Thursday, 10 January 2013

The fear

I went for a run this evening.  I was very angry when I set out.  In fact I was so angry that my children assumed I had enjoyed a fantastic day at work because I pasted a fake smile to my face before I walked in through the door.  Normally I arrive home tired and in need of a hug and a cup of tea tonight I was downright furious,  but I knew it was unfair to take out my frustrations on my children, so smiled instead.  The reasons for my anger are numerous, and this is not the place to discuss them, but suffice to say I am a professional who would actually like to be treated as such, without having the rug pulled out from underneath her on a periodic basis.

In the privacy of my own room - which is a relative privacy as small people seem to think of a closed door as an open invitation to barge in - Husbando asked if I wanted him to come for a run with him.  'No I do not!' I replied, 'I want to run, listen to loud music and mutter rude words under my breath.'

So off I went.  As I ran I worked through all the annoyances of the day, thought about some of the lovely things about work - teaching is hugely rewarding and I really do love teaching.  I'd returned at the start of term full of enthusiasm and with loads of ideas that I wanted to try out.  Mountains of paper work, bureaucracy like I've never seen before and poor communication skills from management seem hell bent on killing my love of teaching!  I have decided that I shall do as I am told, not question anything, and not under any circumstances dare to show any initiative or original thought.

All this has nothing to do with the title of this post.  On my last few evening runs I've achieved something I've never achieved before.  Namely negative splits.  That is to say that the second half of my run has been faster than the first half.  I haven't made a conscious effort to do this, and I guess that one of the reasons it happened is that I started each run in a bad mood or tired after a day at work, but for whatever reason I am going to try to capitalise on it.  Intellectually I know that negative splits are an ideal way to run long distance races, but I've always had a fear...

....If I hold back over the first few miles maybe I won't have enough energy to pick up the pace for the final few miles.  I have always gone out as fast as I could and held on for as long as I could, and generally I've had a wee bit of energy left for a burst of speed in the last couple of hundred metres.  The only race where this strategy hasn't worked for me was the Abingdon marathon, and this was an occasion where I planned to start slow, but got caught up in the enthusiasm and dragged along by all the faster club runners.  Even then I can't be too disappointed, I knew that my first marathon would be a learning experience where my only aim was completion.

So, having unintentionally run negative splits on these short training runs, and achieved a fairly nifty pace for the last half mile, I am going to try to consciously run negative splits in some of my longer runs.  Hopefully as I lose some weight and regain some speed I may be able to record some half way decent times this year.  I've entered the first Yorkshire marathon it would be nice to clock up a PB....


  1. Hope your tomorrow is less frustrating - and well done on the negative splits :)

  2. I sometimes end up with a few faster miles at the end of my very long training runs.. it is a good feeling when I can pull that out the bag on tired legs :)
    Needed it at the end of Portsmouth and managed to attempt a sprint finish ( at least a snails version of a sprint)

  3. Cannot get enough of your blog. Can you blog every day please?

    I am always amazed at the therapeutic effects of running. Last Friday I could only run at 8:30pm due to doing things with the kids, but got caught up in some stressful things and did not get out until an hour later. I had a 9 mile run planned (3 horrible laps round Chineham with 1 at half marathon pace), but an hour later when I got home I was in a much better frame of mind.

  4. John, thank you! Nice to know that it is being read. I write it for the same reason I run, because I feel better after I have finished. Sometimes just putting things on paper, even in the relatively anonymous way I do here (not naming children/Husbando etc) seems to help me think things through. I try not to edit after I've typed as I want it to be 'me' writing what I feel rather than striving to achieve a 'style.' That said, if I subsequently spot a blatant typo or missed work I will go back and change it.

    Debbie, my sprint finishes are probably about the same as John's marathon pace!