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Iceni Magazine | April 19, 2021

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Run, Iceni, Run: What I’ve Learnt

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The heat has returned. For a number of reasons, including the heat and doing more as a family, I simply haven’t been able to put in quite as many miles as I wanted to.

However, when I do go out, I’m feeling strong and, with less than two months to go until marathon day, my determination is still as strong as ever.

This blog post is focused on all of the things I’ve learnt since beginning running over 18 months ago.

#1 – Running in Norfolk is very different to running in London

I really ought to make the most of the longer days because, here in rural Norfolk, winter running comes with added challenges. Great Ellingham has “dark sky” status because of its observatory, which is why there are only a handful of streetlights. There are very few pavements either, so it’s always fun battling on the narrow roads with agricultural traffic and speeding 4x4s. On almost every street corner back home, there is a shop. Here, there is one shop within the village, with limited opening hours, so making sure I have sufficient fuel is vital.

#2 – Running really helps my mood

As I explained in my first blog, I’d been going through a horrid time personally when I decided to try running. Having this hobby really has boosted my mood on so many occasions. When things get a bit too much, pounding the pavements (ahem… sides of the country roads!) can clear my mind of my worries for a bit. The endorphins work wonders too! Running is time specifically for me and has become a vital part of my life.

#3 – Always have a back-up plan

Some runs don’t go to plan. I’ve realised that and this can happen for a variety of reasons. I may not have fuelled properly, I might have been forced into nettles by a speeding BMW, or perhaps I just overestimated my energy levels for that day. As a result of realising this, I began to share my location with my partner via WhatsApp, so she knows exactly where I am (as well as knowing when to start running my bath with added Epsom salts!). If, for any reason, I were to get into trouble and be unable to contact anyone, it’s reassuring to know I can be tracked. I suppose my rescue would depend entirely on whether I was in her good books on that day or not… maybe I need a second back-up plan!

#4 – Proper clothing and shoes do make a difference

Although I was reluctant to listen to the advice of others initially, once I did get my Hoka shoes and wore supportive running gear, my technique did improve. I also felt more comfortable and so my confidence levels have increased. Lycra isn’t as bad as I thought it would be!

#5 – Never reveal your running bucket list to anyone

If I’d not been so daft as to declare my ambition of running a marathon, I wouldn’t be in this position right now! So, keep quiet for an easy life!

#6 –Training plans really ought to be followed, not just printed out!

Last time, I touched upon the fact that I had downloaded and printed out a training plan. Well, that is true. But, have I actually followed it? The honest answer is No! This summer has been manic and I have run as and when I’ve found the time. The marathon is now looming and I do wish I had been able to follow the training plan, but I haven’t yet. Now that the schools are back and I have a little bit more time to myself, I am really hoping that I can get (I would say back, but I’ve never really been on track!) on track with my training. Five and a bit weeks to go…

Current status: reflecting on the stupid things I’ve done (and feeling like an idiot!)

Blog by Colin Jeffery (Owner/Director of Iceni Magazine)

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