Running update January/February/March

My intention was to do a monthly report, but things happened and instead I have ended up combining a few together. 

January was a very tough month for running.  I decided it was time to get out and run with Little Man in his pushchair more.  He was at the point where the pushchair would still send him to sleep and timing it just right would mean that I could get him to nap on the way around.

January offered some amazing views.  Some stunning sunrises.  Some great company to run with.

My first race of the year was the Night Run at Nostell.  It is a race I look forward to and one that has some wonderful memories attached to it. 

I remember January ending and I felt low, I was not seeing too many improvements and it was still incredibly hard work to run.  

February came around and I felt it was time to train a bit smarter in a bid to improve my fitness.  With that came hill training on some very steep hills.

I started to try and get out at least once a week, even with Little Man for a run.  Some days he just didn't want to be in the pushchair and others he would fall asleep.  This made for interesting running planning.

As the month began to warm up the girls began to want to run again.  I resumed my volunteer duties at junior parkrun.  My eldest is on her way to her marathon band and my youngest almost at her half marathon.  

I love that the girls regained their enjoyment for running, even after a brief absent spell over winter.  It is lovely to spend time with them and watch them have fun, as well as help out so that other children can enjoy running too.

J has also got out a lot more.  He started joining me on a Wednesday for a club run, and I think is the adopted club mascot.  Members often ask me where he is when he cannot race or misses a week.  He loves going too and sits by my running shoes for me to take him. 

J absolutely loves running with me, and is an amazing running companion unless there is a squirrel or a cat then we seem to go off in a random direction.

February also saw me complete my first race as a club member.  It was the first time I had worn my club t shirt, and I felt a great deal of pride wearing it.  As I tend to over think things, I also worried I would let the side down.  I am very loyal to my running club and so pleased I joined.  My race report for Wombwell 5 is here

All too quickly March seemed to be upon us.  Wednesday night club runs are now a regular weekly event, unless there is a race.  J attends most club runs, unless it is raining or he has had a big walk that morning.  I ran 9.99Km one club night, so had to run around the block to round it up to 10km, something fellow runners will understand.

As Spring approaches race season starts and with it a variety of race series.  The first to start was the Silkstone Shuffle.  A race I had heard lots of my team mates talk about, but not one I had done before.  I am still writing up the race report but in summary I was not at all happy! 

The next day saw the start of the trail series with the first Windmill 6.  I have never known rain like it before.  No matter which way the course went it always seemed to be on my right side and was so powerful I ran on an angle.  The rain was freezing and went straight into your ear, I knew I would wake up with both an ear and head ache from it.  The race started from where I took this photo and looped round to those windmills on the horizon.  Full race report to follow.

Saturday mornings seem to be getting sunnier with gorgeous weather for parkrun! 

The warm weather also means more children turning up for junior parkrun, such beautiful weather for them all to run in. 

Another series to start in March is Trunce.  All I knew prior to attending was that it involved running through a river, and lots of hills.  It was one of the most fun races I have ever done and also one of the ones with the highest injury potential.  Perhaps not one to have done the same week as an important race, but I loved it!

South Yorkshire road league also kicked off this week, a series of 5 mile road races.  With my preference to off road I wanted to really push myself this year and tackle road head on, so to speak.  The first race took place in Lodge Moor and whilst it was hilly it had one of the best ever down hills.  I do love running down hill!

When I first started running  I found road running would hurt my knees.  As with anything I set myself goals to work towards to break the overall task into more manageable chunks.  Fitness and personal trainer Charlie King also suggests doing the same:

“My advice would be to set a goal and work to smash it. If you are contemplating taking up running, break it down into goals. Head down to your local park and start with a brisk walk into interval jogs, using benches and lamp posts as points to increase and reduce speed. For those with young children, it’s easy to fit into your daily routine, as you can do it with your child if you jog or run with your pushchair, and it’s free. Before you know it, you'll be sprinting around that park quicker than Usain Bolt.”

I prefer off road as the scenery tends to change and I find there is more to keep my attention focused on than on the pain in my legs.  Road running is helping me to focus and improve my overall running.

The morning after the road league I met with my running partner for a steady run with a mixture of road and off road.  With the blue sky I could not resist a photo in my Nike Revolution 3 .  They are a neutral ankle support for uneven terrain and I have found that they offer perfect grip across a range of surfaces.  I have a range of trainers for different surfaces and different events.  In fact I own more running trainers than I do normal shoes.

March has seen me increase both distance and the number of times I run in a week.  Aiming for a minimum of 3, with other fitness work in-between.  I have got to an 8 mile run this month, and although very very slowly have started to see my times drop.  Hoping April goes well.

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