carrie's littlehampton 10k journey

Follow our Community Development Manager on her journey to the Littlehampton 10K in September!

June 6 2017

Carrie Reynolds, Community Development Manager at Freedom Leisure in Arun is competing in this year's Littlehampton 10K!

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10K prep blog….from a non-runner.

Active Communities Manager Carrie Reynolds has signed up to the Littlehampton 10k in September. As a complete non-runner, recovering from a back injury, this is no mean feat. But she is committed to training and is aiming to complete the run in under 60 minutes. We are going to follow her during her training period in the lead up to the run, with an honest account of how she feels each week.

Week 1

Well I went to go for my first run and realised that I haven’t done anything active, apart from walking my dogs in well over a year, following my back injury. In my head, I thought, well just run and see how far you get, filling with dread thinking about the muscle ache, and the fact that I sound like Darth Vader with my breathing.  As with all these things, I talk it through in the office, normally met with enthusiasm and slight sarcasm…but thankfully Lee was in the office at the time and gave me some great advice. He told me not to just run and see where I got, but instead to run for no more than 20 minutes, and to start with 2 minutes running and 1 minute walking, get to 20 minutes and stop. So I got home all set to go, the sun was shining which helps as I’m definitely a fair weather exercise girl and off I went, the first section of running was rubbish, my calves hurt, I went too fast and I almost stopped and turned back, but then my phone beeped to let me know the first two minutes were done…so I carried on…and as I got through the sections it got much easier and the 20 minutes finished in no time!

Run 2 – on a Sunday morning….what was I thinking? But I upped the run time to 2.5 minutes, with a minute walk, I extended the route to unknown territory which helped as I was concentrating on getting lost rather than how much I hated running. At the  moment I have absolutely no idea why people run, it’s not fun! It hurts, it’s boring, you think you will spend your time looking at the scenery, well no I spend my time making sure I don’t trip up!  If a car goes by I have to make sure I look like I know what I’m doing, if a runner goes past I just think I must be really slow.  And then there’s the thinking time….I am not good at thinking.  I know that sounds silly but I don’t find it relaxing to run and think.  Music is definitely my friend when I run. The louder the better!

The increased running time felt really good and I was back home by 9am to get on with my busy Sunday….Let’s see what my Tuesday morning run brings! I’m hoping that I will get to the point where I like running! 

(06.06.17) Run number 3... so windy!  Hated the first half, second half wasn't so bad!  Upped it to 3 minutes running and 1 minute walking intervals...I still don't like running...#thisgirlcan

(08.06.17) Run number 4 completed and I actually liked it!  Today I ran with our very own Hannah Cox and we chatted the whole way round the lovely Tilgate Park which took my mind off the task ahead... even went a little over the 20 minute mark!  On Saturday I have to attempt a 20 minute constant run without any intervals, not sure how I feel about that at the moment!

(10.06.17) Well today was rubbish.  I managed the 30 minutes solid run but I was really slow and my legs hurt, fingers crossed that second time round it will be a lot easier... #thisgirlcan #istilldontlikerunning

(13.06.17) Hot hot hot run!  20 minutes solid at much quicker pace than Saturday!  I keep thinking to myself as I run... surely this gets easier, who actually enjoys running!?  My knees hurt, my calves hurt, my lungs want to burst, I hate hearing myself breathing, which I still don't understand the correct technique... never actually relax when I run as all I do is count down the minutes until I can stop! #Istilldontlikerunning #thisgirlcan

Run Number 5: 13th June

My runs now fall on a Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, come rain or shine, wind or whatever the weather throws at me…so when I had been sitting at Shoreham Airport over lunch for a meeting, enjoying the glorious sunshine, the last thing I wanted to do was run! I thought I might of got away with it as when I got back to work I had left my trainers at home and then had a nose bleed…so I was thinking I had a perfect excuse to put it off. But my running buddy for the day, Tor, was having none of it and made me go home to get my trainers!

It was scorching outside and we had chosen a seafront run. Funnily enough I hate doing linear runs, so although the view was lovely, I hated every second of it. My preference at the moment is running in places where I’m not sure where I am, so I can get a bit lost and I concentrate on the route rather than that my body is screaming at me to stop! Having been a sports person all my life, through being part of a tennis club, swim squad, football team and netball team, I find the mentality of running and the only challenge being my own fitness levels and my own mind telling me I can’t do it really frustrating. But I set the goal of the Chestnut Tree 10k and having lost 2 stone in weight over a year, it’s now time to focus on toning up and being more active. Once I have set my mind to something I have to achieve it, that’s the athlete within me!

So we set off, it was so hot! I have an app on my phone that logs distance, pace and time so I use the 5 minute announcements as my little hurdles to get over. The first 5 minutes seemed to take an age, the lactic acid in my legs was ridiculous and I wanted to stop. Tor is quicker than me which actually really helped as she sped me up after my really slow run on Saturday. We ran along the seafront and on to the greens ward, which is actually part of the route for the 10K in September.  My knees hurt me, which is not surprising after the wear and tear over the years of competitive sport and I could feel my back twinging which was really annoying me after it has felt so good for so long. We reached 10 minutes and I knew we were on the home straight, but I was still not enjoying any of it! I have no idea why people would find running relaxing, maybe once I find it a little easier I will be able to relax but currently, my musicals playlist on Spotify is my best friend!

As we came in to the last minute I felt a huge sense of relief that I hadn’t excused myself from running and that I could stop very soon! I have signed up to our Freedom to Run  10 week course which starts this Thursday, I’m hoping I will learn a few tricks about pace and breathing…

Our 20 minute run got us just short of 2 miles…onwards and upwards… P. S I still don’t like running! But I do enjoy the feeling once I have completed a run…that’s all I’m holding on to at the moment!

The Littlehampton 10K Run event takes place on Littlehampton Seafront on Sunday 10th September 2017.  Join Carrie and sign up today! You can find out more about the Littlehampton 10K race here: http://www.chestnut-tree-house.org.uk/events/littlehampton-10k-run/

Carrie will be providing us with regular updates about her journey to the Littlehampton 10K over the next few weeks.  Keep an eye on our website and our social media platforms for all of the latest from Carrie!