And, I had also made another change to my daily runs. I was no longer the lone wolf. Up until this month I always ran by myself. Partly because I liked the solitude but also because I still didn’t class myself as a “proper” runner. I was conscious of both my speed (slow to middling) and my style….or lack of it. But then, one day, a colleague asked if he could join me and in addition to thinking that he was a sound guy, it’s my dream to inspire others to get more active….so I said yes. I won’t lie. I quite enjoyed being his mentor and it was nice to have company. But soon the student became the master and after only a few runs, every run was ending with me at his heel. But I don’t mind. As he has got faster, so have I. We’ve both improved and next week we become a pack with another two colleagues joining us. In January, I hope to turn that two into 200,000 but that’s another post.
Mo the Merrier
The past month has seen me fully embrace running as my main passion. From running to and from work to Mo Running, Run the World and Naked November it’s helped me cover an average of 25 miles a week.
It’s also been a month that’s seen me sporting a new look. For November read Movember. I’ve always wondered how I’d look with some facial hair and having donned a fake moustache last year, in my first ever race, Mo Running and a white beard in the Santa Dash I decided that this time around I would grow the real thing…..or at least, try to. So for the past 30 days, I have been sporting the hobo look. As much as I tried I couldn’t muster a manly tache and instead looked like I just really needed a good shave. Until today, that is. Before I revert back to my baby faced features (gotta dream) tomorrow, I paid a visit to the local barbers and got my mowser styled. I’ve always fancied myself as a bit of a cad, so I went for the “Pencil” and even adorned myself with a wee cravat to complete the look.
November/Movember had another title which was Naked November. Now, don’t worry. I wasn’t subjecting my neighbours to a butt naked me running through their streets. Instead I simply stripped myself of my Nike+, my HRM, my Ipod and even my watch. Over the last few months I had become obsessed with how fast and how far, how many calories I could burn and had spent hours constructing the perfect playlist.
So, this month I cast aside all my gadgets and gizmos and simply went out and ran. Instead of listening to various tunes (all at 160rpm) I listened to my heartbeat, my thoughts and the noises around me. I opened my eyes, cleared my mind and remembered why I loved running.
Rather than checking my pace constantly , I simply ran at a speed that felt comfortable, but not too comfortable and rather than timing myself on a planned route, I just headed out and kept running until I decided to turn back. Some days I would do a couple of miles while on others I would do seven or eight.
It was wonderful.. I noticed so much more happening around me, I enjoyed my runs more and, when it came to race day at Mo Running, I even managed a new PB, taking 3 mins off my previous best 10K time. However, I have to be honest. There were probably a couple of other contributing factors. My time that day wasn’t just influenced by listening to my heart and my body, but also by listening to the crazy woman who decided to pace me the whole way….while trying to talk to me! In trying to escape her rants I pushed myself harder and over the last two miles, I must have overtaken about 50 runners.