I’m really excited to be doing so and hopefully it will be as great a success as the previous two fundraising endeavours. I’m just setting up the donation page, and there will be a link in the coming days.

You can also follow my training on Strava.

The basics

Run type designation: easy
Distance: 4.5 miles
Goal pace: 11 min/mile
Actual pace: 11’47”
Weather: Sunny, humid, windy, and about 22C (or really flipping hot to me at least!)

How did the run go?

I prefer to run after breakfast, around 10am-1pm. However, today I had an eye doctor appointment, which meant I had to run a bit later than I normally do. I went out around 6pm and it was sunny and hot. I’ve obviously acclimatised to the weather here, as 20C/70F feels really warm, especially when running. So this run wasn’t as good as it could have been, but it could have been worse.

Hopefully, the runs planned for mid week will be better and a bit faster!

This was my third time running the Glasgow Women’s 10K.  All week long the weather had been looking pretty miserable for Sunday, but I woke up to partly cloudy skies and enough sunshine for me to regret not wearing shorts.  I had my now customary pre-race breakfast of a donut and cold brew and walked over to Kelvingrove Park.

I stood in the queue for the porta-loos 3 times, which was one time too few.  By the time I was in the corral, I really had to wee again and I was very annoyed at myself for not popping out of the warmup to use a porta-loo.

I was quite moved by the moment of silence for both the London Bridge attack that had occurred the evening before and the Manchester bombing two weeks ago.  It was so quiet and still; even the birds were silent.

We started at 10 minutes past 11.  It was warm and the sun had actually come fully out at this point.  It was pretty crowded but I tried to keep an even pace and ended up doing the first km in 6:18 which is pretty unheard of when not in a race situation.  The first km brings you down and out of Kelvin Way towards my old office building at Uni and up into Kelvingrove Park.

The second km brings you into/through Kelvingrove Park, where the pavement is a bit more narrow.  However, this year I was in the second corral so people were running and not walking with prams. I was surprised to see afterward that this km was run in 5:52 given that there’s a fairly significant hill!

The third km starts out at leaving the park and heading down past the Kelvingrove museum and then down a side street to the street I live on and then along past my flat. (6:21). I was hoping to see my flatmate but I’d been keeping a quick (for me) pace so she wasn’t outside.  It’s probably good that she wasn’t as I would have begged her to let me in so I could have a wee!

This starts the 4th km (6:36) as we head down towards the river and past and around the Riverside museum.  I was really hot at this point, and this was when I had to take my first short walk break.  Right before the 5km marker (6:55), was the water station.  I was SO glad for it, but wished they had given out full sized bottles, not half.  I wanted it to last but knew it wouldn’t.  I splashed some down my back and finished it as we headed along the river (the path I take normally when I run) past the hotel and then down to the other side of the river and around the science centre observation point and then past the BBC.

Now we’re at 6-7km (7:10 and 7:19) and it’s really quite warm and I’m kicking myself for not wearing shorts.  I stopped to walk a few times for about 10 seconds or so, as you can see from my decreasing times, but kept plodding on.

I tried to get enthused as I went over the Squinty bridge and even took a picture as I ran up and over it.  Right after,  at 7.5 km was the “power shower.”  I had laughed about it the day before thinking why would we need that if it was going to rain.  I wasn’t laughing as I ran through it as the water was ice cold, but so nice.  Luckily there was a nice breeze right after and I cooled off a bit!

I knew at that point I could PR but I had to stop walking, even if I ran slower, I had to keep going. (8km: 6:57)  Of course this is where the course gets all weird and twisty and I’m like where the fuck are we going.  They tried to make it less twisty then the year before but instead it was just kind of obnoxious, making the start of the 9th km (7:01) a frigging hill.  I was not amused by that and all I wanted was to finish.  I knew it was close so I just kept pushing and used every little bit of energy I had to get to the finish line.  (10 km 6:49) I really felt quite ill after that for a few minutes and was so glad that there was water in my goodie bag.

My chip time was 1:08:28 which was a PR.  Last year I ran the 10K in 1:22 (but had injured my knee and had slowed down in the second half of the race).  My previous PR was 1:12 I believe but a lot of the 10K’s I’ve run were not chip timed, so it’s hard to tell how accurate the time is as it’s based on Runkeeper. I do have some more to say about the PR and whatnot, but this post has gone on long enough, so I’ll have to save it for another entry.

Here’s a selection of photos from the event, including one of the race photos (a rare purchase!) as I’m just about to cross the finish line.

Last weekend I ran 10 miles in 2 hours.  This weekend I ran a “practice” 10k and was surprised when Runkeeper told me it was my fastest to date.  I’m still slow AF, but that was a 3 minute improvement over last summer.

I’ll be running the Glasgow women’s 10K on Sunday; the race last year I had hoped to PR, but got injured.  Hopefully, there will be a positive outcome to the 10K that will fuel me on as I start to plan out my training for the Royal Parks Half in October.

I just have to trust in the training and all the running I’ve been doing for the past year.

Other than the running, I took a weekend trip to Mallorca two weeks ago and it was amazing.  I got two short runs in while I was there, and they were terribly slow as I took in my surroundings and stopped to take lots of pictures.  I had a great time, got lots of sunshine, and had a massage on the beach!  I would definitely recommend to anyone, and would love to go again!

If you know me in real life (or maybe even virtually) you will know that I’m a pretty anxious person.  I’ve suffered from anxiety for quite a long time, and for a long time I honestly had no idea what it was.  I used to lay awake at night as a child convinced I was going to die in the next few minutes.  I’d wake my mum up just so I didn’t have to be alone.  And at the time, I’d feel rather sick to my stomach, so I was convinced that it was my stomach that was causing the issues, not my mind.  It was never talked about, only those moments in the dark were the evidence anything was wrong.

I didn’t know it was anxiety until I was 18 when I took a psychology class.

It took until I was in my 30s to discuss it with a medical professional while I was trying to sort out my headache issues.  And while I was more or less dismissed by this person in relation to the headaches, I was listened to about the anxiety.  It took until then to bring it up because throughout my late teens and 20s, I was able to control it relatively well.  The “episodes” flared up under times of stress, like exams.  I knew to expect it then, so I was ready for the shaking, the crying, the tremors, the feeling of imminent demise.

Once I completed my first Master’s degree and started working in education, the anxiety flared up.  I could barely drive to work without having an episode.  I was terribly grateful that I was given medication to help deal with the symptoms and I could at least get out the door without hoping that I’d get in an accident so I didn’t have to go to work (it’s a very long story, but things weren’t good for me and it was heartbreaking all around, but I won’t bore you all with that right now).

And now, ten years later? While I still have medication to help me out, I have to ration it.  So I run.  I just lace up my shoes and run.  And while these days, I’m usually running towards a goal (a race or a personal goal), it’s still the enjoyment of the wind in my hair and the sun (hopefully) on my face that can clear my mind.

While I was trying to deal with all of the grief and issues from losing my parents, I ran.

While I was trying to deal with the multiple times I didn’t think I’d get to finish my PhD, I ran.

While I was trying to get the blasted thing finished and hit any number of roadblocks, I ran.

It doesn’t always solve all my problems, and certainly there are some runs where it just doesn’t help.  But it is a bit better than it used to be.  And that’s all I can ask for.

 

 

 

This post was written for #mentalhealthawarenessweek.  All thoughts are my own.