running out of time

I’ve been a bad runner this week – largely because I haven’t done any running. In my defence, I’ve been fighting off a poorly timed throat infection and spent the weekend on a slightly soggy camping trip to the Lake District, but even so, a whole week has gone by without me pulling my trainers on once. And it’s the Great North 10k on Sunday! Hopefully my prior preparation will get me through the race; I like to think I know how to run a 10k by now. Look at it this way – at least I’ll be well rested.

My slothfulness over this last week got me thinking about how time has a nasty habit of getting away from you, no matter how fast you run to try and keep up with it. The Great North Run, which seemed so far away when I signed up for it in February, is now less than three months away, and I am no more prepared for it now than I was then. Admittedly I have chosen to focus on my two 10k races first, but with Manchester now nearly four weeks ago, and Gateshead looming on the horizon, I will have no more excuses after this weekend not to crack on with it and start getting all Paula Radcliffe on that half marathon training (and I don’t mean having a wee at the side of the road).

One of my problems sometimes is finding the inclination to actually go running. As a full-time working mummy of a boisterous two year old, sometimes the last thing I feel like doing when we’ve got him down to sleep at night after a day at the office is going outside and getting a sweat on. I do it though, and I often feel better for it, so I don’t know why I put it off – I know I’ll be glad to have done it if I just pull my finger out and get on with it. I am in total awe of these amazing mums who get up at 5am and put in 10 miles before the kids even wake up. I am so not a morning person that I don’t ever foresee a time when I would even contemplate such an insane act. I find that I run better in the afternoon and evening when I have had time to loosen up throughout the day – so Sunday’s race start time of 9am will be an interesting one!

When we run, and how often, is as individual a thing as why and how – we do what works for us. For some people, an early morning jog is part of their daily routine, for others, myself included, training is something that gets slotted in around whatever else you might have to be doing. In a typical training week I tend to run three times, with Pilates on one night, Zumba on another, and two days off! I’m quite happy with that, and for my 10k training it has been good preparation. From next week though, the mileage is going up – my usual 6k training route will not be enough if I’m going to nail that half in less than two hours, which is my optimistic goal. Not sure I’ll still be affording myself the luxury of two days off either, or a whole week come to that.

Read all about my Great North 10k experience next week – and see if my ‘rest period’ has helped or hindered me when it comes to the much-fabled hill at 9k. Fingers crossed for typical north-east weather and no heatwave this time!

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