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Santa Run:  I’m suiting-up for my first ever event!

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….

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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!!

Strava Day 1

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

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