Still Here…

I realise that it has been a long time since I’ve written anything in the old blog, but I’m still here and still very much enjoying this running lark.

Admittedly, it has been tough getting back into running again. That C25K drive to strive and push myself to hit targets has finally run out of steam, but in its place has emerged something far more powerful, fulfilling and probably healthier in the long run – the realisation that I don’t have anything to prove any more, not even to myself.

My running is slow and sporadic these days, but it’s fun. I no longer feel the need to get a run in when I don’t really want to, or beat myself up because I’ve picked up yet another injury. In fact, with this new mind set, my injuries and niggles have significantly reduced and my enjoyment of running had increased.

Of course, I do still like to give myself little targets and goals, but it’s not the end of the world if I don’t reach them. Every run is an achievement in itself and a reminder that 44 is not as old as I once thought.

In fact, 44 is not that old at all, as I recently discovered when I joined a local football team for ‘older’ women. But more about that another time. For now, here’s my splits for this morning’s run.

How’s your running going? Are you training for a race or running for fun? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

Hove Prom Parkrun

As it’s the Easter Bank Holiday Weekend, there really was no excuse to not run this morning, so I decided to pop down to the seafront for today’s Hove Prom parkrun.

I was looking forward to doing a nice flat 5K as I wanted to see how my pace was. As a general rule, I know that if I can run 5K on the seafront (no walk breaks) in around 33 minutes, then I’ve reached a decent level of fitness that I can start to train from.

It was a bit breezy down on the prom, with the wind coming in from the south west, but it wasn’t too bad and the temperature was just about right for me – a bit chilly for standing around but not freezing.

I started right at the back of the pack and reminded myself not to get carried away with the pace. This turned out to be a good strategy as my end of the pack thinned out quite quickly and I had plenty of space in front to stop me from following anyone else’s pace.

My plan was to keep it slow and easy for at least the first 2.5K, which I managed without too much trouble. For the second half, I tried to pick things up a bit, but the wind held me back more than I would have liked.

As I turned and headed to the finish line, I knew that I was going to be well over 33 minutes, but I did my best to keep a reasonable pace against the wind and even managed a sprint finish across the line.

My final result was 35.11, which was a little bit disappointing. However, I did follow my plan and got close enough to negative splits, so it’s all good. I’ll just have to go back again next week and have another go at it.

How’s your running going? Did you get a run in this weekend? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

Just Because

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I got an extra run in today just because… I’m not sure why, but I kind of just felt like it.

I was going to run outside, but unfortunately the Garmin isn’t working very well. I thought it had died completely until I rubbed the contact points with an eraser and it jumped back to life! But it’s still not charging properly, so I ran on the treadmill instead.

It was a bit of a challenge after yesterday’s run. The old legs were pretty tired but still managed to get me to 5K in 32:02, so another good improvement.

Also, I’ve decided to do a Virtual Running UK 100 Mile Challenge this month. The idea is that the first person who gets to 100 miles will win a free medal. I know I won’t be first, and as I’m supplying the medal it would be a bit wrong to win it, but it will be fun to have a bit more of a goal this month.

If you want to join the challenge, just click the link above to get started. It’s totally free and anyone can join.

How’s your running going this weekend? Are you taking part in any on-line challenges to keep your running on track? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

 

Running For Fun

It’s so nice not having a race to train for at the moment. OK, so I still have a goal and a plan to reach it, but the pressure is off and, strangely, my lack of upcoming races is giving me the motivation to get off my backside and run!

Under normal circumstances (i.e. having a race to train for) I would feel guilty about running on the treadmill instead of going outside, but not today. Today I was supposed to have a 5K run outside, but I didn’t feel like it, so I ran inside instead.

My goal was to run 5K in under 35 minutes, so I upped my ratio to 5:1, keeping the pace nice and slow. It felt good and I could have done more and could probably have gone faster, but I knew I would pay for it later. So I stuck to the plan and finished on pace at 34:46.

How’s your training going? Are you running for fun or working towards your next race? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

 

A Sporty Sunday

After a couple of days rest, the old calf was feeling much better this morning, so I headed to the seafront for  a nice easy 5K

The temperature had dropped a bit over night and it felt lovely and cool when I set off. My aim was to run/walk 5K in something between 35 and 37 minutes, using a 3:1 ratio.

This worked well for the first couple of kilometres, but as the temperature warmed up, I found that I was starting to struggle. Not to be put off though, I reminded myself that this was supposed to be an ‘easy’ run, and dropped the ratio as and when I felt like it.

Not worrying too much about pace, I started to settle in to the run and enjoyed watching the activity on the seafront. The Brighton and Hove Triathlon was taking place this weekend, so it was inspiring to see some of the triathletes running past as I plodded my way along the promenade.

I completed my 5K in 36:45, which was just within my target time, so I was happy with that and enjoyed the cool down walk back along the prom and home again in time to watch The Great North Run from the comfort of my couch.

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Then, to top off this Sporting Sunday, today is the first weekend of the new NFL season. The Giants (my favourite team) don’t play until 9:25pm, so I’ll probably watch The Bengals (my second favourites) at 6:00pm and catch up with the rest tomorrow.

How’s your weekend going? Did you get a run in today? What’s your favourite spectator sport? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

Setting The Base Line

2016-08-05_SummaryHaving decided to get back into running shorter distances, I wanted to get out this weekend and see where I’m at in terms of my 5K time. I had hoped that, after last weekend’s exertions, I would be able to achieve something around the 35 minute mark. Unfortunately, however, things didn’t quite work out that way.

I knew I was still not feeling 100%, so I set off at a very modest pace to see how long I could manage without a walk break. As it turned out, this wasn’t very long and after the first kilometre I had to stop and walk. My legs felt ok, but my breathing wasn’t great and, even though I don’t use a heart rate monitor, it was pretty obvious that my heart rate was a lot higher than it ought to have been.

Not to be put off, I decided that I would just take it easy, taking walk breaks at the end of each kilometre for as long as I needed to recover. This worked well until the final kilometre where I had to take an extra break half way through, before jogging the final 400 metres to finish with a time of 37:14.

It’s a pretty slow time, I know, but if that’s where I am at the moment, then so be it. At least it means there’s plenty of room for improvement!

In terms of my sub-30 training plan, I’m going to start off by taking things fairly easy and not worry too much about pace for the first three weeks. The plan will be to run 5K every 3 days (outside where possible), using a variety of different routes to keep things interesting. My hope is that this will bring me back into the 33 to 35 minute range and, ideally, without walk breaks. But we shall see. For now, I’m just happy to be focusing on the 5K again.

How’s your training going? How long does it take you to get back on track after a tough race? please share your thoughts in the comments.

I Need A Plan…

There’s just over eight weeks to go until race day and my training has hit a slump. I’m not sure what’s going wrong. I try to get in regular runs and gradually increase the distance, but it’s just not working the way that it should.

Maybe I’m expecting too much. After all, I did have a long break from running after my injury. But even with that in mind, I still don’t feel I’m making the progress that I need to.

What tends to happen is that I have a couple of good weeks where things are going well, followed by a slump where I just don’t have the energy to have a decent run, which is pretty much where I am at this week.

This evening though, I made myself get out for a bit of a run. I told myself that even a slow 5K would be better than nothing, but it was slow. I had very little stamina and had to take way more walk breaks than I should have – not good when you’ve got a 50K race coming up and you’re still finding 5K a bit of a struggle.

I think I may have to resign myself to the fact that August’s race is going to be more of a walk than a run, which is a bit of a shame. However I have raised £200 already for charity, with another £40 on its way from last month’s virtual races, so I shouldn’t complain too much.

I just need to come up with a new training plan…

How’s your running going? What do you do when your training isn’t going to plan? Do you adjust your training plan or try to stick with it until the end? Please share your thoughts in the comments.