Today I ran outside for the first time in months, if not years. I wasn't going to work, which is near my gym, so I decided to do my workout a bit closer to home. After tracking 3km on mapmyrun.com, I took off down the street and headed towards the canal. Luckily, the first part of my run was all downhill so I started brilliantly, thinking that this run was a breeze and maybe I would end up doing 4km instead. But by the time I got to the canal I was flagging a bit. The ground on the towpath was still icy after another snowfall several days ago, so I had to hop over the perilous bits and run on the grass where possible.
I made it to my halfway point - two locks which span across a kind of island - had a minute's rest then set off back. And then it hit me. I obviously didn't notice on the way out as it was behind me the whole time, but an icy wind was blowing right down the canal, making running very uncomfortable. I could hardly catch my breath so spent most of the way back stop-start running. But once I got back on the roads again, it wasn't too bad so I upped my game and ran further than I had planned to make up for the walking parts.
The hill up through our estate looked so daunting I didn't even attempt to run up it so I used this as my cool-down, which worked out perfectly as our street is relatively flat and I really could ease off for the final 100m. And as I was planning the route I realised that all in all it's 4km long. So when I can get to the island and back running the whole time, I will have almost reached the 5km needed to do Race For Life! I'm sure this will be easy when I up my distance over the next couple of months. And if it isn't, I'll just have to practise more often :-)
All in all, I found the run really enjoyable and kind of wish I hadn't put it off for so long. I just get a bit frustrated sometimes having to do things like run around other people and their dogs and wait to cross the road. But there will plenty of distractions at the race so it's probably a good move to get used to the feeling of running like the wind with the sun in my eyes and the stones in my shoes!
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