Here in North Yorkshire, there’s been a definite taste of spring this week – and long may it continue. It really makes a huge difference to my running and I suspect many peoples running really. I’m no fair-weather runner, but I do prefer my conditions warm and dry.
On top of the mild weather, there’s also the fact that it’s light by 7 am and still light when I leave work at 5 pm. That is just fabulous. I often feel like I am affected by SADS in winter and this time of year feel like I’m coming out of a cacoon.
Last week I wrote about having a terrible start to my running in February and how I lost my mojo a little. I made a plan that, if I stuck to it, would mean I would achieve my desired 100 miles in February. So how have I got on this week?
Go for it Monday
When my alarm went off at 5:15 am on Monday I srang for my bed and was raring to go. Well, as raring to go as anyone can be at 5:15 am anyway! I was on it, I was going to smash my plan.
Monday was planned to be a straightforward 5km. But I did nearer 6km. When you’re running well you and feeling good you just want to keep going.
Okay, so I didn’t exactly spring out of bed on Tuesday morning. But, I did get up and knock out another run over 5km and kept to my plan.
One reason I may have had more trouble getting up is staying up to watch new series’ on Netflix. We’ve “borrowed” the teenagers’ smart TV (as they use their laptops, phones or tablets) and we fancied having a TV in our room. It’s great for chilling out in bed, not great when that leads to late nights and I have an early alarm call!
It was also a bonus to spot a small brown owl in a tree as I ran past. It was hooting at me like a good ‘un! I grabbed a very grainy photo…
Flat 5 Wednesday
I planned a 5km and that’s exactly what I did. I was really feeling tired and this was just one of those runs where I just had to get it done. It nothing spectacular, nothing to see here, move along!
A bit further on Thursday
Thursday was planned in as a 7km and as i was feeling better and more up for it I went a little further. I must have been enjoying the run as I forgot to take a selfie while I was out. Don’t worry though, my social media followers got a photo of me stretching instead!
Relapsed on a Friday
When my alarm sounded on Friday morning I knew instantly I wasn’t going to run. There was a 5k in the plan but I just couldn’t. I was knackered.
I decided to take a day off, knowing that I had two big days planned on Saturday and Sunday and would rather get them in the bank.
The long Saturday run
The weather was beautiful and perfect for running. Saturday was the usual morning of walking up and down the road to dance classes with the younger girls. Once Helen was home from work I was off out into the countryside.
I headed off on one of my favorite off-road 10km routes – even though I’d only planned in 8km. I forgot just how hilly this route was though.
Duke was loving it, I was loving and that’s all that mattered. As i reach the top of a short and very steep section that threatened to burst my lungs I had a choice. Turn left, run down the side of the road where cars speed past at 60+ MPH but get home in about 10km. Or, turn right and run a short section of road then left onto a track that would lead me into another valley. If you read into that word valley you’ll then realise that what goes down must go back up!
I turned right.
I’m glad I did though. Yes, I got home feeling absolutely bloody knackered and my glutes were drying at me. But it felt soooooo good.
The long Sunday run
Due to a slight scheduling mix up this one threatened not to happen. Thankfully it did.
I had planned for 16km (10 miles in old money) and I was going on the road. I do love off-road running but I also love to mix it up. Plus, when you live in the countryside where we do you have a seemingly endless supply of quiet country lanes to run along.
This was a much flatter run than the day before (my glutes thanked me for that) but would be my longest run for some time – about 2 years.
A run-in with some collies
There was a bit of a run in with some border collies though. Duke was off his lead, but as soon as I saw a field of sheep ahead of me I put him straight back on it. We were about 100m from the field and 200m from the sheep. But the farmer’s collies had already clocked us. They came towards us, leapt through the electric fence there to keep the sheep in and we snapped at Duke’s heels.
If farmers want us dog owners to be responsible (which I always am) then they must also be responsible. He was 200m away and seemingly unbothered about what his dogs were doing. In the end, I had to scream at them and kick at one to stop it going for Duke. That really annoyed me.
After that incident, I just tried to get back into my stride. I was taking it steady and just enjoying the sun and fresh air.
I had eaten a good tea of pizza the night before and fueled up before this run with porridge, a triple espresso and took on plenty of fluid. But, I still took a few gels with me to keep me topped up.
When running this kind of difference I am conscious to ensure Duke can keep cool and take on water himself. So, I swung past Kirkdale ford on my way back so he could take a well-deserved dip in the cool water.
So, despite having a day off I am still well on plan to hit that 100 miles in February. It’s a goal and I am doing all I can to reach it. But, I have just adjusted the plan to make next Friday another rest day and I think I’m going to need it.
Hows your running going?
Thanks for reading.