Ultra Running – my version!

Following on from Sunday’s run I managed a quick 3km on the treadmill after work on Tuesday. I actually needed to run. I’d had a particularly stressful afternoon at work and was still a bit shaky from this when I returned home. If anyone dares to tell you that primary school teaching is a breeze, send them in to shadow me for a day – they will be whistling a different tune very quickly!

I followed Jeff Galloway’s app and, after Sunday’s 5k, it suggested 3km of intervals and I was happy to pummel the mill for half an hour.

I wish I had more time to fit my running in. I read how friends with younger kids and part time work/college manage seemingly fine. I don’t. I find it almost stressful at times trying to sort out exactly when I can run. In any case, last week was a very busy week at the gallery and, on some nights, I wasn’t arriving home until 8pm with a take out meal in tow and in no state to run. I was shattered.

However, come Monday I was determined to fit that run in. I sent that message out on Twitter so that my running friends could bear witness and, in my mind, hold me to it! And it was, for me, a long run. Over 11 kilometres. The furthest I’d ever run.

Once again Jeff Galloway was calling the shots. Despite the clear weather, I chose the treadmill. This was just for convenience. We were tired and hungry and, even though he offered, I felt I was making my husband wait to start the barbie until I was at least half done. Running outside just seemed to make it a longer job (especially as I’m really good at ignoring the “halfway there” call and running too far from home!)

I started far too fast, confusing the distance (11.2) with the speed (10) and ran the first segment faster than I should have done. It was fine though – I’ve run faster, but I was a wee bit worried when I read the number and thought that was going to be my pace for the entire run! Eeek!

Once I’d settled into my rhythm, probably about 2.5km in to the run, it felt a good steady pace. I hit 5k in around 32 minutes. That was OK because I knew I was running for endurance today, not speed.

Strange how, after a while, parts of your body start to groan a wee bit. My right knee went first, just twinging – letting me know it was there. I ignored that and watched the chucks out of the window. Then my right Achilles started to hurt. “I’m ignoring you!” Then, and this was a new one, my left arch started to hurt. I tried changing my running style to stretch the arch out, really rolling my foot from mid foot to toe and that seemed to help. It also helped me to achieve a better mid foot strike.

By this time I was at about 8km and it suddenly struck me that it was a very warm, sunny evening and here I was running on the treadmill, in the fully glassed conservatory, in the heat! On a walk break I turned to look at the thermometer and it was reading 80’F and the sweat was pouring off me. At that point my husband lit the barbecue!!

I hit 10k at a personal best of 67:07, two full minutes under my previous best time. As I’d run faster at the start I was inevitably going to cover more ground than the app expected so I just carried on running. I reached 12k minutes fourteen minutes later at 81:01, the furthest distance I’ve run (so far).

I ran at the same pace throughout (apart from my daft first sector). 10 kph on the runs, 4.8 kph on the walks at a ratio of four minutes to one. I was tired, but not exhausted and I quickly recovered. I’ve been a bit stiff (calves, IT band mainly) but nothing painful. I know I was running well, i.e. my style was correct, because my core hurts! I was using my core people!!

I’m pretty pleased with myself to be honest.

I also have to thank my friends for stomping up some sponsorship money. If you look across to the right of the screen you’ll see that they have helped me to achieve more than half of my target already, with two months to go before my race! That is amazing!

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