Running

I’m falling in love with running again. I stopped breastfeeding in January when Ava was 7 months old and also started running 3 times a week. I couldn’t really seem to get into a good rhythm and it felt like a real chore. We then decided to enter the Knysna Half Marathon, so obviously I needed to start running a bit further and more often.

This time of the year is a great time to run as it’s not too hot and it’s not windy at all. It felt so good to start doing some of the longer runs I used to do far too many years ago. I did my fastest marathon in PE in 3h55min. Nothing brilliant (and it’s known as a fast, flat marathon) but it was quite significant for me to break the 4 hour barrier.

So I started wearing my heart rate monitor again and being more aware of times and distances as opposed to just plodding along and it’s made a huge difference. I went for a run last evening for the first time since Saturday’s run and the difference is incredible. Just by running a race again, I feel like I have some sort of rhythm back in my running and my time to run the same distance I was doing last week dropped by a good couple of minutes. Not bad if one considers that it’s only an 8km run. It probably also helped that I didn’t have the dogs with me as they actually slow me down a bit. They run free but Olive keeps trying to run onto the beach for a quick swim, Rolo likes to forage for snacks in typical labrador style and towards the end they start to lag so I have to keep hurrying them along.

So, what conclusion have I come to. It’s good to have a goal or something that one is working towards, and it can’t be a weight goal but rather an event like a 10km or a half marathon or something. One also needs to do races on a regular basis as it’s a good way of learning to push yourself and to discover what your limits really are. When I was running to try and lose a kilo or 2 nothing much happened with my running or my weight but as soon as I started training towards a goal and pushing myself a little bit more because of that, things have started to happen. The most important change is that I’m loving running again and looking forward to going rather than seeing it as a chore that must be done.

One other thing I was thinking about last night while running was what effect having my 2 girls will have on my running. The fact that I’ve given birth twice, naturally, will that have improved my mental strength at all? Okay, I will admit I did have epidurals both times but I am still curious. Especially with marathons, one’s mental strength plays a huge part as one starts to get tired. Can one compare this fatigue to the fatigue one experiences with a newborn (and even more so when one has a newborn and a 2 year old to deal with) and the physical fatigue of doing a long distance race. Only time will tell and the biggest goal of all is of course to keep at it and keep going. Because I’m enjoying my running so much I’m now re-thinking the whole Half Iron Man thing. Training for something like that takes serious commitment, both financially and time-wise. So, for now it’s Knysna, then the Friendly City Marathon and then perhaps the Two Oceans. I’ve never ever wanted to do the Comrades but I’d love to do Two Oceans, so let’s see how far I get.

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