Best laid plans and all that

IMG_3517It’s 5:12am on a Sunday morning and I’m blogging.

“Why?”, dear reader, I hear you ask. Simple – I couldn’t sleep. I went to bed at my normal time, possibly slightly earlier, and I certainly fell asleep at a reasonable hour … but within a couple of hours I’d woken up again feeling sore, not so much in my back or bones as usually happens, but in my face – my actual face – the very skin itself in fact, specifically on the left side from cheek to scalp to the extent that I could almost feel my stubble growing!

I’ve no idea what that’s all about but it happened and all attempts at falling back to sleep failed miserably – so here I am, up with the lark, downstairs at my laptop.

So what’s this got to do with running?

I had planned to get up early to go out for my long Sunday run, just not this early. I was actually looking forward to it, getting out there on quiet roads and even quieter footpaths and getting ahead of the day.

That’s not to say I won’t go for a run today at some point, I probably will, but I’ll leave it a while to see how my face feels.

One of my futile attempts to go back to sleep was to turn to reading. I stumbled across a very interesting article in Runner’s World, namely “How to Train for a Half Marathon with a Run-Walk Program” which seems to suit me down to the ground and well within my capabilities, so I’m looking forward to implementing that into my training schedule for the Great South Run (still need to formally enter that). It’s a 14 week plan for a 13.1 mile race, Portsmouth is 15 weeks away and is 10 miles so it should be easy enough to adapt.

So I couldn’t sleep and I don’t feel well enough to run – yet – but I still got something potentially very beneficial from a broken, restless night. Positive Martin, eh?

Oh, and my current ‘looking after myself/slowly changing my diet/returning to a proper running schedule’ kick is beginning to pay dividends, I lost 3.4lbs this week. Granted I’ve only been doing it for a week (since I got my new scales) but it’s a reasonable enough start.

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Like running through treacle …

IMG_3508… or something like that. At least that’s how the last .2 km of tonight’s run felt.

The plan called for 4.5 miles, a distance I’ve only gone over once since the marathon, so it was a little bit daunting setting off.

I decided to return to my old pre-marathon training route of running along the dual carriageway and then industrial estate, as much for a bit of nostalgia as a change of scenery, I hadn’t been up round that way for probably a couple of months.

As before I stuck to the C25K intervals plan which was a little frustrating when I wanted to run for longer but it was following this routine that got me up to where I was before Christmas so I’m going to try to adhere to it.

The run itself was ok. As usual my legs burned up during the early minutes then my ankles hurt but that all settled after half-an-hour or so and I settled into it.

Except for the last bit. Four-and-a-half miles equated to 7.2km and because I prefer kilometres I measured my run that way.

The first seven were grand, the last .2 was hellish, mainly because I was resigned to running up and down the street just to get that last bit of the distance in and, psychologically, my legs felt like they had breeze blocks tied to them! Oh, and the neighbours were out watching me. Lovely!

Mad Dogs and … Irishmen

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Bloody hell, that was tough!

I’m tentatively training for the Great South Run in October so, on a whim, I entered all the relevant details into the My Asics app to see what sort of training plan it’d produce for me.

The first run was today – 3 miles – but because thunderstorms are forecast for this evening I decided to go out this afternoon, sure it’s only the hottest day of the year so what could go wrong?

It was easily the hottest temperature I’ve ever attempted to run in (77°) so I wasn’t expecting it to be easy – and it wasn’t.

As with my last run on Sunday I decided to combine it with C25K but instead of stopping after eight reps (or whatever the program suggests) I carried on in the same fashion until I reached my intended distance.FullSizeRender

The Asics app recommended a speed of 16:35 min/mile but I managed it in an average of 14:07 – still not fantastic, admittedly, but it’ll do in that heat, especially since I intentionally went as slow as I could.

How did I feel afterwards? Physically sick (although I wasn’t) but after a quick drink and a couple of small oranges I feel grand.

Checked my sugar levels as soon as I came in – 7.4 – so ever so slightly high but still ok. Checked again about an hour later (after the oranges) and it’s 10.1 ….. let’s give it another hour to see what it settles at.