Broken To Be Rebuilt

I think the title of this entry sums up my January. I am broken. But I am being rebuilt. (BTW, kudos to anyone getting the reference!)

Why am I broken? This feckin’ Saints & Slimmers programme I’m following, that’s why! I’ve been doing it since January 7th so I’m just over three weeks in. And it is tough, especially the week just finished. My little old body has been battered, and shaped, and twisted, and pushed in ways I didn’t think possible.

But I’m being rebuilt. Most definitely I am being rebuilt. Since starting SnS I have lost just over a stone. In fact, if you dial it back to New Years Day I have lost 16.5lbs – that is immense, I have to be pleased with that. I’ve done spin, kettlebells, pilates, Bodcon and a few different types of circuits. Oh, and I’ve been dancing!

Is it all a reaction to the Race Over The Glens? I’m still not beating myself up over that run but perhaps it has been the catalyst to me trying to improve my fitness and not letting my last couple of years of running go to waste.

Tonight, because it’s a Wednesday, it meant running class. Except tonight I couldn’t really be bothered. I was just so tired.

I’d been to the gym earlier in the afternoon with my son, Andrew. I didn’t really have much energy for that so I knew my run later would be a struggle.

It was.

As usual I decided to run up to the chapel carpark for the start of the ‘class’ but once I got there I didn’t have anything left in the tank whatsoever. I was just drained. I decided just to run the extra short distance to get weighed and to call it a night. I didn’t even have the power to run back home, although the horrendous weather did go a long way to swaying my decision.

So, just a couple of miles tonight. The run itself was ok. Nothing spectacular but, happily, it took me around the same time as last night in spite of my tiredness.

I’m going to take a couple of days off now, at least from running. I need to get my energy back for the race on Saturday morning. I’m looking forward to it just to see how I’ve improved over the past month. I’ve held back a bit in a lot of my runs this month so how I cope back in a race environment will be interesting.

I also just about scraped over the line in my 100km Challenge for the month, thanks to a few bike sessions and a cheeky little kilometre on the treadmill earlier. They all add up!

So, to recap January … the wooden spoon on NYD, a successful National Running Show, most miles in a month since April 2017 and 16.5lbs lost. It started badly and ended on a high. Let’s see what February brings.

Relive my run

 

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Tabata torture!

If it’s Tuesday night, it must be circuits … such is my life at the minute. This must be what it feels like to be on tour.

And if it’s circuits then it must be a run to the class and a run back home afterwards.

This was my third week running the couple of miles from my house to the school for the class and, in that period, I have improved my time by some four minutes. I was three minutes faster from week one to two, and a further minute faster tonight. That’s pretty good, and a decent indicator of my (hopefully) improving fitness and weight loss.

The same can’t be said for the run home. Goodness, that wasn’t pretty! It was no surprise, though, given that I was absolutely exhausted from a very challenging class.

As per previous weeks we did Tabata sessions, only this time we had to pick a partner from another team so, for the hour that followed, we got very up close and personal with a complete stranger! Not ideal for someone as chronically shy and self concious as me.

Like I said, the run home was tough. Initially I had nothing left in my legs but by slowing it right down I regained some energy, eventually doing 6km in total. Not a massive amount but after a hard workout it was all I had left in me.

In other news, I finally entered the Born2Run Run Forest Run event this Saturday morning in Antrim Castle Gardens. It’s the nearest race in the series to my home, and will be my first race since New Years Day. It’ll be interesting to see how I get on given all the non-running training I’ve been doing over the past few weeks.

Virtual Runner 100km January Challenge (77.4km)
1st January – 8.28km
3rd January – 5.01km
5th January – 9.02km
7th January – 5.01km
9th January – 5km
10th January – 5.1km
15th January – 13.02km
17th January – 3.39km
23rd January – 5.81km
24th January – 7.07km
29th January – 4.49km
30th January – 6.02km

One day to do over 22km … that’s just over a half-marathon! Thankfully the challenge allows you to include distance completed on an exercise bike so I’ll add in my spin sessions this month, plus whatever running I’ll do on the 31st. I’m pleased to have done so much as it is considering the hectic schedule of classes.

Relive my run

Living in the comfort zone

After a break of five days I went into this run not expecting very much.

I’d been carrying a little niggle just below my left knee for a few days, an irritation that wasn’t helped by going to my 6:15am exercise class earlier, so I wasn’t looking to do very much running tonight just in case I injured myself further.

It was also only my second club session this year. I had little or no confidence in my own ability, the same old story really. This was going to be the 30-minute run, nothing more.

I’ve also been very lethargic lately. The lurgy is still clinging on, my breathing has been shallow at times and I’ve been lacking in energy and drive.

However, once we started, I immediately began to feel very comfortable. I didn’t feel my niggle at all, my breathing was relaxed and I settled into the run very quickly.

I deliberately kept my pace slow but when the opportunity arose to open up – and there were several – I really went for it, partly because I wanted to test myself with some sprinting and also because, well, I just wanted to.

And I came through it all with flying colours. I can honestly say, hand on heart, I didn’t struggle tonight. That surprised me and I could well have slipped into the 45 or even 60-minute groups. I just need to believe I can.

What pleased me as well, in addition to how I felt, was keeping my run in Heart Rate Zone 4. I’ve managed to do that for my last few runs which suggests to me that I’ve got more to give, and that can be no bad thing.

Relive my run

Virtual Runner 100km January Challenge (71.2km)
1st January – 8.28km
3rd January – 5.01km
5th January – 9.02km
7th January – 5.01km
9th January – 5km
10th January – 5.1km
15th January – 13.02km
17th January – 3.39km
23rd January – 5.81km
24th January – 7.07km
29th January – 4.49km

Still a bit to do to reach 100km for the month but I do have runs scheduled tomorrow and Wednesday so I should scrape over the line.