Mixing up the long run
Sunday 15th March 2018 is Stafford Half Marathon this year, a 'day before' decision to enter suddenly made my intended Sunday long run more interesting. The race had been postponed from a few weeks previously due to the adverse weather that the country had been experiencing. As a result there were a lot of people who were no longer able to run the race as circumstances didn't allow.
In terms of my entry, I'd had the entry transferred by a running friend (thanks Ruth) no longer able to run the race due to an acute injury. "it's just sitting in the draw" she said, so running in the Stafford Half seemed like a strategy to get me out of the door and put in some quality time during my intended long run on the Sunday.
The plan was to run the half, then carry on with another 12 miles in at a recovery pace in order to spend the time on feet.
It can be difficult at times to keep the motivation high and get out there and do the runs. I'm not ashamed to say that I don't always enjoy running, especially when training is hard, and the motivation wavers. Overall, I'm living the dream with running as it's my passion, it doesn't mean I have to love every run, I don't. So any strategies to help keep the training consistent gets a big yes by me.
This was another occasion where those developing skills of control and restraint were put into practice. Starting mid pack and remaining there for the majority of the race was an accomplishment that I was proud of. Flexing those patience muscles and tackling the impulsive urge to speed up and get the figures and numbers, scores and results will pay off in the longer term when it really matters.
It was a wonderful day, I had time to lift my head up, look around and eat tons of jelly babies. The support from spectators in this race was the best that I've experienced in the UK for a half marathon. Every inch of the course had supporters which, as I'm sure you're aware, can make a difference to an experience and a 'great' experience. Certainly it was the latter during this run.
I passed through the finish line and on my way to the second part of the run, I chatting with a few friends through the 'tunnel' ate a complimentary post race banana and headed off of to find some kind of body of water to run besides. Luckily I stumbled into a canal towpath and headed off to find the 'source'.
Mission for the day accomplished. So what was an impending boring long run for the day, ended up being a mix of happy faces, social catch ups, a quality run, and a recover plod to complete the days' training.