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.

Milestone

Sep. 8th, 2014 10:52 am
liv: oil painting of seated nude with her back to the viewer (body)
[personal profile] liv
Finally finally finally, I don't know how long I've been edging towards this and not quite making it, certainly over a year, I actually ran 5km in under 40 minutes yesterday. I am absolutely over the moon about this, I was starting to think I'd never ever hit the "beginner" pace of 8'/km.

Thursday I went for my usual regular run near campus, the second half of which is uphill. It wasn't great, I was struggling for much of it, and just barely scraped 3.5 km in 30 minutes. Then Sunday I very nearly didn't get out at all, it was very tempting to say we were too busy packing for our big housemove on Wednesday. But [personal profile] jack encouraged me, pointing out that an hour's break and some exercise would do us good.

We ran along the west bank of the Cam northwards from Penny Ferry, a route that's pretty much all straight, paved path along the river so probably easier than any of my other regular routes. No traffic, no awkward junctions, most especially no hills. And I set out with the aim to keep up a steady pace, and was getting time checks from Runkeeper telling me I was going faster than I have for a while, but wasn't feeling exhausted or as if I was over-stretching myself. 2 km in under 16 minutes... halfway point under 20 minutes... exceeded my PR with 3.8 km in 30 minutes. And I was able to keep that pace for the last 10 minutes back to the car, meaning I actually finished the whole distance in under 40 minutes, woohoo!

It wasn't perfectly steady, the first km or so was faster than I thought I'm capable of, then I got gradually (but only slightly) slower and slower over the middle section, and I did speed up for the last 500m to make sure to hit that round number target. Still, I was pretty close to the intended 8'/km for most of the run.

I've been promising myself that if I ever managed 40 minutes I would start signing up for parkruns and charity 5K races. And that I'd give myself a present of something better at measuring my scores than my over-sized smartphone. I am thinking probably one of the newer Fitbits, but maybe even a GPS watch.

I think my next goal has got to be 7½' /km, which would mean improving my times to 4 km in 30 minutes and 37.5 minutes 5K. I think I do have more in me, though; Sunday I felt like I was limited more by the strength of my legs than by my lungs and I generally find that improving the muscular power of my legs goes faster than improving my cardiovascular fitness.
liv: cartoon of me with long plait, teapot and purple outfit (Default)
[personal profile] liv
Had a couple of weeks where I couldn't feasibly run, and was aiming to get started again this week. I was a bit procastinatey and my original plan of Sunday-Tuesday-Thursday or Monday-Wednesday-Friday has turned into running on Monday and today only, but with luck I will manage a third run at the weekend.

Monday [personal profile] jack and I encouraged eachother to go out in the typical bank holiday weather, and I did a gentle 5K along the Cam from Chesterton to Fen Ditton and back, where it's all paved. The rain was mostly not heavy enough to be unpleasant, though I was a bit scared of running on slippery ground. In fact it was fine except when a cyclist came up behind me suddenly and in trying to swerve to avoid him I kind of skidded on the edge of the path and landed awkwardly on my ankle. I carried on with the run, which may not have been the wisest decision but I was pretty sure that it was just a jolt and I hadn't actually done any injury. Anyway between that and having been off for a couple of weeks, I took things gently and made a steady pace of just under 9'/ km throughout, 44'09'' for the 5K.

My ankle was noticeably swollen on Tuesday, and still a bit iffy yesterday, but seems perfectly fine now. Today I went for a short run at lunchtime and discovered that either the time off or the tail end of a cold has depleted my ability to run uphill. So it was a struggle to complete today's run even at 9'/ km, whereas on the flat that is getting to feel like a pace I can keep up indefinitely. So 3.4 km in 30 minutes, which isn't great in terms of speed but a slow, effort-requiring run is much much better for reestablishing my habit than no run at all.
liv: oil painting of seated nude with her back to the viewer (body)
[personal profile] liv
Went running with [personal profile] jack along the West side of the Cam, from Chesterton towards Waterbeach. It is very very hot, so I tried to keep a steady pace and not push myself too much, though in fact I started out a bit too fast. Still, I ran over half the distance at under 8.5'/km, slowed down a bit towards the end but still came in at just over 43 1/2 minutes. My PR is 43'15'' and that was a long time ago, so this seemed like a pretty good run.
liv: oil painting of seated nude with her back to the viewer (body)
[personal profile] liv
Monday 2nd June: 3.5 km in 30 minutes, a fairly middling run along the Cam. A week when I really really had no time to run due to full-on exams all week.

Sunday 8th June: [personal profile] jack and I went for a "cross-country" run in the local park, a reclaimed mining site. It was much tougher than anything I've tried before, as lots of the paths are really quite steep, and running on gravel is a bit unpleasant. I had to give up and walk up some of the slopes. About 47½ minutes over the 5K, but that was mainly an endurance exercise rather than a speed exercise.

Today: My lungs were feeling less than great because there is cut grass all over campus, and while it hasn't triggered full-on asthma there's enough general irritation that breathing was harder than it should be. I decided to run anyway, promising myself I could give up if needed, because I don't want to get into the habit of skipping runs if I feel anything other than perfect. The first ten minutes was a bit hellish, I was really gasping for breath. But just as I was at the point of thinking I'd have to give up, my breathing settled into a rhythm and it was fine after that.

I managed 3.4 km in 30 minutes or just about exactly 9'/km. I'm quite pleased that I am getting to the point that I'm fit enough I can run at all when I can't breathe as deeply as I'd like.

Good 5k

May. 26th, 2014 08:48 pm
liv: oil painting of seated nude with her back to the viewer (body)
[personal profile] liv
Went running with [personal profile] jack along the DNA path, beautiful sunny evening, generally feeling relaxed in the middle of the bank holiday weekend. Unfortunately Runkeeper had a bit of a GPS problem during the warmup and was convinced that I walked faster than I have ever managed to run. So it came out with a time of 42'07'' for the 5K, which would be a PR. Particularly annoying because it was a good run, coming back to a flat path after gruelling training in the hills around campus. I am pretty sure it was under 45 minutes, which is faster than I've managed for months, but I don't know how much under and whether it was really a PR run.
liv: oil painting of seated nude with her back to the viewer (body)
[personal profile] liv
Went out running by the river with [personal profile] jack. It feels like all that running up hills may in fact have helped me; with a nice flat riverside path and no awkward road-crossings I managed 3.6 km in 30 minutes, a great improvement on the times I've been clocking for the last several weeks. It was a very pleasant run in the spring sunshine, lots and lots of runners out for the bank holiday, and generally felt nice. Hard work, definitely, but never miserable.
liv: oil painting of seated nude with her back to the viewer (body)
[personal profile] liv
This has been the first time all week when I've had spare time and vaguely decent weather, so [personal profile] jack and I encouraged eachother to go out for another run. [personal profile] jack's car has some problems so rather than driving out to the river we ran down Gilbert Road to Victoria bridge, so a mile of road running before we got to the riverside path. I didn't want to put earphones in while running mostly on the road, so I just used Runkeeper and will wait for the next zombie episode for when I'm back in my normal routine next week.

The weather wasn't great, cool and a bit overcast, with a couple of squalls of rain while we were out. It was bad enough that it was hard to find the motivation to start, but not actually terrible while we were running. Even on pavements and paths there were a lot of deep puddles, though. I found it tough going, perhaps because I have not been running regularly these couple of weeks, perhaps because it was a bit cold, or perhaps because it was before lunch and my blood sugar was a bit low.

I made myself keep going for the full 30 minutes, which was a struggle. I only made 3.1 km in that time, but part of that was faffing with crossing roads and avoiding puddles. Even after my breathing settled I had a bit of a stitch and it was hard to make myself keep putting one foot in front of the other. I definitely feel good, both physiologically and psychologically, about getting out for a run today, even if it was hard work and slow.
liv: oil painting of seated nude with her back to the viewer (body)
[personal profile] liv
I feel very proud of myself for managing to drag myself out for a run on Christmas eve – I'm not going to manage three runs this week but at least one was better than using the festive season as an excuse to break my routine. [personal profile] jack came with me and we ran along the river to Fen Ditton and back in a small loop. Some of it is paved track, some was across fields, and there was a headwind for much of the way back. I was also being gentle with myself because it's on the edge of too cold to be safe for my lungs. I paused the timer when we actually had to go round a huge waterlogged mudbath and through a hedge, but a few times I was slowed by dealing with smaller amounts of mud than that. So overall quite a bit slower than what I've been managing on the treadmill, 2.8 km in 27 minutes, but I think reasonably good going considering.

It was interesting doing the zombie chases in the real world. The first one I set off way too fast and couldn't keep going for the full minute, but the second one I actually won even though it was right at the end of the run and I was pretty tired. The story for Mission 11 was one of the most emotive yet, really getting in to this!
liv: oil painting of seated nude with her back to the viewer (body)
[personal profile] liv
I didn't end up running on Friday, because this time of year I'm doing a lot of practical exams which involve standing up for several hours at a stretch. It turns out that a lot of standing on my "rest" day means that I don't recover well from a run; my toes were really swollen and sore by Friday and my ankles didn't feel great either, so I decided it was probably actually a bad idea to try to run, and I wasn't just being lazy.

So I ended up repeating my day 2 run today with [personal profile] jack in glorious (but not too hot) sunshine. Although J is faster than me over 5 km at this point, he's not used to running outdoors and found it difficult to keep a steady pace. So sometimes he was ahead, sometimes I was, sometimes he overdid it and had to slow down to a walk. I was doing intentional 5 mins walking / 10 mins running intervals anyway.

Having someone with me definitely encouraged me to go just that little bit faster, though I was deliberately trying not to pace [personal profile] jack because I know I'm not able to do that. So I ran the first km really fast (by my standards!), only just over 7 minutes. The second and third intervals were a bit slower than that, but still decently fast for most of the distance, and I equalled my best time for intervals at 42 minutes.
liv: oil painting of seated nude with her back to the viewer (body)
[personal profile] liv
I chatted to [personal profile] rmc28 at the New Year party, and the conversation briefly touched on running, which in turn inspired me to actually drag myself out for the first run of 2013 on New Year's Day! They do say you should start as you mean to go on...

It wasn't a great run, but I'm really proud of doing it at all! The thing is we didn't actually get up until about sunset (!) on Tuesday, so it was getting dark and cold by the time I went out. And I was obviously tired and not feeling that great from the previous night's excesses, not to mention that I walked most of 7 miles on NYE itself between [personal profile] jack's place towards Fen Ditton and the two parties in north Cambridge. Not fast, but hard pavements and not especially well cushioned shoes. And it was a bit on the edge of warm enough for me to run without triggering asthma, I think 7 or 8 when I left the house but colder by the time I got back as the sun sank below the horizon.

3.9 km in 35 minutes, including the warmup, so not my best 30 minutes but not my worst either. I was running on Coldham's common, which was pretty waterlogged, so I was a bit slowed by having to detour round huge puddles and through the mud. And it felt like hard going, it was an effort to make myself complete. So 3.9 km (or over 2 miles of actual running) was not a bad achievement, considering.

Today in contrast was a pretty good day 2 run. I ran the DNA path again, this time alternating 5 minutes of walking and 10 minutes of running. The weather was pleasant, reasonably warm if overcast. I did my 5 km in a tiny fraction over 45 minutes or three sets of walk+run intervals plus a few steps right at the end. So quite a bit faster than the 5 km I did last week (over 50 minutes), and indeed my average pace according to Runkeeper was 9'/km, or faster than the 30 minute run on day 1 even though I went 20% further and I was walking for a third of the time.

Another good thing was that [personal profile] jack came out with me, and actually paced me for almost the whole thing. He slowed his running down to my speed, and was able to complete the first and second 10 minutes without a break. For the third, he extended the recovery walk to 10 minutes and ran the final 5 minutes, but not significantly slower than me doing 5+10. So he covered 5 km (plus walking another km or so back to my parents), including 25 minutes of actual running.

Anyway, that was really quite enjoyable, and I'm still measurably improving!
liv: oil painting of seated nude with her back to the viewer (body)
[personal profile] liv
Managed to catch a few hours of actual sunshine this morning, and almost warm temperatures too! I dragged [personal profile] jack out to the park with me. We didn't exactly run together, because right now he's a lot faster than me but I can keep going for a lot longer. But we sort of passed eachother a few times. I ran 4 km in 35 minutes (including the warmup), so my best time yet for "real" running, and a pace of 8'51'' /km. [personal profile] jack followed the same route as me, so we can estimate he did a little over 3 km in 25 minutes, mixed running and walking.
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