Listening to the brag of my heart


Many reasons why this post is so entitled…  It’s about confidence; it’s about survival; it’s about I am, I am, I am.

At the end of last year, I was reading the Run Mummy Run Facebook group, where people were discussing their annual stats.  And I wondered – I genuinely did – how they knew.  And then I discovered that Strava has a little widget, which keeps track of them for you.  Neat!  Then I was completely shocked to discover that I’d run over 700km in the year! Little ol’ couch potato me!!

Actually, I knew I’d done a lot of running; it’s just funny how the kms stack up when you’re not looking, you know?

Anyway, then Virtual Runner launched a challenge – to run 1,000km (or 1,000 miles) in the course of this year.  Knowing that I’d be training for a marathon, I thought…. well, how hard can it be?! So I signed up for 1,000km.  And for the first four or five months, I was a good 20% ahead of the target pace to achieve that goal, according to Strava.  Then, after the marathon, I had a bit of a lazy patch.  So when I started this programme, I was a good 20 miles behind where I needed to be.  To be honest, I had a little bit forgotten about the challenge.  Anyway, over the last two weeks I have totally caught up with myself.  And now I am back on pace.  That’s the first I am…

My new watch is bedding in nicely.  It’s a Forerunner 235 – combines running functionality with activity tracking (step counting, continuous heart rate monitoring and so forth).  I’m getting used to having a watch on, again, after several years of nothing but a fitbit… The heart rate monitor is especially interesting for training. Yes, I know a wrist-based monitor won’t give as ‘true’ a result as a chest strap, but I’m not actually training to heart rate and I don’t need pin-point accurate HRM data.   But (here’s the second) I am learning how to control my heart rate with pace…

This is going to be quite an intense week, training-wise.  Tuesday’s easy 3 miler becomes a 3.5 miler, and Wednesday’s speedwork sees me running 400m intervals, but a total of 6 miles (including warm up and cool down).  I did a 6 mile run with Kirsty, with whom I’ve shared many running adventures, now.  Her training for Oxford Half hasn’t started, yet, and so she was happy to come and share mine.  We had a lovely long, slow, chatty meander through the villages of Witney until we got finally to Sainsburys where we’d planted my car.  So (last one!) I am feeling more and more like a proper runner, again.

So, this week’s three positives:

  1.  I’m getting much better at coping with summer conditions – run early, hydrate well!
  2. I can still run distances greater than 3 miles… I was beginning to wonder
  3. It feels good to be back on a programme!