What happened in week 12?  Well, all of this:

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Highlights this week included the sun coming out.  I’m so British with all this weather talk but oh golly it can affect the running mood.  It was still brass monkeys, but hey, the shoots of spring are out!  Secondly I did a track speed session.  The first one of this training cycle.

This session was 5 x 600m and I got to do it with one of my lovely, fast friends, Laura.  Now this is in equal parts massively inspiring, humbling and joyful and I shall explain why.  Just to state what is probably obvious, 600m is 1.5 x track laps.  So, I’m thinking, yep, Laura is fast, but how far away from me can she get in 1.5 laps?  The answer is pretty much a whole half a track.  So, yes, my reps begin with me thinking – whoop, I’m near her, then in seconds wondering HOW DID SHE GET OVER THERE?  That’s the humbling bit.

It was inspiring because yes, I’m not going to lie, in my head I  was chasing her down which almost certainly meant I worked harder than I would have done alone.  And finally it was joyful because my overall workout was 6 miles at an average pace of 7:19 minutes per mile (sub 6:30 for the speedy bits).  OK, it excluded the recoveries between speed reps, but it was definitely an awesome piece of fast, hard work.  I’ve been feeling sluggish at the speed end in this training cycle so I definitely found myself winking at my reflection shortly after, telling myself “lady, you’ve still got it.” (True life confession).

Later in the week I had 17 to do.  I got myself some awesome company (thanks Alison and Kathi for 14 and 16 respectively).  It was a dull, windy day and we ran a pretty gruelling, hilly route with not much to see but construction and geese, but in so many ways we held each other together.

My Weekly Inner Philosophical Debate:   A love on all those runners who are getting it done

For this little tribute, I need to start with a little bit about me just to set it up.  So, I am a Brit, I am here in Ohio with my husband’s job. Prior to that I worked 20 years in Brand Marketing and prior to that I worked doing anything from delivering heavy sacks of papers to people before school (EVERY DAY!  Who does that anymore?) to pulling pints in pubs, frying chips and sitting on a till in Boots.  I’m now in a spot where I don’t have to work for my family’s survival and I can live the cliched dream of writing a novel in between procrastinating with diversions like this.

I try really hard to maintain some kind of  “working structure”.  But, and this is the thing I really wanted to talk about, I have options that so many of my running friends don’t have and that was so evident this week.  I try really hard to do all my running in what would normally be deemed as “hobby time”.  I’d like to think about half my runs I manage to do before my family wakes up, or on one weekend morning or the equivalent of a lunchtime run from the office.  This past week, however, my husband was away, so early mornings and weekends were not an option.  But, being accountable to no one but myself with this novel lark means I CAN run in the day if I want.  And this week I had to.  I ran 47 of 52 miles while my kids were at school.

If I had a full time job or any other impediments I have no idea whatsoever how I would’ve done it this week.

But, do you know what, I have running friends who DO have full time jobs, have double the amount of kids + enough animals to make a small scale petting zoo.  I see on Strava, friends who will punt out a 16 mile run, in the dark, starting at 8pm after a whole day of work.  I see people coping with disabled and sick children and one in particular who’s child wakes up daily at 3am (for the day!).

I’d like to think I could manage and stick with it in the way these people do.  I hope I am THAT runner.

And finally, I want to put a little tribute to the MRTT Carmel marathon group this week (The Six Pack).  Among them are some of the most tenacious, inspiring and gritty runners I’ve ever seen.  The way they have shown up and held each other together has been joyful to watch.  And I’m giving a special shout out to our girl Hope Cantrall who inspired my subject of getting it done this week.  Lady, you light up people’s worlds, what you have dealt with in this training cycle makes mine look like a garden party.  Whatever happens on Saturday, be in no doubt that you are a Queen of showing up and doing so in style.

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To all the runners showing up, I salute you.