A parkrun, a nemesis hill and some laps

Happy Thursday, it’s nearly the weekend. I hope that everyone had an amazing Easter and if you are still on leave, I’m more than a little jealous.

As I haven’t blogged for a while, I thought I recap my most recent visit to Walsall Arboretum parkrun and also talk about a couple of recent training runs. If you find running related waffle then please, please close the page now!

On Saturday I managed to convince my friend to drive me the short distance to Walsall Arboretum. He was a little reluctant to start with but eventually agreed. After a slightly stressful journey, we arrived at the top end of the Arboretum with less than 10 minutes to spare. I jogged towards the lake and managed to position myself a little nearer the start.

parkrun lap 2[Photo: Ron Reynolds]

It was the same old story. I plodded around the first lap in an attempt to get going, increased my pace a little during the second lap and then tried and failed to put my foot down during the final lap.

parkrun lap 3[Photo: Ron Reynolds]

I finished feeling as fresh as a daisy in 28:03.

So although my times are gradually improving, I’m still struggling with the whole concept of pushing myself when I’m running. I’m stuck in first gear all the time.

Next time I’m aiming for a 27:xx time.

On Sunday morning, I got up really early – thanks birds – and decided to have a go at conquering one of my many nemesis hills. This hill had beaten me a few times so I was determined to run to the top without having to walk.

My run didn’t get off to the most positive start. My right calf muscle and right knee both felt a little niggly after my parkrun exploits, and at one stage I almost abandoned my run. Luckily, a couple of sensibly paced miles seemed to get everything moving and I felt confident continuing to run wasn’t going to turn my niggles into injuries.

I got to the bottom of my nemesis hill, gave myself a stern talking to and slowed my pace a little. I made sure that I maintained a sensible pace and did my best to resist the temptation to speed up. I reached the halfway point feeling great, but didn’t get too cocky because I was aware that the most challenging section of the hill was waiting for me.

I ran plodded past the Four Oaks pub, ran past my usual stopping point, ran past the church and made it to the top. The rest of my run was downhill and it felt great to have got another five miles under my belt before 08:00.

Next time I run in Four Oaks, I’m determined to conquer Cardiac Hill.

On Tuesday evening I found myself running after work in an attempt to clear my head. I’m finding my new job incredibly stressful at the moment and running gives me some much needed thinking time. I spent ages catching up on blog related emails and lying on my bed ‘resting my eyes’ and didn’t start my run until gone 20:00.

I headed out with the aim of completing six miles. My new Garmin was a little disappointing because due to some serious user error, I couldn’t actually read the screen. I had no idea what sort of pace I was running at, how long I’d been running for and how many miles I’d completed.

I’m definitely not an evening runner. Although I felt like I was running quite hard, my mile splits were a little disappointing.

Running is a strange old sport; some runs feel really easy, this run felt like a bit of a slog. I’m pleased I managed to resist the temptation to call it a day after a couple of miles.

I’ve worked out that I need to run roughly 50 miles a month for the rest of the year to beat my 1000 km in 2018 challenge. I’ve got everything crossed my fragile body lets me complete my challenge.

I’m aiming to complete a 4 or 5 mile run this evening, then I’m going to rest until Sunday when I’ll be running approximately 10 miles from Lichfield to Tamworth.

It will be amazing to take part in a completely new (to me) race.

Do you prefer to run in the morning or in the evening? I’m definitely a morning runner.

Do you have any new to you races planned? I can’t wait to run somewhere completely different.


11 thoughts on “A parkrun, a nemesis hill and some laps

  1. AnnaTheApple says:

    Well done on beating the hill. You ran up it – I wouldn’t beat yourself up about the pace!! It should feel tough!
    I definitely prefer running in the morning but only get to do that at the weekend as I prefer going to the gym in the morning as I’m less motivated with that.


    • Emma says:

      Thanks Anna. It definitely felt quite tough towards the end! I was having some rather negative thoughts as I turned a corner and saw more ‘hill’.
      I have a feeling I’m only going to manage to run in the mornings during the weekend. Running seems to leave me feeling so tired, I’d be falling asleep at my desk by lunchtime if I ran before work.


  2. Maria @ Maria Runs says:

    Nice work on beating the hill- not stopping to walk is a great achievement as it can be such a mental battle once the idea creeps into your head (I find that anyway).
    I much prefer morning running, but I leave for work at 7.20am, so if I ran in the mornings in the week it would mean crazily early starts, so in the week I run in the evenings and then enjoy my morning runs at the weekends and during school holidays.
    Well done on your parkrun too- it is hard to pace those runs, but it seems that you are capable of a sub 28 min one, you just need a bit of luck with where you start and try and push on in the final lap a bit more.


    • Emma says:

      Thanks Maria. It was definitely more of a mental than a physical battle. I’m terrible because generally, as soon as I think about walking I end up walking. At least now I’m feeling a bit fitter my mental toughness is increasing.
      As running in the morning seems to be leaving me feeling incredibly tired at the moment, I think I’m going to run a couple of evenings a week in Wallingford and then enjoy my early morning weekend runs when I’m in Four Oaks.
      I’m finding pacing myself really difficult. Next time I’m going to find someone aiming for a sub-28 time then I’ll do my best to run with/near them.


  3. AJ says:

    I think I’m pretty evenly split on my morning versus evening runs. I like anything that happens when it is light enough to actually see!


    • Emma says:

      Your comment got me thinking. With the exception of parkrun and other races, I tend to complete the majority of my training runs in the dark. Last week, I actually waited until it was almost dark and wasn’t able to head out until after 8pm. Next week, I’ll be brave and run a little earlier in the evening!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. jancanrun says:

    Morning runner, any other time and I prevaricate/faff. I find the most ludicrous tasks to perform in an attempt not to run, even though I love it… And we’ve just returned to our home in Italy, so now am running the hills of Le Marche for 6 months. I’d say they’re fun but they’re not, I suppose there is an element of satisfaction in getting them done. Well done on keeping going, despite the constant niggles.


    • Emma says:

      Now Italy sounds amazing! Hills are challenging and anything but fun but also incredibly satisfying. I hope this makes sense but I love looking back down at a hill I’ve just managed to conquer. Making it to the top is such an achievement. I’m clearly a morning weekend runner and an evening weekday runner. I did think about running during my lunch break but don’t think I’d enjoy sitting at my desk with a beetroot face!


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