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and I did it again...

Don’t worry. I’m not going to post every darned time I do a run, I’m just following up because tonight I pushed myself a bit harder (and it was great) and I remembered a few more things I’ve learned which I forgot to mention.

Tonight I had to run on my own because of family commitments which meant I couldn’t run with my running pack (at the time they were running). I was fairly daunted by that because they’ve more-often-than-not carried me through when I probably would have stopped but I knew I just had to go do it otherwise the disapproval when we run at the weekend from the other members of the pack would be impossible to bear.

The pace we run at as a pack is based around that of the slowest member. At the beginning we had people running at their own pace and “looping back” into the group but by unspoken agreement we concluded that this wasn’t the best way. It was a group of individuals running and meeting up periodically and it was destroying the pack mentality so we fell into a proper pack pattern and we now run at the pace which keeps us together.

Thing is, though, my leg stride is longer and I’m shortening it (and running slower) to match the pack pace. This evening, I decided to run at my own pace and see how I did.

Man… it was gruesome pretty much out of the gate. I’d gone about 1.5 Km and was puffing as much as I usually do at the end of a normal run. I seriously thought I would not complete 15 minutes let alone run for 30+ minutes. This is where the gift my pack has given me; that belief that I can push through and achieve the goal, stood me in good stead.

I not only ran 5Km, I ran it an average of 50second per KM faster than normal and also, when I was really suffering at 4Km, I forced myself to increase my pace and ran the last 1Km in 5mins 31sec (and I pretty much sprinted the last 100 metres). Again not the worlds fastest pace but relative to my usual pace and certainly relative to where I started 2 months ago, it’s a huge jump up and all the more gratifying because I pushed myself to this when I really was thinking I could do no more.

I’m not saying this to be boastful (although I’m feeling proud of myself tonight) but to illustrate once more that anyone (and If I can, then I really do mean anyone) can get off their arses and do far more than they think they can if only they’re willing to put their heads down, grit their teeth, push through the pain and discomfort and just do it.

Therefore my message is this: maybe running isn’t your bag, but just find something that is and get stuck in. Start slow and just don’t stop until you’ve achieved your goal. Then set another goal and another and another…

A few other things I’ve learned.

  1. If running is something you’re interested in, a good pair of running shoes is essential and can save you so much pain and suffering.

  2. Running socks! Don’t run in any-old-socks! Get some real running socks. Not cheap but worth their weight in gold.

  3. Every once in a while, push yourself beyond where you think your limit lies… you’ll most likely be surprised (and gratified).

As an aside I do have to admit that I appear to be developing an unhealthy fetish for Lycra… but that’s a whole other topic (which we’ll never discuss).