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.
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
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.
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