Monday, 30 June 2014

Runstreak Day #212 - a 'no peeking' run

You know what it's like with running.  First, you start out by seeing if you can run at all.  You use an app or something to help you... possibly Couch to 5k.  Then, you use an app to track your runs to see how fast you're now able to run.  Then, you start to feel that a run isn't a run without it being logged in some way.

Then... you decide that your app isn't good enough.  The armband annoys you.  It isn't accurate enough.  It's a pain to stop and start it when you're running.  The slippery slope to GPS watchdom has been stepped upon and before you know it, you're sporting an ever-so-slightly over-sized watch and you're a slave to the data.  And the beep which tells you how fast you're going each mile.  And your inner competitive demon wants to beat the beep.

So... today I decided to ignore the beep.  I just ran.  No peeking at my watch.  The beep beeped, but I didn't peek.  As long as I was keeping a nice consistent pace, I was happy.  I want my legs to feel that they can just keep on keeping on at a natural pace.  And then find out afterwards what that pace was.  Y'know what?  It was kinda nice.  I ended up doing a nice comfortable pace.  Enjoyed my run.  Didn't swallow too many flies (always a bonus!).  Didn't get bitten by mozzies.  No toilet desperation.  My pace increased a bit at the end when I had to run past a hu-u-u-u-u-uge group of blokes and couldn't cope with the thought of losing face by being the sad sack middle aged woman stopping to gaps for breath in front of them, so did my best Paula Radcliffe 'I could keep this going for miles' impression and galumphed past them, trying to ignore whatever it was they said!

And no watch checking!

*high fives self*

Geeky stats stuff

Distance:3.35 mi
Time:27:57
Moving Time:27:57
Elapsed Time:27:57
Avg Pace:8:21 min/mi
Avg Moving Pace:8:21 min/mi
Best Pace:7:42 min/mi

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Runstreak Day #211 - sociable Sunday miles

Yeah, I was sociable with my running again!  Went along to the Sweatshop Running Community Sunday morning long run - this morning's run was 7.5 miles - and survived.  Amazingly so considering I was SO tired after a very very busy couple of days.  For the first mile I couldn't stop myself yawning.  But then I settled into a fairly comfortable pace and ran with another guy for the next 6.5 miles.  It was nice to be able to chat and run.  I love the peace and space of running normally, but there is something quite nice about either a bit of conversation or companionable silence as you're pottering along.

However, it also crossed my mind that there are certain things that are especially annoying when you're running.  I feel a top 10 list coming on...

1.  Small yappy dogs who go for your ankles
2.  Geese... hissing, mean geese... who just go for whichever bit of you they fancy.  Because they're mean.  Really mean.
3.  Extendable leads with dogs attached... which stretch a-a-a-a-a-all the way across the path but which you don't see until almost too late.
4.  Traffic lights on red when you've got a good rhythm going.
5.  Traffic lights on green when you fancy stopping but without looking like you're stopping because you're knackered.
6.  Anyone who yells 'Run Forrest run!' at you. Not original.  Trust me.
7.  Groups of people taking up the whole of the pavement.
8.  Cyclists swerving about on the pavement.  Stay left.  Stay right.  Choose.  Just choose!!
9.  Dog poop in the dark
10. Cars parked on pavements, forcing you into the road.

Extendable leads are my least favourite thing though!!

Ranty lists aside, today's run was good.   Wore my new trainers for the first time and that was groovy - though I distinctly remember telling my husband that my trainers I bought at the end of February would last for ages and ages... and it's not even been 4 months and I've done 500 miles and they're too worn for comfort!  Anyhoo... the new ones were comfy and I think that I can keep the pace I was running at going for a good long while... which means I also feel much more confident about getting under 2 hours for my next half marathon (never thought I'd be able to say 'my next half marathon'!!!  Even doing one was beyond my imagination less than a year ago!).  Plus, I was brave and ran with others again... and that's feeling more survivable too.

Day 211 all done and in the bag.  Wonder what next week's runs will bring?!

Geeky stats stuff

Distance:7.44 mi
Time:1:05:33
Moving Time:1:05:33
Elapsed Time:1:08:45
Avg Pace:8:49 min/mi
Avg Moving Pace:8:48 min/mi
Best Pace:6:54 min/mi

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Runstreak Day #210 - streak-saving-shoehorn run

I have no idea how today's run happened.  I was up at 4am... at an event in East Sussex by 7am... there until after 4pm... didn't get home until nearly 9pm... and am absolutely exhausted.

Unpacked the car.  Got the kids to bed.

Slurped a quick cup of tea... and... out for a run.

When I say 'run', I mean... I don't know what I mean.  It didn't feel like running.  It felt like slogging.  Ran up the hill... paused to tie my shoelaces and gasp for breath a bit... up across the park... ambled across the top... looked at the downward slope and checked whether I was nearly at the 'just a mile' I'd forced myself to do.  At 0.87 of a mile, my brain went... right... stop it... you can do a bit more... just to the bottom of the hill and round... that might drag it over 2.  So I... bravely... ran past the turn which would have zig zagged me back home... ran past the next turn which would have taken me down my road... crossed the road, went across and down another hill, deliberately taking me just a bit further away... around the bottom of the hill, past the supermarket... and zig zagged back up the hill again.

Why the tortuous detail about the run?  Because it was tortuous.  My hip / knee have been feeling a bit grim since a long car journey a week ago and my back wasn't great today after another long car journey yesterday evening.  I took everything at a steady pace, but I know I'm going to have to do some gentle runs on the flat to ride this one through.

Ah well... not every run is a festival of joyfulness.  Sometimes you have to grit your teeth, force yourself out there and know that another day will be better.  And then give yourself a big fat yay for having run at all!  YAY!!!

Glad I shoehorned that 'un in.  :o)

Geeky stats stuff
Distance:2.09 mi
Time:17:26
Moving Time:17:27
Elapsed Time:18:55
Avg Pace:8:20 min/mi
Avg Moving Pace:8:21 min/mi
Best Pace:6:29 min/mi

Friday, 27 June 2014

Runstreak Day #209 - or should that be 'rainstreak'?!

So... today I have mostly been soaked through to the skin.  Why? Because the only time I had for a run was on my way back from work at lunchtime.  At the exact moments someone turned the sky hose on.  At full blast.  At one point I even thought it was starting to hail it was so wet.

In fact, let's just review the types of rain I've run in:

1. Spitty fine rain - a little bit off tutting when considering going for a run, but otherwise okay.  Annoyance factor: 2/10
2. Rain shower - getting soaked and then everyone else reappears when it's stopped raining and you look like a drowned muppet.  Annoyance factor: 4/10
3. Proper rain - the endless, not going to stop sort.  Where there are puddles to jump over, everyone looks at you like you're crazy, but it's not that hard, just persistent.  Annoyance factor: 5/10
4. Heavy rain - a pain in the bum for the first ten minutes until you've worked out a way to cope with water streaming down your face and into your eyes.  But realise that when your nose runs, you can't wipe it properly. Annoyance factor: 6/10
5.  Heavy rain with thunder - ridiculously exciting.  All other things can be forgiven.  You look hardcore. You're getting a buzz from something (could be lightning) and it all feels a bit naughty and mad.  Annoyance factor: 1/10
6.  Horizontal rain with headwinds and hail - give up now.  Give up, weep, shiver, despair.  There is no hope.  The apocalypse has arrived. This is the end of everything.  Annoyance factor: 9/10
7. Monsoon - warm, torrential rain.  There is no sweat, only wet.  Lots and lots of it.  No one else goes out in this.  Except runners.  Because otherwise they wouldn't be running and the thought of not running is crazier than actually running.  Woooooooo hoooooo! Annoyance factor: 6/10

No 10/10 for annoyance though.  I'd still run in all of those conditions... as would the three other runners I saw in the park at lunchtime, all of whom who gave me the 'I know this is mad but what the f*ck' face and grinned happily in my soggy direction.  Water streaming down their faces in return.

Splendid!

Tea? And happy dancing? Yes please! 󾆶

Day 209, you have been run.

No idea how I'm going to squeeze a run in tomorrow... This may be the last day of my running streak! I may have to do a mile just before midnight to fit it in. *gulp*

Geeky stats stuff

Distance:2.75 mi
Time:22:24
Moving Time:22:24
Elapsed Time:22:42
Avg Pace:8:08 min/mi
Avg Moving Pace:8:08 min/mi
Best Pace:7:04 min/mi

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Runstreak Day #208 - a treacle run

You know when you're having a treacle run.  Everything is treacle-ish.

From the tortuously slow pace of getting yourself ready to go out for a run.  To the inability to find your rhythm.  To the little niggles you feel as you run (including bits stuck in my teeth - grrr!).  To sluggishly deciding on a route.  And the thought of running up hills is enough to make you feel not only like you're running through treacle but that you are carrying lead weights too.  And juggling elephants.  Made of spaghetti.  Covered in oil.  Whilst blindfold.

Yup.  Today was a treacle run.

After each mile I stopped and stretched.  But it didn't really help.  A bad night's sleep has well and truly caught up with me and my legs weren't playing ball.

I'm not sorry I went though.  I need to do some thinking about some stuff and even though I'm tired, the space is much needed right now.  And it's a space that only running seems to give me.  Blanking the nonsense out and leaving a bit of calm in its wake is helping prevent things from becoming stressful.  They might still be confusing, but at least they're not stressful.  And for that reason alone, it reminds me how important running is to me and how much I love it.  Plus, because it took me so long to force myself out for a run, I got to enjoy the late evening scent of the roses and other summer flowers.  And if I'd stayed in and felt sorry for myself, I wouldn't have had that little bonus.

Which just goes to show.  Treacle runs might be a sticky mess... but they're still kinda sweet.  :o)

Geeky stats stuff

Distance:3.16 mi
Time:25:31
Moving Time:25:32
Elapsed Time:28:30
Avg Pace:8:04 min/mi
Avg Moving Pace:8:04 min/mi
Best Pace:6:53 min/mi

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Runstreak Day #207 - family run / riding

Today I didn't run on my own... I ran with my littlest coming with me on his bike... and my husband on his bike as well!  Hooray for having company!!

Okay, so it always means it's quite stop starty... and we had to visit two playgrounds for my little boy to hurl himself about on the swings / monkey bars for a bit.  But it was nice to be out with them rather than just me on my own.  And, naughtily... it's nice when I can run up the super steep hills and they can't even ride their bikes up them.  Go leg power!!!  I'm still blown away by the fact that I can run up hills I used to struggle even to walk up.  It is the best feeling!!

I also got treated to some new trainers today (I LOVE surprises like that!).  My current ones I bought in February have done 500 miles already and are starting to wear on the mid-foot bit.  They definitely need replacing.  Already!  That whole 'running is a cheap hobby' thing isn't really holding water.

In other random running news, I was brave and revised downwards the time I think I can do the Robin Hood Half Marathon in in September.  Originally I put is at 2:10, but I *think* I could get under the 2 hour mark and have now put it down as 1:55.  Though I'm (obviously!) petrified, I am really excited about running it.  The me who didn't run at all 18 months ago wouldn't recognise this version of me saying stuff like that!

And that, in a nutshell, was Day 207.  I ran, I had fun, I still love running.  YAY!

Geeky stats stuff

Distance:3.03 mi
Time:24:15
Moving Time:24:15
Elapsed Time:55:52
Avg Pace:8:00 min/mi
Avg Moving Pace:8:00 min/mi
Best Pace:5:59 min/mi

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Runstreak Day #206 - How to run off a bad mood

Although it sometimes feels like people have stopped asking how I am, and instead taken to asking after my knees (they're fine, if you're interested - they've never been anything but fine, but I appreciate your perpetual concern for them) once they know that I run every day... what they don't realise is how important running is to how I feel.

Let's take today, for example.  I ran just over 3 miles (yes, just over - it was 2.99 when I got home so I ran to the bottom of my road and back - obviously)... and they were three angry miles.  Well, to be honest, the first half mile was angry.  The rest was slightly weird.  It seems that the stages of running off a bad mood go as follows:

1.  Pure anger.  Running is accompanied by muttering 'how dare they?!?!?', 'what do *they* know?!?!!' as you hurtle yourself along at a hefty pace
2.  Denial.  Okay, so maybe you either aren't quite so angry any more, or perhaps you went off a bit fast but it's all you can do to keep yourself going without keeling over.  Deny that you're exhausted, carry on pounding.
3.  Illogical ranting.  They're wrong, running is great, they don't know how great running is, that makes them even more wrong and you are therefore even more right.  Because running is great.  And you are therefore great.  Which makes them not great.  And so on and so forth.
4.  Mild confusion.  By this point, you've got yourself a bit of a sweat on.  You've huffed, puffed and thrown yourself up and down hills... and are starting to struggle to remember what it was you were so angry about.  Your pace will naturally slow at this point.
5.  Hopelessness.  Maybe it was all pointless anyway?  Maybe life is a bit pointless?  Maybe nothing really matters at all... you can't even seem to run very well anyway... and... well...
6.  Neutralising acceptance.  Okay, stuff does matter.  But it doesn't matter that much.  Ooooh!  Look at the numbers on that Garmin!  Running with a strop on seems to be getting you motoring!!  Maybe you should give it one last push up that hill and see what happens.
7.  Triumph!  Run done!  WOOOO HOOO!  You vaguely recall that you weren't in the greatest of moods when you left the house, but you're red faced, sweaty and that wasn't a bad run after all.  Mentally award self high fives.

And... life is good.  :o)

Sub-8 minute miles all the way.  Even up the silly long hill to finish.

Don't get mad.  Get running!!

And get tea.  Always get tea.

Geeky stats stuff

Distance:3.02 mi
Time:23:54
Moving Time:23:54
Elapsed Time:25:57
Avg Pace:7:54 min/mi
Avg Moving Pace:7:54 min/mi
Best Pace:6:52 min/mi

Monday, 23 June 2014

Runstreak Day #205 - Runstreak Rest Day

Day 205 and I took a rest day today.

Well... when I say 'rest day', I mean it was just a short run... enough to blow away the cobwebs, but not enough to kill myself.  Which is the equivalent of a runstreak rest day!   Running around the lakes at Colwick is my default runstreak rest route - it's flat, it's just over my minimum distance and it's so familiar I don't have to think at all while I'm doing it.  Just pootle.

This evening, I also had someone trying to tempt me into running a marathon next year.  We were chatting about running (obviously!) and it just came up... and... I may almost have agreed to do one.  I'm sure sanity will prevail and I won't.  I hope it does!  And I hope it doesn't.  What on earth is the matter with me?!

Anyhoo, I ran my run this evening.  Enjoyed the happy rhythmic sound of my trainers.  Attempted to get my breathing under control a bit more.  Felt generally relaxed.  Yeah, nice.  The headache I'd had earlier in the day cleared and life felt good.  Days like this which are nothing special are what running is really about.  You aren't pushing for a time.  You aren't striving for a distance.  You aren't competing.  You're just running and being in the moment.  Nice.

Oh, and I also (hooray!) had a rebate from the tax bods.  My first thought?!  'Ooooh, new trainers!'.  Seriously... what on earth has happened to me!?

Geeky stats stuff

Distance:2.39 mi
Time:19:46
Moving Time:19:46
Elapsed Time:19:46
Avg Pace:8:16 min/mi
Avg Moving Pace:8:16 min/mi
Best Pace:7:11 min/mi

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Runstreak Day #204 - group running... again...

I think I'm gradually getting braver with my running!  It's been 18 months since I started the whole running business with Couch to 5k... running on my own for the whole of the 12 months that followed and only braving running with anyone else at the start of this year.  And when I say 'ran on my own', for a large part of that time, I would only go for runs where I knew that hardly anyone else went so that I wouldn't be seen.

Actually, I wouldn't have wanted to be seen - my first attempt at running as part of the C25K plan was when I suddenly decided that I would give it a go when I was out walking on my own.  Picture the scene... at this point, I am 6 stones heavier than I am now.  I am 38.  I have never run at any point in my adult life.  I'm wearing size 18 clothes.  Am officially obese.  And I'm out walking, tracking my walk using RunKeeper.  And I'm wearing wellies.  And I decide to start run-walking.  Yup, that's right.  Fat woman does 'running' by gallolloppping in her welly boots.  In January.  With ear muffs on.  And nearly has heart failure with the effort after 45 seconds.  Yeah, I wouldn't have wanted to be seen!!

*blushes at memory*

I persevered at my running.  Finishing C25K.  Braving running on the streets after about 6 months.  And then... after a year, I went for a run with a couple of friends.  It was a BIG deal for me and I was petrified.  I could only see myself as the fat woman in wellies - even if other people weren't seeing that version of me, that's how I felt.  A running fraud.

Anyway, I have run with others more and more this year.  I've done races.  I've met up with others.  I've made friends through my running.  I regularly do parkruns on a Saturday.  The fear of being 'found out' as not being able to run has gradually diminished.  And today, I went along to a Sunday morning Sweatshop Running Community run - knowing no-one who was there.  Sat in the car for a moment or two trying to think brave thoughts.  And went for it.

Guess what?  I enjoyed myself!  Ran 7.5 miles in the sunshine.  My Garmin didn't pick up a signal for about a quarter of a mile, but that didn't faze me.  Sweated my little face off.  Found the pace nice and gentle.  Chatted as I ran.  And was a happy bunny.  And I'm going to go again next week.  Oh yes I am!  :o)

I think I've finally outrun the fat woman in wellies!  But I love her for having been brave enough to start running in the first place.

Geeky stats stuff

Distance:7.23 mi
Time:1:07:55
Moving Time:1:07:56
Elapsed Time:1:13:08
Avg Pace:9:24 min/mi
Avg Moving Pace:9:24 min/mi
Best Pace:4:59 min/mi

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Runstreak Day #203 - the hilly parkrun...

Cooer, I totally forgot to do an update today for Day 203.  That's what happens on parkrun day, I think!  You get your run out of the way first thing - it's all a mess of nerves, disorganisation, then a crazy 5k charge around a park... and then the rest of a busy Saturday catches up with you!

Soooo... today was parkrun day... and today was a different parkrun than normal.  A silly hilly parkrun... but at least I was meeting up with a couple of running buddies who are both just the right helping of delicious and crazy and we all tackled the hills together.

Y'know, it almost looks like a nice route - you run around a large field, then up and around the park, through tree lined avenues... then another lap around the field, back up through the shady trees... and finishing next to a pavillion.  Very civilised.

Apart from the big f*ck off hill you have to do not once, but twice.  First time, you think 'okay, this is doable'.  You haven't yet done a mile of running, your legs are fresh and it's one slope.  Then it kicks back on itself, and another slope appears.  You get a short downward section... and then another bloody hill appears.  And you think 'this has got to be the top'... until you go down again slightly and another sodding hill sneaks up on you, by which point even the nice downhill run doesn't help you recover and you're wheezing like an asthmatic at meeting of polluters anonymous.

And then you have to do it all again.  And when you're coming back around the field, all you can think of is 'that bloody hill is next' and inside you cry just a little bit.  No aeroplane arms today... it was as much as I could do not to give up and roll down the hill instead.  :D

Managed to be 4th female finisher in 24:43.  In your face bloody stupid hill!!

Hilly parkruns on hot days?!  Madness.  Giving you a finish token isn't enough.  I demand a medal!  ^_^

And / or another cuppa cha.  And some happy dancing!  Of course!  *dances happily*

Geeky stats stuff

Distance:3.12 mi
Time:24:43
Moving Time:24:43
Elapsed Time:24:43
Avg Pace:7:56 min/mi
Avg Moving Pace:7:56 min/mi
Best Pace:6:01 min/mi

Friday, 20 June 2014

Runstreak Day #202 - early bird run

*skips in*

*twirls a bit*

*sips tea*

Done my run already, la la laaaaa, do be doooooooo!

Am feeling all sparkly and positive for having hauled myself out of bed before 6, squeezed in a run and got to work for 7:30.

What with it being Friday as well, everything has a rosy glow to it.  So... here are five things I can put a positive spin on...

1.  It's not sweat, I'm leaking pure awesomeness
2.  I'm not huffing and puffing because I'm exhausted, I'm just adding dramatic sound effects to my run
3.  I've not stopped because I'm tired, I'm pausing to appreciate how fabulous I've been so far today
4.  To the person who gave me a strange look... You might think I'm mad for being out this early for a run, that's okay... I think you're mad for being out this early and *not* running as quick as you can to get back for your cuppa cha
5.  These aren't varicose veins, they're go faster stripes for my legs

So, just a quickie run this morning.  Enough to stretch my legs.  Sweated just a bit.  Boinged about on the streets a little.  Ran past the people queuing for the bus and pretended that they were all applauding me for being up and running so early.  Yeah, yeah... I know they're not.  I know they're all plugged in and listening to music and looking a bit grim... but I prefer my imagined version of what they're doing!

And Day 202 has already bitten the dust.

*high fives the world*

*goes back to supping tea*

Geeky stats stuff

Distance:2.20 mi
Time:18:31
Moving Time:18:31
Elapsed Time:18:31
Avg Pace:8:25 min/mi
Avg Moving Pace:8:25 min/mi
Best Pace:6:36 min/mi

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Runstreak Day #201 - aimless = happiness

My run was completely and utterly aimless today.  I headed out of the door... saw a neighbour and decided not to run past him, but to head up the hill instead... then down the hill... then saw the road was clear so crossed and headed down a path... then veered off to the left, just because... then down the hill and up the next hill because, well... just because.

And the whole run went pretty much like that.  Random decision making to piece together a route.  Ta daaaa!

Obviously that always backfires in the end because my route involves more steep hills than it would if I'd actually planned it!  Whoops!  Which wasn't very kind on my legs because they're having a tired day and I'm sure that in between the huffing and puffing coming from my breathing, my legs were definitely telling me to eff off.  :o)

As my mind also drifted about aimlessly while I was running, I realised that I'm not that bothered about times any more.  I have a pace I know I can run at which is okay... and that's fine for me.  What I want is to be able to run further and more comfortably.  Speed isn't something which is ever going to be spectacular because, let's face it, I'm almost 40 and there are adult women who are less than half my age, with young sporty legs and oingy boingy lives who will easily wipe the floor with me.  So, my brain has decided that pace isn't important.  Feeling good about my running.  Feeling confident about my running.  Feeling the space and freedom.  Feeling happy when I run... that's much more important to me.

Day 201... the day I had a lightbulb moment about what really matters when it comes to running.

It only took 201 days.  That's not bad going, right?  :o)

Geeky stats stuff

Distance:3.50 mi
Time:28:57
Moving Time:28:57
Elapsed Time:33:09
Avg Pace:8:16 min/mi
Avg Moving Pace:8:16 min/mi
Best Pace:6:49 min/mi

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Runstreak Day #200 - 200?! Get in!!

Day 200 - YEAH BABY!!!!

Doesn't December 1st seem a-a-a-a-a-ages ago?  That was when the crazy started.  There was that whole Advent Streak 'run every day up to Christmas' thing... that didn't sound so mad.  And then, there was the whole 'why not carry on until New Year' thing.  And then, 'let's see if we can get to 50 days...'... which crept on to 100.  And 100 turned into 150... and that's now ambled into 200.

200 days of running every day.  Flippin' heck!  I've run through Winter.  Run through Spring.  Have happily run into Summer.  I've gone from never having run with anyone else to spending my 200th run, running with the running buddies I've picked up along the way (thank you all for this evening - it was ace!).  I'd never run more than 4.5 miles.  And some how I've now done a half marathon.  Me.  Mrs 'hadn't run a single step 18 months ago'... that person.

I've run in all sorts of crazy weather - storms, hail, gales, sleet, stupid humidity, fog, rain which has soaked me to the skin in an instant.  I've run when I've been away from home.  When I've been on leave.  When I've had half a teaspoon of time after a stupidly long day.

I've had embarrassing encounters with misbehaving bodily fluids (light grey shorts and weak pelvic floor = bad combo).  I've had the brown turtle of doom threaten to show his head as I've been running when an ominous stomach rumble wanted to do more than just rumble.  I've had flies attempt to kill themselves on just about every part of my body.  I've sweated my face off in public, day or night... red dripping face grinning like a fool at people I go past, bellowing out 'HELLO!!!' in the hopes that they won't think I'm about to keel over.  It's just all glamour where I'm concerned.

Above all though, I've realised that I love running.  I don't just go for a run.  I can't imagine my life *without* going for a run.  Some days I may have to kick myself out of the door and give myself a stern talking to about it all, but I've never regretted a single run.  Not one.

Thank you for your support throughout you lovely lot!  200 days of running.  Almost 700 miles run.  More hills than I care to think about.  Let's not even think about the number of flies I've swallowed.

200 days.  Get in!!

Oh - and the picture?  This is me doing aeroplane arms down a big hill at Wollaton Park in Nottingham this evening.  NEEEEEE-YOWMMMMMM!!!!!!!!

Tea anyone?

Geeky stats stuff

Distance:4.55 mi
Time:44:39
Moving Time:44:39
Elapsed Time:50:08
Avg Pace:9:49 min/mi
Avg Moving Pace:9:49 min/mi
Best Pace:5:36 min/mi

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Runstreak Day #199 - what run streaks are made of

If you don't run every day, you run when you fancy a run.  Or when your plan tells you to have a run.  Or when you think you *should* run.  Or when your club / running partner has arranged a run.  And the mantra of 'REST DAYS ARE AS IMPORTANT AS RUN DAYS' pounds through your head.  If, on the other hand, you are a bit crackers and *do* run every day, then there is no such thing as a 'rest' day.  There are just days.  Some days you have a bucketload of energy.  Some days you don't have so much.

And then there are those days when you just don't think you have any energy left, when you've had a day that was jam packed... when you've walked for miles and you just fancy slobbing in a chair for the rest of the evening.  It's those days where you still get your running kit on, chuck yourself out of the door and somehow find the energy to get your legs moving again... and get 5k done... those are the days when you know you've been runstreaking for so long that you have no excuses left to get out of going for a run.

Which was today.

And I even ran up the stupidly steep hill.  The hill which makes cyclists get off and walk.  The hill which gains you an audience every time you try to run up it.  That hill.  With these tired legs *points downwards*.  Yeah... in your face, stupidly steep hill.  Me 1 : Hill 0  :o)

Someone asked me the other day if I'd ever been injured while I've been doing my runstreak.  The answer is 'no'.  'Do you stretch?', 'Don't your knees hurt?',  I get asked a lot.  'You must have a good stretching routine', another person will say.  'Ermmm... I stretch a bit', I reply... knowing that most of the time I probably do a little stretch here or there, but nothing particularly grown up or clever.

Running every day is definitely not for everyone.  But neither is it that special either.  It just becomes one of those things you do.  When you've run out of excuses and all that's left is running.  So you run.

Today I ran.  Tomorrow will be Day 200.  I'll be running then too.  You just watch me.

Tea?  Yes please!

Geeky stats stuff

Distance:3.18 mi

Time:26:16
Moving Time:26:16
Elapsed Time:29:36
Avg Pace:8:15 min/mi
Avg Moving Pace:8:16 min/mi
Best Pace:7:00 min/mi
 

Monday, 16 June 2014

Runstreak Day #198 - early run done, smug pants on

So... it's less than 12 hours since my last run... and I've had to cram in my run at 6am because there will be no time for the rest of the day.  Am off to London until tomorrow and with this runstreaking lark, you just have to grab whatever opportunity you can for a run.  There is a special technique to going for an early morning run... it is this:

1.  Get your kit ready the night before
2.  Place kit in bathroom
3.  When you (inevitably) have to go for a 'middle of the night pee' (the joy of being nearly 40), put on kit
4.  Except socks, no-one wants their feet to be too hot in bed
5.  Wake up at 5:30, vaguely recall you were going to go for a run
6.  Go for another pee
7.  Realise you're already dressed in your running kit so you might as well put your socks and trainers on and go
8.  Go.

Then there's the small matter of actually running.  But it basically boils down to 'just do it' as the technique.  This morning's run was short.  2.5 miles and that was enough to get me red faced and sweaty... and earned me a ginormous cuppa cha and the right to wear my smug pants for the rest of the day.

They suit me... right?

*happy dances over to her lovely big cup o' tea*

Geeky stats stuff

Distance:2.46 mi
Time:20:36
Moving Time:20:36
Elapsed Time:20:36
Avg Pace:8:22 min/mi
Avg Moving Pace:8:22 min/mi
Best Pace:7:08 min/mi

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Runstreak Day #197 - and rela-a-a-a-ax


Dunno what kind of run today's run was.  It was 'nice'.  Tiring, sweaty... but nice.

Took my little boy with me as he was driving his sister crackers - too much energy to burn - so I helped him burn some off with a five mile run / bike ride for him.  Actually wasn't planned to be that far.  Just ended up like that as we were going different routes and exploring new paths which was kinda fun.

I saw some photos of me taken at yesterday's parkrun and I noticed how tense I looked... like I was afraid of each stride some how.  I was stupidly nervous and it showed in how I was running.  All raised shoulders and arms up by my chest.  Not good!  So, today, I concentrated on keeping my shoulders from being up by my ears, my breathing relaxed and kept my arms down too.  It definitely feels better like that, I just have to keep practising so my body remembers that feeling!

So... 5 miles this evening.  Not exactly the long run I should have done today.  But long enough to enjoy it.  And enough hills to make my legs feel like they've done something too.

Tomorrow is an early run day before I'm off to London for a couple of days.  This fitting in a run to keep the runstreak going is a tricky business!!  3 more days until day 200!!

Which is why I need a cuppa now.  :o)

Geeky stats stuff

Distance:5.01 mi
Time:41:22
Moving Time:41:23
Elapsed Time:57:39
Avg Pace:8:15 min/mi
Avg Moving Pace:8:16 min/mi

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Runstreak Day #196 - the parkrun fear

There is absolutely nothing to fear about a parkrun.  Zero.  As they say - it's just a run.  Not a race.

So why I end up in a flapping nervous panic about the whole thing, I will never understand.  In my job I regularly present at conferences and events - a task that most people would find daunting but which I enjoy and which doesn't make me feel anxious in the slightest.  But put me in running gear and tell me I should do a parkrun?!  Eeeeek!!

Things that make me nervous about a parkrun?

1.  Getting there on time
2.  Not letting myself down
3.  Feeling like everyone's faster than me
4.  Mentally setting myself up for disappointment if I don't get a decent time

I've overcome the 'running with other people' thing - I've done a couple of races and this is my 11th parkrun.  I've forced myself to run with others and can generally survive in one piece.  But I can't silence the inner 'you aren't good enough' voice.  You spend all those years believing - absolutely and totally believing - that you cannot run, and that voice doesn't know what to do with itself other than bleat 'you're not good enough' in the background.  While I ignore it most of the time, there's something about a parkrun which I find intimidating.  And yet again I battled the feeling that I should just stop as I ran this morning.  Frustratingly ridiculous!!

Anyway, my Garmin kindly tells me that my 5k time was 23:47 and my parkrun time is at 24:05 - both of which are fine an' dandy by me.  Not my fastest, but I am gradually trying to convince myself that I really can regularly run a sub-25 5k!  Plus, it was 6th fastest female finisher, which I'm happy with!

Running isn't just about the act of running, is it?  You tangle yourself up in all sorts of crazy mind games along the way.  Not knowing if you can run a distance.  Not knowing if you can reach the standard you've set in your mind.  Not knowing if you can survive the nerves.  Never quite feeling convinced you can actually do it.  The funny thing is, after over a year of running and 6 stones weight lost, to other people I do look like a runner.  I show up wearing running shorts and a vest.  Wear decent trainers.  Am pretty wiry looking these days.  My hair is scraped back in a ponytail ready to give it a go.

But inside I don't feel like a runner.  Mind over matter.  I shouldn't mind and it doesn't really matter.  But I *do* so want to feel the confidence of knowing that I can run.

And I've gone and washed my barcode with my shorts again.  Damn it!

Anyhoo... I did it.  Yet again I didn't let the voice win.  I ran a parkrun.  Go me!!

*happy dances*

Geeky stats stuff

Distance:3.15 mi
Time:24:05
Moving Time:24:06
Elapsed Time:24:05
Avg Pace:7:39 min/mi
Avg Moving Pace:7:39 min/mi
Best Pace:5:49 min/mi

Friday, 13 June 2014

Runstreak Day #195 - treacle toffee backwards run

It's just a phase... it's just a phase... it's just a phase...

You know... one of those 'running is like wading through neck-deep mud, backwards, blindfolded, whilst covered in treacle' days.  Another of those days!  Aaaaargh!!!

This evening's run was a stop-starty hilly affair, with my 8 year old coming along on his bike.  He was absolutely bursting with energy.  Me, not so much.  In fact, not at all.  Hold on... I can feel a list of runners' excuses coming on...

1.  I didn't get enough sleep
2.  I didn't eat the right foods
3.  My calf muscles are feeling a bit stiff
4.  It's too humid
5.  It's too hot
6.  It's the end of the week and I'm tired
7.  I ran too much last week
8.  I couldn't find my rhythm
9.  It's my time of the month
10. DIDN'T YOU READ THE LAST ONE?!?!?!  LEAVE ME ALONE!!!!!!!!!!

Okay, so it's quite a long list.  And most of it is twaddle.  I think that some runs, some days, some weeks are just a bit like this one's been.  A survive it and move on week.  I know as I approached my 100th day, everything felt a bit bleh then too.

Today's run went... up a hill... down a hill... up a hill... down a hill... up another hill... down a hill... up... down...

You can see I decided to go easy on myself?!?!  And then when my little boy decided that he wanted to go up a steep hill just so he could ride down it full pelt... I decided that I was happy waiting at the bottom for him to do his crazy thing while I caught my breath.

He's now making me a cuppa cha.  Train 'em young... train 'em young.  :o)

Geeky stats stuff

Distance:3.32 mi
Time:27:42
Moving Time:27:38
Elapsed Time:40:00
Avg Pace:8:20 min/mi
Avg Moving Pace:8:19 min/mi
Best Pace:6:35 min/mi