Zero to twelve in 30 days
Zero to twelve in 30 days
It might not get us a slot on Top Gear, but it's not a bad start to marathon training.
After a few jaunts to burn off the Christmas excesses (or to make me feel more virtuous about the excesses to come), training proper started on Monday 2 January 2012 with a loop around Dam Flask. This 3 mile route has the advantages of being about as flat as you can get in Sheffield and offering no escape route other than swimming across a freezing reservoir. Unless of course you are special guest Max the Dog, in which case a a sheer refusal to run works wonders.
The following weekend saw us tackle an eight mile route with a fairly hefty hill at the beginning, and a cruel, near vertical section at the end. Despite the hills, it is runs like this that really make me appreciate living in Sheffield - how many places in the world can you walk to the city centre AND run to a national park within half an hour? The reward of careering down Manchester Road, with miles of beautiful countryside ahead of you, makes the climb worthwhile. This run also marked the introduction of post-run bacon butties, a tradition I am wholly in favour of keeping.
A couple of early morning, very dark and blustery morning outings with Becky and we were as ready as we would ever be for the Senter's 10 mile route. Billed as including "a couple of hills" it certainly, erm, exceeded expectations. One of those mornings where it is so cold even polar bears would have thought twice about venturing out, I have never been so grateful for my pink fluffy ear muffs and took layering to a whole new level! Again, the beauty of the Sheffield countryside followed up with a buttie and cuppa did wonders to offset the pain.
Then came, for me, the first real test: The Geordie Shore Experience. On a girls' weekend to Newcastle I had to drag myself out a cosy flat with endless cups of tea and reality TV, for a run along the Tyne. Oh, and I'd been so busy packing sparkly heels and falsh eyelashes that I forgot my iPod. Epic fail. But out I went and, one gruelling hour and six rainy miles later, I got back on that sofa with a great sense of smug satisfaction. Lesson learned though: I need my team!
Every now and again, JCI goes from simmering activity to all out "change your life NOW" territory. Inspiration Day on 28 January was such an occasion and that enthusiasm was still palpable throughout our 12 mile route around Ladybower. A stunning run we stopped often to admire the views, catch our breath and curse the fact no-one had brought a camera. Looks like it is a run that will feature often in the future though so we'll get photos soon.
So that was January and (say it quickly) the first fifth of our training time gone. I'm thrilled that we've covered the distances we have but the real unexpected benefit for me has been the opportunity to spend a few hours a week with such amazing people. One of my highlights of the year so far is standing on the edge of Ladybower, the hills reflected perfectly on the water, plotting out future business ideas and the impact we can make on the world. Roll on February!
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