Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Runstreak Day #293 - sanity and the daily battle

Well... tomorrow will be a week since the car accident and it has been a really tough few days.  I have been absolutely overwhelmed by the support from other runners.  They have been beyond kind.  I am struggling to tell people face-to-face about what happened, so being able to write it here has allowed me to talk when I just haven't been able to speak about it.

I spoke to a counsellor today.  She was very reassuring and calm... and although I wept my way through speaking to her, she did help me to feel that what I'm going through is a normal reaction to trauma.  She asked what I did to relax and get the flashbacks out of my head.  I said to her that I run.  It's slow and painful at the moment, but I run.  She said, then do that.  And I'm glad that I have carried on running.  It's been terribly hard but it has been so physically demanding that it's given me breathing space from the images that are in my head and the fear which doesn't quite seem to clear.

Today's run was hard again.  I managed just over a mile before the pain in my ribs and chest became so bad I needed to stop to get my breath.  It didn't really clear for the next miles or so and in the end I ran up a steep hill (repeating to myself 'it's only a hill' as I went) to distract myself from the pain.

I don't advocate anyone do what I'm doing at the moment.  I am a bit of a mess.  I have tonsillitis.  Running instead of complete rest will make many people tut at me.  But for half an hour every day, I can distract myself from thoughts about bikers lying on roads.  Terrified children.  Cars that are stoved in at the front.  A buckled car roof and a door that has to be forced open to escape.  Blue flashing lights.  And nights that change your life forever.

Geeky stats stuff

Distance:3.18 mi
Avg Pace:8:29 min/mi
Elevation Gain:156 ft

Monday, 22 September 2014

Runstreak Day #292 - head above water

It's hard to admit you're struggling.  But today has been a struggle.  I am finding being in a car extremely difficult.  I can't face driving - especially not on my own.  Even walking down to the shops this evening was a disaster.  I could feel myself slowing and slowing and almost pinned to the side of the pavement furthest away from the road.  It felt like every car was coming straight for me.  It was awful.

Which means that running on those same pavements, near *that* traffic and feeling that suffocating fear was just not going to happen today.  I can't even get in a car to drive to get to the country parks to avoid the roads.  And since running is my sanity at the moment, I felt suffocated by it all.  In the end, I managed to get myself to run up the hill to the recreation ground which is about a third of a mile away.  There was one car that passed me.  And I ended up stopped, pinned to the fence of a nearby garden until it went by.  Other than that, no cars.  Which was a relief.

So, my run this evening was short.  It involved going around and around the recreation ground.  Zig zagging my way up and down the hill.  Blanking out everything just for a short while.  I've managed to pick up a throat infection on top of everything else... but I need not to think about what happened for a  bit.

When people talk of 'recovery runs', I wonder if they realise how hard a run can be when you're really try to recover?

I'll get there.  Am getting support - and appreciate the support I've been given more than anyone could realise - but it is very hard right now.

Geeky stats stuff

Distance:2.55 mi
Avg Pace:8:36 min/mi
Elevation Gain:104 ft

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Runstreak Day #291 - not giving in

Goals.  Goals can definitely keep you going when everything else is messed up.

Running is amazing for letting you set goals.  Right now, they're small.

I wanted to manage to get a run where I got 8 minute-something miles again.  I want to be able to do a longer run with a 9 minute mile average - which, considering where I was at just a week ago, wouldn't seem a goal at all.  But everything changed with the accident and now it feels like something that's just out of reach.  I want to run with others.  I want to feel confident enough to drive somewhere for a run.  I want to be able to run the Robin Hood half.  I really want that last one.  All those months of running and working and trying... and not to be able to run that half marathon?  I just want to get there.  I want to complete it.  I want to feel like me again.

That last one sounds like a small goal, but it's actually huge.  And it feels really really far away.

My body feels less alien as the swelling goes down on my hips.  New bruises seem to be appearing on my legs, feet and ankles, no doubt from when the car came to that awful sudden and complete stop.  And my back and chest hurt constantly, reminding me of what happened.

But, if nothing else, I am a pretty determined person.  And running gives me a freedom and a headspace that I am going to hold on to right now.  Because more than ever, I need it.

That and my small goals.

Geeky stats stuff

Distance:3.12 mi
Avg Pace:8:42 min/mi
Elevation Gain:110 ft

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Runstreak Day #290 - whatever keeps you going

Another rough day.

Bruising going crazy colours.  Still feel like it's more a shuffle than a run.  Still painful and have absolutely no power to my running at all.  But for a while when I'm running I don't have to think about anything other than running.  I don't have to talk to anyone about what happened.  I don't have to think about the mess we have to deal with.  I can breathe and concentrate on something physical.

It is still such hard work.  I find myself chanting things to myself to keep going.  Stupid stuff like 'you can do it, you can do it' over and over.  I want to run the Robin Hood half marathon a week on Sunday.  I went from wanting to complete it when I originally signed up, to wanting a time which was sub-2 hours.  But now I'm back to wanting just to complete it.  And if I have to chant my way around the whole 13.1 miles, then that's what I'm going to do.

I won't let this take my running too.  I am struggling to process what's happened.  I drove for the first time today and couldn't manage more than 15 mph.  I can't talk to anyone about the accident without the tears coming.  But I can run.  It's slow and it's painful.  But it's my bit of almost normal.

Geeky stats stuff

Distance:3.15 mi
Avg Pace:9:24 min/mi
Elevation Gain:106 ft

Runstreak Day #294 - community and parkrunning

I know I've said this before, but the running community completely and utterly blows me away with how kind and incredible they are.  From the messages I've been sent to the thoughtful responses to my posts from the last week - they have helped me in a myriad of ways.

Today was no exception.  I really wanted to do parkrun again but I haven't been around many people at all since the accident and was feeling anxious about it.  Part of the reason for wanting to go to do parkrun was that I am determined that I'll run the Robin Hood half marathon next Sunday, and I needed to get back to running with other people.  It was a huge hurdle to get over - complicated by the fact that I don't feel I can drive at the moment so couldn't get there on my own and I still have tonsillitis, regardless of how crap my running is right now because of dealing with bruises and other pain.

In the end, an amazing running friend picked me up and drove me there and kept me company while I was getting myself wound up into a nervous mess at the start, and even more brilliantly, ran with me - and was prepared to stop if I needed to at any point.  Plus, I had hugs from other lovely Notts runners.  My running friend was fantastic and stuck with me when I couldn't stop myself from bolting off to get around the people in front.  I think it's all part of that suffocating out-of-control feeling from the accident last week.  I can't cope with feeling trapped at all.  I must have looked a state.  Wild-eyed, white faced panic with a crazy running technique where I'm running whilst holding my side as my ribs are very painful - what anyone else must have thought, I don't know.

Anyway, I did it.  I ran the whole thing.  I didn't give in to the anxiety.  I didn't give in to the pain.  And I feel humbled by the support I've received.

I'm not sure how I'll cope a week on Sunday.  I *will* run that half marathon though.   Life is a nightmare at the moment, but I'm damned if the accident is taking my running from me.

This community, our running community, is a very special thing.

Geeky stats stuff

Distance:3.16 mi
Avg Pace:8:14 min/mi
Elevation Gain:35 ft

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Runstreak Day #289 - nothing makes sense

This is going to be a jumble of words... but... here goes.

I don't know if I'm making a mistake by carrying on running.  It hurts so much but I can't let this beat me.  I don't want to feel like the accident has taken running away from me.  I need to feel normal.

I am resting, but if I rest completely I feel like I've lost.  I'm holding on to it as tightly as I can because I need to feel like me again.

The stupid thing is that when I'm running, my body feels alien to me.  I have no strength and I can't even manage 5k in half an hour.  The joy of feeling the speed and power in my legs just isn't there.  It's like I'm running in slow motion.  But, I need to run.  I want to run.  And I'm left running so ridiculously carefully.  The pains I've got are from the swelling, bruising and cuts, they're not from muscles or joints being injured further.  I don't feel like I'm damaging myself.  It hurts because I hurt.

It's hard to explain the need to run.  I need to clear my head.  I need to run and cry and feel no guilt about letting go in front of my children.  I need to focus on the rhythm of my breath.  I need things to be simple.

I found out the biker's name today.  And I thought about him as I ran.  I repeated his name over and over.  I repeated phrases to soothe myself. To keep me going.  I hurt but I don't want to stop.  There's no escaping what's happened.  Every step and breath hurts and reminds me.

There has to be a reason I'm still here.  There has to be.

Geeky stats stuff

Distance:3.27 mi
Avg Pace:10:12 min/mi
Elevation Gain:94 ft

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Runstreak Day #288 - the car accident

Can't quite process what happened yesterday evening. We were driving back from visiting my brother when a motorbike crashed into us, head on - people who witnessed it said he overtook right into our path. There was nothing my husband could do to avoid him. He hit us at speed in the middle of the front of the car. 

He didn't make it.

We escaped with only cuts and bruises. By 2am we were discharged from hospital. 

I wish I could turn back the clock so that the motorcyclist could change his mind about overtaking. I feel relief that my children were just about unhurt... but if I catch myself thinking that we were lucky to survive, then lucky isn't the right word. A man died. 

I have been a mess today. Holding it together in front of the kids, but replaying it with tears every time I'm on my own. The image of the biker lying on the road while they tried in vain to save him won't leave me. I see it all the time. Whether my eyes are open or closed. He's there, with someone compressing his chest while the blue lights flash.
I needed to stop seeing it for a while and blank it out the only way I know how. I ran. I know it's mad. Every step hurt. My ankle, my leg, my back, my chest. I was painfully slow. I cried as I went. I didn't care who saw or what they thought. I repeated to myself 'you will not beat me' and with every breath making me wince, I ran.
I ran because this time yesterday I stood on the verge at the scene of a fatal accident, holding my children close to me while they cried in terror... and our car was wrecked, and the poor, poor motorcyclist lay deathly still in the road... and for some reason we survived.
I ran because I am alive. And if I run, I know my life is still mine.
Even if it feels broken right now.

Geeky stats stuff

Distance:6.18 mi
Avg Pace:10:12 min/mi
Elevation Gain:150 ft

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Runstreak Day #287 - the Steep Hill of Doom...

Oooooh... get me... day 287 already done and it hasn't even been 12 hours since the last run!  I've come over all efficient!!

Actually, the truth is that as with most 'parents who run', your Saturday is a festival of 'doing activities with your kids / doing family stuff' and if you want to run, you have to spot a teensy little opening and cram it in quick sharp before it's filled with everything else!  Take this morning.  Up early.  Made breakfast.  Baked a cake.  Did the laundry.  Went for a run.  Home for a shower.  And just off to do the shopping.  All by 9am.

No wonder so many people struggle to find time to be active when they've got families.  It *is* a struggle!

The struggle is worth it though, and I really enjoyed my little 3 miler this morning.  First mile zinged by happily.  Almost regretted wearing a vest top and shorts as there's a definite chill in the air in the morning now.  But by the time I was running along the path near the railway line, I was nicely warmed up and just enjoying myself as I pattered along.  About halfway along the path though, I remembered that the path was going to end fairly shortly.  And after that would come the...

*sound of thunder in the distance*

*dramatic music swells... dramatically*

... Steep Hill of Doom.

*lightning overhead*

It's not even that long.  About 3/4 of a mile at most.  But bloody hell is it relentlessly steep.  And straight.  So you can see EXACTLY how much you have left to run for the first half mile.  Then, it kids you into plateauing for about half a second... and then starts to climb again for the last quarter of a mile, by which time your legs have turned to jelly, even your eyes are sweating and your breathing sounds like a chainsaw orchestra.

In your face, Steep Hill of Doom!!  The last little bit of my run takes me down across a park and halfway down the hill the other side, back to my house.  By which point I am back to doing my world famous 'if the neighbours spot me, I'm pretending to be a gazelle' impression, so that they don't think I'm a complete sad sack!

And that, my lovelies, was day 287.  Cake baking.  Laundry.  Running. Grocery shopping.  Packing kids off to swimming.  Crazy running-parenting-Saturday.

No time even for tea!!!!  *gasps with horror*

Geeky stats stuff

Distance:3.01 mi
Avg Pace:8:04 min/mi
Elevation Gain:202 ft

Friday, 12 September 2014

Runstreak Day #286 - running with kids can be magic!

Day 286 and tonight's run was flippin' brilliant!  It wasn't long.  It wasn't fast.  It wasn't hard.  But it was ace.


Because I ran it with my daughter and she was fab.  Other than one adjusting trainers / socks moment, she ran almost 2.5 miles hand-in-hand with me without stopping... but more importantly... without moaning, crying, grumbling or saying that she couldn't do it.  In fact, she chatted and chatted the whole way and was really great company.

I was SO proud of her!  We got to 2 miles before she needed to adjust her trainers and when we stopped I said to her 'did you know you've just run 2 miles?'... she thought we'd only run half a mile!  And she said she didn't even have tired legs... and then proceeded to run the last half mile loads faster!

She was all glowing and happy when we finished too.  I think that doing parkrun a couple of weeks ago has done wonders for her confidence.  Plus, we took it nice and steady the whole time and she was telling me ALL about a book she's reading and distracted herself from the act of actually running.

I just LOVE runs like today's!  If nothing else in the past few months of runstreaking, it's the fact that my children are getting into running which makes me happiest.  And that they are enjoying it is the cherry on top of the happy cake!  Love that I get to run with the people I love most in the whole world!!

Oooooh... and two weeks today will be my 300th day in a row!  Wonder what I can do to mark it?!

Need tea while I think!  :o))

Geeky stats stuff

Distance:2.37 mi
Avg Pace:10:14 min/mi
Elevation Gain:15 ft

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Runstreak Day #285 - overheating at lunchtime

Another day, another 'runch'.  And another time exploring a new route - which is always good.  Especially when I manage not to get lost - hooray!

Is it very sad if I really like planning new routes?  You start simple with an area.  A nice clean loop.  Then, next time you can add in a few wibbly bits.  And once you get familiar, you can extend or vary as you fancy.  It's ace!  I always do like to plan it the first few times though.  Just makes me feel a bit more like I know where I'm going.  I hate that panicky feeling of feeling ever so slightly lost and not knowing how far I've got to go.  It's probably because there's a part of me which still doubts whether or not I can just run and whether I can last the whole run if it's longer than I think it might be.  Which is daft!

Anyway... today's run was nice.  Ended up running along the river and stopping every so often just to feel the cool breeze, watch the water and enjoy the light coming through the leaves of the trees, which are just starting to change colour.  It was really nice.  Survived the hill at the end.  Got back to work.  Used the secret shower.

And then spent the next hour gradually moving through various facial shades of puce, crimson, angry red, mottled red, embarrassed pink and finally, normal.  And it takes a good half hour to stop being a sweaty monster after a lunchtime run.  Still, it definitely wakes me up and makes me feel human again.  Even if running in the middle of the day when it's quite warm isn't that sensible!

Runchtime is ace!

Geeky stats stuff

Distance:3.81 mi
Avg Pace:8:22 min/mi
Elevation Gain:158 ft

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Runstreak Day #284 - more hilly hills

Another Wednesday, another Sweatshop Running Community run.  It's always a bit of a rush to get sorted to get there on time, but I have definitely started enjoying myself going on those runs.

What a turnaround from the whole too scared to run with other people version of me earlier this year!  The plus side of running with other people?

1.  You get to chat about nerdy running stuff before you head off
2.  You get to chat about nerdy running stuff when you get back
3.  There's the chatting about nerdy running stuff
4.  Did I mention the nerdy running stuff?

Okay... so mainly, you get to talk about nerdy running stuff without anyone rolling their eyes in boredom at you!  Plus, if - as with tonight - you have a silly big hill to run up, then when you've all run down it like big kids and are all sweaty and revolting at the bottom... you get to blather about it in a slightly over-excited, puffy panty way... which you never get to do when you run on your own!

Anyway, my legs hate me just a little bit for making them run up another hill for the second night running.  Tomorrow's run needs to be a lot flatter and slower for them to forgive me!

284 days done.  Crikey!

Geeky stats stuff

Distance:4.07 mi
Avg Pace:8:13 min/mi
Elevation Gain:246 ft

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Runstreak Day #283 - smug pants and fastest miles

*dances in*

*pulls up smug pants as far as they will go*

*skips and bounces a few times*

Guess who got her fastest mile this evening?!  Me!  YAY!  6 minutes 47 seconds!  Bosh!!  Nowhere near as fast as anyone who's properly fast... but boy was it fun!

Had a really good run too - met up with a few others to go run in the 'new, not actually open yet but we're going in it anyway because it's flippin' fab' country park and ran our little legs off.  Up a stupidly stupidly big hill, 2 miles of stupidly big hill... but we managed it anyway.  We earned the views at the top.  It was peaceful.  It was warm.  The sun was just starting to set.  What's not to like?

I feel like I'm clinging on to the last bits of summer... I'm still not ready to stop wearing running shorts and a vest top!  Plus, it's been so lovely to have light runs for months on end.  But now, the light is getting autumnal and golden... the evenings are getting darker earlier... and the shadows are getting just a bit colder.  It's still a privilege to be out there running though.  There really is nothing like that feeling of rhythm and motion and achievement and energy that you get from running.  A hill that doesn't defeat you.  A slope you can almost fly down.  Runners you can chat to as you go.  It's just the best feeling.

After an evening like this, I know it was worth all that long, hard slog to get myself running in the first place.  The hard work of couch to 5k... weaning myself off the podcasts... braving longer distances, steeper hills... facing my fear of running with others.  And the reward is the joy of being able to run freely.

I smiled so much this evening my face aches more than my legs.

And now I have tea.  Which makes everything so much nicer!  ^_^

*carries on dancing in her smug pants*

Geeky stats stuff

Distance:3.57 mi
Avg Pace:8:04 min/mi
Elevation Gain:227 ft

Monday, 8 September 2014

Runstreak Day #282 - runchtime and cul-de-sacs!

Day 282 and I have a whole evening stretching in front of me and I don't need to go for a run!

Because today I did 'runch' instead, squeezing my run into my lunch break and then wearing my smug pants for the rest of the afternoon.  And my beetroot face.  My very very beetroot face.  Because the downside of it being unexpectedly warm today was that I was running in the warmest part of the day and only survived not melting completely by finding a nice patch of air con to cool myself down a bit!

I also tried a new route today although probably should have spent more than two minutes going 'that's about 5k' and not looking at any road names, turns etc.  Why?  Because if you don't look at your route carefully enough, you'll end up in Stepford Wives-ville where all the houses look the same and all the cul-de-sacs lurk in sinister silence ready for you to come plodding down them, trapping you mercilessly while pensioners look on with that knowing look on their faces!  And you'll end up adding on an extra half a mile or so when your legs are still a teensy bit tired from the 11 miles you did the day before and you're on a 500 calorie fasting day, so all energy is kinda precious!

On the upside, I did use the secret shower at work (hooray!), so was all fresh and sparkly (and red faced!) after my run.  And I definitely know that lunchtime runs are going to be achievable for the long dark winter months and I get to avoid quite so many horrible evening runs where I'm just too tired to bother.  Especially the Friday 'avoiding the pub hecklers' runs which have never been a personal fav of mine!

Now if that's not worth a happy dance, I don't know what is!

*happy dances*

Geeky stats stuff

Distance:3.55 mi
Avg Pace:8:18 min/mi
Elevation Gain:135 ft

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Runstreak Day #281 - I am that annoying runner...

... who is stupidly chirpy when they're running.

Plus, it's kinda weird when your face aches more from smiling than your legs do from running, isn't it?

That's what happened today because I just really REALLY enjoyed my run.  I think I drive other people a bit mad sometimes when I'm running.  I think that after 20 months of running the novelty of actually being able to run hasn't worn off and I am so amazed and happy that I'm running a fair distance that I can't shake the smiling.  I say hello to just about everyone I pass (unless they're studiously not making eye contact!).  I talk to doggies as I run past and have been known to say 'morning' to the ducks that I pass on the canal.

And when I'm running at a slower pace than normal (as I was running with someone else), I got to completely relax while I was running and enjoyed just about everything about my run.  The weather was sparkly and lovely.  It was nice to chat as I ran.  I felt light and strong the whole time.  And when I finished at almost 11 miles, I felt like I had plenty more left in my legs.

When I was starting running I never thought there would be a time when running would ever feel like today.  It was always so hard.  Always such a struggle.  Aching legs.  Chest burning.  Hard flipping work.  I love that I get to smile when I run these days.  It's a brilliant feeling.

Even if it is annoying to everyone else!

Geeky stats stuff

Distance:10.70 mi
Avg Pace:9:52 min/mi
Elevation Gain:68 ft

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Runstreak Day #280 - parkrun and little victories

I just parkran my backside off!  YAY!!

It's funny how the little personal victories make you go 'yay!' about stuff.  Like today.  A completely meaningless one for anyone else... and it wasn't even my best 5k time... but it's the first time I've got a sub-24 time at Colwick parkrun (23:40-ish) and I am a happy little bunny.

In fact, it'll sustain me through doing the grocery shopping - which is where I'm headed next - it'll keep me going when, inevitably, the kids make a mess / break something / refuse to do something / argue with one another later.  It'll make me whistle inside when I'm hanging out the washing.  Mopping the kitchen floor.  And all the other mundane stuff that goes to make up a Saturday.

You have to love running for giving you the chance to feel fab about something you've achieved, don't you?  The little victories come in all different shades.  Whether it's managing a hill that's eluded you.  Running a trail for the first time.  Running with other people.  Doing something massive like the GNR, a marathon, an ultra.  Or even just conquering that very first Couch to 5k run-walk.  You get to wear a Ready Brek kid glow of happy, and it was all powered by you.

All those pants runs last week?  You are forgiven.  Today I managed a really consistent pace.  I got the urge to stop and run away... and didn't.  And I got to chat to some of the lovely people I've gradually got to know by *not* giving in to my fear of running with other people over the past few months.

Anyone else care to join me in parkrun happy dancing today?

*happy dances*

Geeky stats stuff

Distance:3.14 mi
Avg Pace:7:33 min/mi
Elevation Gain:39 ft

Friday, 5 September 2014

Runstreak Day #279 - the runch run

Day 279 and my very first attempt at running in my lunchbreak at work!  It was alright and I'm all happy in the knowledge that I can get some daylight runs in during the week when it's Winter and the days are so short.  WOOOO HOOOOO!!!

So... things I've learned from today's 'runch'...

1. Be prepared!  I packed my running kit (obviously!), some wet wipes, a small towel, some deodorant and a hair tie and needed all of those things
2.  Dry shampoo really helped make my hair feel less icky (thank you to another runner for the recommendation, I never would have thought of that!)
3.  Others will go 'you're going for a run?!?!  What?  Now?  Really?' several times...
4.  ... and when you get back, you will be kinda sweaty and red faced.  I pre-warned people that I'd be gross... and I was... yay me!
5.  The hour following your run you'll continue being a sweaty, red-faced mess.  If you can avoid having meetings in the hour after you're back from your run, it's probably kindest to your colleagues!
6.  Having a bag for your stuff is fine, but I think I'll also have a carrier bag too so that the stinky sweaty post-run clothes don't whiff out the office!!
7.  If you can leave stuff in your desk drawer ready for another run, it's less faff for the next time you go and it'll probably make me more likely to go for a lunchtime run as I won't have to think so much about it!
8.  A 5k is just about enough for a lunchtime.  5 mins to get changed, 25 mins run, 5 - 10 mins de-stinking and changing... all done in the space of 40 minutes.  Score.
9.  Eat your lunch a bit earlier than you normally would to allow time to digest it a bit and not be wind-powered when you run (experience talking here!!)
10.  Enjoy basking in the smug glow of a post lunchtime run!

Oh, and someone told me about a 'secret' shower at work... so I'm going to use that next week and be a whole lot less stinky.  Hooray!

Actually, I don't think I was stinky.  The combination of wet wipes and a quick face wash was enough not to be gross for the rest of the afternoon.  I also ran with my hair not in a ponytail, but in a bun and that helped it not get too sweaty icky as well.

Plus, I got to do a whole new route... I get to explore running in Derby... and my head was nicely clear for getting a whole load of worky stuff done in the afternoon.

And drank the world's biggest cup of tea to celebrate it all.  *happy dances*

Geeky stats stuff

Distance:3.14 mi
Avg Pace:8:10 min/mi
Elevation Gain:159 ft

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Runstreak Day #278 - slug run

Day 278 - and today I mostly ran like a slug.  Painted with treacle.  Glued to the floor.  

Can't work out if there's a pattern to the runs where I'm just not feeling it.  It doesn't happen that often.  Possibly one or two runs a month.  And it's not even when I'm a hormonal mess.  It's just that the lethargy fairy strikes.  And I run like a slug.

Sometimes when it happens, I stop and give myself a good talking to.  Other times I try to do the 'isn't everything lovely and isn't the world beautiful' thing of spotting nice stuff around me.  Only today everything smelled of manure and cow pats.  And I nearly ran into a couple of cow pats while I was out.  And there were so many flies that I'm sure that I'm not longer vegan having eaten half the fly population living near the River Trent.  Plus, it was going dark by the time I went for my run which meant that the trail I was running along got a bit 'can't see much' and I came over all paranoid about running into dog poop.  Which wasn't entirely fun.

So instead, I just swore at myself a bit while I was running along.  I tried to channel a bit of 'what would my dad have said' motivation.  But all I could think was that he wouldn't even believe I was able to run at all (I only took up running three years after he died), so probably wouldn't look up from his suduko to notice!  And therefore wouldn't have any sage words of encouragement or wisdom to offer.  Plus, he wasn't ever sporty, so I couldn't even pretend there was something he'd ever said about sport.  Geeky science stuff and politics.  He'd have had an opinion.  But running.  Nada.  Which made that a stupid thing to try and think in the first place...

... therefore tonight's run was fuelled only by swearing and bloody mindedness.

Ta daaaaaaa!

I don't regret going for a run though.  And I DEFINITELY earned my cuppa!  


Geeky stats stuff

Distance:3.09 mi
Avg Pace:8:09 min/mi
Elevation Gain:20 ft

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Runstreak Day #277 - brain vs stats

Day 277 and I think I may have broken myself a little bit.

Only a little bit, mind you.  Nothing dramatic.  I'm just a bit knackered after yet another busy day and my run this evening was a bit of a treacle run.

The first part was okay, but the second half was slu-u-u-u-u-u-uggish.  You know how it happens?  You're tootling along quite happily... and then... lead legs strike.  And you go from hoping that all the lights will be green for you to fly through to wishing them onto red so that you can stop and try to catch your breath a bit.  Hang on...

*lightbulb moment*

A-a-a-a-a-actually... I'm probably not being fair on myself.  I've just nerded out on Strava and looked at my splits...  and I can see that the GAP (grade adjusted pace - where they take into account the descent / climb and factor that into your pace so you can compare hilly runs with flat ones) shows it was more consistent than it felt - running just about spot on 8:10 minute miles the whole time rather than the unadjusted pace which ranged between 7:38 to 9:14 minute miles.  It's just that the run was essentially 2 and a bit miles downhill and then 2 and a bit uphill.  D'oh!  And this is why we love nerdy stats!!

But why on earth I didn't clock that that's what was going on while I was running, I'll never know.

I am officially a muppet.

I clearly need more tea.  And to give myself a stern talking to when I'm running and feeling like I'm about to collapse on the floor like a sack of middle-aged sadness.  And to stop dumping the entire contents of my brain onto the page without thinking a little bit first!  :o)

Geeky stats stuff

Distance:4.35 mi
Avg Pace:8:15 min/mi
Elevation Gain:157 ft

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Runstreak Day #276 - another run with my littlest

Didn't feel like a run today really.  Had a long day with work and my head was a bit full.  But not feeling like a run is always just a temporary thing.  Once I'm out, it's fine.  Just before I left I vaguely yelled 'does anyone want to come for a run with me?' - and my littlest appeared!  Zoomed upstairs... put on socks and trainers.  And wanted to come!

So I had a little running buddy today.  He managed to run about halfway up the hill from our house and then across the park and to the top for a breather.  We ran-walked / ran-paused our way through just over 2.5 miles, which wasn't bad going at all.  He was less keen than me (who was all giggly shrieky aeroplane-armsy happiness) about running down hills.  He says they're 'too fast'... which is not a concept I'm familiar with!  That said, he did run down a very steep hill and had a flushed, excited, eyes-popping-out-of-his-head happy face on at the bottom... which is always a good sign.

Y'know, I wish they could bottle that feeling.  And when someone says 'I don't know why you run... running's boring.  I couldn't run.  I just can't see anything interesting in it' about it... give them a taste of that.  That feeling like you're 8 years old.  That it's all just a bit fast, a bit unsafe, a bit scary... but you've done it anyway.  And there's a buzz inside you that makes you feel all tingly happy.

Give them a taste of that, and they'll get it.  The quiet, calm, happy, gentle, space-to-breathe moments take longer to appreciate... but that absolute crazy freedom of speed and hill and happy.  That's kinda intoxicating.  Even after a crazy full day.

I LOVE that my children are starting to discover running with me.  It reminds me of why I love it all over again.

Lucky old me!

Geeky stats stuff

Distance:2.61 mi
Avg Pace:10:08 min/mi
Elevation Gain:184 ft

Monday, 1 September 2014

Runstreak Day #275 - and so it begins...

... and so it begins...

The first 'it's getting dark when I go for a run in an evening' run.  Which I'm sure there's a more succinct expression kicking around for that, but I can't think what it might be!

Anyway... it was going dark by the time I hauled myself out for a run.  Didn't think it would be up to much after yesterday's 11-miles-then-crashing-out thing.  But it was surprisingly okay.  25 minutes for a hilly 5k, felt relaxed and pretty steady the whole time... and it's a 500 calorie fasting day as well.  Sooooo... yeah... that was okay.

However, as I was running, I was reminded about the pitfalls of running when it's dark.  There are good bits to running at night.  For example, it's pretty quiet on the streets and you kind of feel like it's your own little world, which is groovy.  But... the dog poo fairy is not kind to night-time runners.  Nor is the pub-prat fairy.  Plus, you can't run around parks at night unless you want to bump into the 'deeply suspicious why are you hanging around a park' fairy.  And the pothole fairy has a tendency to attempt to trip you over.  It's also colder at night.  Which is good and bad because at least you don't overheat... but you do risk your frozen fingers snapping off when you go to undo your trainers after you've finished your run.

Still, there is a part of me - and feel free to shout at me if you'd like - that's looking forward to nosing at everyone's Christmas decorations when I'm out doing my dark evening runs in a couple of months' time!  Am almost ridiculously excited about that!!

PS  In 3 months I will have been running every day for a year (it's day 275 today).  75% of the way there... and 90 days left to run.  Is it okay if I'm stupidly excited about that too?
PPS  I am also excited about tea.  It really is the little things that keep me going...  :o)

Geeky stats stuff
Distance:3.10 mi
Avg Pace:8:19 min/mi
Elevation Gain:208 ft