I've been in the running doldrums a bit lately. I completed my first solo races in the spring and really enjoyed both and managed reasonable times...but more importantly to me, I paced myself well ,without my running friend for guidance.
I love the feeling of still having something left at the end . ....allowing a strong finish , even overtaking a few folk in the home straight. I may be well down the field but it makes me feel like I'm a winner :0)
The half marathon in particular took a lot of training , increasing my long runs by a mile a week till I managed 12 miles a couple of weeks before the event. I can't say I enjoy running that far by myself. It's a bit of a slog but so worth it to make the big day a positive experience.
Since completing these races I've been doing very little running....just a couple of short runs a week . It's been nice easing up a bit but I'm also aware that I don't want to loose the fitness level I've worked so hard to get to.
It's a funny thing exercising , I enjoy it ( especially when it's over ! ), but still think up excuses to get out of it.
That's when a running friend becomes invaluable....set a date , chose a scenic route,and you are pretty much committed to doing it...even if the weather forecast is rubbish :0)
The route we chose was around a reservoir. .......
heck...that looks a looong way around !
You might think a run around a reservoir would be totally flat , but here they have made a cycle and walking track that leaves the waters edge and climbs steep little hills , affording a good view .....once you get to the top !!
The grass was full of buttercups and clover , so pretty.
A lot of the route is through trees , which were looking particularly lush .........
This is the view from the opposite end to the dam.......half way round then , yay........
Actually this run did not feel like a slog, even when it rained,someone to chat to who doesn't mind stopping for a quick photo opportunity makes a lot of difference.
At one point the route takes you along a quiet road through a picturesque village.....that van is a mobile library :0)
Towards the end I even managed to squeeze in a couple of close ups of the pretty wild flowers and tall grasses.......
I put my foot in a big puddle getting this shot and squelched the last mile round .
For anyone who is getting into , or progressing with their running ,here are a few tips from someone who is not an expert.
1. for runs of over about 45 minutes...less if it's hot , I always take a drink of water in a small bottle like THIS
2. I do most of my running in THIS type of bottoms , they are so comfortable and great at controlling wobble :0) Don't try and run in those boot leg type exercise trousers, all that flapping material is awful when you run.
3.T.K. Maxx is a good place to find reasonably priced running gear. I'm not a label fan but it's worth going for good quality , moisture control, clothing to make your running more comfortable....this shop has the top makes reduced in price because they are last seasons colours or end of line.
4. Go to a running shop and get your running shoes professionally fitted ...and do this in the afternoon as your feet swell as the day goes on.
5. If I'm running about eight miles or more I also take along an energy gel or two. These are a thick sugar solution with added flavour like orange, they do give you a boost. Take them slowly and with a drink ...they don't taste very nice.
6. Once you start getting into longer distances , running socks are important too. I wear twin skinned ones ..the idea is that the two layers rub against each other rather than against your skin , which can cause blisters.
7. I run with a MP3 player most of the time....it's great to have a beat to run to , but don't set it too loud. I like to be able to hear people reply when I say hello as we pass , and more importantly ...I need to be able to hear approaching traffic !
At the end of this wonderful eight mile route we headed for the cafe.....and enjoyed a huge scone , a girly chat ........
Thank you so much for all the wonderful comments on my patchwork . More about the hexagons next time :0)