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.

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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.

Time To Hit The Restart Button

restart2016 has been an odd year for me in terms of running. I had big ambitions and had to push myself hard to achieve them, but it wasn’t much fun. I was tired, I was struggling and was barely able to achieve the minimum that I had set myself, so in the end I just stopped. I didn’t run, didn’t blog and barely logged on to see what everyone else was doing. I just couldn’t face it. I needed a break, so I took one.

But now that I’ve had some time off, enough time to miss what I really love about running, I figured that the time is right to hit the restart button and get back to Couch To 5K… and stick to it.

This time round though, things are going to be different. I’m not going to think about races, or parkrun, or PBs or anything like that. I’m just going to run to get back in shape. For the most part, this will probably be on the treadmill, as I found the cold air really played havoc with my breathing when I did the Poppy Run in November, but that’s ok. I’m not making any apologies for running indoors. Not this time.

My goal, my one and only goal is to be able to run 5K without walk breaks. That’s it. Nothing more.

Of course, that might change later on, but for now I’m going to try to be sensible, take it easy and stick to the program for the next nine weeks and see how it goes.

So, this afternoon, I completed W1D1 on the treadmill. 30 minutes of walking and running and walking. Not difficult, but got the old heart rate up again for the first time in over a month, so it’s a start.

How’s your training going? Have you set any running goals for 2017? 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.

Progress

Screen Shot 2016-06-04 at 10.40.58This morning’s run was an early one. I left the house just after 7:30 and headed for the seafront for a nice slow 5K.

The plan was to take it easy with the running so that I could take fewer walk breaks and try to build up my endurance a bit more. I figured that, after Tuesday’s improvements, if I could keep going for 1.5 to 2K without walking, I’d be happy. But the main thing was to be out running.

It was pretty quiet down on the seafront. There were a few runners out and about as usual and some people setting up some kind of event. I’ve no idea what it was, but they were sectioning off a small area of the promenade with blocks of wood and there was a small container with what looked like surf boards inside. I guess I’ll pop down later and see what’s going on.

But back to the run itself. I headed East as usual, but when I completed the first kilometre, instead of turning round and heading West,  decided to keep going towards the pier. From what I remembered from running that part of the seafront before, it was about 2.5K from my starting point to the pier, so it would make a good ‘out and back’ while things were still relatively quiet along that stretch.

Before I knew it, the Garmin beeped at 2K and the pier was well within reach. My pace was slow, of course, but I knew I could keep running and get to 2.5K without walking, so that’s what I did.

I took about a minute of walking to catch my breath and then headed off on the return journey along the seafront, past the bars and up towards Hove Lawns.

It would have been nice to have completed the rest of the run without walking, but at 4K I decided to give myself another short break. There was no point in pushing too hard, especially as I plan to do a longer, hillier run/walk tomorrow, so I took the walk break and then upped the pace a little bit for a stronger finish.

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Overall, I completed the 5K in 35:46, which is slower than when I use a shorter run/walk ratio, but that doesn’t matter. The plan was to reduce walk breaks and build up endurance for continuous running, so progress was made, even if it was slower.

How’s your training going? Are you running or racing this weekend? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

 

Phantom Poop

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Is it just me or does anyone else suffer from the Phantom Poop when you are out for a run? It hasn’t happened to me for a long time, but then I haven’t really been doing that much running recently, but today the Phantom Poop decided to rear it’s little head while I was out for my morning run.

According to my training plan, I should have run yesterday, and had every intention of doing so, with some slight C25K tweaking for the purposes of parkrun. But it didn’t happen. I woke up with a bit of a dodgy stomach on account of eating too much fruit on Friday – not that I’m particularly into healthy eating, but fruit takes zero preparation and I couldn’t be bothered to cook.

Anyway, this morning my stomach seemed to be back to normal so I headed down to the seafront for the session that I should have done yesterday. I wasn’t going to worry about doing 5K though. As long as I got four five minute running segments in with my 5:2 ratio, I would be happy – I also needed to do an Insanity workout today to stay on track so I didn’t want to over do it this morning.

So, I headed off at a nice slow pace, enjoying the early morning peace, quiet and sunshine of the promenade. But after about three minutes I started to feel the need to go to the toilet. It wasn’t urgent but it was definitely there, so I decided I’d hold on and see how it went. I pass the public toilets twice on my route so I could pop in then if I had to. It wouldn’t be a problem.

After the first five minutes of running, the need to go seemed to pass, but once I started running again it came back. Fortunately, I finished my second running section just as I was approaching the toilets so I decided to pause the Garmin and sort it out.

Needless to say, however, now that I wasn’t running I didn’t feel the need to go any more so I decided to carry on and ignore it.

Thankfully, other than a bit of minor discomfort, the run itself was fairly uneventful and I finished the final running section at 3.6K in just over 25 minutes. And I made it home without incident for a nice strong post-run coffee in my favourite morning coffee mug – Turtle Power indeed!*

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*Sorry, but I couldn’t resist that one.

How’s your training going? Have you encountered the Phantom Poop on your morning run… or is it really just me? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

Re-Doing Couch to 5K

Yesterday I made a promise to myself that I would get back to running by re-doing Couch to 5K, so that’s what I did.

I woke up early(ish) and headed to Hove Rec a little before 8:00 am. The temperature was cool and there was a bit of drizzle in the air – a complete contrast to yesterday, but perfect for getting my first C25K re-run done.

According to my app, the first session (Week 1 Day 1) is eight reps of 60 seconds running and 90 seconds walking. I remembered how tough I found this when I first did the program two years ago. I could barely run for 30 seconds back then and kept looking at my phone to see how much longer I had to go before I could have a walk break. But this time was different.

This time, I knew that I would be able to complete the sessions without too much difficultly, so I decided to try to pick up the pace on the running sections. Of course, I went too fast on the first one, but I soon figured out a pace that worked and managed to keep it below 5:15 per kilometre for the final running section – not sustainable for 5K, I know, but it was nice to get moving!

With all of the walk breaks, my average pace was much slower and, even though I stopped the Garmin after the final running section, I only managed to cover 2.5K in 18:34. But that doesn’t really matter too much. The goal for this morning was to get out and get running again, which is what I did, so I’m happy with that.

How’s your training going? How do you get yourself back on track after a break from running? Please share your thoughts in the comments.