On the starting line we have a short woman in a pink top…

This last weekend was New York marathon weekend and I must admit to having missed it all. In fact I seem to be missing all sorts of news lately, catching up on relationship break ups, illnesses and even deaths long after the fact. I don’t know why I seem to be so out of tune with the world at the moment. Perhaps, as I read in my stars, it’s the astrological effect of some planet or other? I will make an effort to catch up with people and the marathon!

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Perhaps my own woes have pushed everything out of my mind, insignificant as they are in comparison to other people’s problems. I’ve been focusing so hard on curing, or at least dealing with, injuries that I appear to be stuck in JulieLand. I’m glad then that, fingers crossed, touch wood, etc etc, things seem to be really and truly on the mend. I know that I’ve said this before and then sunk deeper into the hole that is Plantar Fasciitis, but honestly I think they are.

I’ve been very good. I’ve been run walking every run since I said I would. I’ve decreased the mileage and slowed things down. Last week I only did a 3 mile trail run and a 20 minute treadmill run with a day in between them. I’m massaging, icing and splinting daily. If things get sore I take an anti-inflammatory ibuprofen and ice some more. I’ve been very, very good.

Today I decided that with my next race in January being a 5k I’d try and knock a few seconds (and only a few seconds) off my 5k time the best of which is 30:32 on the road and 28:30 on the treadmill. By starting now and not pushing too hard, it should be achievable to maybe knock 15-30 seconds off each time, which would be amazing. In order to safely achieve this I have returned to my old pal, Jeff Galloway, and his Easy 5k iPhone app by LoLo.

Today I set the app to do Day 3, a long, slow run of 3 miles. Makes me smile that. I’m following the Improve your 5k programme which will entail some drills – I’ll see how I feel about those when the time comes. Anyway, today I set the app for 10 min/mile pace and 3:1 intervals. Nice and easy does it. I also turned the GPS on, but wore my Garmin for additional support (I have had more tech issues with running equipment than Mo Farah).

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It’s a perfect running day. Bright sunshine, clear blue skies and just a hint of a breeze. It is cold though and whilst I was waiting for my breakfast of boiled egg (fresh from my lovely wee hens) and (gluten free) soldiers to digest I took the opportunity to sort out my running apparel, putting all the short legged and short sleeved things in the “summer running” box.  Out came the full length running tights, the long sleeved tops, gloves, hats and long compression socks! When I set off it was 0ᴼC and there was still ice on the ground.

I had no actual route in mind, although I had said at the weekend that I would avoid using the coast road for long runs from now on because I don’t think it’s helping to improve my running – it’s too flat, too easy. As I ran out of the village I decided to run up towards Ruthwell and down the hill towards Ruthwell Cross. The 3:1 intervals were spot on. I was running quicker than I have done in a while, making my legs rotate a little bit faster than they’ve been used to, but I didn’t run out of puff as I have been doing lately. All was good.

I ran up Tattie Hill, at the top of which is Sam and Kate’s farm (Tattie Towers as Kate calls it as hubbie Sam grows potatoes and often her view is of nothing but potato crates stacked in the yard!), and down the other side back towards the main road, crossing it and heading down the Bankend Road. The views from the top of Tattie Hill were gorgeous, right across the Solway Firth to Cumbria. No wonder Kate moans when she can no longer see it for crates! Beautiful.

It's a long way up Tattie Hill!
It’s a long way up Tattie Hill!

By then I’d covered 2 miles and so only had a mile to do. By running into Ruthwell village and straight out again up the hill I would be able to finish the run by coming back into our village.

But the music kept playing and there was no sign of Jeff calling it quits as I ran into Clarencefield, where I live. I must have read the distance wrong, I thought, and kept on running.

By the time I reached Comlongon drive, the road down to the castle, I knew something was up. I’d covered over 3 and a half miles. I ran down the drive, through a lovely avenue of autumn leaved trees and eventually stopped to check the app.

The GPS hadn’t hooked up and my app said I’d done NO miles, not the 3.82 that my Garmin was saying! No wonder it was keeping on going – it thought I hadn’t started!! I stopped it there and walked the short distance home, happy enough to have been out on such a lovely day.

Having had a cup of tea and cooled down a bit I’m now ready for an early lunch and a shower before I sort out the rest of my day off. The dogs need a walk and the cupboards need restocking and I might just take a drive to the Nike Store…

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