From Parc life to dark life

I had thought that Center Parcs would be the place where my youngest learns to ride her bike, allowing me a few sprint sessions as I chase down to where she has fallen or given up for some reason. If it took several sessions to get her up and pedaling, that’s fine, good training for me.


Turns out, after the first night – we picked up the bikes and were cycling back to our ‘chalet’, very slowly with lots of stop starts, me parking my bike, going to help her, trotting back to get my bike, catching up, repeat, repeat, repeat – that she was a natural. So instead of sprint sessions, we did loops of the holiday village, about 2 miles a loop, so not bad going for a brand new cyclist.


It was here, though, that my training fell off a little. We did do lots of cycling, around things to do and “Please can we do another loop?” which was the catchphrase of the week, I didn’t make as many opportunities to run. I tried to sneak off early to run, I was heard and how could I refuse the, “Can I come?” from a new cycling convert?


Oh, and there was the odd bottle of wine and a pint or two.


Still, I managed to do a couple of loops alone once, and it was good to get the feel of a hill again, my poor old injury ravaged calves get very nervous at the hint of a slope, and my left Achilles seems to brace itself, but all held out and I enjoyed the foresty feel of the Parc, lots of sun filtering through the trees and twisty paths over rivers.


Still, I can’t say that I did more than 4.5 miles over the week and was really worried that I’d set my 10k progress back.


Back home, Monday night, I had an opportunity to run and went for it. Garmin ran out of battery after 1.5miles – I’d forgotten you have to charge it, it’s usually plugged into the computer, but being away, it hadn’t happened – so I just winged it.


It felt good, winging it, but I was shocked by the dark, I haven’t run in the evening for a long time and the lack of street lighting surprised me. Even if there were plenty of street lamps, the trees seemed to absorb all the light and I couldn’t see what was in front of me, it was just darkness. I felt nervous about hitting a broken paving slab or an unexpected bin bag, but I ran a decent distance in my local area and enjoyed it.


I ran the same route the next night (Garmin now fully charged) and was reassured to discover I’d run 6.1 miles. I’m happy that I seem to have kept my fitness up so far.


Only two weeks now till I join the Write This Run team at the Women’s Running 10k, looking forward to being part of something that supports sport for women and girls. I’m going to make every effort to improve my training over the next two weeks.

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