Running into the Shade

I don’t think I’ve mentioned much about the gallery my husband and I are getting ready for opening shortly. It’s been an 18 month project, almost a rebuild, of a Victorian shop in the centre of Dumfries. At times we’ve felt that it would never be finished, but now we’ve actually set an opening date so we are all out to get it finished in time.

Being at the gallery has had a knock on effect for my running. Finding a time to fit it in hasn’t been easy and often that’s why I’ve had to make such a lot of use of Trevor Treadmill. By the time we’ve got back it’s been dark and running on unlit roads is a big no-no. I’m sure you can imagine how long our working days are at the moment. My husband calls the gallery the night-shift and we tend to come home after our day jobs, have something to eat and head straight up to Dumfries, coming home at 9pm. Time for a shower and half an hour’s rest before going to bed! We are living and breathing this wee shop! I know that this won’t be for ever, so I’m happy to put my running on the back burner and just go out when I can.

That doesn’t stop me from feeling guilty, of course, especially when I have a great bunch of incredibly enthusiastic running friends here and on Facebook running enormous distances in superhero times! I have to consciously talk myself down into being a recreational runner who is just doing this for fun. Just a run in the sun, I said on Facebook yesterday. It was like I have to explain why I am running so slowly! Truth is, for me, I’m not running that slowly and I’m not the slowest runner either. My mind is a complicated thing I just have to trick now and again when it’s not looking!

Anyway, back to running!

Fitting my run got even more complicated this week when summer arrived! From frost to blazing sunshine in a day. Ah yes, welcome to Britain! We’ve had a week, so far, of high pressure weather, with no wind at all and high temperatures. Here it’s been in the low twenties centigrade at midday and being pale skinned running for an hour in that is asking for trouble. So my only option has been to either get up out of my cosy, warm bed early or wait until the sun is going down. Well, that’s not much of a choice, bearing in mind what I’ve written above. I have no choice. Getting up out of bed is the only option! I actually love running in the morning. It sets you up for the day. There are fewer people about and less cars. What I don’t like is getting up!

I braved it yesterday though, getting up at 7am (yes, I know, the best part of the day had already gone) and heading out of the door by half past. I met my neighbour getting ready to travel to Yorkshire to see his grandchildren and Nancy walking her two dogs. She was off to Pilates afterwards, telling me how her lower spine was fused and it made it tough to straighten up properly. Nancy, without wanting to be cruel, will be in her 70s and I would say was probably a bit of a handful when she was younger! We talked about me running and she wished me well. It was lovely to have that short catch up time with people who live around me. It’s just a small village, but people can be so insular wherever you live.

I set off with Runmeter clocking my distance and Jeff Galloway drawling away on day 10 of the Ultimate 5k. I have to say, I don’t think I’m improving much. I think I was actually better doing my own thing, but I’ll stick with it! I can’t shortchange Mr G when he’s worked so hard to develop this training plan and, hell, what do I know?

The cool air was punctuated by a rising sun, gathering strength, as I ran down towards the shore. There was a gentle mist hiding the hills and a peaceful stillness in the air. I always have my music on, but turned down enough that I can hear my feet and the birds and the trucks! I set off well, completing my first km in 6:24. My pace picked up on the second km and I was managing 5:06 pace on the straight. I did start to feel tired early on though, which surprised me. This was only a 5km run and I’ve been training way above that. My average pace on the third km was faster, but then I hit the forest.

I’d chosen to do the run I would normally do for 5km, but in reverse. I figured that by the end of the run I’d be hot and running through the shade of the forest would be kinder than running in the sun. Trouble is the forest track is all uphill that way, which I don’t mind, but it zapped me yesterday. My last km was the slowest, but I equalled my fastest pace during it!

That speaks volumes to me. Jeff’s philosophy is that you should be able to run consistently by using walk breaks. Your pace shouldn’t suffer the further you run. My pace was reasonably consistent throughout the run and, if I was on the flat, it would have been until the end I’m sure.

I had hoped to do 5km in around 30 mins, but I was off that pace by a bit. I finished my 30 mins having covered 4.60 km and then forgot to turn off my Runmeter! When I remembered I’d clocked 32:44 mins for 4.65km.

I felt good that I’d fitted my run in. I tried not to say that I’d ‘got it out of the way’ because that’s not how I feel about it. It was in the bag and I was relaxed and happy. Time to live the rest of my day!

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