Today I tentatively headed out for my next run on my half marathon plan.
Tentatively because this was hopefully going to be the furthest I have run.
Tentatively because last week my knee set me back at 7 miles.
Tentatively because it was freezing cold out and a little slippy in places underfoot.
I layered up well following some advice from, a fantastic Facebook page, Run Mummy Run. With two base layers, a running vest, long running tights, a buff round my neck, knitted hat on my head, cosy socks, runners laced up and running gloves on I was good to go.
The cold hit my face immediately but it wasn't long until I was running into the glorious winter sunshine and at times wanted to pull off my hat. My fingers took the longest to warm up, even with gloves on they felt nippy and not once did I want to take them off. Turning corners and heading into tunnels of shade had a real impact on my body temperature and even moving at a semi decent pace the chill was felt all through me from head to toe. Luckily though I was out in the sunshine for most of my running route.
Last night I planned my route carefully; I wanted a new route as running round the same villages and having routes which required me to reach a point then double back on myself was giving me psychological barriers - I would hate the run, no matter what the pace, until I had reached the turning point. Now, the fact that I am taking part in a two lap half marathon in Bath is niggling me a little knowing that there will be a definite halfway point which requires doing the same route again! But back to today's run. I planned a new route taking me in the opposite direction away from the peaceful villages and straight into town. I had been avoiding town running for a while due to the higher probability of people around and the increased likelihood of getting heckled - stupid I know. There were plenty of people in town with pushchairs to dodge and busy roads to cross but the fact that it is a small market town meant I was soon out on the other side where the only people I saw were dog walkers and happily a big handful of other runners - always a lovely sight!
As well as the people and new faces to smile at, the new route gave me new views. I had a new perspective on the rows of houses I had only driven past. I ran along lots of roads that I used to walk along years ago with the Phil and Teds double buggy with my two little ones on board. I ran through the play park where I would encourage my boy to climb the three step ladder to get to the top of the slide. I ran past the paddling pool where we met friends for a picnic and a paddle on a hot summer's day, I ran over the river foot bridge where I would a meet a friend with our two girls just two months old, I ran past the coffee shop where I would eat cake - too much cake, I ran past a friend's old house and remembered how our two boys would play together while we drank tea and put the world to rights. Walking to her house was my maximum exercise back then but today I had a great realisation that it used to seem such a long way to walk to see her but now I was merrily running by!
And that's what made today's run so great. It wasn't just the fact I ran the furthest I have ever ran but it was the realisation that I was running. I am fit to run. I am able to run. It takes me places; new and old. It creates new memories and bring backs old ones.
Today was a good one and it was great to be running down memory lane.
x x x