Thursday, 15 August 2013

The hardest thing about being a runner is not running

Well, after months of adjusting my life to make room for my new love of running, looking for a new home around running routes and planning annual leave around races my running has been promptly put to a stop by being very unwell and needing emergency surgery earlier this week.

The old me would have relished the time off work and loved the excuse not to exercise but I'm already having mega withdrawal symptoms from not being able to run for 2 weeks and longingly looking out the apartment along the river as the after work runners.

Its funny, I never thought running would ever be something I loved, let alone my escapism and the place I can refocus and get perspective on what's going on in my day to day life. Running has become way more that just exercise or training for a race. It's made me more grounded, its given me the headspace to think over decisions and process what has happened in my day, something which has been great with a new job and new responsibilities of being a doctor.

After the surgery the first question I asked was "when can I start running again?" and the second "can I still do my half marathon in 3 1/2 weeks?" Hopefully i'll be back to running in a few weeks but my training for my first half has been hugely hindered by this unexpected turn of events.

So runners, any tips on how to cope when you can't run? any thoughts on me still doing my half?

Saturday, 3 August 2013

6 weeks to go and running in a new town

Well, what a week! New town, new job and the boy has a new job too. I am officially exhausted. However, with 6 weeks to go to run to the beat, I did manage a few runs this week. Only 3 but I'm still quite happy with that on top of everything else going on.

The biggest issue has been finding running routes in a new town. I love my London Canals, and know how many miles I can rack up running up and down them, adding miles running round parks and docks. I have my running routes sussed. But moving to a new area has been tricky. Especially with no internet to plan routes. Nightmare.

Luckerly our new flat overlooks the river, and when we moved in I noticed a path below going in both directions river side.

On Sunday after moving day on saturday, I got up early and decided to head out and explore before attempting to rectify the chaos in the flat and the obligatory ikea trip. I ran a mile or so along the river, which was scattered with canal boats and swans and soon came to a deadish end. Running a little further over a bridge and ending up mid field. For a bona fide city girl this was not ideal so I turned back with just 3 miles under my belt, but happy to have got some fresh air and discovered a short route.

On Monday I thought I'd give it another go, wanted to find a medium route (6/7 miles). I headed of towards a local abbey and park I had driven past the day before, and with a lap of the grounds only clocked up about 2 miles, all be it very pretty with swans and bunny rabbits running around. 

I turned back towards the apartment and decided to run along the river again, stopping a few other runners to try to sus out new routes. I did about 6/7 miles in the end, slowly a rather frustrated.

Come Wednesday I new I needed to do a long run, with the fear of the half marathon looming. But this point we had internet and I'd mapped out a route ready to go.

Now I know most people love running in the country, but I really did not enjoy this run, I headed out along the river with insects flying at my face, and bees following me, past open fields with cows getting way to close for comfort. At mile 5 I tried to turn back into town, but ended up running along an A road for half a mile and then getting lost in a housing estate with just one road in and out. The run back into town was better, getting up some speed and completing 10 miles, my longest run yet, but definitely one of my least happy runs.

So in total this week it's been:
Sunday - 3 miles
Monday - 6.5 miles
Wednesday 10 miles
So a total of 19 and a half miles with no cross training. Next week I need to find a running club or some other runners to help me out!

How do you find running routes in new areas? I need your help!!!