Week 4: It’s all going downhill (not in a good way)

Last week’s run into work was pretty successful. I beat the traffic, saved money on fuel and still got in at the same time as I do when I drive. As much as I can, I’d like to do this every week.

Week 4 therefore begins with the 5 mile up-and-down-but-mostly-down-hill jaunt into work. My training has recently moved up a notch, I’m running faster, longer and am feeling fitter so hoped this would be a breeze after my 7 mile long run last week. Sadly not. I usually find the first few miles a struggle, both physically and mentally. Today was no different and I reach the top of Troopers Hill, a significant turning point for me last week where I felt a surge of euphoria as I powered down the hill which carried me the remaining 2.5 miles to the end. Sadly, today it’s not to be. I pound on, speeding up as I run down the steep gradient waiting for the endorphins to kick in but just for today, it seems, they’re not gracing me with their presence.

The struggle continues as I pass along the Feeder Road. A long, flat and dare I say, boring? Stretch which carries me a further mile in towards town. The traffic is piling up and I use this to my advantage as my pride prevents me from stopping and walking, even though every fiber in my body is telling me to. I reach the end, knowing I only have half a mile or so until I reach my destination, up the pace to 9.5 minute miles. I reach Temple Meads station and dodge the rushed, already stressed commuters. This feels good, 50 mins so far, I just need to get to St Thomas Street within 2 minutes to beat last week’s time. Then I get to the traffic lights and wait for what seems like an age for the lights to change. Finally the green man appears and I sprint my final stretch, coming in at 52 minutes. Slightly disappointed I didn’t get in faster than last week but I’ll happily blame the traffic lights for that :).

As I found Monday’s run quite tough, it has kind of affected my attitude to my next run. Rather than looking forward to a bit of time out (I have 2 children under the age of 3-fellow parents, you understand, right?) and catching up on the week’s gossip with my running bud, I find myself instead dreading what’s ahead and already anticipating the feeling of being bored, worn out and wanting to stop.

This attitude, of course, does me no good. We get in at 4 miles, really slowly. We are telling ourselves (again) that the GPS has gone dickie and we’re bound to have done more but I think we both know it was a pretty rubbish effort. Time to snap out of this attitude and inject a bit of positivity into my brain.

My third and final run of the week, sadly, fared no better. Due to a big promotion we’ve done at the studio we’re incredibly busy, meaning I’m now having to work on a Saturday. This has kind of thrown the training schedule into chaos as I now have to do my long run on a Sunday, meaning I’ll be unable (read: too knackered) to run into work on a Monday.

My brother and sister-in-law stayed this weekend. I cannot tell you how hard it was to get myself up and out Sunday morning. We’ve not seen them since Christmas and all I wanted to do was drink tea, eat bacon sarnies and catch up on their news before taking the kids out for some fun in the park.

I did, however, find some steely determination and get myself out in the bracing cold. It seems , however, that this week has not been my week. A planned 8 miles turned into 2 and a bit when stomach cramps set in 5 minutes in. I tried to push on through it but it’s happened before and I know that it’s no use so I circled around and headed for home. I was pretty gutted for a while. Until the bacon butty was plopped onto my plate and all of a sudden my woes disappeared…

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