April, the month of little chocolate bunnies running around in fields, chocolate shaped as eggs hidden behind bushes, blue crisp non chocolaty skies and big balls of yellow chocolate sun, and the possibility of shorts and t-shirts whilst out for a run. Oh yes; oh no.
April started of brilliantly sunny with a hilly half marathon race in Betws-Y-Coed, Snowdonia National Park on the 1st of the month – so hilly in fact that I gained a good 15 places running up the hills and was the only one running up them. Supporting shorts and club vest I ran my fasted half marathon to date, rather happy, that’s what Sheffield running does for you. A few days later I climbed Snowdonia in the snow in my 2012milesin2012 tshirt. Oh yes! Check out the photos below – click to enlarge.
The week after saw me running a couple of park runs – the first being Concord Park Run and the week after the first Graves Park – Park Run in Sheffield. Another hilly route – home to many cross country events too. I was first female in a quite disgusting time of over 22 minutes compared to my PB being 1 min 30 faster, but now its not all about speed as I am not going out long and slow and loving every minute of my runs. I do what I want to do when I want with no pressure. Despite my long and slow I also took part in the Derby midweek races in well.. Derby on my way back from a meeting down south – a normal commute back home then!
Of course it has been Marathon madness this month with Brighton, VLM and Manchester and lots of others. Despite having run more than 26.2 miles in my long runs I am not bothered about doing a road marathon, maybe I am too scared, or too lazy? Maybe both. Instead I will do a couple of Ultra Marathons. Maybe I tempted to do a Marathon in the autumn on trail and any suggestions welcome to where I can wear my 2012milesin2012 tshirt to cover this distance? However my hat goes off to everyone of you who ran a marathon in April – you all did the running world proud. Amazing effort, some amazing times with some disgracefully amazing weather.
All I do is keep on running in my own cozy, homemade void, my own nostalgic silence. And this is a pretty wonderful thing. No matter what anybody else says. Haruki Murakami, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running
I have also done a few back to back runs just for the Helen of it. One of my weekends consisted of a 15 miler and a 16 miler, and I felt pretty good at the end of it all not too tired, though the t shirt needed a wash.
As I don’t take my running as seriously as I should i.e I don’t really “train” – choo choo – intercity 125, I don’t really run as much as a lot of people, so spinning and swimming are also knocking up the miles for me. I am loving my hour long spin session on a Friday followed by a fantastic stretch of 45 minutes pilates – and plank! Oh yes people I can plank for 5 mins and 21 seconds. What a planker. Even though it doesn’t count for 2012milesin2012.
Marshalling is always good fun, so one of the events that my lovely running club ‘Shefield Running Club’ organise is one of the South Yorkshire 5 mile road race series’ at Dam Flask in Bradfield, just on the outskirts of Sheffield – where I grew up.
Imagine a gorgeous dam surrounded by luxurious peak district countryside with little lambs gazing up at 200 or so runners, stone walls cheering everyone on and the gentle spring breeze on a gorgeous spring evening. Just imagine. Only imagine. That night was far from gorgeous, as buckets of rain fell from the skies, mops not included. It was raining Dogs and cats and elephants and penguins and polar bears and every other raindrop type animal you can think of. I stood there directing traffic and runners for 3 hours in the pouring rain but got some sort of sad satisfaction out it. Little did I know that it was going to bring on my plantar fasciitis the following day which left me with a lot of pain.
Watching the world’s best compete fires you up to achieve your own feats of greatness. When it comes to running, participation and spectating go hand in hand. Kara Goucher
To get through the pain and frustration I decided to swim the following afternoon due to an afternoon off work. I got into the leisure pool around 3.15pm with no real goals and got out at around 5.15pm. Lane swimming was not on but they have a roped off area in the leisure pool for people who want to swim up and down very handy and the pool was almost empty being middle of the afternoon. The leisure pool also has a wave machine every 20 minutes that goes for 10 minutes, so work out how far I swam in the waves and if I swam for 2 hours, over 250 lengths at around 22metres a length. My total distance being 6km. Did you know this was a maths lesson? An ode to the Swimathon event which I wasn’t able to take part in this year due to other commitments – of which I would have only done 5km anyway. Pah.
That weekend was the horrendous rain weekend, I had booked a navigation course in the Peak District so couldn’t run anyway and wanted to give my foot a rest. So instead I walked lots that weekend with map, compass, waterproofs and soggy sandwiches. It made a pleasant change to running and I learned lots as well as it all adding mileage to my 2012milesin2012.
So that was my 2012milesin2012 April. A fantastic start, with a half marathon PB in the most gorgeous setting ever, a trip up Snowdonia, some back to back runs, a nice wet marshalling event, a 6km swim, some spins with a few bumpy bits towards the end.
I run for health, fitness, stress relief, and pure enjoyment. When I have a bad day or am really stressed out about something, putting on my shoes allows me to clear my head and decompress. I do some of my best thinking when I am running. Kathey Moskal, Runner’s World Challenger of the Week
Moving into May I am praying my foot was a little glitch and that I will be able to achieve my first Ultra.
- Running: 142.00
- Swimming: 6.36
- Walking: 37.72
April – 2012 miles in 2012,