August can be a bit of a bittersweet month. It’s the month I celebrate my birthday (and my “blogiversary”), but it’s also the month when the remainder of the summer break morphs into a new and busy term. It’s a month when there can still be some warm summer air, but it has a distinctly chilly and autumnal note first thing in the morning. Running-wise, it’s a month with a couple of prominent local races and a time to fine-tune my training ahead of my autumn goals. This year it was, for the most part, a fun and enjoyable month, but ultimately tinged with sadness following the sudden death of Steve’s mum.
The shock that followed meant that neither of us particularly felt like running and our training was put on the back burner for a while. We did fit in a couple of runs, but we also missed a number of training sessions, and that’s ok. We listened to our bodies and did what we felt like doing, knowing we could resume training again when we felt ready.
But I don’t want this post to be sad. Instead, I want to share all the pleasant and positive things that happened in August, starting out with a bit of bling 🙂
In the early part of the month I took on the double-header of parkrun followed by the 5k Kilt Run in the same day. But it turned out to not only be a running double-header but a medal double-header as well when the postman delivered my August virtual 10k medal.
And of course there was another medal in store for me in the afternoon – I even came close to beating Steve as he had taken on the rather different double-header of a half marathon followed by a 5k in the the same day!
The following week was the last of my summer break so I made the most of it…
And clocked up a nice new parkrun PB to boot 🙂
We enjoyed a beautiful day with lunch al fresco in Edinburgh:
And I discovered the greatest “running rocket fuel” ever!:
Another highlight came from a competition I entered on the Tribesports Facebook page. I had to say what my favourite running song is and why. My answer? On a Mission by Gabriella Cilmi. It was “my song” when I was training for my first marathon (Paris in 2010) and it gave me a real boost and sense of determination through a lengthy injury as well as on the day itself. It still works and my iPod has a knack of playing it at just the right moment. And it turns out that the competition organisers liked my little story enough to award me the prize – a pair of Jabra Sport Rox wireless bluetooth earphones. Awesome!
Steve and I also enjoyed our annual trip to Edinburgh Zoo. One of the first birthday presents Steve ever bought me was a King Penguin adoption at the zoo and I’ve continued the adoption ever since. Part of the adoption pack is a couple of complimentary tickets, so every year we pay a visit to see “my” penguin and enjoy some of our other favourite animals. This year’s highlights included a fantastic view of the somewhat elusive sun bears, a giggle at the new lemur walk through and posing for some rather prehistoric photo ops:
My birthday fell on a Saturday (brilliant planning!) and I kicked off the weekend with a Friday night 10k. It meant my birthday parkrun felt pretty tough, but the sun was shining, I’d opened a lovely Pandora parcel and I was going home for some bucks fizz so I had no problem with that!
Steve also treated me to a delicious meal at our friend Graeme’s restaurant. He serves the most amazing melt-in-the-mouth steak so that’s what I chose for my main course. It was DELICIOUS!!
August was brought to a close with the Perth 10k. Steve is the organiser of this race and I signed up alongside my dad and my sister. The race came at the end of a very difficult week and I had picked up a cold too due to my interrupted sleep patterns, but I was still able to run and felt pretty pleased with my time given the circumstances. Next year, I’ll try to beat it!
So there you have it. A strange mix of running, days out and sudden loss. The end of the month felt rather odd, but I don’t want the sadness then to mar the fun we had for much of the month. Heading into September I have a half marathon to think about, so it’s time to focus on the routine of work, training and getting ready to race.
Onwards and upwards!
How was your August?
What’s your favourite running song?
Do you have any autumn races lined up?