Journey to the end of the world

Yesterday was a C25K run day according to my plan. It was supposed to step up a notch from 8min jog, 5min walk, 8min jog to a 20min straight jog. We both decided that since we struggled with the second 8min job on Wednesday we would repeat that session. We also had agreed to meet at another path where we could run along the river instead of in circles around the park. It was both a good and a bad idea. It was nice to just run out, turn around and head back (the C25K app has a “turn around” notification for halfway through the time – handy!!). However, there were a lot more dogs out and about and I’m not overly fond of them.

Friday’s run info (some of the slow speed sections I was running on the spot while my running partner retied shoelaces or fixed hair etc):

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A couple of weeks ago at Toastmasters, I was chosen for a table topic (a 2 minute impromptu speech) and my assigned topic was what is your biggest fear and why? I couldn’t really think of anything that is as strong as a phobia but as a bit of a perfectionist (only in some area) I really hate having to admit that I haven’t been able to do something I said I would. I don’t like starting something I’m not 100% sure I’ll be able to do well because I don’t want to “not do well”. I think that’s why I don’t like table topics although I am starting to dread them less.

Aside: As I typed that last paragraph, I started wondering why it’s not the same with my triathlons. Sure, I want to finish but I keep getting up early every most mornings to go for a run that I am not sure I’ll be able to do well and I don’t seem to have a problem admitting here on this blog when I’ve failed at something – cooking, abstinence from chocolate, exercising, going to bed early – I could go on forever! I’ll have to think about that some more…

Anyway, back to where I was originally heading with the fear tale. Out running yesterday (and when I say running, I really mean slow jogging but running is easier to say and type :D) there were other walkers/runners with dogs. Most of them were on leads, which still freaks me out when they start barking and lunging and pulling on their leashes, but some were not. We saw a couple of greyhounds and I’m sure in the past I’ve only ever seen greyhounds in public with muzzles on. These ones had no muzzles. I was very glad they were on leads. Until I looked back and saw that one was off its lead and following on our heels!

This was the moment I realised what my biggest fear is and what I should have talked about at Toastmasters. I have a not-quite-paralysing fear of my calf muscles being torn to shreds by a dog. A couple of years ago when I was training for my first 5km run (I trained for a whole week leading up to it!) I had a really ugly, mean-looking dog come tearing out of a yard yapping/growling/slobbering at my heels and it followed me for quite a long way. I’m sure if I’d owned a heart rate monitor at the time it would have overloaded. I actually crossed the road (a main highway) half-hoping it would get run over by something. Please don’t judge me for that – it was just an irrational thought – I wouldn’t really wish that on any dog or its owner. I had the same feeling yesterday with the greyhound behind me. The owner was not even 100m away – why couldn’t they call the dog back – or keep it tied up in the first place.

Rant over. Back to running.

This morning I am at the coast again. One of my aunties has been kind enough to have a 60th birthday party – like I need an excuse to head to the coast! I didn’t set an alarm but still woke up at 6am – despite still being awake at 1am. It wasn’t raining. So I decided to go for a run instead of the prescribed 12WBT SSS session. I turned on the runkeeper app on my phone and decided to try to jog 20 minutes straight in preparation for Monday. After I short distance I opted for simply seeing how long it would take me to run 1km (as a teaser for the next fitness test in a few weeks) and then just keep jogging and see if I could reach the rockpool without stopping to walk. I had no idea how long this would take.

Last time I took this route (June) I walked it. You can read more about that here.

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I haven’t actually looked yet to see what my time was for the 1km. I kept going until I reached The Rockpool but then decided I was so close to 2km (I’ve got the app set to tell me my distance every minute – I find it encourages me to keep going to the next milestone) that I would keep going down the breakwater.

At the 2km mark I’d reached this point (which I came back to afterward to take the photo – I didn’t stop then):

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As you’ve probably guessed, I was so close to the end of the breakwater, I kept going. I did stop at the end (of the world).

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6 minutes 40 seconds for the first 1km. Slower than my last few fitness tests but not bad since I set out hoping to save something for a full 20 minute jog. And also EXACTLY the same as my pace for the whole 2.16km. I’ve impressed myself just now! The pace line is nowhere near as all-over-the-place as it usually is so I must have found a bit of a rhythm. Happy happy joy joy. There was no wind today. That probably helped.

After stopping and chatting with some other early morning walkers and cyclists (people here are so friendly) about when they’d last spotted whales off the breakwater (I didn’t see any), the weather and all that, I decided I had something left in the tank so I’d try to jog all the way home.

I got this far and even walked some of that:

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I also stopped to take this photo of the early morning swimmers. I could so live here and do that. In fact, I stopped somewhere else on the return trip to read a real estate sign about a house for sale… Might have to chat with the hubby…

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The trip home was a lot harder. I walked some of it – but not a lot of it. As I jogged, I considered why this might be the case. Aside from the fact that I’d already just jogged for almost 15 minutes straight, for possibly the first time, and very probably the first time I’d done 2km without walking at all, I wondered if it was as simple as the goal. On the way “out” I was heading for the beach. On the way “back” I was just going home, not really going somewhere. I don’t know.

Then I realised I was watching my shadow and having some negative thoughts, so maybe it was the sun on my face that helped entice me to keep going. My shadow was behind me all the way there – I didn’t see it. On the way home it was in front of me all the time. When I run, I look at the ground a metre or two in front of my feet (scared of rolling ankles etc).

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And yet, staring at my shadow I found that I wasn’t focusing on the fact that I now have a waist.Image

Instead, the bit that was right on my focus spot on the ground was my hip/thigh area.

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I understand the concepts of perspective and all of that but I really had to struggle to think positively on the way home. I kept seeing the bits of my body that still need work instead of seeing the progress I’ve made. All the time still knowing that what I’m thinking is wrong… An interesting little paradox/conundrum/whatever – that you can think something silly, knowing it’s silly to think it, but thinking it anyway. Crikey – I hope you can work out what I mean by that.

On the way to the beach I was feeling confident and upbeat, wearing my new size medium skirtsports triathlon pink shirt which looks like this:

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I bought it after my triathlon two weeks ago and I love the colour. I said hello to other runners and joggers and wasn’t embarassed (except when my phone chose that moment to announce my distance loudly from the cleavage alley pocket of my shirt!).

I should probably wrap this up, my fingers have been rambling for too long already (sorry) and the other occupants of the house are beginning to stir so I should probably go and say good morning. It is 8.45am after all! Time for breakfast.

To round things off, the graph for the slow trip home from the end of the world.

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And if you need a bit of inspiration this morning, I suggest you read this. Warning: It”ll only take a minute or two but you might want to have a tissue close by.

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3 responses »

  1. You will have to start going north/south so your shadow is off to the side πŸ™‚ Nice work on the running though!! My husband is also going to attempt the 20 mins tomorrow, he kept up with the c25k after I quit lol. Even though I have a dog I kind of feel the same about them off leash where they’re not supposed to be. I’ve had off leash dogs run up and try and attack my dog (on leash with a halter) and there’s nothing I can do to stop them without getting in the middle of it.

    • Will have to consider that north/south business (like I know which way is up at that time of day)! Tackling the 20mins tomorrow… yet to decide on a location. πŸ™‚

  2. Pingback: Triathlon 4 « The Tri Road

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