Easy like Sunday morning

IMG_3842Or something like that.

I couldn’t sleep, 2-3 hours max., blood sugar levels too high as they have been for the last couple of days – consistently 8.5 or thereabouts – so I’d done no running since Thursday, it had me feeling somewhat on edge and irritable.

I’d also been seriously doubting myself. Could I reach the heights of late last year? Did I have another marathon in me? I should be getting faster by now but I’m lacking enthusiasm.Was there any point keeping on?

But I didn’t give up before when I was injured. Most sane people would have deferred for a year and most people (but not all) probably had written me off so I’m damned if I’m going to give up this time.

So out I went at 7am, a lovely crisp Sunday morning. I decided to mix the route up a bit, trying to incorporate hills and descents into my run and, guess what, I set a new 5km record for my watch ….. in fact, I recorded my best 5k time this year.

IMG_3841Slightly gutted I didn’t manage to do it under 40 minutes but I did manage to get the average mph speed under 13 minutes so that’s progress. I’ll work on those pesky 13 seconds next time!

I knew I was onto a good thing when the first 2km were under 8 minutes each, the other three weren’t too bad either. It’s very reassuring to know I have it in me after all – and I know if that had been a race situation or had someone running with me I would have gone faster.

To treat myself, when I came home I entered a virtual run so I’ve got myself a medal and t-shirt arriving in the post in the next couple of days. I didn’t want to do it until I’d logged a run I was happy with, and I’m happy with today, so why not?

In other news, Ballymena Runners are starting a Couch to 5k programme for Ballee on September 13th …. it sets off from the car park literally across the road from my house, running for nine weeks and culminating with membership in the club, so no taxis or 45-minute walks just to get there.

I spoke to the organisers to see if I’d be suitable for it and whilst they reckoned at my level I could join the club already they’re happy enough for me to go through the programme.

To be honest, I’m quite apprehensive about it, simply because a marathon ‘runner’ shouldn’t need to do something like this and I’m a bit worried about the expectations they might have of me – but, looking at the schedule, I think I could learn quite a bit from it.

Also, I think they encourage the group to do parkrun each Saturday morning as part of the training so it’d be good for me to run it with others in a bunch rather than on my own.

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Winter is coming

IMG_3813The schools are back. Summer is officially over. Woo-hoo!

So what better time to restart and reboot my running mojo? Only managing six runs in August was utterly pathetic, is it any wonder I wasn’t getting any faster or showing much progress?

Psychologically, perhaps, I’d switched off. August is my busiest month workwise. I was tired but not sleeping well. It was (generally) warm, April 2017 seemed such a long way away – and other such feeble excuses. I hated myself too. Hated myself for not going out more, especially on days I’d planned.

So a new month and all that, and the switch from summer, might just be the kick up the arse I need.

To that end, I went out late this morning. Before I did I went through a 10-minute warm-up (I was at home alone – apart from the cat, who wisely hid once she saw my attempt at a lunge) ….. the run itself started very well indeed. An even faster than before first kilometre followed by a reasonable second one – it was all good.

Then I got a phone call that I had to take (knew I should have left it at home) and then a sudden heavy downpour broke my stride and concentration so I decided just to run home. I was only out in a flimsy t-shirt and shorts, no point in catching a chill. If I’d been wearing my running jacket, hat and gloves etc. I’d have ploughed on.

All in all, though, I was happy enough with my efforts. Frustratingly, it looked as if I was on target to dip below 40 minutes for 5km for the first time in ages ….. ah well, I can use that for motivation next time.

So why did it go right today? Doing a proper warm-up? No fluid in my legs (I’ve been wearing my tights for the past few days)? A better mindset? Probably all three.

Let’s do this again tomorrow. Maybe.

Pish Utter

IMG_3773That’s the only way to describe tonight’s run unfortunately.

I started off like I had a rocket up my arse and dipped well under 12 minutes for the first mile but after that it all fell apart.

My legs just couldn’t get going. There are probably several extenuating circumstances, not least they looked and felt fat with the build up of fluid. I haven’t been wearing my compression tights for the past few days because I’ve been in shorts due to the heat.

If there are any positives to be taken from tonight, I suppose it could be the negative splits in my last two kilometres, they were still far too slow for my liking but at least they were faster than the two that preceeded them.

I think I also need to work on the psychology of running. I *know* it’s going to hurt at the start and I *know* that I’ll be able to push through that, it’s just remembering it when I’m out that I fail at.

I also need to get a bike sorted out. That’ll help me on my non running days and stop my legs from freaking out when I’m running.

And nutrition. I need to work on that. A new month starts on Thursday, in my mind that’s a good time to put a proper plan in place, I’ve got a few days to prepare it and, literally, hit the ground running.

If I use tonight’s run to spur me on to do those things – bike, psychology and nutrition – then it’ll not have been a total disaster. If I don’t I’ll be back here again and again moaning and complaining.