Friday, 8 June 2018

I did it!


Last weekend I finally accomplished the challenge I set for myself a few months ago, and it felt so good.
For what seems like a long time now (probably because it is!) I have been trying to improve my fitness, but for one reason or another I've encountered various set backs.
I enjoy running, I really do. It's simple, uncomplicated, like walking but a little faster.  It's accessible whenever I have a bit of spare time.  It doesn't need special equipment or expensive clothing, just some reasonable trainers and a bit of enthusiasm and effort. It enables me to switch off and let my mind wander. In truth, my mind usually wanders to weekly meal planning, daily activities  and chores that need doing, but it at least enables some uninterrupted thinking time. And on top of all that it makes me feel good.
I am incredibly fortunate in that I have some beautiful countryside on my doorstep, and nothing quite beats putting on my trainers and being able to head out in the fresh air early in the morning (not too early, I'm not completely mad!), tractors working the fields, rabbits running across the lanes and the occasional horse leaning over the hedge to say hello. However, running an actual race alongside hordes of 'real' runners would be another matter entirely. It had been more years than I care to remember since I last had a number attached to my front and a timer at the finish line, so to say that I was nervous would be an understatement. I was literally putting myself out there to be counted. It could go one of two ways and either put me off completely or give me the push I needed to encourage me to do more.


Way back in February I made the decision to enter the Morecambe 10K. A flat course along the sea front and as the run didn't start until 11am it meant I didn't have to get up at a ridiculously early hour. Four months meant I had plenty of time to put in some extra miles and slowly build my way up to a longer distance. Of course, things never quite go to plan and I didn't manage as much training as I would have liked, especially during the last week with Lily being on half term - a gentle three miles on the Friday morning was all that I managed. For a few weeks now, I haven't had the chance to make it to the weekly running group either.
Sunday morning arrived and once I'd collected my number and made my way to the start line I found myself surrounded by a lovely, friendly bunch of people. Feeling a bit more relaxed, I tried not to think too much about their t-shirts having the words 'harriers', 'athletics', or 'running club' on them. I double checked my laces and made sure my crazy hair was firmly in place. There was a bit of a panic just before the race began, in that some of us who thought we were stood towards the back of the group were actually stood at the front. The run was starting in the opposite direction to what we thought! We quickly shuffled further back and following some announcements, which no one could really hear, we were off!
It was a beautiful day but sooo hot. The route set off south from the jetty then looped around to head north up the promenade before returning to the jetty once more, and the finish line. Running in amongst so many people took a bit of getting used to and it took me a while to get into a steady pace. Even though it was a 10K, the route was measured out in miles which was a little confusing, especially as I missed seeing the 2 mile marker and I didn't know my bearings, so it was difficult to tell how I was getting on. There was plenty of friendly banter between the runners though, and a really supportive atmosphere. 
Before I knew it I could see the finish line. I don't wear a watch and so far I  haven't timed any of my training runs, but I was pleased with what I achieved and it has given my confidence a much needed boost. Having said that,  I'm sure I could have gone faster had I known they were handing out Wagon Wheels at the finish! If anything can get me to run, then it's the lure of chocolate. But I did it! And for me, that in itself is so much more than my race time.
Will I enter another? Well, there's a ten mile run in August which is currently tempting me. 
J. X

50 comments:

  1. Well done, Jules! And you will most certainly enjoy even more the run in August. :)
    Happy weekend! xx

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    1. Thanks Sara. I haven't yet registered for the ten mile run but it's looking likely. X

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  2. Congratulations on a fantastic achievement.

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  3. Absolutely fantastic. Really well done.

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    1. Thank you Joy. It felt good to realise I can still do it. X

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  4. Very well done. At 68,my joints can no longer take the impact of running, but I walk everywhere I can. It’s good for the soul as well as the heart. Keep running and you’ll manage the next one in August too.

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    1. I am a huge fan of walking, as you know. It has taken me a while to get in to running. X

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  5. Just done my first 10k too so know exactly how you are feeling. I love the prom along Morecombe. My son used to be at Lancaster uni so we visited on several occasions. Well done for doing it in the heat too, I much prefer to run in the cool of the early part of the day. I look forward to see what you decide to do next. B x

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    1. Huge congratulations to you too! It is a great sense of achievement. It was a lovely course to run, being able to look out to sea. The gentle breeze helped with the heat too. The ten mile run I'm hoping to do, is a route I know so maybe that will be easier mentally. X

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  6. Huge congratulations Jules, that’s absolutely brilliant. I’m so pleased for you. Go for that ten mile race, a proper endurance distance- you will be even more proud of yourself and as you can run six miles without bother with training ten will be absolutely achievable xx

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    1. Thank you CT, and thank you again for your support. I have a funny feeling I will have registered for the ten mile run by the end of this weekend. X

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  7. Well done Jules. You must feel a fantastic sense of achievement. Get your name down for that 10 mile run pronto, even if it is just for the chocolate at the finish line :) xx

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    1. Thank you Suzanne. I think I will. I've heard rumours of Jelly Babies on the course too!!!! X

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  8. Well done Jules. I don't run in fact if you see me running you need to run to as it means there is something not very nice behind me. I can't imagine running this distance so it must have been such a sense of achievement for you. Are you signing up for the London Marathon next?

    Mitzi

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    1. Thank you Mitzi. No marathon plans yet, although it's something I've always thought about doing. X

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  9. Congratulations, very well done. That's such an achievement. There'll be no stopping you now.

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    1. Thank you Jo. Haha! I'm easily stopped. X

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  10. I am thrilled for you, congratulations on realising your dream.

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    1. Thank you. It felt good to know I can manage it. X

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  11. That is a fantastic achievement, well done. I am in awe of anyone that can run. I'm terrible. I'll do 15 minutes on a treadmill and I feel heavy, sounds mad but I do.

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    1. Thanks Tania. I have previously run on a treadmill a few times but I didn't like it, especially when I pulled the cut-out by accident and nearly went flying! I'm much safer outside. X

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  12. Yes Jules, it is Ingleborough in the distance on my post today. Are you thinking of doing the Three Peaks?

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    1. I have done the Three Peaks, around nine years ago. It was an absolutely beautiful day in September and I remember it being incredibly busy with people wanting to get it completed before the days began getting shorter. We climbed Ingleborough in November last year on another gorgeous day. There are a few photographs on this post https://jemsdays.blogspot.com/2017/11/bright-november-days.html

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  13. Well done Jules :)
    That's a great looking medal.

    All the best Jan

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    1. Thank you Jan. Lily has already claimed it. She thinks she's a champion! X

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  14. Very well done Jules, I'm very happy for you. Congratulations!

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  15. We'll done! That's a fantastic achievement.
    I'm hoping to get back to running very soon as my joints have vastly improved.

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    1. Thank you Scarlet. I'm so glad things are improving for you. X

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  16. Huge congratulations on a great achievement, well done. Morecombe has such a lovely promenade, we visited a couple of years ago.

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    1. Thank you Julie. It was a lovely stretch of promenade and it looked like they were making more improvements to it. X

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  17. Congratulations! Well done! You are such an inspiration! I am so proud of you! Hope you do the race in August, too. Next thing you know, you'll be running marathons! :D

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    1. Thank you Bless. I'm not sure about a marathon but I really enjoyed this run. X

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  18. Many, many congratulations, that's a wonderful achievement.

    I'm sorry to have missed your posts over the past month, think my blog feed thingy needs some TLC . . . glad you and Lily have been enjoying this incredible weather.

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    1. Thank you Jayne. The weather has been glorious hasn't it? X

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  19. Oh Jules....well done you. I am so chuffed for you.
    Big hugs-x-

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    1. Thank you Sheila. It has given my confidence a much needed boost. X

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  20. What an achievement! Well done, Jules.

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  21. thats fantastic well done :) the most I have done is a 5k and the last one I had my little helper with me :)

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    1. I think running would be much more fun with a little helper. X

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