Running therapy

When you first joined the Group did you think that one day you’d be able to run that fast? Asked Coach on Tuesday night.

Tuesday night was a speed session. We had 4 x 1km with a warm up run and recovery walk between each km. First km was to be ran at our last 5km run pace. I’d done a 30minute 5km on Sunday after a half on Saturday so decided to try for a bit faster than that (my current 5km PB is 24:37 but I struggled to get there, I’m happier running at about 26:00). I’m so bad at keeping pace, even with a GPS watch set to actual pace I still struggle. The simple thing was to try and stick to Janette. I did. Our last km was to be something like 20 seconds faster than our first, I was exhausted and it was so cold, my brain wasn’t working so what did I do? I stuck to Janette as much as I could. Guess what? I ran a 4:41 minute km. (Some of the fast people in the Group were cranking out 3:30 minute kms! Pauly’s fastest was 4:00).

Coach’s question to me about my pace made me feel proud. Proud of myself and how far I’ve come with running in the just over two years that we’ve been running with The Running Group. It also demonstrates to me just how much running with a group and running buddies make a difference to our running. I would never have been able to run that fast on Tuesday night without that invisible lasso I had around my friend.

It’s been another tough week, apart from the snow on Monday that was a once in 25 year event for our state, there has been lots of farm stress (again). Things will work out, I’m positive of this, but the angst and worry hasn’t been easy to deal with.

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Bring in running. Tuesday night was a shot in the arm for both Pauly and I. Time out from the farm to do something that we enjoy with people we love. Perfect.

Wednesday night was another awesome run. A date with hills that Louise and I keep with an almost religious commitment. I even wear most of my running clothes to work on Wednesdays now (orange is the new black I hear), with a vest, nice shoes, smart trousers, perhaps a scarf, some of my long sleeved running tops pass for everyday clothes – everyday clothes with a bit of reflector patches? Mmm.

Louise sent me this today.  This is so true!

Louise sent me this today. This is so true!

As we met for our run Louise asked me how my day had been. I responded with I’d like to kill someone but since that’s frowned on let’s run! That bad? She replied. Off we went. Up and down our favourite long sweeping hill for three reps. That’s a nearly 5km run including the warm up.

And how did I feel afterwards? Like things aren’t so bad. It’s a bit like a shake up and a defrag of my heart, soul and mind; things fall into better perspective and I see more clearly. Thank you hills, thank you Louise. Love our Wednesday hill night.

Friday is long run day, today. 12kms was the distance. Pauly was able to join Louise and I. All three of us were not looking forward to it. All three of us had lead in our shoes and struggled. I suggested an out and back run. I was worried that if we did our circuit run that has so many possible short cuts, that I’d suggest we head back home early. An out and back, doggedly sticking to the 6km turn around point, would keep us honest and ensure we went the distance.

At 10km I voiced how much I wasn’t enjoying the run. Something I don’t do. It was then that Louise got out her Marathon Mantra. It goes something like this…

I am a Marathoner
When it hurts I keep running
Even when it sucks, I will keep running
I am a distance runner and I don’t quit

I know I’ve missed something out of this. I was so weary at the time. Louise said that this is what kept her running during our first marathon. She said a line and I said it back. It worked, I didn’t actually feel any better but I felt more determined.

Louise also sent me this one.

Louise also sent me this one.  It is always worth it in the end.

Running has taught me endurance. It has taught me that even when I think I can’t go on, in fact I can.

No Coach, I didn’t think I’d ever run that fast.

I thought that joining the Group would give me the best chance to make it up that mountain in 2013. I didn’t know that running would open up to me a whole new world of friendship both here at home and in the blogging world.  I didn’t know I would meet one of life’s red-headed angels in the process. I didn’t know that running would help me to cope with the stress of everyday life. I didn’t know that running would cement an acquaintance into a beautiful friendship right here in Deloraine.  I didn’t know that running would give me something to aim for and be challenged by. I didn’t know that running would give me something to look forward to and fun weekends away. I didn’t know any of this.

I know now and I’m so grateful. Every run is a gift even the ones that suck!

Happy running 🙂

Our farm house on Sunday.  We've never seen snow like this here.

Our farm house on Monday. We’ve never seen snow like this here.  Those are my footprints on the left and Paul’s on the right.  I love how this symbolises that even in tough times we are side by side, moving in the same direction.

I wasn't able to get to work on Monday.  Instead I cleaned out cupboards in our bedroom - there are huge picture windows so I had a wonderful panorama of the falling snow all day.

I wasn’t able to get to work on Monday. Instead I cleaned out cupboards in our bedroom – there are huge picture windows so I had a wonderful panorama of the falling snow all day.

21 thoughts on “Running therapy

  1. Annie I love the symbolism too in the snow footprints. Canada looks like this only more snow for 6 months of the year, at least. Well our part of Canada anyway.
    I agree that exercise is often the best mood elevator around. I am so sorry to hear of the further stress on the farm. Sending you a virtual shoulder and big hug.

    • Thanks Sue 🙂 things will be ok. That photo happened by accident but I think an enlargement is in order. It speaks so much of our lives since Paul and I met just seven years ago, we have walked together through some interesting times. I can’t imagine living with snow all winter and we only had about half a foot for two days. It was much more higher up. Thanks for the virtual shoulder and big hug, I do really appreciate it x

  2. WOW! loads of snow! Oh gosh i am DREADING it this year… and Anniebabes, you are just doing so bloody well, i am beaming for you! how fast is THAT? WOW!!!!! fantastic! Bet everyone is as proud as punch for you, but i hope you are even more proud of yourself! how fantastic!!!!
    Best of luck with the farm 😦 sorry to hear about them… xxx

    • Thanks CJ. I thought of you often on Monday. Snow was a novelty for us. On Wednesday it was forecast again but didn’t happen, I was so pleased! I can’t imagine living with it all winter. Thanks so much for your encouragement. No one is more amazed by the pace I can go than me. I don’t enjoy it though CJ, I like happy pace best. I like to talk and be happy not push and struggle. But I know it does me good to have a try. Thanks as always for your support. You are one of life’s angels and I love having you as my friend xxx

  3. Isn’t it fabulous to have some wins and achievements amid the chaos? As well as a reprieve from it all? Congratulations on your time. Good on you for sticking with it when you didn’t feel like going on.

  4. Thank you for sharing this Annie. When things get stressful and tough, running is so therapeutic. Myself, I always have a better perspective on life after a run.
    Congratulations on your times. A 4:41 kilometer is AMAZING. I love group running, and the camaraderie that there is Thanks for sharing! 🙂
    ~Carl~

    • Thanks Carl 🙂 running as therapy is a common theme for so many of us. But until we try it we don’t know just how good it is. Glad to hear it puts things into perspective for you too.

  5. You really are fortunate to be a part of such an encouraging and supportive group but I think you give just as much support as you get somehow. It’s great to hear how running had been a life changer for you and your stories are fantastic as is your positivity. I thought of you in the snow, your pics are great. We finally had a little bit this week too.

    • Hello Mandy x you are showing me too, so impressed with your running. It really does show that if you and I can transform ourselves into runners that it is possible for anyone who wants to try. From non-running librarian to running librarian with the magical click of running shoes.

  6. I found it actually nice to look at snow pictures and enjoy them … because they are someone else’s and not mine 😉 Winter will come too soon for us. I’m clinging to what remains of summer with all I’ve got.

    I liked the line “every run is a gift even the ones that suck” … except, since I’m into multi-sport I’d be inclined to say every workout. I’ve never regretted a workout – even the ones that suck because just getting it done feels good in the end 🙂

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