Week 2 – Impossible is nothing

A busy weekend meant that last week’s post is a little late, however, yesterday marked the end of week 2 and another 7 days of training. Last Monday started with a gym session, followed by an early morning run on Tuesday (taking advantage of the brighter mornings) and a HotPod Yoga session that evening. I began incorporating yoga into my routine after hearing how amazing the benefits were in relation to running, and the relaxation and peacefulness of the classes. It’s so easy to get tense whilst trying to balance training, work and life in general, so the idea of this really appealed to me. Training can also take its toll on the body and I’ve learnt that it’s so important to stretch and rest as much as it is to train. HotPod Yoga also takes place in a heated room so at the same time feels like an intense workout. I found Tuesday’s session quite tough as I’ve unfortunately missed the last few classes. Despite this, it was great to be back… I always find I sleep better after yoga too! Even if you aren’t into running, I would most definitely recommend HotPod Yoga to anyone who was interested.
Wednesday was a rest day, which was very welcomed and meant that by Thursday I couldn’t wait to train again. Thursday was another steady run with the Redway Runners. I enjoy the variation with the club as on each run you find yourself speaking to someone new and another interesting topic to discuss. Whether it be personal or running related, it’s a great way to learn new things and gain additional knowledge. 4 and a half miles passed in no time at all and at quite a solid pace.  I left pleased and eager for the next opportunity to run again.
On Saturday night I had planned to go out for food and drinks with friends, so switched up my routine slightly and decided to complete my long run on Saturday instead. It was a bit different to be out on my own and not with the club, however, I pre-planned a familiar 8 mile route and made an upbeat playlist before heading out. During the first five miles I felt brilliant, I was holding a good pace and relished in the rare sunshine, however, as the heat kicked in and dehydration took its toll the last 3 were a lot harder. I still managed a respectable time of 1 hour 6 minutes, which was also quicker than last Sunday. Happy me!
Yesterday saw me take a trip to Bedford to watch some of the club and two very good friends of mine, Steph and Gareth, take part in the Oakley 20. Many people use this as a training run before a marathon. But Steph, admirably took this on as a personal challenge. It was so inspiring to see someone set themselves a goal and the determination she had towards this race was fantastic. I saw Steph twice along the course and both times she had a huge smile on her face and even stopped to give me a big hug. I am so proud of what she has achieved not only yesterday but her journey in getting to this point. She proved yesterday that Impossible is Nothing. I hope that everyone who took part in Oakley aren’t feeling too sore today.
Seeing everyone racing at Oakley really motivated me and gave me time to reflect on what I wanted to achieve throughout my own journey.  My end goal is the St Albans in June, however, being 10 weeks away from this, I thought about setting myself some smaller goals to keep me encouraged over the upcoming months.
A first goal of mine is to try and beat my 5k Personal Best. I need to include some speed work into my training which will help me hold a steady pace in the half marathon and working towards this goal could help me along the way. My current PB is 23 minutes which I achieved at ParkRun last year. I feel that in a few weeks’ time I could be ready, so watch this space…
An important aspect of this training is to also enjoy it. Previously, I have always put myself under a lot of pressure and can take the enjoyment out of the process. Positivity is key to this journey. This does slightly contradict my last goal slightly, but I won’t be fussed if I don’t beat my 5k time, just something to potentially work towards over the course of the next few weeks.
This week’s aims are to cut back on the chocolate (I enjoyed way too much last week after the end of lent), run 16 miles as per my plan and put my all into my training, especially at the gym. It’s quite easy to come complacent if you’re feeling a little tired, but I intend to push through this. This weekend will see me visiting my grandparents in London, and I’m really looking forward to spending some quality time with them. It will also be great to experience some different scenery on my Sunday run. Hope you’ve all had a good Monday and enjoy the rest of your week.