Run Roses, Run!

I'm struggling to believe that nearly a month has past since I last blogged. My days settled into a routine which went along these lines:

Wake up early (like at 6am, sometimes even before the alarm went off)
Go running/Exercise
Go to work
Work like a dawg
Come home
Collapse in bed by 9.30

Rinse and repeat ad nauseum.

Dave has been concerned that I've been training by myself. He believes that running with others is more motivating. I loathe exercising with other people and have resisted his suggestions vigourously. I've been getting up, pretty much every other day and getting my backside out the door, with my Zombies! Run 5k training. He did suggest I sign up for the Sports Relief mile, which I duly did. It helped having a nearby goal. November's Half Marathon is still quite a way away. 

I've been steadily noting my improvements: running to every third tree, to running down the length of the park, to running all way around the park. Still not a mile without stopping though.

I made the mistake of asking advice from one of the guys at work who runs marathons regularly. As we chatted, he asked about my heart rate and as I'm a keen keeper of biometric stats, I was able to answer. At which point he fell about laughing. Apparently, 183 bpm is still ridiculously high. Like I didn't already know. There was much hilarity at my expense and I crept away. 

You see, I am still the girl who got picked second to last for team sports at school. I am still the girl who finished last at pretty much every awful sports day throughout my school life. I am the girl who people laughed and laughed at because I was slow and uncoordinated. 

When I thought about the Norwich Half Marathon in November, it was something I was curious about doing. I was interested to see how I would do setting a goal and working towards it. I wanted to challenge myself. I never expected to fall in love with running.

I have fallen in love with running.

It's quite scary. I am usually awake before my alarm goes off. I bounce out of bed on my running days and get into my running gear as quickly as possible. I'm out the house and pounding the pave with my headphones blaring my running tracks, interspersed with the Zombies! Run 5k story and instructions: and a massive grin on my face. 

Today, I ran my first race in my adult life. Dave teased me good naturedley about having to beat the girl in 4c and not to feel bad when a bunch of 7 year olds over-took me. He wasn't far wrong actually. The race was full of primary school children with their parents. There were also people in fancy dress, Sports Relief onesies and miscellaneous adults (of which I was one).

I was crapping myself. What kind of a fraud was I? Wearing this running gear and thinking I could do this?

Dave suggested I aim to finish 11 mins 20 secs. For a beginner, he said it was a good start. Frankly, as I hadn't run a complete mile yet, I was just looking forward to finishing the race in one piece. I wasn't confident, but I was going to go for it.

We arrived on time and it was great to see everyone in such good spirits. The waiting around for the start was a bit nerve-wracking. When we were called to The Start, I was really nervous. Dave was there, I could see him out of the way to one side. And then, one of my Facebook friends and members of a fitness group found me and gave me the most massive hug. Her husband just finished his 10k run and she stayed on long enough to wish me luck.

The group warm-up was a pain. I got boxed in by kids and parents who were confused by the instructions and in all honesty, there was no stretching included (although, there is some debate as to whether stretching before a race keeps injuries down) and I got impatient.

The air horn going off was a complete relief! There was a downhill stretch and I started to create some space. I started weaving around the slower people running. It was a bit disconcerting to see small kids running past me, but as the race progressed, I learnt not to care too much.

Going up Opie Street was great. I like the uphill, felt good on my calves. Unfortunately, I ran out of puff going along Castle Meadow, I slowed right down and most of the people who I overtook early then got their own back. Karma really is a bitch. 

Once I got to the bottom of Theatre Street and that steady climb, I was really puffing hard. I focused on my breathing and keeping my running form. I ended up having a small walk, but got frustrated with myself when I realised I was on the home stretch. Chapelfield Park is where I train. Going through the entrance was such an emotional lift. I knew that path. Physically, I hurt. Not so much my shins but my breath and chest, I was pushing it. As I ran along the length of the park, I got over taken by two women. Suddenly, my competitiveness kicked in.

That is a totally weird feeling, let me tell you. I became Aggressive Bitch from Hell. I refused to have it. I picked up my pace and passed the first one and when I got the second one in my sights, just before the Finish Line, oh my goodness, I increased the length in my stride and fucking went for it!

I over took her and got to Finish Line.

It took me a few minutes to get my breath back, but I had my medal! I did it! And then Dave told me my time. He timed me exactly from Start to Finish.

I did it in 9 mins 44 secs!

Ladies and Gentlemen, I am trying to describe the feeling and failing miserably. Elation? Pleasure? Exhaustion? Exultation?

I have been dancing around the flat. I have been on social media crowing about my achievement. I fucking did it! For a beginner 9 mins 44 secs is perfectly acceptable. This is a start, a great start. The fact of the matter is, I'm in this for the long-haul. I may not be good enough for the Half-Marathon this year, I've got a helluva lot of work to do between now and then. But I will sure as hell be good enough for it next year. 

And this is my soundtrack since I crossed the Finish Line.


  1. Hooray Good for you, darling, we knew you'd make it and you deserve to feel triumphant!

    1. Thank you lovely! I'm still grinning. :D

  2. Replies
    1. Nope. Not possible. You are my mine!

      When I flag, I think what would Ms FirstNations say? "Fuck it. Fuck it harder," and then I go, go, go!

  3. Fantabulous, Roses!!! I loved running when I did it regularly. I'd run for 30 minutes every day. Just put on my shoes and out the door. Could get into the 'zone' in the first 5 minutes after a while and just floated along. I haven't run in years due to knee and foot issues so I envy you just a bit. I wish you all the best in your training and racing ventures. I'm jogging along with you in spirit! :-)

    1. I really appreciate your company. I'm looking forward to being fit and strong enough to do 30 mins of running every day.

      I keep telling myself it's slow and steady progress that will see me into the long-term. Sometimes it's frustrating. But hey ho.

    2. Slow and steady is best, Roses. Ignore the frustration and just keep on like you're doing. :-)

  4. Were you sponsored? Am I too late to join in? (The sponsorship - my running days are over sadly!)

    1. I was indeed sponsored and you're in good time if you'd like to part with your hard-earned cash to support Sports Relief 2014!

      I'm sorry your running days are done, but considering you're Coast to Coast rock!

  5. Good evening Rose,

    GOOD FOR YOU! You're putting in an impressive effort. When listening to others, remember that opinions are like assholes, everyone has one. As long as you feel good and have no long-term issues with pain. Push as hard as you want.

    1. Hey Karl!

      Very, very good point. The problem I'm getting at the moment is there's so much information out there, much of it conflicting. I'm going with my guts and we'll see how we go.

  6. Wow. Good for you. I wasn't expecting to come back and find you running! I keep thinking about taking it up myself. I'm drawn to the solo, solitary part of it, so can see why you don't want to join others.


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