liv: oil painting of seated nude with her back to the viewer (body)
[personal profile] liv
Hello community, if anyone's still watching! I have totally fallen out of the habit of recording my runs here, and would really like to start that up again, because I think it helps me.

During the second half of September I didn't manage to run at all, because the combination of the major Jewish festivals and a couple of colds in a row meant I never had time. So Tuesday I went out for the first time in ages and had a predictably terrible time. I could barely manage running for five minutes at a time, and my overall time was slower than a good walking pace. But I thought, ok, at least I made myself restart after a break, which is always such a difficult hump to get over.

Whereas this evening I was the model of grim determination and... had the best run I've had in absolutely ages. I ran 7½ minutes and walked 5 minutes, and did 3.4 km in half an hour, which is about the fastest I ever do on the hilly terrain round here, even running continuously. I think part of what was good was the weather conditions, a lovely cool autumn evening at around sunset, and partly good pacing, I had promised myself after Tuesday that I wouldn't push myself, and in fact set a good, sustainable pace. And partly that intervals make it less psychologically daunting; in fact I think I probably could have done the whole 30 minutes, but not having to made me just that bit faster. Or it may be just fluke, but anyway, it seems like a good note to restart posting here.

9'/km

Jul. 3rd, 2015 05:09 pm
liv: oil painting of seated nude with her back to the viewer (body)
[personal profile] liv
I should get back into the habit of posting about every run I do, I find it motivating. But anyway, second half of June has been frustrating. I have had a couple of runs hovering around the 9'/km, which is ok but I was hoping to improve at least a bit now I'm back to regular running on hills.

Part of the reason I've plateau'd at the moment is that I'm only managing two-ish runs per week and I don't really improve unless I keep up 2½-3 runs a week. And part is that conditions have been horrible, sometimes on the edge of too cold for me even though it's June, and sometimes too hot and sticky. The worst is that at this time of year, especially in the evening, I keep breathing in tiny insects, blech.

So yes, I've done a few runs of 3.3 or 3.4 km in half an hour, and a few where I just couldn't finish, I did 20 minutes either as two sets of 10 with a walking break, or continuously but very slowly and completely unable to manage the last third. Today was a bit better, I wasn't pushing myself for speed but I felt comfortable rather than miserable throughout, and had no problem doing the full 30 minutes.

Of course today my Runkeeper app decided to be entirely useless. For one thing it couldn't find GPS properly, which is always annoying, but on top of that it was giving me nonsense data and telling me I was running 6½ minute kilometres, LOL. And it kept auto-pausing for no obvious reason. And it decided to give me timepoints at apparently random times and distances, instead of the five minutes and 1 km intervals I set it for. So it wasn't even useful for the audio cues to allow me to keep track of timings and keep motivated.

I couldn't even guess my final distance, because I managed to run past the local primary school just at hometime, so I took a shortcut through the student residences rather than trying to run through the milling crowds of parents and kids. So a slightly unfamiliar route and one with a bunch of twisty paths meaning I can't map it easily. I reckon it was somewhere around 3.4 km total, I would be surprised if it were substantially faster than that based on how it felt and how fast I was going for the parts I am familiar with. I mean, I know where the 1 km imaginary waypoint is, it happens to be at a corner, and I did that in under 9 minutes, so I at least started a tad faster than sometimes recently.
liv: oil painting of seated nude with her back to the viewer (body)
[personal profile] liv
Well, I'm not quite managing my planned three runs a week, but I have done at least two each week since I declared bankruptcy and restarted my habit. Couple of runs in Cambridge where it's flat. I focused on running at a steady, sustainable pace and did one run at just over 8'/km and one at just under 8'/km, so that's pleasing. The most recent I got a real buzz, actually proper giggly endorphin high, too.

On the other hand, my three runs starting from my flat, which is on the top of a hill, have been hovering around 9'/km (one just over, two just under), and all have felt like really hard work. I have changed my route a bit so that instead of running out downhill and back uphill, I run a kind of 1 km radius figure of 8 round my starting point. I can't avoid the fact that I start out downhill and return uphill, as my flat is right at the top of a hill, but this way I more or less stay on the brow of the hill and have cut out the steepest part of the descent and climb in the middle.

Mostly I'm using my GPS watch, which I'm finding to be comfortable and useful. I forgot to bring it back with me this week, though, so I went back to using Runkeeper on my oversized smartphone. I generally prefer the watch; it has the downside that it doesn't give me a detailed breakdown of my minute-by-minute speed, but it's a lot less cumbersome and I really like the fact that I can glance at the display and see how fast I'm going or how much further I have to go. The problem is that it's quite frequently unreliable at picking up a GPS signal, which is annoying. Running with the phone in a bumbag was fine too, (apart from a panic when I forgot that I'd put my keys in the bumbag and not in the pocket of my leggings, as I usually do when I'm relying on the watch).
liv: oil painting of seated nude with her back to the viewer (body)
[personal profile] liv
May was more or less a wash-out, partly cos I was away some of the time, partly because I was disorganized, and once I got out of the habit of running regularly I put off starting again. I was very grateful to [personal profile] jack for encouraging me to go out this weekend.

We managed to pick the exact hour slot between rainstorms, so it was very pleasant running conditions, cool and breezy but not actually raining. We ran along the guided busway from CRC to Histon, which is a nice straightforward default.

And unlike a lot of times when I come back after a break, it was a pretty good run on the whole. My GPS watch found its signal just as I completed my warmup, which helped. I decided to run for half an hour and not worry too much about speed. In fact I did the first 500 metres in 4 minutes and felt pretty good, so that encouraged me to try to keep up that pace. It wasn't a record-breaking run but I managed to keep a pretty steady pace, in fact a smidge over the 8'/km I'm still holding as a nominal target. So 3.7 km in 30 minutes, but more importantly I never felt as if I was struggling to breathe, or found it difficult to motivate myself to keep going, I just kept going, enjoying the breeze on my skin and my body doing its thing.

It's really good psychologically to have a good run after a hiatus, otherwise it can be really discouraging, I find! And I'm also pleased that with a nice flat, uninterrupted path to run along, I can in fact do more or less 8 minute km even when I'm deliberately choosing to take it gently.
liv: oil painting of seated nude with her back to the viewer (body)
[personal profile] liv
Ugh, I've got out of the habit of posting here, and partly out of the habit of running too. I was ill for a couple of weeks, and there was Passover and Easter which threw things off a bit. But I'm trying to return to my habit. Thank you [personal profile] angrboda for keeping things going here, it's really motivating to see your posts and helps me feel less bad about being away for a while.

Before I got ill I did in fact manage my full 30 minutes at 8 kph, and was hoping to build that up to 5K in 37.5 minutes fairly easily. But it was not to be. On the plus side the weather has finally got warm enough for me to go back to running outside, which is always so much nicer!

I've done a few runs with my friend [livejournal.com profile] ghoti, who is following C25K under the coaching of her extremely dedicated and very speedy six-year-old daughter. So we did Week 5 day 1 together, covering 3.1 km in 25 minutes with 5 minute running intervals. I felt good that that I wasn't much slower overall than my typical pace for continuous running. Week 5 day 2, which is two lots of 8 minutes running, was a bit awkward, partly because our coach's three-year-old brother came along and partly cos we ended up running in residential streets and had to keep stop-starting to cross roads or turn back from dead ends. My watch, which was set to autopause, recorded it as 1.9 km in 18 minutes, which doesn't make entire sense but it was probably somewhere around that pace.

Then I had my first attempt this spring at running in the roads at the back of campus. It wasn't a good run at all, possibly cos I've lost fitness with running rather more sporadically in the past month, possibly cos I've forgotten how to do hills. I was really really struggling, and cut my intended 5K short to 30 minutes, in which time I covered 3.5 km, and my breathing was never good.

Today I ran along the guided busway, nice and flat and straight. I was still finding it hard going but my GPS watch was pacing me at a fairly steady 7.5 kph, which is acceptable. Again, I cut it short to 30 minutes as I'd just run out of oomph, but I covered 3.8 km in that time, which is a bit more the sort of pace I'd hope for.

It's very nice conditions for running at the moment, sunny but not too bright, pleasantly cool and breezy. I hope it lasts, I don't want to go back to the treadmill more than I can help. And if I can get back into a regime of three times a week and get my speed and fitness back up, so much the better.

I'm enjoying running with my GPS watch, which I bought towards the end of last year to celebrate my 40 minute 5K milestone, and then didn't get to use for ages because it was too cold for me to run outside. It's nice to wear a watch and put a front door key in the pocket of my leggings and otherwise be completely unencumbered. I've had a bit of trouble with the thing not finding GPS for a while; I think the issue is that when that happens with my phone I can just reboot it and it usually gets a lock straightaway, but there's no way to stop the watch from carrying on with a fruitless search. So far I haven't had a problem with losing the signal once it has found GPS though.

Although it is good to be just concentrating on my running with no distractions, it's also a bit boring, and sometimes not having any distractions means I concentrate too much on my discomfort instead of ignoring it. So I might think of combining the watch with a small mp3 player so I at least have music, even if I carry on leaving my oversized phone with its clever running apps behind.
liv: oil painting of seated nude with her back to the viewer (body)
[personal profile] liv
Tuesday I got to the gym really late, so only had time for a 20 minute run before the gym closed. But I managed to do the whole thing at 8 kph, and I know from experience of going through C25K that once you can do 20 minutes continuous you can usually just keep going. 2.7 km in 20 minutes, therefore.

Which meant I was feeling confident today and went for a full 2 miles (3.2 km) at pace, so that's 2 miles in 24 minutes. Managed that without too much trouble, walked to recover for 4 minutes instead of my usual 5, and then did the last 10 minutes or so at 8 kph again. That made my time slightly faster than I've managed before, 38'43''. I think I'll try to go for 30 minutes at 8 kph next, and then build up to 40 minutes fairly fast if that goes well.

Yay progress.
liv: oil painting of seated nude with her back to the viewer (body)
[personal profile] liv
I procrastinated on going running today but when I did go out it was actually pretty good. I feel like I'm getting back to a stage where I'm improving again. I managed the longer intervals, 2 x 17½ minutes at 8 kph, without too much trouble. That gave me a total time equal to my PR of 38'58'', and I'm not expecting to get much faster until I can actually run the full distance at pace, but that's starting to feel attainable now. And when I run at the top pace that's properly sustainable is when I'm most likely to get a post-running buzz, which indeed I did. Next mini-goal: 20 minutes continuous at 8 kph.
liv: oil painting of seated nude with her back to the viewer (body)
[personal profile] liv
I've been finding it really hard to run even twice a week lately, and it's hard to identify exactly why not, just one little thing and another. I did one run last week, 15 minutes at 8 kph, 5 minutes walking, 10 minutes at 8 kph, giving me another 3.8 km in 30 minutes. And then I was on my feet all day on my running day, so I decided to do exercise bike instead. I couldn't find a position to sit on the bike that was comfortable for my back, so I think I won't try that again.

This evening I ran a full 5K for the first time in a month, albeit still with walking breaks. I'm reasonably pleased with my time of 39'36'', since that was made up of 15 minutes at 8 kph, 5 minutes walking, and another 15 minutes at pace. Those felt easier than last week, and I felt up to a 2 minute sprint at the end to bring my time under 40 minutes. I think I'm getting back to a level where I can run at 8 kph sustainably, so I'll keep on working up to the full 5K.
liv: oil painting of seated nude with her back to the viewer (body)
[personal profile] liv
This has been an awful week in which I didn't even manage to run my minimum twice. And running is still just hard; I've been doing 10 minutes at 8 kph followed by walking intervals the last several times. Today I pushed myself to do 12½ minute running intervals instead, and it really was a push, it was right at the limit of what my lungs can do. Still, I completed it successfully, and I ran 3.8 km in 30 minutes, and I even got a bit of an endorphin buzz at the end. Onwards.
liv: oil painting of seated nude with her back to the viewer (body)
[personal profile] liv
Well, so much for my grand plans of increasing my pace interval to 20 minutes today. Everything about this evening was a struggle, and I think it was really my lungs not cooperating, rather than just being lazy. I just about pushed myself to run 10 minutes at 8 kph, then a 5 minute walking recovery, and a second 10-minute run. So that was fairly miserable, but I hope it's keeping my fitness up.
liv: oil painting of seated nude with her back to the viewer (body)
[personal profile] liv
It's scarily cold out, so even just walking to the gym my lungs weren't feeling great. And the campus gym doesn't have aircon, they just open the windows a crack, so I was breathing in freezing cold air, which is the thing I was trying to avoid by running in the gym. So I wasn't sure how today would go, but actually once I got going the running was ok.

My goal was something I was fairly sure I could achieve, namely to run two lots of 17½ minutes at 8 kph. And this pace is definitely getting more doable, I was working hard but never struggling. 5-minute walking interval in between, giving me a time equal to my PR over the distance, a second under 39 minutes. I think it's still good for me psychologically to have achievable small increments at the moment, so I'll probably go up to 20 or 25 minutes next time, rather than trying to do the whole thing and risking failing.
liv: oil painting of seated nude with her back to the viewer (body)
[personal profile] liv
I ran two lots of 15 minutes at 8 kph today, walking breaks in between, and completed the 5K in 39½ minutes. I feel like I'm getting over the hump and I probably am capable of running the whole distance at my new pace. But I'll keep on incrementing gradually, I'll try for 17½ minute running intervals next time.

The Zombies! Run plot is getting pretty exciting (up to S2 mission 14). I just wish it weren't so hard to hear Archie when she's such a major character.
liv: oil painting of seated nude with her back to the viewer (body)
[personal profile] liv
I found running a struggle today, both getting out to the gym, and actually completing the run. I managed two lots of 12½ minutes at 8 kph, but I didn't manage to run slowly during the recovery interval, I was finding things hard enough going that I let myself walk instead. That gave me a total distance of 3.8 km in 30 minutes, which is sort of a PR except that I've done a couple of 5Ks faster than that. Anyway, progress I think.
liv: oil painting of seated nude with her back to the viewer (body)
[personal profile] liv
I listened to [personal profile] rmc28's sensible advice and stopped feeling guilty about taking walking breaks at the moment. Having dragged myself out in the sleet and darkness to get to the gym, I ran 10 minutes at 8 kph and recovered for 5 minutes by walking, then did that a second time, then ran for a couple of minutes at the end at pace because I wasn't struggling so much with the recovery as on Monday. So that gives me 3.7 km in 30 minutes.

My lungs are feeling a lot better, I think I'm getting my fitness back or getting over minor respiratory crud. I think I will try going back to running slowly in my recovery intervals instead of walking, but still stick to 30 minutes rather than the full 5K.
liv: oil painting of seated nude with her back to the viewer (body)
[personal profile] liv
My lungs felt somewhat better today but I didn't want to push myself too much, so I did 7½ minute intervals at 8 kph, with 5 minute walking breaks. I felt I wasn't properly recovering during the breaks, but anyway, I'll keep on being gentle with myself until I recover my fitness, I suppose.
liv: oil painting of seated nude with her back to the viewer (body)
[personal profile] liv
The Christmas break I managed to run twice in three weeks, which is not great, but the main reason is that the middle of Christmas was the wrong time to sort out ways to run when I'm in Cambridge and it's too cold outside. I was doing really a pretty decent amount of walking, at least a mile every day, walking into town and back most days, which is between 40 minutes and an hour each way depending on where in town, so I hoped I was maintaining my fitness at least somewhat. The first week back at work running just didn't happen; I hiked up a big hill on Sunday, and played a bit of Ingress (which is really good for making sure I'm not completely sedentary even when I don't have time to run), but other than that, having got out of the routine I couldn't make myself start again.

So today I dragged myself out, just barely. It was sleety and dark and horrible even just walking to the gym, which didn't help. I left it to the last possible minute to be able to leave the house and get a run in by a reasonable time in the evening, which is the last day I can run and get a second run (let alone a third) in within the week.

I wasn't feeling great, a bit coldy, but I told myself, if I keep saying I'm "sick" when it's this minor I'll never restart my regular running. That may have been a mistake, because in fact my lungs really weren't coping with running. I hope that's incipient cold and not that all my fitness has evaporated in the past month. So I did intervals of 5 minutes at 8 kph and 5 minutes walking, which on the one hand should be easy for me, but on the other was putting me pretty close to getting asthma, so I think that was a reasonable compromise between giving up too easily and pushing myself too hard. 3.5 km in 30 minutes.
liv: oil painting of seated nude with her back to the viewer (body)
[personal profile] liv
I knew keeping up running over Christmas was going to be hard; it's mostly been too cold for me to run outside, and the Christmas / New Year week is a bad time to be poking at new gyms. So today when I saw it was at least reasonably warm outside, I decided to give it a go.

I took it slowly, I just wanted to run at all rather than trying to push myself. And I gave up after 30 minutes rather than completing the full 5K, mainly because I was bored rather than seriously not coping. But anyway, it was a run, which is better than no run, and I covered 3.7 km in 30 minutes which is non-awful for me.

Sunshine!

Dec. 24th, 2014 12:46 pm
liv: oil painting of seated nude with her back to the viewer (body)
[personal profile] liv
I took a risk today and ran outdoors, because the weather forecast said 9 degrees which is on the cold side for my lungs, but it was gloriously sunny and I wanted to be outdoors so much more than I wanted to faff about trying to get a one-off pass for the gym. So I ran paying attention to my lungs and keeping to a pace I knew I could cope with, rather than trying to push myself. All along the guided busway which is actually nearly as nice as the river, and easier because it's just plain flat path with plenty of room to pass other joggers and cyclists.

I bought myself a Garmin Forerunner 10 GPS watch as a reward for passing the 40 minute 5K mark. And then it was winter so this is the first time I've taken it out. Watch was cheap on eBay cos it is pink and sexism means pink watches are worth less than exactly the same equipment in red or black. The instructions it came with showed as much detail as I needed to charge it, switch it on and just go, plus a link to a full manual on the internet, which I think is almost certainly the right way to do things.

Definitely more comfortable wearing a slightly chunky wrist-watch than carrying my over-sized mobile phone for tracking. I hadn't got it set up to give me any audio cues, but I didn't find glancing at the dial was distracting or awkward; it's nicely clear to read. I also didn't want to fiddle with the settings or I would just have procrastinated from going out. So I looked at it after 3 minutes or so and found that I'd covered 0.25, so I guessed that was probably miles rather than km, and slowed down a tad because it was supposed to be a slow, gentle run.

According to the watch I did 3 miles in 37'45'', which by my calculations is slightly under 8'/km, so I wasn't even that slow, considering I was babying my lungs. Generally felt like a good run. I slightly miss Runkeeper's detailed breakdown of how my pace varied over the run, and its audio cues, but it looks like I can set up the watch to do intervals or pace checks or "lap" notifications, and if I am willing to connect it to an online account I can get more details there. So I think the watch has the entire featureset I need, so I feel vindicated in choosing the entry level model of a good brand, rather than going for something cheaper but with more features. I will report back when I've played with it a bit more, including switching it to display km.
liv: oil painting of seated nude with her back to the viewer (body)
[personal profile] liv
Tried running 5K at 8 kph again today. I increased my pace intervals to 15 minutes instead of 1.5 km, with a 10 minute recovery interval at 7 kph, and that was doable. That gave me a total time of under 39 minutes for the distance, so a PR. And I ran a whole 2 km continuously at 8 kph, which for one thing makes me feel like I realistically say that I can run at that pace. And for another gives me my first actual unarguable 12 minute mile, so yay.

I really hope I can manage to get at least some runs in over the Christmas period, but if I can't, that felt like a satisfying note to end the year on. My attempt to build up my stamina for running 5K at 8 kph so far seems to be going better than the other half of my self-designed training programme, the one where I'm trying to redo C25K with the running intervals at 10 kph. But I expect the latter is probably helping, even if I'm finding it a struggle to get past week 3.

And the gym was nearly empty as all the students have gone home, and I was watching a buzzard wheeling and plunging in the winter sky outside the fitness room windows. Given I can't run outside at this time of year, that felt quite nice.
liv: oil painting of seated nude with her back to the viewer (body)
[personal profile] liv
Total running fail in the past almost two weeks. One of the days I couldn't run I managed to follow [personal profile] rmc28's good example and went for a nice brisk energetic walk instead. I didn't track it, but I walked for about an hour and I'm fairly sure over 5 km. Apart from that, nada.

Today I had another go at week 3, and managed to complete all the 10 kph intervals. The second long one was a struggle, so instead of giving up I held on to the front of the treadmill, so I count that as a win. I think next time I'll try something in between week 3 and week 4, so alternating intervals of 3 minutes running and 3 minutes walking.
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