Yesterday evening I went for a slow half hour run. I had no watch on and the idea behind going for this run was to perk me up. There was no training agenda or pressure behind it. As I ran alongside the river I pondered over my week of exercise:
Exactly one week earlier I had made a 70 mile round trip to the Mumbles on my bike with some friends.
Tuesday I had gone swimming for an hour. It was surprisingly tough but I think that was because I was still recovering from Sunday’s mammoth effort.
Wednesday I ran for roughly 50 minutes and just under six miles. This was the longest and furthest I have run for many months. I had expected my legs to feel like lead after Sunday’s ride but they carried me with no real problems.
Friday I went out for a 36 mile bike ride with my local club, the Pontyclun Flyers. This was the fastest ride I had ever been on and even though I was usually found bringing up the rear I managed to maintain contact and didn’t find myself adrift.
Saturday I did a fast 3 and a bit miles. I hadn’t intended for it to be quick but I felt so good that I just let myself fall into a natural rhythm.
And then yesterday’s run. A run to get rid of a hangover to be truthful.
I haven’t managed to train like this for nearly two years and I can’t quite believe I managed it. What has struck me about the past week is that none of it has felt like a chore. Each session I have done has been because I wanted to, not because I felt compelled to or under pressure. The weekend has also seen me run on consecutive days. I haven’t achieved that for a long, long time.
I definitely credit the bike for keeping my fitness up and swimming is giving me the opportunity to work on different muscle groups. Running continues to be my default ‘favourite’ activity and I think it always will be but thanks to the other activities I have been doing, I find myself far more content with running and in a way that I haven’t been for ages. It feels like it has been a long time coming but it feels worth all the pain and angst of not running to finally feel like I’m back ‘there’ again.
I’m not going to rush into anything race wise for running. I’m enjoying the lack of pressure and right now I think it would be more sensible for me to ‘train to train’ again. I don’t even feel myself inclined yet to go to a Parkrun, because I know I can just walk outside my front door and run 5km around my locality.
I think that the other reason I feel more content with running right now is because I’m enjoying it and the other modes of training I am doing. I am enjoying getting out on the bike for long stints with friends and I am getting a satisfaction from getting my head down in the pool for length upon length of front crawl. I am also enjoying the lack of pressure from a PB point of view. Triathlon is new ground for me so I have no idea what to expect. I’m just hoping to have a great experience at a great event. I’m not bothered about how fast I go and that is a great thing to feel. I get to enjoy all of it: swimming, cycling and running.
Next month sees me attempt Velothon Wales on a course that includes the infamous Tumble climb, which I’m nervous about but also excited to take on. I hope to get in a couple more long, hilly rides before then. I thought this would be the end of cycling sportives for me but the Pontyclun Flyers are joining in with the Women’s Rapha 100 on the 26th July and I’m quite tempted to sign up. I also have my eye on a local novice pool triathlon in July as a way to ease me in to the world of multi sports and transitions.
I can honestly say that right now I feel excited about my upcoming challenges and that I look forward to my time on the bike, in the pool or pounding the pavements. I’m not looking to break records or PB’s and I don’t even feel I’m doing all these things for the medal I might get at the end. I’m doing it all for me and I am content with that. And right now that feels like a really nice place to be.