Saturday, 29 January 2011

Running: It's Grrrrreat!

Today I had 3 goals for my run:

1. Run 16 miles
2. Enjoy every minute of the run
3. Smile at as many passers by as possible

Goal 1 - ACHIEVED!

I have officially topped my longest run with a new longest run, smashing my previous record with two extra miles taking me to 16 miles!! I plotted my route before I set off using RunSaturday, which is great because it shows you an elevation profile of your route so I was able to draw up a relatively flat one; inevitably there were a few inclines along the way, but short of running around a track several hundred times, or moving to Norfolk, I wasn't going to run 16 completely flat miles. It turns out it was a good job I dipped into the knowledge of the Internet before setting off, as my GPS watch was not thinking as positively as me when we left the house together and consequently failed to join me on the first 1.5 miles of my run! Thankfully, I noticed when I paused to shake a stone out of my shoe. A little disappointed that it wouldn't record my full run, I shook any negative thoughts from me, telling myself that the most important thing is that I knew... and anyway, I could just adjust the distance and time once I'd uploaded it... which I did. This of course explains why the Garmin map below looks as though I ran through a load of houses for the first 1.5 miles of my run in 0.1 seconds flat! I can promise you I have not turned into a super-powered, trespassing criminal, but that technology let me down!

"Well done you!" I hear you say, and well thank you; but you're also wondering: "what about the other two goals Maggie, Did you achieve them?" Okay, okay, calm down... all in good time. Phew, you can be impatient sometimes can't you! Right, so...

Goal 2 - ACHIEVED!

Grrreat... just like Tony!
Only my fuel was porridge not Frosties!
Oh yes... just like Tony the Tiger, I feel Grrrrrrreat!

Since our Marathon meeting on Wednesday, which left me feeling really pepped-up about my marathon training, I've been working on my PRB. Thursday at club was an excellent example of how successful this is already becoming, and today was another. I set off with the belief that I could do this... that I could run 16 miles, that I could run at an average 11 minute mile pace and that I could do it without being in pain. And I did. Running with Chad certainly helped as not only did the beat of the music help me keep a steady pace, but his motivational mantras kicked in every now and then to give me a boost (thanks Audiofuel). This time, I made up my own mantras though; throughout my run I said to myself: "You can do this. You're fit, you're strong, you're great!".
Well, if you'd seen me in the final mile of my run, you'd have seen for yourself how well this worked as not only did I have a massive smile on my face, but I'd also picked up my closing pace to an average 10 minute mile; whilst the positive little voice inside my head was now saying: "You've done it! You've run 16 miles, this was easy! No problemo! You're Grrrrrrreat!". Brilliant!

So it seems my PRB is really working. As I was running, I was thinking about how amazing it is that your mental state of mind can have such an impact on your physical body; Dr Midgie had left a comment on my blog confirming the power of the mind, saying: 'Every time you have a positive thought, it 'strengthens' your body! In the context of running, you can experience the difference!! Just try standing up from a seated position while repeating the 'negative' type of words and then the 'positive' type of words ... and see what the difference is yourself!'. And it's so true, my positive thoughts today took me 16 miles. In distance that was only 2 miles further than my previous longest run; in physical performance it was a marathon ahead of that last run!

So finally, to my final goal: to smile at as many passing people as possible.

Goal 3 - ACHIEVED!

I say 'as possible', as I've learnt that not everyone is keen to catch my eye and reciprocate my friendly nod and inane grin; in fact there were two people on my run today who looked like I'd positively stabbed them in the stomach with a skewer when I smiled at them! There were some who stared resolutely at the ground as they passed me, perhaps they had a particular interest in different types of tarmac, a bit like trainspotters only less interesting - not that there's anything wrong with trainspotting, I understand it's a very interesting and ... ... that it's... ummmm... yeah... an interesting hobby.

However, despite this, I persisted and managed to accumulate 26 reciprocated smiles on my run... yes I did keep count, I am that sad! I like to think that I was able to spread a little bit of the enjoyment I was feeling on my run to all those friendly people today; one of whom was another runner (I know, only one... quite unusual) and the other was Norris, who was quite frankly over the moon to see his Lycra-clad teacher plodding along the local lanes!

Needless to say, with all 3 goals fully achieved, a reward was in order: A chocolate milk and a Mars Bar. And, to top it all off nicely, tonight I've my Soon-To-Be-Sister-In-Law's Hen Party, the perfect end to the perfect day!

And only 2 days of Janathon to go! Happy Running!

Distance: 16.35 miles
Weather: cold but bright and sunny
Feeling: Positive... I believe I am a grrrrreat runner!
See my run here.


  1. Well done on banging out a massive miler!

    I try and smile to most people I pass but the majourity are miserable bar-stewards so I never get many smiles back!

  2. I love your post today. It's great that you are always so positive. I will have to try and pick up some of your PRB, both for running and maybe I can adapt it for work too.

  3. Congratulations! Three positive targets, three positive results. Inspirational stuff.

  4. Well done Maggie!! Great running.

    My Garmin frequently shows me running through houses, hedges and rivers. I'm sure I'd remember if I had, though. I know what you mean about the non-smilers. My favourites are the ones who determinedly pretend not to have noticed you (the tarmac-starers, I guess) even though you're running directly towards each other along a relatively narrow path...

  5. Super-duper well done to you for doing the 16 miler! WOOOOO HOOOO!!!

    Well done on setting and achieving your three goals for today's run! With that kind of attitude and PRB, you'll have an amazing time at the marathon!!

  6. congratulations on a triple victory.

  7. Great post and so positive! Brilliant 3 goals set out to achieve and met! Amazing mileage, v well done! :-)

  8. Thank you very much everyone. I'm really enjoying my running at the moment, so I guess I should say a big thank you to Cathy too, as if it wasn't for her idea, I don't think I would be at this stage in my marathon training yet! :-)

  9. onefootoutthedoor30 January 2011 at 13:08

    16 miles is superb...fantastic work!

  10. Yay for achieving goals! Well done, you!

  11. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrreat stuff indeed! Well done!

    I counted runners today and achieved a yield of 9 smiles from 28 runners. I clearly need some tips from you, wise Guru Maggie. One lady made a face that seemed to say, "Stop that or I'll call the police." I even saw someone I knew; he'd have run straight past if it wasn't for the fact that I nearly high-fived him in the face.

    You've been inspiring throughout Janathon - I hope the marathon training continues to go so brilliantly.

  12. Thanks K, I think some people need smile implants for when they pass us... runners are clearly just generally friendly people... far more friendly than the rest of the population! Keep trying I say! Also, love the fact you nearly high fived your friend in the face! That'll serve him right for not paying more attention to the runner passing him!! :-)


Thanks for reading... feel free to leave me a message. Maggiee x