Yesterday, I got up at shit o’clock™ to get the train to Edinburgh for the Great Winter Run 5K.  I’m not a morning person, and I’m especially not a morning person who likes to get up at 6 am to sit on a train for over an hour.  But, not knowing what the future holds, I figured if I wanted to do a “destination” run in the UK, I should pick one that’s at least close enough to travel back and forth from without requiring a night in a hotel.

 

The train ride was uneventful, and when I arrived in Edinburgh, I had no idea where I was going.  I was glad to spot some other runners and followed them to Holyrood Park.  I was a bit shocked to see how high the hill was having not ventured into this area of Edinburgh before.  I wondered what I had got myself into.  I knew that it was partially up hill, but I didn’t think it was quite that high.

 

I had plenty of time to stand around and people watch until it was time to get into the corrals.  I was in the green corral and it was certainly quite crowded.  There was barely enough room to stand, let alone do the warmup.  I wonder if the person leading it realises that she has a lot of space to move, and that those of us on the ground can’t really do the movements unless we want to kick and step on our neighbours.

A few minutes after 10 and the green corral was off.  It was a bit crowded and we slowly gained elevation.  At one point I thought I was going quite fast, as the first km marker appeared within about 4 minutes.  The second one took a bit longer and balanced out and then started to be more consistent with Runkeeper.

The first 3 kilometres had us slowly gaining elevation, but once hitting the 3rd km marker, the world seemed to open up and you could see the city Edinburgh as I’ve never seen it before.  Had the sun been out, it would have been even more brilliant.  If it hadn’t been a race, I’d have stopped to take pictures!  In fact, I want to go back and walk up and around this area taking my time and taking pictures!

The last 2 kilometres were downhill.  What a rush!  I felt like a child running down a hill!  It’s probably the first time I’ve experienced such a runner’s high.  I’m not sure if it was the view or the altitude or what, but it was terribly exhilarating.  I had to actively work to control my speed and keep from just flinging myself down the hill.  These were probably 2 of my fastest ever kilometres at 5:33 and 5:52! If I want to PR my 5k, I need to find an all downhill one!

And then, as quick as it started, the race was over.  I had really picked up the pace at the end, and I nearly forgot to grab my bag with my shirt, water, and medal.

My official time was 34:11, not a PR but considering the hill at the beginning, I’m pleased.  Especially as (mile wise) I had negative splits the entire way (12:29, 11:09, 9:16, 8:14 (for the .14).

I’m hopeful I will be able to PR at some point, provided the course is flat or downhill!  🙂

All in all, it was a great event and I’m glad that it didn’t rain!

Looking back on this year, I was unable to find a post related to goals or resolutions for 2016.  I figured that my main goal was to finish my thesis and pass my Viva, and anything else in addition would be great.  I finished my thesis and passed my Viva, so I consider that a win.

Goals for 2017

  1. Find a job. This is pretty much the first and most immediate goal apart from my thesis corrections.  It’s rather intimidating as I’m not entirely confident in the search so far.  I have always struggled when job searching, to the point where I’d send out 300-500 resumes in a summer and not hear anything back from anyone.  I hope that it’s not like that this time around.
  2. Journal every day.  Last Christmas, Steph got me a daily journal where you record your thoughts every day and it records them for 5 years.  It’s like a paper Timehop.  Theres’s only a few lines for each day in each year, however.  This year I’d like to spend a little more time writing about my day, what’s gone on, and how I’m feeling.
  3. Run a sub 30 minute 5K.  You’d think that for someone who has been running for as long as I have, that this would have been crossed off my list by now.  But it hasn’t.  I struggle with running faster as I am afraid I will make myself sick (I’m a paranoid emetophobe, what I can I tell you?).  My current fastest time is 31:57 and that was on the treadmill. Even if it takes me until the 31 December 2017 to get to 29:59, I’ll be happy.
  4. Run another half-marathon (and not get injured). I’ve run 2 half-marathons so far and I’d like to run another.  I ended up pulling my leg/knee about halfway through my last half, so I’d like to train and run another without any issues or incident. The key to that is. . .
  5. Stretch and strength train more consistently.  I know why I struggled towards the end of my half training last year, and that was my lack of consistency.  Granted, part of that was due to the fact I was trying to finish my thesis, but spending 10-20 minutes stretching isn’t exactly a hardship.
  6. Lose the last 30 or so pounds I need to.  If nothing else this year has shown that I need to make my health a priority and getting to a healthy weight is important.

    Any goals or resolutions you’d like to share?  Leave ’em in the comments!  Happy New Year!

I’m always caught between my thesis, writing for pleasure, social media, and writing a blog entry.  Guess what comes last consistently?

So, April.  Let’s see.  I’ve been running 3 times a week and I’ve started going to Pilates again.  I even signed up for a reformer class and that has been going well.

Even more out of character, I joined a run club and I PRed my 5k.

I’m still not sure it’s right for me, to be honest.  I am, by far, the slowest.  I don’t like to be the worst or last at something; probably a character flaw.  I am glad that I tried, and even more that I waited until now to do so.  If I had tried a year and a half ago when I had originally considered it, I probably would have never run again.

This has nothing to do with the club or the people, as they have all been very nice and welcoming.  I just feel very insecure and uncomfortable when I’m so noticeably different.

I didn’t go last week because it was freezing and rain/snowing and I had just gotten my hair done (I know, vanity).  Hopefully this week will be more favourable as I really dislike running in the rain.  I have texture issues and wet socks really squick me out.  Maybe someday I’ll get past that.

I’ve signed up for the Women’s 10K in June and am ready for it!

In thesis news, it’s actually going well, a far cry from where I was a year ago!  My supervisors are pleased, I’m pleased.  I’m getting the support I need.  All I need to do is to stop procrastinating!

I’ve planned out my 41st birthday.  I wasn’t sure anything could top my 40th, but it looks like this birthday is going to be close.  #adorablehusbands #internetBFFs #London #theatre

And last, but most certainly not least, this happened.  It certainly was a great way to end April!

2016-04-30 20.48.41

 

Ahead for May?  Having the first full draft of my thesis completed (Eeeeek!), attending my first Barre class, and hopefully finding something fun or adventurous to do.

 

I haven’t been feeling myself (again) lately.  I feel like doing everything, but actually doing nothing.  I can’t seem to get focused on any tasks.  I’m behind in my work again.  I feel out of sorts.

There’s a conference going on at uni this week and I am (once again) not a part of it.  I submitted a proposal to present, but I guess I didn’t do a good enough job to get accepted.  I want to be presenting papers and posters and all the things that everyone else is doing, but I am so behind in my work (and have a year to get it all done) that I am starting to worry that by time time it comes to look for jobs, I won’t have a leg to stand on and I will be back to being unemployable.

Anyways, on a good note, I am going to the Write This Run conference this weekend and I am looking forward to seeing blog friends and learning more about blogging and running.  I am planning on doing the 5k (not the 10 as I haven’t been for any longer runs since I’ve been sick with an ear infection for the past 2 weeks) on Sunday.   I just have no idea what to wear on Saturday.  I suppose running clothes?  🙂

I hope that this weekend will get me feeling back to “normal” and that it will be a really enjoyable time!  🙂

This morning I ran the MoRunning 5K at Glasgow Green.  It was a cold and miserable morning made even worse by the fact that I had woken up at 5 am unable to sleep (more on that in another post).

I debated with myself after my alarm went off (I managed to doze off about 20 minutes before the alarm went off) on whether or not I wanted to run.  It was 35 degrees (about 2 C), dark and foggy.  I hadn’t slept well.  Did I really want to get dressed and go outside and run?

Finally I realised I would be angry with myself if I didn’t go, so I dragged myself up, got dressed, did a shot of instant coffee, and ate 2 pieces of Gluten free toast.  I layered up and headed outside.  Did I mention it was cold?

I took the subway to St. Enoch and from there I needed to walk to Glasgow Green (about a 10 minute walk).  When I got off the subway and headed outside, it was pouring.  I went into Tesco where it was warm  and so I could get a bag to put my iPhone in, in case it poured during the race.  When I came out, the rain had stopped.

I walked over to the Green and got my race number and timing chip.  I then stood around/walked around/used the porta-loo and waited for about 45 minutes.  I was glad I got there early enough because the queue later on for packet pickup was LONG.

The 5K runners were called first and everyone in that wave set off, as the rain began to fall again.  It was a rough start; it was hard to breathe the cold air and I started off a good minute/km faster than I usually run (which was fine, but I had trouble getting my timing for most of the run).  I was done with the first km in under 8 minutes which is really fast for me (it’s hard being slow).  Of course this is when they let the 10K people go, and I knew (being at the very back end of the 5K runners meant I would be passed very quickly by the 10K runners.)

Granted, this is fine, but it is a bit demoralising having these people blaze (and shove) past.  I know this is all mental for me here, but it is SO frustrating being so slow.  Mentally, I really feel I should be so much faster at this point but I am still struggling.   The second and third kms had the runners heading to a turn around, so that by the time I was halfway through the second km, 5 and 10K runners were already on the way back, flying past me in the other direction.  Somewhere around this point, my knee started aching and I felt like I was going even slower.

The last 2 kilometres were a struggle.  It was raining again and I felt like I was half running/half limping along.  I didn’t want to walk, and only really took 3 walk breaks for well under a minute each.  I was really excited when I realised that I was close to the finish line (as it was also where we started) and picked up the pace as fast as I could to hit the finish line strong.

After crossing, I grabbed my medal, had a quick drink of water, and walked back to St. Enoch to head home, shower, and get warm.  I was completely soaked and my toes were frozen.

My Runkeeper said I finished the 5K in under 43 minutes at 42:something and my race time on the site is 43:22, which technically is a PR, but not by as much as I thought.  (All of the 5K’s I’ve run this year have not been chipped or actually a 5k distance, so I can’t really use them as a comparative tool.)  The last race I have a chip time from is from 2006, and that would give me a 3 second PR.  Not the stuff of legends.

A model I am not.

A model I am not.

I clearly have a lot to work on.  I want to be a better and faster runner.  I hate being so slow, and having more than 30 people running a 10K finish before I’ve even finished a 5K.  I know I shouldn’t compare myself to others, but like I said, mentally I feel I should be a far better runner at this point and not struggling so much.

So, this may have been my last race of the year (not 100% on that yet), but hopefully many better races ahead in 2014.