Sunday, November 8, 2009

World Run Day - 8 November 2009

Today was World Run Day, and it was also my 'one year anniversary'.  It is exactly one year to the day that I went for my first run outdoors on my own. In a post of the same title one year ago, I blogged about what a huge step this was for me, running without a partner or my team. That first run was a 5 miler, and I felt relatively sure that I would complete it within an hour. And indeed I did - after that it seemed like a whole new dimension in running opened up.
A couple of weeks ago I signed up for the 2009 World Run Day. It was exhilirating and I felt excited because I was keen to see how far I had progressed this year. Therefore I felt that I had to do something special. One of my goals this year is to run 2 half marathons, but so far I have not yet managed to sign up for anything. This is partially due to my foot woes, partially because I have not managed to nail down a programme and a lot to do with motivation.
It is easy enough to feel motivated in your head, but when there is a disconnect with your determination, nothing happens. Well, after I found my new running programme, I decided to try and squeeze in the 2 half marathons before the end of the year, using the long runs. World Run Day provided me with one of those 'long run' opportunities, so I signed up for 13.1 miles.
Having learned a lesson from last Sunday, I prepared everything meticulously last night. I put out my clothes, my shoes and my snack. I made sure to eat all the right things and drink lots of fluids. I was up early today, and it promised to be a stunning day as I peeped out of the living room window. The sky was turning pink and the Boston skyline was silhouetted in the emerging sunbeams. I am out of GUs and hammergels, so last night I decided that a mini kitkat snack bar would do the job if I started feeling weak kneed on the run.
I started the run at 7am this morning and it was a marvelous feeling! Not only did I reflect on the sheer joy of running, abut also on this past year. It was a great run, and even though the last 3 miles were a bit tough in that I could not run as fast as I wanted, I enjoyed every second of it. I completed my first half marathon, made a donation to charity, and also gained some valuable experience in running longer distances.
I usually have an espresso before my outdoor runs and my races, but this morning I had some porridge. Unfortunately I do not like eating so early in the morning, but wanted to eat something. The problem was that I only had 10 minutes between finishing breakfast and starting the run. So the first 5 miles were slow, as my system tried to digest! The middle miles were great and I felt quite strong, I picked up the pace a bit and felt I was making a decent time. However the last 3 miles were quite tortuous. I had the legs to finish, but they also felt a bit tired at the same time! Still, this was a very useful experience, and I know what to try and do differently next time. Who knows, I might even find a half marathon to sign up for.

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