A challenging run with picture perfect scenery…

A challenging run with picture perfect scenery…

A challenging run with picture perfect scenery…

After the Great North Run last month (Did I mention I did it???) I wanted to carry on with running and keep up the fitness I gained whilst training. Having done a couple of early morning runs and weekend runs to tick over with no real focus. I was then lucky to win a place in the Kielder 10k via @ARunnersRamble_ on twitter. What better motivation to carry on the running. It just so happened to be Kielder’s 10 anniversary as well which would make it all the more special.

I enjoyed a couple of 10k’s in the two weeks after the GNR but then a combination of a cold and the dark mornings (where did the summer go?) meant I’d missed a couple of weeks training and at one point a week before the run seriously considered pulling out. Not to be beaten I decided carry on so found a gym which works for me to train through the week before work, I managed to get in 9k over two runs on the treadmill as well as other exercising to see how I felt in the days before and arrived at Kielder determined to get through it but enjoy it as much as I could. 

Poker face…. Smiling for the camera 🙂

It was nice to soak up the atmosphere before the run (others say race 🙂 ) started. Once it got underway I felt good at the start but things quickly seemed to get worse up the first long climb (people that have ran Kielder will know the one I mean). A tough uphill that lasts for around 1km then tails off before another incline. I managed to run up it although it was a little stop start due to the amount of people running. Once that was over with it followed by a long downhill section I tried to get into a rhythm but never felt comfortable. I ran the next 4/5 km before another uphill section forced me to slow down and walk up as my legs felt tired. 

It was at that point the run became a little “stop/start”. As I got going I then felt low on energy so spent the next 2km running and walking at various points before taking on an energy gel. It wasn’t until around 2km from the end I had the “it’s not far until then end, run it and enjoy it” thought so set off again and enjoyed the last part of the run. The course was twisty, uphill and downhill but ended with me sprinting over the line. I’m not sure why I sprinted the finish however. I wasn’t overly happy with the run once finished but after a rough couple of weeks I can be happy. 

It’s not until I looked at my GNR splits I’ve noticed that the time was less than a minute slower that my first 10k in the GNR. That is something considering I’d not done much training in the weeks before, overcoming an awful cold and I walked parts of this 10k, something I didn’t do during the GNR.

Plenty of positives to take from the day. I guess the aim of this blog post is to show that even with challenging built ups or times you may even want to pull out, pushing yourself to do something that is out of your comfort zone really pushes you physically and mentally and gives you even more of a sense of achievement once you’ve done.

Half way around the course, after underestimating how challenging it was I had the “Why have you signed up for this?” and the “never again” thoughts. however, once I pushed on and crossed the line they have quickly turned into “I’d do that again next year” thoughts as it was a challenge but it was rewarding. It also gives me another marker on time and a focus to beat next year.

Around a year or so back when I started running I felt tired after 1km and would often walk. Now I’ve done a challenging 10k after doing a half marathon six weeks back. 

Not far to go…..

It’s amazing what you can do when you put your mind to it. I’ve used running to challenge me both physically and mentally and whilst it is tough the rewards speak for themselves. It never gets easier; you only get faster :-).

Set yourself a target, if I can you can. 

If anyone has any suggestions for an 10k runs or even half marathons for 2020 please leave a comment below.