Well, I did it. I went out this morning, iPod clad, to do a long run - aiming, in fact, to do the longest run I have ever done. I have never got further than about 5 or 5.5km before and wanted to try to do 6km. I have to run 10km in public next year and thought it might be a good idea to start trying gently to increase the distance I can cover. I should reiterate at this point that while I can manage to run for about 30 minutes non-stop, more often I tend to run for about 15 minutes, then walk a minute and then repeat longer running with shorter walking breaks until I get round the appointed route or reach the allotted time on my feet.
I used to really worry that this meant I wasn't really running. I genuinely thought that all those people who run 10ks, half marathons, even marathons, all run without ever stopping to walk. I now know this is not true, so am a bit more relaxed about walking for a moment if I feel I need to. I still run at least 8 or 9 minutes for every one I walk so I am not too bothered. I figure I will gradually improve and need to walk less often. Incidentally, on this topic, I read on someone's blog (Zoot's, I suspect) about an interview done after a full marathon with both the winner and the person who came in last. The winner had run the marathon in, oh, 2 and a half hours or something, and the last person had taken 7 hours. The last guy in turned to the winner in awe and said "You can run a marathon in 2 and a half hours???". The winner turned to the last guy and said in amazement "You can run for 7 hours??!!!" I liked that - kind of put it in perspective.
Anyway, one way or another I got round my 6km route (including taking some wrong turnings in some residential streets I don't know well which kept turning out to be culs-de-sac) so I feel quite proud of myself. Then this afternoon, the boys, husband and I went out for a walk and I covered much of the same ground again at a more sedate pace and with less puffing and sweating. And swearing under my breath. (It was the hills - they deserved it.) I have a massive blister to show for my efforts which is now tucked up under a Compeed plaster and has confirmed for me again that I need to get some new shoes. So now I am off to make roast chicken, gravy, potatoes, stuffing, cauliflower, sweetcorn, bread sauce and cranberry for dinner and then SB and I will watch the Strictly Come Dancing results. (John Barnes is going out, I feel it in my water.)