It was a very cold morning out at the Lillydale Lake** on Sunday 17th March, 2013. Yet as I stood there in the midst of other people also in running shorts and T-shirts, my heart was warmed. Lucy, my younger sister, stood beside me shivering too. We had both looked forward to this day for a little while, despite both of us not being as well prepared in our training programs as we might have liked. Having never really run together before we weren’t totally sure how to approach the race. Would we stick together? Perhaps not even run with each other at all? Or (as we decided) should we start together and see how we felt – with no obligation either way. And after we both decided that we didn’t want to talk, we were totally on the same page! It was so lovely to be ready to run, in the outdoors, with my sister, both of us working towards our own goals of health and fitness. The fact we were surrounded by other people there doing the same things was just so encouraging too. And all of that was before we had even started running!
The Actual Running
Out of a desire to run “negative splits” I started out quite slowly. Probably too slowly, but I was very conscious of my lack of fitness, and susceptibility to injury because of my lack of recent training. Lucy and I stayed together for nearly the whole first half. I really struggled to get into a good breathing rhythm, and I wished that I had some earmuffs because I always get sore ears when I run in the cold. (Does that happen to anyone else?) About half way Lucy was having some troubles and needed to get to the bathroom, pronto, so we departed ways. I pressed on, but needed to walk a few times due to a considerably sore right knee. But I pressed on. There were a few people around me who would pass me, slow down, and then I would pass them etc. So I decided to have a small burst of speed and ran a few hundred metres as hard as I could at that point, and didn’t see those people again. Yay! (Isn’t it funny what can motivate you in an actual race, that is really just a race against the clock? I started thinking “I must beat the girl in the purple T-shirt/pink shoes/any coloured anything”…It’s weird how competitiveness comes out randomly sometimes). I am fairly sure I ran negative splits, and I definitely felt better in the second half. I even had enough in me to do a slow sprint at the last few hundred metres, trying to get under 35 minutes. As it was, I ran it in 35:03. I was happy with that. Not an amazing time, but something I can still be proud of. (Although, as I finished my first lap, the winning male runner crossed the finishing line…there’s a lesson in humility!)
One of my goals for the year regarding fitness was to run in a 5K before Heidi turned 2. I would have loved to have run 5K in 30 minutes or less, but because of health and family health issues, my training was not good enough to be able to manage that. In fact, the actual 5K last Sunday was my first run in about 4 weeks. So I planned to take things slowly, easily, and enjoy the run more than trying to get a good time. I am so pleased to have reached my first fitness goal, and have put some smaller steps in place to reach my second fitness goal of running a 10K before Pippa’s birthday in October. I will outline these in more detail in a future post, once I have thought them through a little more. My usual motto when I run is something like, “Train harder, more rewards”. But this time it was, “No injuries. No injuries.” I had to remind myself to take it easy, and not push for something unrealistic. One thing that I will do in future training is have a specific time frame with a specific race planned at the end. I trained for about 7 weeks really well, then had 4 weeks of not great training, and then the run. It wasn’t a great way to do it. But more of that later.
Re-committing to Resolutions
It can be hard to stick to our fitness plans, goals and resolutions from the New Year. Life gets busy again, holidays are a distant memory, and the weather isn’t quite as inviting. Are there things that you do to keep motivated? Or is it always a struggle? What tips and advice do you have on how to keep those goals fresh and meaningful? I would love to hear from you, and hope that we can encourage one another on towards lives of health and fitness.
**The town Lilydale is spelt with only one ‘l’, but the lake has two in it’s name.