Until I turned at the top of Ruthwell hill, I had no idea how windy it was today.
The subtle push of breeze on my back as I ran up the hill was nothing in comparison to the full frontal attack I felt as I left the main road for the rarely used grass centred tracks which were making up my 4 mile route. It was a cold and unrelenting wind, making me feel glad that I had worn my aptly named windcheater! This was my last longish run before my 10k on Sunday and I wanted to push the pace a little. The weather had other ideas though and just finishing strong soon became my only priority.
In my search for good pacing I have discovered Jog.fm, a website that searches for music with a bpm count correlating to a specific pace. I sat last night going through it and my iTunes library finding songs that fitted my target pace. I’ve used music to pace my running before and I think it really helps me. I remember a spectator shouting to me when I was running the Jedburgh 10k last autumn to take my earphones off, “You’ll run faster!” he said. Although I wasn’t about to stop and argue the toss, he was wrong! Music helps me to keep a steady pace, whether that’s 5k, 10k or half marathon pace. It saves me constantly checking my watch and allows me to enjoy running.
I started in metric, looking for music for a 7 min kilometre, loaded it all up and then realised that I was aiming too slow! I changed to Imperial and aimed for a 9:30 mile. The music it was giving me varied slightly between 9:15 and 9:45. In reality I think this was still too slow. I’ll retry for a 9 minute mile pace and see what that gives me. I didn’t seem to be struggling too much with the pacing, apart from up the hills and the wind, so speeding it up slightly might help me get under the 10:30 minute mile pace I seem to be achieving!
The run itself was otherwise uneventful; the route was dry and clear of obstructions, for a change. I tried to pick up speed in the last half a mile but not to much effect. 4 miles in 42 minutes. Last year that would have been great; this year it’s a mediocre run, again! Amazing how your perceptions change as you improve!
I am a bit stiff tonight. My quads are sore from battling against the wind, so tomorrow I must do some stretches before running again on Wednesday. I am programmed to do a 30 – 45 minute run on Wednesday and Friday with walks on Tuesday and Thursday. My 10k on Sunday is for Sports Relief and whilst I haven’t really pushed for sponsorship (I paid my entry fee and bought a T-shirt) I have only raised £20 out of my £50 target, but I also realise that lots of my friends have already donated to my Great North Run charity (The Dog’s Trust). My fundraising page is here, if you are interested.
So that’s me. I have my blueberry juice and I’m away to cut some carrots for my houmous! I live the life of luxury!