First cross country run

Well to have a blog, I should be writing it rather than tweeting or face-booking my progress; consequently, I have been neglecting this blog page – so here I am and I will update you on my progress so far:

A few weekends ago I ran ‘Oh my obelisk’ it was in the beautiful seaside town of Dawlish in Devon and I selected the 9 mile run to monitor my half marathon training progress – for my March race. It was organised by Dawlish Coasters and set amongst beautiful countryside. To my surprise (and at some point my horror!) this was a very hilly cross-country run. Did I panic? yes I did a bit, particularly when the climbs went on and on and on and on …. Plus the last time I did cross-country running was when I was at school 30+ years ago and this was a horrendous experience.

To be blunt, my running at school was probably memorable for all the wrong reasons. I was not a sprinter and felt this was what I needed to do to keep up with my more athletic friends, always ending up with me red faced and humiliated! I rather cunningly, learnt to use my asthma as an excuse not to participate. To my shame when I think of it now, I induced an asthma attack by pushing myself too hard on one particular run, it was quite a traumatic experience for all of us involved and so having survived the attack, my teachers always accepted my excuse “Miss, my asthma is bad today”. No, I am not proud of this behaviour but to be fair, it worked really well for me at the time and I would probably do it again!

So back to ‘Oh my obelisk’ – you can see why the first mile or two was spent contemplating reasons why I should not continue but, I did continue and one of those drivers was because my husband was participating – I wanted to beat him! and more importantly, my Dad had come to cheer us on. You may be aware from previous blogs of mine, that my Dad was my inspiration last year to start my running journey – a year ago this month, post-heart attack, my Dad was able to run faster and further than me so I set myself a challenge to improve my fitness. I by no means wanted to dismiss what my Dad was able to achieve but rather it inspired me to be a better version of myself too.

Once I had settled into the run and removed all expectations, I really quite enjoyed it. I was nervous running on ground that was not level but soon became more confident. I am now looking for trail runs in my local area that will help improve my confidence and I am sure they will provide beautiful scenery to surround myself with. I know of a coastal run that I can pick up in Plymouth and run out towards Wembury – this is on my ‘to do’ list this summer, to be finished with a swim at Wembury beach.

What next? I have a 10k race this weekend, I am looking to see whether my speed has improved – again it is quite hilly so it will be interesting to see whether I can beat my 10min/mile pace on this route – I will let you know …

To support my running and hopefully prevent injury, I am now doing Body Balance 2-3 times per week, this is a combination of Yoga and Tai Chi and I hope it will improve my flexibility. I am also doing Body Pump once a week aiming to build strength and additionally, spin session(s) as a way of cross training. I have seen so many different on-line training programmes – this is an area that nearly caused my mind to bend! so, I am self-programming for the time being and will see how my half-marathon goes in March. After my half, I will then re-assess my training sessions for marathon running. The idea of following a strict programme fills me with dread as my life doesn’t always have that level of flexibility but we will see how important it is to me to succeed – the advice is to aim to just complete your first marathon – that will be a start I guess ….

Thanks for checking in again.


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