Posted by: stokiecat | January 1, 2014

Running with Heart – Janathon 2014 Day 1

Welcome to 2014, it’s going to be…….wet. I have a feeling that weather conditions will be a recurring theme throughout my Janathon blogfest. My initial thought is that the running part will be the easy bit, the writing will be harder but we shall see.

So anyway, today’s run was a 5K Parkrun at Hanley Park, Stoke-on-Trent ( I’m relatively new to Parkrun, today was my 12th run, but I can highly recommend it. It helps me get up in the mornings on a Saturday if nothing else. (Yes, I know today is not a Saturday but it’s usually a Saturday.) It was wet when I and 77 other participants started and it just got worse until by the time I crossed the line it was bucketing down.

The Hanley Parkrun is three laps and hills, three times up the bank over the canal for me is a bit of a motivational drain, especially when you see the fast guys floating down bank looking like they’re not even breaking a sweat on the final lap, and yes, I know I’m not running against them (he,he,  not even close!) but that thought doesn’t help much. However today they weren’t so bad (the hills not the fast guys) because I had a bit of an epiphany.  I have running posture issues, in my first half marathon I was running with the bent over slump of an 80 year old after only 3 miles, therefore I have developed a running mantra which is “hips forwards, shoulders back, relax, relax” (the amount of “relaxes” depending on the pace I’m running… usually slowly 🙂 ) but today I was thinking of those little hills and running with my body core strength (or which I also have very little), helping me keep the pace running up hill. So as I ran, in the rain, watching fast boys run past me, I was thinking that rather than “engage core, engage core” (which sounds a bit sci-fi and therefore something right up my street) that “engage heart” might be more appropriate as a mantra particularly during the hard bits. Whilst my strength may come from the combination of running with my legs, my arms, my core the thing that keeps me going is my heart and my enjoyment of the pure run. Then my stupid brain interrupted and said  “kinda ironic that you totally forgot to wear your actual heart rate monitor today”.

A bit disappointed with the time (28:21) but, look on the bright side, it’s my best run of the year so far.* I am also slightly suspicious of my running brain which seems to be constantly working against me. Don’t push it on my first run of the year means I’ll definitely, well hopefully, well I’ll try and get better through the month (if I’m not too knackered!). So my first resolution is less listening to my negative brain and more to my positive heart.


(photo credit:

*sentiment/quote totally stolen from Phil Thomas



  1. I enjoyed reading this 🙂


  2. Well done mate 🙂


  3. Thanks 😀


  4. Good point about the posture — will borrow your mantra if that’s OK!


  5. Well done!


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