I’ve never been in town when the Great Edinburgh Santa Run takes place, but I look at the pictures of the thousands of Santas and always hope that one year I’ll get to watch. I was so excited when I realised that this year I would be here. Then I had an idea. Why watch? Why not sign up? So I did, and roped in my hubby and niece as well. When I signed up – I really just wanted to help a great charity (When You Wish Upon a Star), feel part of a big event and get a free Santa suit. My intention was to walk the 5k; I DON’T RUN!! So why did I wake up this morning with the urge to put on lycra and running shoes? It was a nice, mild morning. I have a lot of writing and studying to do so I thought the fresh air might do me good. But I think I was mostly curious – how far is 5k? Could I run even a bit of it?
Only one way to find out….
Santa Training Day 1 (20 days to go):
I knew a nearby circuit from some cycling coaching sessions – no cars, a short square of roads (built in anticipation of a housing estate that has yet to materialise) with lights – if I ever wanted to run in the evenings. Luckily I have had one coached running session – at Stay Central Hotel, with Nicola Cockburn – so using what I remembered I decided to walk a lap to warm up, then alternate jogging and walking – trying to jog a bit more with each small lap. The circuit is small so I had no idea if I would even do 1k this morning – but that’s what I was there to find out; I had Strava on my phone to track my time and distance. So on with the lycra and a little head gear – for inspiration of course….
I walked to the corner and approached my first section of running; also my first rookie mistake. I normally will only run if I am chasing down a bus, so I only know 1 speed. Great for catching the bus but not something I can sustain for more than 1 block. So back to walking and trying to find a jogging pace that I could sustain. The circuit is essentially a square and I could run 1 side, walk 1 side and so on. Soon I was managed to run 2 sides, walk 1. I looked at my phone. According to Strava I had been going for 23 minutes and 2.8k!! I might actually be able to achieve 5k in time for the event on December 14th!! OK, new plan. Try to jog 3 sides and walk 1 for the next couple laps and then try to jog the whole circuit. The 3 sections were OK. I did this a couple times then went for the full lap. At the end of the 4th section I was feeling pretty good. I kept going. Anything now was a bonus. Without realising it I did 2 full laps, then rounded the corner and did 3 full laps (jogging pace). As this was just day 1, I decided to stop there. Starting out I was only hoping for about 2k so I was thrilled to see I did 4.1!! Still a long way to go to jogging/running the full 5k but I’m feeling a lot more confident. Maybe the reason I never took to running was that I missing a ‘goal’. Look out Santa Run – here I come!!
I’ll be updating this post with my progress and with how we make out at the charity event on December 14th. When You Wish Upon a Star are a charity whose aim is to grant the Wishes of children between the ages of 2 – 16 years old living with life threatening illnesses. You can donate to ‘When You Wish Upon a Star’ via our Just Giving Page. Thanks for your support! Suzy, John and Emma