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.
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
[personal profile] rmc28
I've had a number of disruptions to running recently: home improvements, the weather, a migraine.  Anyway, it meant that I didn't manage my long run on the 7th June, or indeed the 14th June; I only ran once last week and I've just done the first run of this week.  I may be able to manage a long run this Saturday (Sunday is very unlikely) so we'll see.

I decided to keep repeating the "midweek" runs until I get this 13k long run done, and though it took a bit of faffing with RunKeeper I have succeeded in getting it to do what I want.

Last week's run had a bit of excitement as I found myself running contraflow to literally hundreds of students coming out of an exam held in the sports centre.  Luckily they were spread out enough that I could get through while still jogging, but it was a big change from the usual dozen or so people I normally pass along that stretch.

Today I did a very simple route - up my street to the main road, and out of town until I'd done 15 minutes, then turn around and back again.  I'm trying to stop obsessing about cut corners and this route was so simple that I could see that although there's a bunch of wobble it's not obviously underrating me.  I definitely did the second 15 minutes faster than the first though - overshot my start point by some distance.

The main road out of town isn't too horribly busy on a weekday evening, either on the road or with other pedestrians, and it was no longer so hot I couldn't face running at all.
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).
rmc28: Photo of me shortly before starting my first half-marathon (half-marathon)
[personal profile] rmc28
Not quite as fast as Wednesday, but a respectable pace (again, after I'd had to correct RunKeeper blatantly cutting my corners.  Bah, this is getting tedious but I am too vain not to correct them).

It is hot and humid and thundery today, but I felt surprisingly good (if warm) while out.  I like having finished more though :-)

Next run is on Sunday, and is 12.9km; I think I may loop around the busway and Girton, which will keep me mostly on roads and big long straights, removing the likelihood of more corners being cut off.
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
[personal profile] rmc28
Wooo! Fastest pace yet on this programme!  (and joint fastest since restarting c25k)

30 minutes, run after work because I lacked motivation at lunchtime and knew I could run on my way home if I left my bag with my spouse to bring home.  I thought I started off very slowly and was a bit worried and then decided that I really had to stop worrying about my pace and just concentrate on feeling comfortable and sustainable ... and every 0.5km update after that I was apparently faster. 

This was better explained when i got home and looked at the RunKeeper track and found it had cut off two large corners near the beginning (and one at the end).  When I corrected those, the average pace improved substantially.

Next run: Friday, at lunchtime if possible, another 30 minute run.

rmc28: Photo of me shortly before starting my first half-marathon (half-marathon)
[personal profile] rmc28
4.8km, run last night in rather blustery conditions.  I tried a variation on looping round some of my local streets which was just enough of a change to keep my interest.  My pace was pretty slow from the first 500m, but I didn't really feel like I had much room to go faster so just tried to keep going steadily, which meant I finished tired but not shattered.

I'm still planning to run Wed, Fri, Sun this week.  In the current weather, I won't need to worry about overheating at lunchtime.  Wednesday looks like more of the same; Friday looks a bit warmer, so I might shift to the evening again; let's see how that goes.

Also I realise I am now past the halfway point of this training programme!  If I have no more interruptions I will finish mid-August.
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.
rmc28: Photo of me shortly before starting my first half-marathon (half-marathon)
[personal profile] rmc28
I managed one run on holiday, on Wednesday evening, when the children were calm enough to be left with one adult while it was still daylight.  I was a bit nervous in running in such a hilly place, but my genius spouse spotted the canal with towpath a short walk from our hotel, so I ran down it for 15 minutes and then back again.  It was a really lovely run and my one regret was that I was only able to do the one run while we were there.   I also improved my time again a little over last week's runs.

I had hoped to get a second run in on Friday evening when we were home again, but didn't quite manage it.  Today I had the choice of skipping the second timed run this week, or to do it today and then hope to run Mon-Wed-Fri-Sun next week to catch up; and I did the latter.

Here I combined it with a library visit: I have a little runner's backpack and it is just big enough to hold the library books I needed to return.  So I walked to the library, returned my books, picked up the two waiting for me, and ran home in a big loop to take up the 30 minutes.

It was  warm (ok, it was about 18 C) and I set off too fast so I wasn't surprised to find myself going much slower a short way into the run.  I mostly enjoyed the run, but it was just on the edge of too warm, and my average pace was much slower than Wednesday's canal run. 






(Also I note that I need to wear a long-sleeved top under that runner's backpack - luckily it was only 30 minutes because my bare skin started rubbing raw where it brushed the straps.)


Next run will be Monday evening, hopefully a bit cooler, and will be 4.8km distance run.

rmc28: Photo of me shortly before starting my first half-marathon (half-marathon)
[personal profile] rmc28
10.5km, alternating 400m intervals (and a bonus long 500m slow interval to finish).

This was definitely an exercise in persistence. For about the first 4km I wasn't enjoying it much and was shoving myself along with stubbornness and distraction (exploring a completely different footpath than the one I'd planned to). Then I began enjoying it more, as I usually do, and then the last 2km or so I was still enjoying it but feeling very tired and running out of steam. (And then I'd mucked up my route a bit so had to walk another 800m or so home from my finish point.)

With all that then, I was pleased to find I was 10s/km faster than the 8km of a fortnight ago overall, and seem to be doing better at staying slow at first and still keeping up a similar pace at the end - even though I was tired, km 10 was my second-fastest.

I'm away Mon-Fri, but running should still be possible, so I'm packing my gear with the aim of 30 min runs on Tue and Thu, and a 4.8k on Saturday when I'm back home.
rmc28: Photo of me shortly before starting my first half-marathon (half-marathon)
[personal profile] rmc28
Today is warm; about the upper end of what I am comfortable running in, I think.  The Computer Laboratory weather station tells me it was about 18-20C while I was running; I'm going to keep an eye on that and maybe shift to running in the evenings when lunchtimes are hotter than that. 

A nice 30 minute run, and another 10s/km knocked off my average pace.  I'm not quite back where I was before the break, but not far off, which is pleasing.

rmc28: Photo of me shortly before starting my first half-marathon (half-marathon)
[personal profile] rmc28
30 minutes, 10x 2min running, 1 min walking.  I think this is the pattern for the time-based runs for the rest of the training program now.

I didn't find it as intimidating a jump as I'd expected, and I turned in a better pace again, though I'm still starting fast and ending slow.  I'd really like to get back to the few sessions where I managed to reverse that.

Same again on Friday and then a long run on Sunday.  I may have to travel on Sunday (if train strikes are happening Monday), which may complicate my planning.

I am really enjoying running regularly again though: it suits me thoroughly.
rmc28: Photo of me shortly before starting my first half-marathon (half-marathon)
[personal profile] rmc28
My weekly routine has changed a bit while I wasn't running, so my previous Mon-Thur-Sat schedule doesn't work so well.  This week I ran Tuesday evening, Friday lunchtime, and Sunday afternoon, and I suspect Wed + Fri lunchtimes are going to be the way to go, until it gets too warm for me to run at lunchtime, when I will have to switch to evenings.  At least the evenings are long and light when lunchtimes are too hot.

Runs 28 & 29 were both time-based runs of 30 minutes, alternating minutes of running and walking.  My pace is still well down from before the break, but improved noticeably between these two.  Run 30 was a distance-based run of 3.2km, alternating 400m of running and walking.

Next week the time-based runs change to 2 min running for every 1 of walking - this will be a bit of a jump now after only a week back on the training plan, but would probably be fine if I'd been training continuously for the last 10 weeks.  The distance run is 10.5km and I intend to go and explore further along that bridleway I found last week.
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.
rmc28: Photo of me shortly before starting my first half-marathon (half-marathon)
[personal profile] rmc28
I knew the continuous improvement couldn't last :-) 

Today's run was noticeably slower; also rather warmer than recent ones.  I think my long-sleeved top was definitely overkill and I'd have been happier with short sleeves.  But it was still a good 30 minute run and one I was actively looking forward to, and one I enjoyed while it was in progress.  So I think that's a win on everything that counts.  Oh! and I finished faster than I started again.

Next run: Thursday lunchtime.
rmc28: Photo of me shortly before starting my first half-marathon (half-marathon)
[personal profile] rmc28
I had a migraine on Tuesday; was definitely too tired to run on Wednesday; took my running gear to work on Thursday but really didn't want to go running and didn't force myself.

Friday I woke up feeling ready to run.  (It's sometimes hard for me to trust my sense of whether I'm actually ill or just have the dontwannas, but the difference between Thursday and Friday was very clear, and I'm going to try to remember that next time I'm not sure.)  Friday was also a day of leave because my older child's school was closed for teacher training, so I had a leisurely start to the day, and walked my toddler down to nursery and ran home by a longer route to take up the 30 minutes.

The main thing of note about run 23/67 was the pleasing discovery from the "splits" on RunKeeper that each km had been slightly faster than the previous one, which means my attempts to keep to a sustainable pace are working.  The overall pace was not my fastest but not far off it either.

Run 24/67 was 3.2km, alternating 400m of running and walking.  After last week this was nice and easy, and I tried out a different route with less busy road in and felt it worked well.  A+ will run again.   Also pleasing was another big improvement on my pace.


Next week: I plan to do my time runs on Tuesday and Thursday lunchtimes.  The weekend is full of Science Festival stuff, but I think I can plausibly run lateish on Saturday (thank goodness for longer days now).  Another push on distance, this time to 8km, but I should be able to do it before dark if I get out promptly.
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.
rmc28: Photo of me shortly before starting my first half-marathon (half-marathon)
[personal profile] rmc28
Whee, 6.5km :-)  And exactly the same pace as my 3.2km last week.  I love this feeling of growth and improvement where my body responds to the training by doing better each time.   It may not last, but I'll enjoy it while it does.

I was glad to get some busway in*, but made a poor choice of return route with too much noisy traffic.   Next weekend's run is just 3.2km again and I've another idea for an alternate route-to-busway which I can explore.

Next run: Monday is full of complicated logistics so I will probably run Tuesday lunchtime.

* for non-Cambridge people, a concrete track for buses with a wide tarmac "access road" next to it that is very popular with non-motor traffic, and I enjoy running along when I do longer runs.  Today there were horses on it!

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