"The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat." -Theodore Roosevelt

Saturday, 30 May 2015

Enoying the good aches...

...and hating the bad ones.

When you're flying with your running, you forget how long it took to get to that level of fitness and focus; the long runs in the sweeping rain, the tempo runs in the boiling heat, the aching joints afterwards. They were nothing, something that came with the territory, and only added to the feeling of invincibility having completed your run despite those conditions.

When you're returning from a break, whether enforced or not, that's when you realise how difficult running actually is - routes that would serve as a mere 'whip round the block' you suddenly have to psyche yourself up for. That hill which you could bosh out at the end of your run you haven't quite got the spring in your step to conquer.

Having had plenty of 'bad' aches over the last 18 months, I've learned to love the good ones over the last few weeks. Sure, I'm not as fit as I was, and I'm needing to stretch a little bit more post run, and the morning after, but I relish all of it. It means I'm getting fitter and stronger, and I definitely appreciate being able to run more, and looking forward to upping the distance.

I'm focusing on the 10k distance at the moment and improving my time, towards the end of the year I'd like to get back to half marathon distance and see where that takes me...

I don't like the bad 'aches' though* - like when someone logs a cycle as a run on Strava...

Running along the Liverpool - Leeds canal there are plenty of segments and so opportunities to work up the leader board, or just generally track how you're getting on speedwise run to run.

There's one segment which I'll complete pretty much every time I lace up my trainers. Earlier in the week I decided I'd put my foot down during the segment and see how quickly I could complete it (without killing myself).

Back from the run, I uploaded my route, and like a kid opening his presents on Christmas morning I was almost unable to contain my excitement looking forward to seeing how I'd got on... 4th, a highly respectable 4th place. However, when I inspected my fellow segmenteers (proper word), one of them had logged a cycle as a run, usurping my effort.

The proof is below, however I've blanked out the name of the offender to protect his/her identity as I wouldn't want the guilt of the repercussions that they could face from the Strava community who I can only imagine are equally as affronted as I:


So essentially, I'm 3rd on the leaderboard, and who knows, possibly even higher if other Strava users are so lax in their lack of regard for the running-cycle logging split. In all seriousness, I'm not that bothered, but it does grate against the OCD part of me :)

Next up for me is the Mersey Tunnel 10k a week tomorrow (Sunday 7th June). I race which starts in Liverpool, goes through the Wallasey Tunnel, and ends up on the Wirral. Previous race report for it here.
*Ok so it's not really an ache, but I've wanted to have a rant about this for a couple of weeks and never been able to fit it into 140 characters on twitter, or crowbar it into a blog.

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