Holiday running: Part 2

Tuesday 22nd December        Back up to 8km which is great- that is a total of 20k since finishing school and starting my target on Sunday. I started with a 2 1/2 km dog walk and then headed off across rabbit Ings as Steve took Poppy home- it would be brill to have a dog to run with! I love the feeling of setting off for a run. I’m not sat at home like in the past- unfit and unhealthy. I suspect at 44 I would have been heading easily into middle aged spread had I not discovered 5 2 and C25K. Sometimes I have to admit to thinking, wouldn’t it be great not to care about putting weight on but I think having been a bit dumpy when younger, and spending my whole time feeling rubbish about it, I would always be worrying about being over weight and not feeling good enough. Weirdly I don’t judge anyone else for their size yet worry about it for me! I know running and being a bit slimmer makes me feel more confident about what I can achieve which makes me more confident in my job etc. 

Anyway, back to my run… 

It was still hard work but have to admit it was easier again. I didn’t actually feel that I was going to die today which is a plus! It does make me think though- I was doing this distance last year and although I have made it up to 17km in the summer hols it still feels like hard work doing 8s and 10ks! Why is that I wonder? Surely it should be much easier now doing the shorted runs! I suspect my pace is a little faster but not massively so. Never mind I’m still out there and still enjoying it, especially once I get home!

As I said, it did seem to get easier again today and I was definitely striding a long properly by 4km. There were a few hills in my run today and the wind was often against me.

I love that feeling of arriving home with a run completed, getting a shower and feeling like you have achieved something (including earning your precious Bounts points!!) 

So thats run 3 completed and 20km out of my 35km for week 1. I can either do another 3 runs at 5km each, 1 10km and a 5km or do a long 15km run!! Not much chance of that!
Wednesday 23rd December 

Wednesday 23rd December was supposed to be a rest day. It hasn’t worked out that way though having just got back from a 5k run and clocking up about 7kms in two dog walks. I feel much happier after getting a run done and at the minute I definitely seem to be enjoying finishing the run more than actually doing the run itself which is not like me!

The weather has definitely changed and today was the first time I felt proper cold and didn’t even think about taking my jacket off after getting started. Winter is here. I even had my running hat on for the first time this year.

I’ve just had fun looking at Garmin Connect statistics for the year. I have definitely done less in November and December than in other months in the year. I was pleased to see my average pace is quicker towards the end of the year than when I first started, which is encouraging…. I thought I was slower! It is amazing to see the number of KMs run, calories burned and steps taken during the year…. Soooo different to what I was like before taking up running 18 months ago… I am a truly transformed couch potato!

So rest day coming up tomorrow and I have certainly earned a few foody treats over the next few days!

Saturday 26th December

I didn’t run Christmas Eve or Christmas Day but I did do my exercise bike on both days. I’ve upped it to an hour cycling which seems much easier than it would have done in the past. But today I ran. It was great to be out there and to do a 10k. My first since Percy Pud and I felt I’d achieved something. It wasn’t fast at 1 hour 7 mins but it was 10k and that’s what matters! I reached my 35km target for week 1 of the holidays too so on track for 70 in total. I won’t reach 1000km for the year but I will break through the 900! (Currently 890) That leaves me a clear target/goal for next year. 

I took my Apple Watch out on its first run and it was very similar to my Garmin. It recorded my run in 1 hour 8…. It’s recording my steps etc and is making me be more active as I want to get that 30 mins of exercise in each day too. 

So only a few days to New year and setting my new year running resolutions… I will definitely aim for 1000km as an annual total and will pledge to run the Sheffield 10k and Percy Pud again. BUT I also think my resolution may involve a half marathon! Not sure which one yet but will definitely be aiming to do it. 17km is my longest run ever so I’m sure I’ve got it in me! 

I even finished the day with a 45 minute exercise bike session. I really do want to shift these few extra pounds I’m carrying and running is the way to do it. 

Week 1 went brilliantly for distance but have done a bit less this week. I completed two solid 5ks on Monday and Wednesday and was pleased with my efforts overall with an average pace of 6:16 on the Monday and 6:30 on the Wednesday. Nothing spectacular but at least I was getting out there. 

By New Years Day I wanted to do something that said, ‘I’m still here, still running and can achieve even more in 2016’, so I pushed to 8km and ran up those hills to the top of Grimey Muck Stack. With an average pace of 6:34 it wasn’t my quickest run but I felt fantastic getting to the top of those hills. As I reached the top of the second quarter one I realised I had done that easier than I used to do…. I am stronger and can run better and I can run up HILLS!!

   

 I’ve also upped my Exercise Bike sessions to an hour or 20k and I realise I am much stronger now doing that length of time. So what will 2016 bring for me running wise….. What are my goals?

My running goals are 
1. Cover 1000km during the year

2. To run the Sheffield 10k, Percy Pud 10k and one other 10 during the year with one of them being a sub 60! 

3. To train for a half marathon, hopefully getting a place in the GNR but finding another if not (not Sheffield though- too hard!) 

4. To enjoy running as well as maintaining a healthy weight throughout 2016! 

5. Regular cross training using my exercise bike during the week, particularly until the light nights make a mid week run possible. 

And a bonus one…. To try and run up more hills and be less wimpy! 

So here’s to 2016 a year to succeed: in running, in life and in work.

  

Percy Pud and Holiday Running!

On Sunday December 20th I finally got myself back out there after Percy Pud. I completed Percy Pud 10k in 1:01:26 which to be fair I was pretty pleased with. 

2028 was my number…. Another number to remember on a day to remember! 

 It certainly wasn’t an easy race. When we arrived it was raining really hard and was cold, a real winters day! I sat in the car watching everyone get wet, waiting for my friends to arrive…. 

 But we were thrilled when the rain stopped at the start line! There I was with fantastic colleagues, wearing my Christmas Pudding hat! The weather had been kind to us ( and believe it or not it began raining again straight after!) 

It was time to set off. Running my own race is easy as everyone else is soooo much faster than me, clocking up times of between 42 and 50 minutes! How I would love to get a time like that! Awesome stuff!  

 Anyway, the race got underway, it was very busy at the start and hard to get a steady pace but eventually got into my stride. No km was easy and at times I did feel a bit breathless. Being out wasn’t bad as it felt mostly down hill and some of the scenery was lovely around the dam. Seeing Steve go past on the other side was a great moment and weirdly motivational…. Great fun spotting my colleagues heading back. It just shows the competition within a race is only ever with yourself! 
I had to take the odd walk break and with hindsight that was probably due to coming down with a bug ( by the Sunday evening began to get a headache and then a bad chest and heavy cold) 

After crossing back across the dam on the way back we began to face the long climb back up to the start. I managed it with only one walk break but it was at about 8km when that 60minute pacer passed by me…. ‘Stop, slow down!’ I shouted but he just ignored me and laughed!  

Anyway, I finally reached that last 200 metres and was feeling tired when at the side I was shouted on by Gordon, my Facebook friend and then Steve and Amanda on the other side! Hearing my good friend Amanda shout me on made me sprint (well sprint for me) to the finish line! It made me feel sick by the end but was thrilled to have another race under my belt! I collected my pudding (accidentally pushing in big style!) and then chatted to colleagues/friends before chatting to Gordon who’d come to cheer us on. We walked to our cars together which was a great end the morning. I loved it and will definitely do it all again next year! I will enjoy every moment of eating my Christmas Pudding on Christmas Day- I earned every spoonful! 

  
So that brings me to the holidays! It was the end of term and I hadn’t run for two weeks, since Percy Pud. I had fought off a bug of some kind during the two weeks and wasn’t up to running. Even if I had been fit enough the gale force winds the following weekend would have stopped me! Heading to Ste’s mum’s on Saturday meant no run but I did do two lots of 10k on my exercise bike. Then finally Sunday came along and off I went. Ste dropped me at Rabbit Ings which meant 7k home! I set off and from the start it was tough, I had my Christmas music on and pushed through the tough points. My breathing was still a bit tough but I knew giving up wasn’t an option for me. Arriving home I was truly exhausted but happy . I was back, yes a bit weaker but back all the same! It wasn’t fast coming in at 47:26 and a pace of 6:44min/km but it was 7km ticked off and I was back! 

I set myself a target of 70km during the two week break so 63km to go after that first run. I have also put on a few pounds (about 5) so I want to get rid of some of them during the Christmas break. 

Completed another 5km today, heading home from the dog groomers…. I increased my pace to 6:08 for 5km and completed in 30:58 so was pleased but again it was genuinely hard work! I must get my fitness level back if I am to ever complete a sub 60 race! 

So 12km complete and 58 to go! Going to enjoy checking them off, particularly with my secret weapon which I will unwrap on Christmas morning! 

So happy holidays and happy holiday running to all! 

  
WHO NEEDS A MEDAL!

This quote certainly feels appropriate for my last couple of days, they have taken a great deal of effort!

  
Oh and finally ….. Shhhhh….I am secretly in training for the Great North Run, just in case I get a place! 

Next year my aim will be to run the Sheffield 10k and the Percy Pud again along with a half marathon and at least one other 10k.

Ramping things up a bit!

A short post about how I am stepping things up a bit, upping my game; ramping up the challenge…, whatever you want to call it. In running and leadership! 

I am doing it in my running…

My new goal or re-energised goal is a sub 60 time for Percy Pud. My strategy was to make sub30 5k my new norm…. Just what is expected and then build on from there, adding a km of my 10ks at race pace each week, so 6 at below 6 mins followed by 4 normal pace, then 7 and 3 etc. Last week went better than expected and then this week I actually did it! I completed a 10k in 59:40 which was fantastic. I did my sub 30 5k and then just kept going…. By the time I hit 8k I realised I had another two kms at race pace left in me so I went for it. I shocked myself. I underestimated what I could achieve and by when. It was all in my head. My legs fine, breathing managing so just had to tell myself to keep going.

What I realised was that I wasn’t pushing myself enough… I needed to work harder and puffing and sweating a bit more doesn’t mean I’m rubbish it means I’m determined and committed.

I followed up yesterday with another sub 30 5k today…. Making the pace my norm! 

  

A milestone achieved…. Another first as a result of determination and effort…. An upping of my game to step out of my comfort zone. 

Well I need to do that in my leadership too. 

After setting my performance management targets with Governors last week I realised that to make that good and then outstanding a reality I had to pay more attention to the little things. Push me out of my comfort zone. Find the bit I’m missing. My focus needs to be on making excellence the norm! 

I have done a great deal of reflection and held up the mirror to take a good honest look at where we are. Confronting the true reality tells me after great gains we just now need to push on to get the next level of impact. 

                                     
Focussing on behaviour first. We have so much in place which is great but impeccable rather than good behaviour is tough… What it requires now, alongside all the developmental work, is a greater presence by SLT everywhere at breaks and lunches, in corridors, working in shared areas. There is a well known local/regional chain near here whose leaders must be out of their offices for most of the day and that really resonated when I heard it being discussed. It’s been great doing teacher meetings to evaluate teaching and learning and meeting everyone for half a day each has been an amazing investment but me and my team now need to be out there more…. More accessible: having a greater presence. 

It’s the taking care of the little things and leaving no stone left unturned that will push us on even further, that will make excellence the norm. I must take my team with me on this.

I am being more rigorous in how I hold people to account, including myself and need to ensure all my leaders are both supported and challenged through opportunities to talk and discuss actions and impact. 

Being in my helicopter is key for a while, leading through others and being out there seeing how things are going more often will make the difference.

So, I am creating a new normal…. Capturing the milestones and magic moments as we go. 

Impeccable behaviour is my next goal for school. A focus for senior leaders on the majority of children and the common place, whilst allowing the pastoral team to focus on the additional needs. 

So new habits to create the new norm starts tomorrow! 


A Magic Moment ….

As we journey on towards becoming an outstanding school Friday brought a couple of magic moments to capture. 

 

What do you see above? A corridor? A new corridor? A very boring looking corridor.

This may be exactly what it is but is it far far more than that to me and my school. It is a metaphor for change and unity! 

When I arrived at my school the first thing I knew I must sort out was this link. My school is quite a new build and we are very lucky with our building. However, despite only being about seven years old it was build in two parts a couple of years apart as it was built as a one form entry which was too small to accommodate the needs of the community.

The two parts of the building were not joined together! We had a covered linked which we all had to fob in and out of and a time delay on release buttons. A nightmare and made it feel like two schools. Was this just a building issue…. No! There was a bit of a divide between the two buildings, less cross over between staff and for some, never the twain shall meet. 

So first opportunity this summer holiday we got a brand new corridor and library built. I was thrilled and it was everything I wanted. It was finished this week and yesterday I experienced a very magical moment. 

A lovely member of staff came up to me and said ‘Mo, I must tell you this but yesterday I stood in the corridor and looked down to the other side and thought, wow, she has made us one school!’ This comment wasn’t about the building this was meant symbolically about us as a staff…. About me and my leadership. She understands the vision, understands my vision! The corridor is symbolic of US as a unified staff on our journey to outstanding…. Us becoming more united! 

This comment made me reflect massively on where we are and was very welcome after a few difficult points this week. We are making great progress and really beginning to make that aim of outstanding feel possible.

Capturing the moments....

My other magic moment was in KS2 assembly on Friday. The children entered showing impeccable behaviour. They sat throughout brilliantly and showed genuine pride in their friends receiving gold awards. The gold awards themselves were all focused on learning behaviours, using the language of BLP (Building Learningg Power). We could have been stood in an outstanding school at that point. So I shared that with everyone. I told the children how often I talk about being an outstanding school and that today we could have been stood in one. We have to as leaders share when something is great, not just to celebrate but to help everyone around us feel it. For me true Outstandingness is a feeling that you get …. A magic moment to capture! That one is captured in my mind’s eye and will carry me forward, seeking out more of those moments. 

 
 

Leadership is about people and relationships, it’s about a journey but ensuring everyone comes along with you on that journey. It’s about moving links towards true partnership. We no longer have a covered link or cross over, we don’t even have a link corridor ….. We have one school! 

A 1st to remember….

In education we have many 1sts that are very memorable… Our first class, our first headship, our first school play…. Our first gift from a child, so many memories.Today I had a 1st for me as a runner and I will never ever forget today! I ran my first race, got a personal best for a 10k, got my first finishers T-Shirt and got my very first medal! This was the most amazing feeling of achievement I have ever had. Genuinely. I will treasure that medal! 

  
So, how did the day pan out. After an early get up, feeling pretty excited we headed off at 8am. 

  
Steve (hubby) was my chauffeur for the day which was nice. He dropped me off in Sheffield at I met up with Ste (coach)! We were both the first there as just very keen, or sad which ever way you look at things! After dropping off my bag and seeing more of the team I made the mistake of using he town hall toilet! At least it was warm in there but it meant I was nearly late!! 

Looking back on the day I feel quite emotional about it all.

I missed that sub 60 as got 1:01:24 but do you know what it doesn’t matter! I did the best I could on the day. 8 out of 10 of the kms were on pace but just slipped on km 7 and km 10. It was a bit hill up to the finish and it slowed me down but I know where I can lose 10secs per km and get that sub 60. 

The feeling at the start line was brilliant. I suddenly realised I wasn’t nervous…. I was just buzzing!! I was quite surprised how quickly the field thinned out and I got into a good pace. 

  
The adrenalin genuinely does push you on and seeing the spectators was a bonus. I was able to run my own race and concentrate on running. 

Seeing my colleagues on the other side as they were on the way back was brilliant. Waving and shouting them on. The pride I felt seeing them surge ahead with fast times was amazing. Mr Speedy of course was the first I spotted! A true joint effort. Karen’s time of 49mins just left me bursting with pride and admiration. My amazing friend Amanda was half way with her children and stopping to give her a quick hug really spurred me on. It was a proper race, against the clock but still a proper race. 

The half way point was a good feeling as I could easily evaluate what energy I had left and knew at that point I was on track. A sub 30 in the bag. 

I just let my pace slow a little at km 7 and that was the first point I began to wonder if I could maintain the pace. A definite dip but I did pick the pace up again. After a little banter with another runner at about km 9 we tried to motivate each other up that big hill at the end which helped! I did stop once but knew I had to keep going and then hearing Ste, Steph and Becky my work colleagues shout me on with that wonderful siren of theirs, pushed me on to that finish line! What an amazing feeling getting that medal!! My first ever medal, my first ever race and my biggest running achievement so far! Not a sub 60 but a PB! 

  
The day finished with some fun in the peace gardens, meeting some C25kers and a drink in a pub with wonderful people! It doesn’t get better!!   

  

  
  
I have to say two people made my day! Amanda and Ste Smith! Ste has really pushed me on and put up with me talking about running …. My true running guru! And I just love Amanda to bits so seeing her was brilliant. What an amazing experience, a day filled with emotion and an amazing first to remember!! 

Up there with those special school memories without doubt! 

Percy Pud here we come! 

A busy couple of weeks! The ups and downs of Leadership and running! 

 Tried to reflect the start of the year on 100 word challenge but couldn’t get the word count down! Sorry Julia! 

Here it is!

The alarm went off at 6am… I remember this day one year ago, venturing into the unknown. A new job, new opportunities, new challenges, new people. Leaving somewhere you love and is part of you (part of your heart and soul), somewhere you learned more than at any other point in your career is scary. Have you made the right choice, can’t you just head in as normal BUT no that alarm marked a new start, I had to do it…. Had to draw my strength from deep inside and put that smile on my face, a self assured confident smile because that’s what staff need from their leaders, particularly their new leaders. Someone they can trust in and believe in. That’s what schools need, strong, determined and loyal leaders. 

BUT one year later when that alarm sounds I’ll jump up to my familiar breakfast, do my familiar trip, to my very familiar school which has pride of place, together with two other very special schools, in my heart and soul, because that’s what schools do…. Become part of who you are. 

So…. The holiday seems a distant memory but that’s not such a bad thing really. I was ready to get back to doing what I love. It’s been a whirlwind start to the term befall, despite being ready (or thinking I was anyway!) so much learning already about our journey to outstanding.

Today’s theme: Complexity

To be outstanding is a complex situation. So much needs our attention and it needs attention to detail. To be outstanding every aspect of school life must be outstanding from dining, to outstanding lessons, outstanding leadership, to outstanding parent partnership. 

Our key developments with this in mind are developing outstanding:

1. Learning behaviours

2. Parent partnership

3. A mastery curriculum for Maths, supporting our fast graspers

4. Supporting children with additional needs- developing our use of additional adults, ensuring very effective deployment as well as developing a high level of skill.

5. Middle and senior leadership. This is key. Outstandingness is too complex to rely on one or two good people. We need fabulous leaders at all levels 

And of course….

6. Development of a consistently outstanding learning environment and of course ensuring fabulous practice in the classroom. 

This all takes planning and focus. It takes commitment, passion and hard work.

  

This is where there are clear links to running as you begin to go further or want to go faster. It means learning from the ups and downs, analysing what works and what can go wrong. Analysing the small steps required to make the tweaks which will have the greatest impact to performance over time.
In all of this the most important thing is the people. Whether that’s, teachers, office staff, premises staff or runners…. To be outstanding we have to take care of the people. We have to be encourages, nurturers and challengers. To push everyone on within a supportive environment. To micro manage the system so we can nurture and grow the people within in. 

Our new development, our on track reviews, have been brilliant so far.  We  discuss teachers view of their teaching and learning.  Empowering staff to lead the process. 

So what’s so different? 

This is a new, holistic approach to pupil progress and Performance management. It’s an investment in teachers. The sessions last half a day and have three elements…. Supporting teachers to be on track to be good and outstanding, supporting the children to be on track (day and strategies) and supporting the school to be on track (what’s the wider contribution).We have had fabulous professional discussions and have set incremental developments together. The aim is to support all to develop and become an even better teacher over time. There is a real sense of in it together, sharing practice to develop expertise and deciding on support needs. The professional generosity has been fabulous.  I completed them with my teaching and learning coach and that has really pushed me to work in a coaching way…. Supportive but challenging professional discussions, so we can identify great practice to share and recognise when support is needed. The power of listening to a great teacher, who understands learning is second to none! I’ve learned from working with our coach and learned from the teachers ideas. Leaders who are willing to learn are key to being outstanding. Runners who listen to advice and ideas from others, make the biggest improvements.

In all of our work to be outstanding the most important thing will be the people. Whether that’s, teachers, office staff, premises staff or runners…. Or the children themselves. To be outstanding we have to take care of the people. We as leaders must inspire and motivate. We have to be encourages, nurturers and challengers. To push everyone on within a supportive environment. To micro manage the system so we can nurture and grow the people within in. My belief that people can achieve at their best when fully supported will guide all of my works is year. My belief from my running that I can achieve anything I set my mind too will push me on. People have to feel valued and have manageable work loads to perform at their best. When people are at their best the children benefit most! 

Over the last two weeks I’ve had two of my best runs, achieving a 5k personal best and also a 10k personal best. I’ve covered about 40-41 kms over the last two weekends. 

And yet I have also had my worst runs ever. 

On Friday I ran with colleagues, aiming to do a 10k but after doing the first 3kms really fast I ended up walking and running the rest of the way! The week before I found a 5k run tough. It taught me a huge lesson and I deployed every bit of determination and resilience I had to get out yesterday and ran 10k without stopping in my fastest time. I and something to prove to myself. 
I now know running at the end of a day at work is not my best time, talking to others when running doesn’t help my breathing and starting really fast means I will find it a hugely challenging run without the ability to pick up the pace again! I think deciding it’s okay to stop every ow and again hasn’t helped my mindset. Stopping is cheating! I’ve always thought that (not for others – just for me!) Stick with what I know ready for the race day. Everyone I do until then, no matter what distance will involve no stopping! 

Sometimes things go off target in running and in school, but it is okay to fail and make mistakes, as long as we learn from those mistakes and make the necessary changes. Regroup, move on and show yourself you haven’t failed, just had a quick glitch along the way! A quick hill to conquer that second time! 

I have my new goal! Next year I will run the Great North Run! I will run it for me and my mum! 

  

A summer of running: My Holiday Romance! 

I’ve decided to make my final holiday post mostly an overview of the whole six weeks at her than describe some uneventful running from this week. 
I will however share three highlights from Week 6!
1. On my run on Wednesday I came across a chap out for a run too. We crossed paths going in opposite directions. I gave a cheery ‘Good Morning’ and got nothing back…. Not a hello or even a smile! Hey ho, each to their own. However, not long afterwards, we both ended up reaching the same point where the main road and a side road joined. (it was obviously a short loop that took us to the same point!) He was just ahead of me and hadn’t spotted me coming out from the path at the side behind him. He came to a stop and began walking, so without changing my pace, I ran on and overtook him on the road before joining the pavement again! No cheery hello this time from me!! He clearly didn’t like this so a minute or two later he came running past, obviously picking up his pace. But by this point we were heading to quite a steep incline. He had crossed over and once again came to a stop (well walking), once again I overtook him, at least on the other side of the road his time! Once again he was not impressed. After twice doing this, with me just maintaining my pace, he must have have decided enough was enough and he sprinted up the last little bit obviously quite p….ed off! I ran up that hill without stopping at all and was close behind him even after that sprint! I felt accomplished. At that point he came to a total stop before disappearing off somewhere!! I am normally just so happy to see people out running whether fast or slow but I have to admit to taking great pleasure in all this because he had been quite unfriendly when I spoke to him! That’ll each him to ignore me!

2. I conquered the most awesome hill ever for me on Sunday 23rd and I could have avoided it! It was nearly 1km and was my quickest split of the run at 6:07min/k. I couldn’t believe it! And yes I was going up!  

 

3. Finishing the 6weeks with a sub 30 5km just for good measure made me feel great! 

My daft moment of the week was when I got outside, glanced down as my trainers felt a bit loose on my right foot and realised that I’d put my ankle support on the wrong bleeding foot! Think that suggests my ankle is feeling much better!!
Love this quote from Barry Ward o. c25kers group! 
‘Coming first beats coming last. Coming last beats “Did not finish” . “Did not finish” beats “Did not start!’ 

We can all run and enjoy running. The only competition is against over selves and this will set me up well for my Sheffield 10k in four weeks! My first race and hopefully my first medal 😀👍🏼

So, a summary of my Summer of running! 

The numbers! 

  • During the last six weeks I have run 163km (will slot in another 5k before going back to work Tuesday)
  • I have run those 163km in my new Saucony Guide 8 running shoes and solved an ankle niggle! 
  • I had set a summer target of 120km so smashed that by 43k!
  • I have now run 83% of my Annual Target….624kms.
  • I have 126kms left of my annual target of 750 before December 23rd! 
  • 22 runs in total
  • 12 5km runs (Best time 28:52mins)
  • A 6k, two 7k and one 8k run
  • 3 10k runs (best time 1:05:40mins)
  • And then 3 runs beyond 10k….a 12, a 15 and my longest ever 17k! 
  • So I did reach that half marathon distance but I genuinely don’t feel like I’ve failed! 
  • Greatest elevation gain: 129metres
  • I have burned 9515 cals from those runs! 

  

I have run…
7 Loops, 8 point to points and. 7 out and ins. Which do I prefer? I think Point to Point, they feel really purposeful.

My best achievements are: 

1. Running 17km and running 3 sub 30 5kms without feeling like I was going to die!! 

2. My best average pace was 5:44min/km

What I have learned about running and me?

1. Never underestimate what you can achieve when you really want something! You can do anything you set your mind too. I am much stronger and more resilient/determined than I ever realised.  

 

2. I love summer running. I love the feel of the warm sun on my skin and I love just being able to put on a pair of Capris and a running top and get out there. I have a bit of colour for the first time ever…. a lovely healthy glow! 

3. Once you have decided you are going to keep running and definitely once you are running that bit further, have your gait analysis done and invest in the most expensive suitable shoes that you can afford! It has really made a difference to me and my running! 

4. Begin to use your arms more, not only do you run better, it tones your arms!

5. Running is definitely my solution to maintaining my ideal weight and getting a flatter stomach and smaller hips (which I have never ever achieved).

6. If you are ever lacking enthusiasm or feel getting out later might be a mental challenge, deploy strategies to fool your brain…. Put your sports bra on when you first get dressed even if you are heading somewhere else first (and toe protectors if you wear them!) and try to get your other half or a friend to drop you off a certain distance away and do a point to point! No alternative but to run home! 

7.  That I love listening to music! My favourite summer of 2015 running music is Kelly Clarkson. 

8. Running makes you feel awesome, gives you YOU time and part of a huge, happy and supportive running family. (It also gives you a perfect excuse to go shopping and buy new running gear!) 

  
As well as running this holiday I have done lots of preparation and thinking for the next chapter of our journey to outstanding at school and my next post will share this. 

My biggest learning is linked to that journey at school, and the realisation of how complex that journey is and just what is involved. Excellence in all areas. I suspect to be an elite runner or a marathon runner it’s the same…. Much more focus on fuelling and technique and rigorous training!