Balance - work, rest, enjoy!

Note: This blog has been in the pipeline for a couple of weeks!!

Over the past couple of weeks my miles took a bit of a dip. Ran 50.44 miles compared with 74.88 miles the previous week.

The reason for this? On the 18th I had meetings over lunch time and then the estate agent came over to view my flat, which meant I didn't get in until 9pm. Not an excuse I hear some of you say, but it was enough to keep me off the road.

I then took Saturday and Sunday off as well.

The reason for this? Two reasons, the first is the reason for missing my Saturday run, I wanted to spend the day with the soon to be Mrs Williams. We went up town and had a really nice enjoyable day. The Sunday long run was missed because I woke up at 8am and felt rubbish, cold sweats and just not feeling my best. Rather than head out for a hard 16 mile run, I went back to bed and stayed there until 3pm! After a while I felt I should have done something so headed out with Mandy and walked up to the top of Arthurs Seat, not the best idea considering the wind speeds we encountered at the top!

Running Black Rock 5

Friday however was a day of 2 runs, the first was a nice easy 10km during my lunch hour and then in the evening, Black Rock '5' - thanks Angela for the photo above. Black Rock is a great race and a race which is just a bit different. Not 5 miles in distance but it feels like 5 by the time you are finished. You head along the road next to Kinghorn train station and down to Pettycur Bay. You then head out along the beach towards the black rock. Now this is when the fun begins, if you are lucky, the tide is just coming in so you need to wade around the rock in ankle deep water from the Forth and then run with wet shoes, socks and cold tired legs back along the beach, up a short climb of soft sand and back on to the road. There is one last sting in the tail from this race though, you run down the hill past the train station again but then take a sharp left and you are welcomed with a sharp climb of possibly 50 metres up to the finish line. This is where you can make up quiet a few places if you pace it well. This year I did and passed 3 or 4 people on the final hill.

Pace wasn't too bad, the first mile was maybe a bit on the fast side but it was downhill, mile 3 was better than expected considering it included the walk around the rock.

So what have I learnt over the past week - there is a balance. It's all well and good knocking out 10 miles every day but if you loose the enjoyment of the running then it can be counter productive. I went out to Black rock to enjoy the run, not to race it and in the end was only 9 seconds slower than 2 years ago (the last time I raced this route). 9 seconds in the grand scheme is nothing and it felt so much easier, I really didn't feel like I was racing. I aimed for the deep puddles along the beach, I took my time around the rock and on the way back even managed a hill-click for the camera! (thanks Louise for the photo!)

This was when I realised that I had really missed enjoying races. I've been putting myself under way too much pressure to hit a specific time when a) my body might not be up to the pace yet and b) stress may be the reason I'm getting the stitches when racing. This theory has still to be tested further though because it may also be milk, but as I said, both need more testing.

So I am now looking to enjoy my running a bit more, if that means heel clicks (which didn't seem to go down too well with the other runners around me!) or just taking the first half of the race a bit easier, then why not!

 

Since Black Rock I have been a tad busy. On Sunday 30th June, I got married to Mandy at Edinburgh Castle and to be honest, running has well and truly taken a back seat just now. I have raced the Brig Bash 5 and managed to finish in 29:33 which I was very happy with. Mrs Williams also had a good race and enjoyed the evening's run.

Not much running has happened since then though. The past week has been hectic sorting out honeymoon things and packing but the good news is, I have packed my running hear for the honeymoon! 

I'm planning on getting down to parkrun tomorrow and will see how that goes, it would be good to get close to my PB but will see what the weather is like and also how the legs are feeling.

One thing is for sure, when I get back from honeymoon I'm back on the 10 miles a day, I actually really miss it. 

Owain Williams

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