Something happened to me last week. I was part-way through a 2 x 2-mile tempo run when I was struck with inspiration, why not enter the Dewsbury 10k?
I was running at a pace that felt comfortably hard and enjoying it. I was off-road, it was very cold, the sun was shining, and the autumnal colours were amazing. I was happy to be outside and running.
I pushed on, and as I did I saw a glimmer of my former self, the fit and competitive me, not the unfit one too busy with work and writing commitments to train. For the first time in a long time, I felt fitter and confident that with some consistent and hard training, I can get back to my former fitness level, maybe even better.
I felt motivated, inspired and determined.
These are three qualities that have been lacking from my running mindset for close to 18 months. I’ve been prioritising my writing, struggling with a long commute and juggling full-time work, a master’s degree, horse care, and before that there was a bachelor’s degree and a wedding. Not only was I exhausted from doing too much, but I realised that it was bad for my health to try to do everything. I stepped away from racing and training to focus on writing.
But out on my tempo run I decided that being fit and strong is important for both my physical and mental health, it can’t be at the bottom of my list of priorities any longer. I arrived home after the eight-mile run feeling energised and excited about running, and hopeful that I can regain some of my former fitness. I’ve tried and failed a few times when work and study and horse commitments get in the way, but something felt different. I felt different, more determined maybe.
So, the first thing I did was grab the laptop and enter the Dewsbury 10k, which is in early February next year. It’s a race I’ve done lots of times before and written about (see my posts below). I got my PB of 40.31 there in 2016, and always enjoy it, even that year when it was over distance.
After entering, I put together a 12-week training plan, designed to get back to fitness. The main issue will still be finding time to train, so it’s a realistic programme and does not consist of high mileage. Rather than focusing on pace, it focuses on time. My idea is that come February, I might just surprise myself.
If you’d like to read some of my other posts about the Dewsbury 10k. Here they are.
The Dewsbury 10k 2017 – the one that went on and on and on…