Diary of an SLJ Beginner - week 5

This weeks Saturday session was all about….um….logs.

When I’ve thought about running in the past (in that fleeting ‘I’m going to miss the train if I don’t run for it.  Shall I?  No, there will be another one along at some stage.  Possibly.’ kind of a way), I’ve only really considered that you need working, coordinated legs and a bit of puff in your lungs.  For some reason that seems very silly now, I’d not thought about the fact that you need a certain level of overall fitness.  That was the reason behind this week’s Oregon trail and a lot of logs.

Us beginners were joined by some of the seasoned runners (or ‘big girls’, as I call them in my head) and we were split into groups doing activities ranging from push ups against a log, running though a ladder of logs to picking up logs of varying sizes for a few arm exercises.  Lulled into a false sense of security, we were then presented with our first hill.  Even after last weeks hill lesson and practice on my own, hills are not my friend.  This time I made the mistake of pushing myself the whole way up…..and lost the ability to breathe for the next few minutes.  The more experienced runners talked to me about pacing myself and how it is absolutely ok to walk a little.  ‘Luckily’ we had another big hill to practice on before the end of the class and I changed tack entirely – pacing myself with a friend, running as well as walking and not getting cross with myself for not being as good as everyone else.  I can’t say I enjoyed it, but I did get up there, and that’s what counts, right?  On the Wednesday run our coach had told us to remember that ‘it’s not you, it’s the hill that has the problem’.  So I’m just looking at them as annoying features that can be got over now.  Eventually. 

Our reward after all this effort was to jog the final 0.8 miles – hill free - to the finish.  I still can’t believe that it was only five weeks ago that I was struggling with anything over 30 seconds.  Even more impressive is that fact that one of the lovely experienced ladies that joined us said that she had thought I was the three legged donkey, but she’d watched my running style and there was not a bit of donkiness about it – three legged or otherwise.

SLJ ladies on a log Knole Park

And just to round things off nicely, when we had finished our run and our stretches, the ladies who had joined us from the main group let us know that they had been hoping for an easier run….but hadn’t got it.  They didn’t think we were much like beginners at all!  There’s only one more week left of the course, then we are officially no longer beginners. I can’t quite believe it!