Moving up (very) slowly towards an hour, but not just yet…ouch.

by crashieuk

I’ve not written a blog entry in over 2 weeks, and I’ll be honest that is just down to a small element of laziness on my part.

It’s not that I’ve stopped training or anything, but simply that I’ve not made the time to write about my running.

My most recent runs have been stepping up in total time for the week on a steady basis, still abiding by the rule of not increasing total running time for the week by any more than 10%.

Winter is certainly closing in now, and the clocks are now due to go back this weekend when British Summer Time officially ends in the small hours of Sunday at 2am. All this means for me, is that all the time I’d like to be out running will be in the dark, and what a load of crap that is.

The longest run I have managed to do so far has been 43 mins 51 secs and I’d also managed a flat 40mins a week before, which just served to prove to me that I can do it if I want to. If anything that’s proof of a more than 40x improvement from the heady days back in July/August when I struggled with the 60 secs running intervals in the first week of C25K, so I’ve that to be proud of. I now have the fact that I can manage a constant non-stop run in excess of 40 mins, when I remember a 90secs run leading me to think I was going to drop dead from exhaustion. πŸ˜€

Sadly, I’m currently injured (thankfully it’s only for the 2nd time since I’ve started) – this time it’s my right ankle and actually more at the front of my foot, which may be nothing more than a strain or maybe something as simple as having laced up my shoes too tight for two runs in a row (something that one of my trusted running gurus had suggested! ;)) . I was experiencing some discomfort on Tuesday evening this week (after my run on Monday) but felt fine again on Wednesday morning. Last night (Thursday) my foot was sore again, and this morning it was much worse, and led me to cancel this morning’s run.

I’ve decided now having skipped today’s run that if I also pass on Monday then, when Wednesday morning rolls around, that will have been a full week off so the one week rest theory will have been applied again, which worked for me so well with the knee injury last time. My left foot and ankle feels fine and I don’t recall any slips or stumbling on Monday to blame for the pain in my right. R.I.C.E as another of my gurus has recommended again – Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. That certainly did the trick last time, and I can testify that it already feels more comfortable than it did this time yesterday evening. I’m looking forward to running again next week and coming back stronger as I did last time.

I still haven’t been tracking distance at all but instead using my step counting method with the Fitbit (of tracking my time per 500 steps and checking in each one as a lap on the stopwatch app) and I’m fairly consistent being only varying by around a maximum of 15 seconds throughout my whole run on a regular basis. I’ve also noticed that certain sections of my running time better than others and I’m strongest around 25-50% of the way through the run, and definitely tail off towards the end of the run pace-wise. I’ve done some of the runs differently to mix things up, and I really have three types of run that I’m choosing between now.

Type 1 is when I just run at a normal pace (for me) for a pre-defined time – say 40 mins – just the same as some of the final runs on the C25K. Just running for time.

Type 2 is when I run for a shorter time – say 25 mins or 27mins 30secs at a more intense pace in my current schedule. It’s much more tiring, but balances out by doing less time.

The final type is the one where I just run at a comfortable pace for as long as I can, also bearing in mind where I am as I have to still get back to the flat. The last one of these runs resulted in my longest time 43mins 51secs

Music is still playing a part in my runs and I’ve also found I seem to run better on some days with no music at all as it seems to keep my pace more constant, whereas with music on, I think I’m pacing (maybe even subconsciously) to the track that’s currently playing. I have managed to decide on some days whether I’m going to have music or not in advance, but the option always remains there as the iPhone is with me regardless πŸ™‚

My healthier diet is still on track perfectly, as I’m still happily playing slave to my OCD and stats obsession by tracking every last gram of food I eats in the MyFitnessPal app. The weight loss has slowed but I can see a difference in the way I look now with a lot more muscle, less fat and close to 24kgs lost. I’m feeling trimmer and the running is getting easier. The weight loss is still an aim as I know I’ll find running even more enjoyable with even less weight to cart around πŸ˜€

Smoking’s done and dusted and no longer even something on my radar – just a dim and distant memory, having given up over 4 months ago, and not touched one since. I’ve had no cravings at all, and I certainly wouldn’t be where I am now without having given up the tobacco. I’m most proud of that achievement, and having managed to lose weight as well is a great bonus. I hadn’t even intended when I gave up smoking to take up running, but I was wary of the fact that the increased appetite when giving up smoking would lead to me piling on the weight, so I’m glad I decided to get into fitness just a few weeks later and managed to carry it on until now.

My target now is to be able to run non-stop for an hour, just because πŸ™‚ It’s not something I’ve ever considered being able to do, and I’ll be chuffed if I make it. I’m already over 2/3 of the way there. The colder and wetter weather isn’t making it easy though, but I’m managing to keep my dedication and enthusiasm, setting my alarm for earlier in the mornings as required. One day I’ve been out of the door at 6:15am. Me? Yup. Me.