Baby to BQ

Somehow, when you’re just focussing on putting one foot in front of the other and making it through, you look up and realise weeks have gone by. And that’s how it’s been recently.

My baby is nine months and getting to a point where I’ll have to stop referring to him as a baby soon. I’ve carried him around in my arms for as long as I carried him inside. My body has been post-pregnant for as long as it was pregnant.

While my jeans may have got looser round the waist and tighter round the calf over the past nine months, my body did not magically turn back to how it used to be on the stroke of midnight. Some things will never return to how they were and, as I’m still breastfeeding, some things will take a little longer while those hormones keep doing their thing.

I say this, not to complain or to mourn, but simply to acknowledge the changes.

My running is going well. Better than I expected it to by this point. Last week I ran my first 10 mile run in more than 18 months and my first 20 mile week in more than two years. It feels like I’m getting back to the runner I once was.

I wrote before about how my goals for this year were to get within 10% of my PBs at various distances. This made my 10k goal sub-50, which I did at the British 10k earlier in the summer. It was hot that day, so when it came to the Pride 10k in August I knew I could run a bit faster.

My Garmin hadn’t picked up signal by the time the race started, so I decided to run on effort. I left my watch running so I could see the time and use the race markers and some questionable maths skills to work out my pace.

But I’d also forgotten what time I ran the British 10k in. Or rather, I’d remembered it as being 1 min faster than I really had. So my aim setting off was to run two whole minutes faster. Which would have been a foolish plan on paper and one I wouldn’t have attempted, but somehow that’s e a toy what happened.

I ran on effort. I ran oblivious of my time. I ran delusional about what I could do that day. And I finished in 46:34.

Or to put it another way, I ran 10k at exactly the same pace as I ran a 5k in a couple of months ago (23:17 is 7:30/mile). Had I been aware of this while running the 10k, I would have told myself I couldn’t and I’d have backed off. But instead I pushed on oblivious.

What happened between those races wasn’t anything fancy, just eight weeks of consistent running and a steady, sensible increase in mileage. And when you’re focussing on putting one foot in front of the other, and one run after another, amazing things can happen.

The plan is an autumn half marathon at Royal Parks half and then a spring marathon to try to qualify for Boston again. But I’m taking it one run at a time.