Running races is all very well, but there’s that little matter of putting in the training if you don’t want to come last. And after a trio of races bringing up the rear in 2015, I’m going to have to do something about it, or just retire to my rocking chair with my knitting and comfy slippers.
Granted, I was last in races of a couple of hundred wiry, gnarly runners (and Noel) so the odds were never in my favour, but still, I don’t want to repeat it this year if I can possibly avoid it.
So I definitely need some inspiration and encouragement. I’ve done, and will continue to do charts on the fridge door. They are an excellent way of reminding me what I need to do, how often and for how long, it’s particularly satisfying to tick off the sessions with a big, fat felt pen, but that’s not enough!
Apps are just gimmicky, I can’t do with all the noisy binging and bonging and animations of runners-not-like-me tripping up impossible hills at silly speeds, then making a graph out of it and posting it to every social media link available with the message ‘hey, look what I just did’.
And I do like a nice notebook, something I can write in, or maybe draw pictures. And being a true Yorkshirewoman, I like a free notebook. So when I spotted such a freebie on offer with the Running pour Elles magazine when I was on holiday in Chamonix, I snapped it up. The ‘carnet d’entraînement’ (training journal) would be just le billet to encourage me to get a move on, and learn more French.
The handy pocket-size booklet invites me to write ‘mes meilleures perfs – pour l’instant’ (PBs – for now) and to add ‘mes bonnes résolutions persos pour 2016’ and ‘mes objectifs’. Then each week there’s a little table to complete and a natty little French saying which I assume I can chant as my mantra.’Si elle le peut – je peux!’ (If she can do it, I can!) So I’ll be filling in the my little carnet each week as I head towards the races I’ve entered.
In a nod to the native language of the carnet, and an opportunity to make use of all my new French vocabulary, we plan a nice little run in the Swiss foothills this summer with our friends who live out there. It’s a linear run, starting at the bottom of the hill in Monteux and then heading up, stopping 1600m higher and 18km later. My mantra then will be ‘plus haut, plus vite, plus fort’ (higher, faster, stronger) followed by ‘et pas le dernier’ (and not the last!).