Post Flu Test Run

It has been over a week since my last post and my last run. I had planned to get a couple of runs in last weekend and early this week in preparation for Sunday’s Brighton Half Marathon, but unfortunately my immune system had different ideas.

I wasn’t overly concerned when I woke up last Friday morning with a bit of a sniffle, but by lunchtime I knew it wasn’t good, and by the time I left work all I wanted to do was go to bed and sleep for a week – which is pretty much what I did, give or take a couple of days.

Thankfully, I was feeling a lot better today but I was a bit worried about how I would cope with Sunday’s race, so I decided to go for a short easy run to test out my legs and lungs.

I ran on the seafront as usual and couldn’t help but notice that everyone else who was out for a run seemed to be taking it easy too – I like to think that they were also preparing for Sunday’s race, but it’s hard to tell.

Anyway, the run was fine. My legs still feel a bit stiff and my cough was a bit annoying, but my breathing was fine so I’m feeling pretty good about Sunday’s race.

How’s your training going? When’s your next race? How do you deal with winter colds and sniffles? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

Running On Lemsip

It took longer than usual to get motivated this morning, partly due to waking up late but mostly because I’ve got a bit of a cold and couldn’t decide whether or not it would be ok to run. After a Tesco imitation Lemsip and a couple of mugs of coffee, however, I figured that I really ought to make the effort. Even if I didn’t manage to complete the 5K that I’d planned, getting any kind of run in would be better than festering on the couch in my PJs. So, at about 10:30, I headed to the seafront for a let’s see how it goes  kind of run.

I thought it would have been busier on the promenade, but was pleased that there weren’t too many people around. A few runners, dog walkers and people out for an nice morning stroll in the sunshine, but nothing compared to Christmas Day.

I set off on my usual route, with the wind behind me, towards the Peace Statue and turned around just before the cafe to face the headwind. The wind was a bit stronger than I was comfortable with, but I kept going, knowing that I had already given myself a sick note to finish early if necessary.

Once I returned to the starting point at the 2K mark, however, I didn’t feel too bad. Having the wind in my face was still a bit annoying, but the temperature was fairly mild and the sun was shining so it seemed like a shame to throw in the towel.

So, I kept going, trying to keep a nice steady pace, and then, as with yesterday, dropped down to a 3:1 run/walk ratio at the 3K mark. As I continued on to the 4th kilometre, I realised that my pace had dropped a bit. It was still ok, but I could probably run a bit faster in the running sections, so I pushed a little bit harder. Not too much, just enough to feel it a bit more, and then something unthinkable happened.

I know they say that you can improve your overall time using run-walk-run, and I have found that on the whole my pace doesn’t very too much whether I use run-walk-run or continuous running for the whole distance; but when I came to the end of my walking section at 28 minutes (just under 4.5K), I realised that if I picked up the pace and kept going until the end, I might just be in with the chance of a PB.

I knew it would be close as my PB was 31:28 and I reckoned by average pace was around 6:20 minutes per kilometre, so I went for it. I picked up the pace again, being careful not to go too fast. Then, at 31 minutes, when I should have stopped to walk, I pushed as hard as I could until the Garmin beeped to let me know I was done. 31:16. A new PB!

2014-12-27_Splits

But the best part was that I had run that final kilometre in 5:57 minutes using run-walk-run. Now, I don’t know if I could manage that for the whole 5K, but I reckon it’s worth a go. I have two more runs to do before the end of the year, and I’d love to get that elusive sub-30 nailed down once and for all, so I’ll give it a go and see what happens.

Of course, it could just have been the Lemsip. 😉

This post is part of the Virtual Running UK Blog Hop. To join the fun and share your weekend runs, click here.

Circle Hop

Some Days Are Better Than Others

Some days are better than others, but yesterday wasn’t one of them. Not in terms of running anyway.

I have the whole week of work for what I like to call my Christmas Shopping Week. The idea is that I get all of my Christmas shopping done in the last week of November before the shops get too crazy, and by having the week off, I get to go into town early during the week to miss the weekend crowds.

Of course, I haven’t actually done much of that yet, as time off work also needs to be utilised for other things, like fixing things that are broken, catching up on some reading and, yes, you guessed it, running.

Yesterday was going to involve most of those things. I had the plumber booked for 8:30 am and someone was coming round to change my gas meter between 8:00 am and 12:00 pm, so I figured I’d go for a run in the afternoon.

Unfortunately, after a morning of hanging around the flat eating rubbish and drinking way too much coffee, the run in the afternoon didn’t go too well.

I had planned on running my usual 5K along the seafront, but after about 3K I had to give up. My legs were fine and my breathing was ok, but something in my stomach wasn’t too happy, so I stopped and walked the rest of the way.

When I got home, I didn’t feel great and ended up having a very early night. I think I went to bed at about 8:00 pm, waking up again at about midnight before sleeping through again until this morning.

Still, today is another day and, with a nice light breakfast and cup of very weak coffee, hopefully I’ll get a better run in this morning.

Sunday Morning Run

Having signed up for my local 5K Santa Dash, I thought I’d better do some training to make sure that I can still manage to run the distance. My running has been off and on (mostly off) for the last few weeks due to injury and the last thing I want to do is make things worse, but I am aware that my fitness level has dropped quite a bit so I wanted to do something to keep myself on track.

So, this morning, I woke up early and headed for the seafront for a 5K run. I can’t remember the last time I went that far without walking so I was keen to see how I would cope, not just with the distance but with the drop in temperature as well.

I don’t really have any proper running clothes so I pulled on a hoody over my t-shirt to stop myself from freezing. This seemed to work and I felt pretty good for the first half of the run. The sleeves are long and loose so they were good for keeping my hands warm too.

At about 3K, however, I was starting to feel a bit too warm. I don’t mind getting hot and sweaty when I’m running. It’s just part of it, but this didn’t feel right. I didn’t want to stop, even for just a few seconds, so I somehow managed to wriggle the hoody off and over my head while still running. This wasn’t easy and there was one scary second in which I couldn’t see where I was going, but thankfully I managed to get out of it without bumping into anything.

It felt much better running in a just t-shirt again, but it was annoying having to carry my excess baggage for the rest of the run.

In the end though, I didn’t quite manage the full 5K. I’m not sure why, but even though I’d cooled down a bit, I just didn’t feel right. So I quit at about 4.7K and headed home, which was just as well as my stomach started protesting about something.

It may have been something I’d eaten or perhaps I was dehydrated, but at one point I thought I wouldn’t make it home. Luckily I don’t live too far from the seafront, so I managed to make it back to my flat and the bathroom before anything nasty happened, but it was a close call!

Anyway, I feel fine now, so it’s all good. I’m going to put it down to overheating and plan to buy myself a proper long sleeved running top for future cold weather running. I may even splash out on one or two other running related items if my bank balance can handle it.

How do you cope with cold weather running? What kit would you recommend? Please share your thoughts in the comments?

Picking Up From Where I Left Off

So, after three weeks of not being able to run, I finally put my trainers back on my feet and headed for the Hove seafront to pick up from where I left off… Week 6, Day 2.

It wasn’t easy, and it felt kind of strange to be running again. It took a while to find my rhythm and I struggled to regulate my breathing, but I managed to keep running for the first ten minute segment. And it felt amazing! Slow and awkward for the most part, but amazing nonetheless.

The second ten minute running segment didn’t go so well. I know that my fitness level will have dropped slightly after being out of action for the last three weeks, but I also think I may have lost some of my confidence.

While a few weeks ago, I would have pushed myself to keep going no matter what, this evening something was telling me to take it easy. Don’t over do it. Don’t get sick again. So I walked. Twice.

I would have liked to have completed the run properly and it is kind of annoying that I will have to repeat Week 6 Day 2; but I’m also pleased that I didn’t go back to Week 5, which would have meant repeating a whole lot more.

So, on Wednesday I’ll have another go and hopefully get back to the level I was at before. But no matter what happens or how long it takes, it’s great to be out there running again!

How is your training going? How do you get yourself back on track after illness or injury? Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments.

My C25K Comeback

It has been so many weeks since I went for my last run that I don’t even want to think about it. After being ill for a couple of weeks, I was still finding myself short of breath and really didn’t want to make things worse. But today I decided that enough is enough. It’s time for a comeback!

So, tomorrow evening I’m going to try to pick up the C25K program from where I left off. Somewhere in Week 6, I think. I did consider going back to Week 4 or 5, but I really want to be able to run 5K by the end of the month if possible and there’s not much time left.

Of course, if I can’t do it, then that’s ok. I’m not going to push myself too hard or beat myself up about it. But I want to get back out there and get fit. I miss it. I miss the running, the routine, the knowledge that every day is progress. And of course, catching up with this wonderful blogging community.

For now though, I’m going to enjoy the final evening of my prolonged rest.

I hope you’re all doing well. See you tomorrow!

The Foot Commute

Keep Calm and Get BetterI just thought I’d check in this evening to see how everyone’s doing. It has been two weeks now since my last run and I’m really missing it, but still I’m not ready to run yet.

I went back to work on Thursday and, even though my boss allowed me to do a shorter day than usual, I was exhausted by the end of it. Perhaps I shouldn’t have walked to and from work, but I didn’t fancy getting the bus and being cooped up with other people’s germs – yes, I’m a bit paranoid after two weeks of being ill.

Still, tiring as last week was, I did enjoy my foot commute on Thursday and Friday. The fresh air felt like it was doing my chest some good and it was great to be exercising again, even if I wasn’t running.

Hopefully I’ll be back on track again towards the end of this week, but I know better than to push it. Of course, I could always replace my C25K training with some extra walks until then, just to get out. I guess I’ll see how it goes.

Have a great week!