A Spring in my Step

Something miraculous happened to the weather today. The wind died down, the sun came out and it felt warmer! Perhaps now, at long last, we can say that Spring has finally arrived?? I hope so!

The prospect of not having to wear my fleece, was extra motivation for my run today. 

For my last couple of runs, I’ve been using an AudioFuel interval training package. Though that’s been good, one thing it did help me with, was knowing what sort of music speed I felt most comfortable running at. 

Thing is, most of my music in iTunes didn’t carry any bpm information. So, my husband helped me by getting an application onto my computer (beaTunes 3) which works out the bpm of the music in your iTunes library (though note: it can’t cope with anything that’s DRM locked). We let it run for a couple of hours and then – hey presto! – my music suddenly had bpm info!

The track I’d tacked onto the end of my Audiofuel run last week, turned out to be 120bpm – which was lower than I’d thought. However, I knew it’d felt ok to run at that pace, so I decided to compile a playlist of tracks mostly at or a bit above 120bpm and then see how I got on.

Today’s run was an experiment in endurance. Up until now, I’ve been stopping my runs at about the 2mile mark. I’ve also been doing the whole alternate walking/running thing. I felt sure that if I went at the right pace, I would be able to run for longer and further. The Race for Life I’m doing in July is 5k (just over 3 miles) and I want to be able to run all of it. So I decided to use this run to see how much of that I can already do.

With my playlist synced to my phone, I made my usual pilgrimage to the local rec, and started a new Runkeeper activity…….

It was a lovely day outside. The second half of a football match was getting underway as I plodded on and there seemed to be more people around, especially families. They were watching the football or walking dogs or just enjoying the nice weather.

On I went. I tried to concentrate on my pace. I was counting it out and trying to relax into a steady rhythm.

Then, something caught my eye just to my left. A small boy (probably about 5 or 6 years old), ran past me. Nothing unusual in that of course but very quickly, I realised he wasn’t stopping.  He’d get a short way ahead and then glance back to see where I was. He was running WITH me! I smiled but tried to keep my concentration. At one point I spoke to him: “Are you tired?” Boy: *gasping for air* “Yes!” A short distance ahead, his parents and sister were waiting for him. They clapped and cheered as he ran up to them. I clapped too, then his parents smiled and clapped me! His mum even gave me 2 thumbs up! 🙂 That really gave me a nice boost and kept me smiling. 

A short while later, the boy’s older sister decided she wanted to have a go too! So, I had another running buddy! To be honest, I think her brother had more energy than her. She kept needing to stop to walk 😉 It was lovely though and again, when she got back to her parents, there was more clapping for her (and for me) and another thumbs up for me and a “thank you” from her Dad. I can only guess that the kids had seen me running round and felt inspired to have a go themselves. I’m quite touched if that’s the case, especially as I’m so new to all this running business.

After that, there were no more running buddies. I did kick a football back to one of the goalies in the match (when it had gone out of play), WITHOUT BREAKING STRIDE! So, it turns out I can run AND play football at the same time!! 😉

By that point, I was approaching the 3 mile mark and by the time Runkeeper chimed in to tell me I’d been running for 35mins, it also told me I’d run a total distance of…….*drumroll*…..

3.44 MILES!!!

I RAN EVERY. SINGLE. STEP!!!

I didn’t walk. I didn’t get a ‘stich’. I kept my pace up and turned in an average of 10.12min/mi.

It was my fastest ever run but also my longest and my FIRST without walking breaks!

The Race for Life isn’t until July and I already know I can manage the distance. I’m really quite pleased with myself about all that. 🙂

 

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