Do you remember that bit in Forrest Gump where he just runs and runs and runs? Well, that’s what it feels like sometimes when you’re running, like you can keep going forever. (I also identify with the beard he sported, although mine hasn’t got that long yet.) Other times, you feel as fast as Forrest was when he first sprinted away from the bullies. Lately, it’s been more like the latter as I start my quest for speed.
I’m not a fast long distance runner. My records are pretty poor, but I set out this year to improve them to a decent set of figures. I may want to tackle another marathon in the next year or two (must be mad, I know) and definitely want to break the four-hour barrier this time around, so need to up the pace. Trouble is, you need good strong muscles for speed – unlike running for distance, you can’t just rely on willpower and sheer guts to get you to where you want to be. And this is where I’m lacking a bit at the moment.
My calves generally take a pounding on every run, but it’s on the slopes that my quads and hamstrings take more of the strain, and it’s these muscles that haven’t had a lot of use recently. So I’m doing more hill work and trying to run as fast as I can over 5K and 10K, and I’m pleased to say it’s resulted in me breaking both my 5K record and my fastest mile last week (you can see the results to the right of my Blog page.) I must say I’ve never been so exhausted after pushing myself up the final slopes in my runs, desperate to beat my times to the point where I almost collapsed at the finish – which is how breaking records should be. None of this showboating over the line, Usain Bolt style!!
The records are still not good, but seeing as I’m still on my way back to regular running after my sabbatical, it’s a start. Plenty of scope to keep lowering them, I say. Can’t wait to get stronger, faster and making running a lot easier by not having to struggle so much over the inclines.
To continue the Forrest Gump theme, life really is a box of chocolates. I’ve had the odd coffee cream day recently, but had some good strawberry centred ones, too. You never do know quite what you’re gonna get.
Finally, happy birthday to Alli, who is probably spending it with leopards, elephants or lions as I type. Hope you had a great day!