Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Marathon task? (well, half maybe...)

Volunteering as Numbers assistant at Reading parkrun 10.3.12

This week began with my first time volunteering at Reading parkrun. Whilst I can't run I felt it a suitable time to do my duty and volunteer. parkrun is wholly run by volunteers, so everyone needs to do their bit when they can. It was a dry morning on Saturday so I enjoyed the fresh air, and also saw a new Reading parkrun course record being set and the 16minute barrier was broken - wow, the guy was fast!

In recent days I have started to feel that  I am now hardly feeling sore at all, and that I will be ready to start running (gently) again in a few weeks as is the suggested recovery time after my surgery. I am so keen to get out running again, especially now we are getting some sunshine and warmer weather, but still feel slightly cautious about how easy I will have to take it when I do get out again. I have been trying to walk lots and faster now, I've also been swimming laps a couple of times, and am back to doing normal physical household chores, but I still wonder: How far will my legs manage? How far can I run without feeling sore where I've had surgery? How fast will I be able to run without getting sore? Only time will tell I guess. 

However, in addition to my entry into Race for Life, about which I blogged last week, I had been umming and ahhhing (sp?!) about entering the Woodley 10k this year. This is my local 10k road race which starts only a 5minute walk from my house, and was my first ever 10k race when I completed it last year in 57mins 40, much to my delight. I have run the route or part of the route many times in training, so it is very familiar territory for me. My indecision was due to the fact that the race takes place on 13th May, just 5.5 weeks after my return to running, and I would not want to run the race but have to walk or not complete it. Since the race entries sell out fast I couldn't enter last minute, so I have taken the plunge and entered - if I don't feel race fit nearer the time I shall try to pass on my place to someone else who wants one.

And last but not least, the title of this post gives a clue as to the longer term target I have set myself - to run Oxford Half Marathon on 14th October. Following my 3 10k successes in 2011, I had been thinking about whether or not I wanted to step up to a longer distance. To me 10k is a great distance, it can be run in under an hour and it's not too tricky to fit in the training. Also did I want to spend 2hours + just running, maybe needing a wee half way round, getting hungry perhaps, maybe even getting cramps? So I hadn't been keen to jump up to the higher distance, and I guess that, knowing I would have an obligatory break from running altogether after the surgery, I had decided I would just see how I feel again once back in the swing of the summer running season. But all that consideration went out of the window the other day when a friend, a fellow parkrunner, told me she had entered the Oxford half (in her home town) and would I like to join her? Like myself, she has been through a weight loss combined with fitness effort in the last year, and come to love running just as I have, so how could I refuse? A mostly flat course, the first time it's been run (with the exception of a pilot run last year), it should be a pretty route, starting and finishing at the Kassam stadium, so I'm hoping for a great welcome back at the end! But first I shall look forward to just getting out and running - and soon!!

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