Thoughts Running through my mind. One week remaining. Saturday Morning.

Apologies for the lack of any updates in the last few weeks, I have kept up with the training plan and now it has reached the tapering stage. This morning was the final ‘long run’ before the main event next week.

8.45am. Cold. Drizzle. Could be thinking ‘sod this, back to bed’, but if anything this’ll be the perfect preparation.

Toilet. Shirt off. T-shirt and Hoodie on. Earphones in. Stretches. Water. Out.

Look at all those Parkrunners whizzing around.

Ugh. Brocco Bank. Plus there’s someone on the other side slowly overtaking me. STOP THAT.

Still uphill. Past Hallam Tower. Wish they’d do something with that building.

Keep a steady pace. Feel the burn. Keep going.

Looks like the weather has put off a few runners, the jessies.

Out to Manchester Road, what a view that is overlooking Sheffield.

Downhill. Mmm.

Do I put the hood up or down? Decisions.

Halfway, still feeling strong. The playlist is all I want and more. Choons galore.

Uphill, bit of a struggle. Back downhill for the final straight. Reckon I could do that again.

Can’t wait for next week. No pedestrians. No dogs. No cars. No crossing. Just, running.

9.73km in 54:31. Very satisfying. http://www.mapmyrun.com/workout/1410730721/

If you do want to sponsor me I’m raising money for Katherine House Hospice, a great cause that my late father came out of retirement to help – https://www.justgiving.com/OmarSolimanYorkshire

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Thoughts Running through my mind. Four weeks remaining. Saturday Morning.

Lying in bed. Tight hamstring all week. Do I a) Go for a run or b) Go for a swim? *looks outside* Oh my, can’t stay indoors with weather like that. Guardian Football Weekly Podcast Time.

So early, even the Parkrunners aren’t out yet.

If I’m going to overtrain I need to get some miles in before the dreaded Ringinglow Road hill. Forge Dam and back used to be a run on its own. Ugh.

PARKRUN TIME. Look at them all, it’s like a giant running centipede.

Right turn. Up Ecclesall Road South. Can’t wait for the organised run so I don’t have to evade cars and idle middle-aged toffs who have no spatial awareness.

Ringinglow Road. Ridiculously steep.

Three weeks ago I did this route and a tall, fit, bald man joined my route AND THERE HE IS AGAIN. *five minutes later* He’s a mere blip on the horizon.

Norfolk Arms. F*** you Beats By Dre Man. I’ll step into the mud while you waddle past. Don’t mind me.

Where are these llamas?

Downhill. Weeeee.

Crap. Children. Spatial awareness – Nil. I’ll just ‘gently’ push him out of the way. Don’t turn round. His Mum might spot me.

Oh hai Parkrunners. We meet again.

Brocco Bank. Legs are going. Hamstring is ok. Playlist on. Easy run. I’ll let this girl overtake me.

There she is. I’ll just overtake her. Feels good.

THAT’S THE TWO HOURS. WE’RE OFFICIALLY OVERTRAINING.

Just half an hour to go according to the training plan. Soddit. Make it 15. Ok. 20.

Done. You know you’ve smashed it when walking feels a lot tougher than running did a few minutes ago.

Thoughts Running through my mind. Five weeks remaining. Saturday Evening.

Home for Mothers Weekend and forgot my shorts, hence breaking in these new ones. Zipped pockets though FTW.

Usually I turn left at the bridge to run by the canal to the Britannia Stadium and back. Feeling I’ll need a change of scenery for motivation, I turn right.

Cold. Bit of drizzle. Jacket on. Guardian Football Weekly podcast playing. Ideal.

Some lovely barges round this end.Like a posh, pedestrian mobile home on water.

No dog walkers, this is awesome.

Ooo, there’s Wedgwood.

Now it’s Barlaston, lovely little village.

No, don’t wave at the passing train. What are you, ten?

There’s an actual llama farm. I didn’t even know that existed this close to my childhood home.

This pair of lads are running a hell of a lot faster than me. They actually seem out of breath.

Ow, tight hamstring. That’ll be why. Don’t strain yourself.

Pretty sure I’m going so slow I’m giving myself a cold.

Stone. Halfway. I remember this lock, it was part of the school run on the way to primary school, I actually believed bears roamed those woods. Idiot.

There’s my nursery school, halcyon days.

Ow, actually feels like my right kneecap is about to bounce off.

Plus my left sock has a hole my big toe is popping itself through. Let’s just get this over with.

14.34km in 115 minutes. IS THAT IT? Ugh. So slow http://www.mapmyrun.com/workout/1371526901

 

 

Thoughts Running through my mind. Five weeks remaining. Wednesday Evening.

At 2pm this afternoon it was bright sunshine and light winds. Standard that at 5pm when I decide to run it is horizontal drizzle.

Jacket on. Hood up. Football Weekly podcast playing.

Classic commuter. Can’t be bothered to look out of his window so he just follows traffic instead of letting me cross the road. Prick.

Midweek means all the fit, healthy runners are out. Lordie, I feel obese.

Students. Professional looking runners in neon. Then there’s me in ridiculously baggy, black shorts.

I’ve done 1 minute tempo run, 2 minutes recovery x 6. Fine.

2 minutes tempo run, 2 minutes recovery x 6. That was ok.

3 minutes tempo run, 1 minute recovery x 6. Struggled with that one.

This evening it’s 8 minutes tempo run, 2 minutes recovery x 3. Yup. Might die.

Eight minutes is really long when you’re out of breath. You think it’s six minutes in when it’s only three. Just. Keep. Going.

Second set. Two minutes recovery!? IS THAT IT?

Third set. Totally cool with this. There’s a casual jogger ahead. I’ll overtake him if I’m doing a tempo run.

*Two minutes later* I’m closing in.

*Further four minutes later* Nope. He’s still yards away.

Skinny people make running look so damn easy.

Done. Time for a banana chia milkshake and chicken. Lots of chicken

Thoughts Running through my mind. Five weeks remaining. Monday Evening.

Just when you think it’s warming up the jacket AND Arctic Monkeys beanie hat are on.

Serial podcast time. Though the second season is wholly less engrossing I still think I’m missing something with Beau.

Sprinting between people so I don’t have to hold back. Some pedestrians just WANT to get in the way.

Still can’t get over how Sam Smith has an Oscar for that terrible Bond song.

Who’d have thought it, a steady half hour run has become ‘comfortable’.

20 minutes in and not a single male runner, not that that’s a complaint. It’s just, weird.

Definitely earned a huge dinner. And a peppermint hot chocolate.

Bumped into a neighbour and pretty sure I just mumbled ‘Morning’.

Thoughts Running through my mind. Six weeks remaining. Saturday Morning

According to my training planner, this morning I’m supposed to do a practice 10k or half marathon run. Considering the Yorkshire Half Marathon route goes pretty much past my flat I really don’t have an excuse not to follow it, or at least half, the difficult half though. As you may know, Sheffield is famous for its hills so any 10k or half marathon route is guaranteed an elevation. The route I’m taking is out of my flat then from Hunters Bar roundabout up Ecclesall Road South, up Ringinglow Road, out to Norfolk Arms then back taking a detour up Psalter Lane, which includes a 215m elevation (http://www.mapmyrun.com/workout/1361792553)

It’s 2c, I’ve got a busy day lined up, the jacket is on, the new playlist is… playing. Out.

Perfect. I get to see all the Parkrunners happily jog to the park while I slog it up a never ending hill.

Ecclesall Road South is steep.

Oh God, Ringinglow Road is ridiculous.

One slim, bald runner has run onto my route.

*10 minutes later* I have no idea where he’s gone.

Training must be going alright, feel like I can run uphill for miles and miles. Or maybe that’s the homemade lentil dahl I had twice yesterday.

THAT’S IT, THE ROAD IS FLAT, WE HAVE REACHED THE PLATEAU.

Now, where are those llamas? They’re covered in fur, they wouldn’t be THAT cold.

Looks like a fair few are following the same training plan, I’ll give an appreciative nod to each one as our paths cross.

Really need to invest in a lightweight jacket. And lightweight shorts.

Like an oasis in the distance, there’s Norfolk Arms.

My brain is saying we’re halfway done. My legs are giving the go-ahead to push on.

At the halfway point my stopwatch reads 32:33, no time for a breather.

Woof. I’m flying down this hill. Apologies to everyone else for making them feel even more knackered.

If anyone wants to see me angry watch me running downhill while listening to Ill Manors by Plan B (Watch it burn. Oiiiiiiiiiiii) or Club Foot by Kasabian (Boosh)

One day a pedestrian will thank me for running out of their way. Not today though.

Now I get to see all the Parkrunners leisurely stroll home. That’s right, you enjoy your bacon sandwich. Bastards.

One final hill. Done. 58:57. That’s a tidy five minutes knocked off my route PB. Buzzing.

 

Thoughts Running through my mind. Seven weeks remaining. Wednesday Evening

What a beautiful evening to go out for a run.

Endcliffe Park looks so different in Spring. High school couples holding hands, a young lady reading a book on a bench, kids playing, a man with a long-range lens photographing the ducks…

You know when you’re really taking it easy during a run you just feel like you’re going through the motions. That. It’s not nice.

My hands and face are still cold, I’m going so slow.

Blaming the shoes, it’s like I’m partially slipping over and having to make up for it. I must look bow legged.

There is an angry bald man who has sprinted past me THREE times.

No, don’t mind me love. You just continue your conversation while I dart around trying not to step on your tiny dog.

Definitely not deserved a hot chocolate tonight, maybe a bath though. Mmm.

First time this year I’ve got back and it’s still light, lovely.