angrboda: Running feet with running shoes on. (C25K)
[personal profile] angrboda
As previously mentioned, I abhor week 2, so having dutifully suffered through it three times, today I moved swiftly on to week three, which has turned out to be a whole lot easier and in which Evil Laura doesn't irritate me. Positively breezed through it. It's all good. Don't even feel totally shattered now, afterwards.

Further adding to the good experience is that we have a small forest-y area near where we live. On my normal loop I walk along the road next to it, but today on a whim I decided to add that little bit to my loop, because I thought I might need a little longer route this week (which as it turns out, I didn't, but that's not really relevant). It's very small, this area. Little more than a clump of trees, really. You walk in one end, follow the longest path through and come out the other end and that takes maybe 10-15 minutes walking at a normal pace. Shortest path is only a few minutes shorter, and they more or less meet up at either end.

I came to the entry point just at the end of my warm up walk and quickly discovered that it was just so much nicer to run in there than next to the road. As I neared the other end, I had the brilliant idea of just following the shorter path nearly back to the entry point so I could stay in there a bit longer.

This led me to literally run around in circles in there for the 25 minutes the program lasted, only coming out when walking home for my cool down walk, and it was awesome! And Introvert-Me didn't see a single soul in there at all, which was even better. So long as it doesn't rain, I shall be doing that again, I think!
angrboda: Running feet with running shoes on. (C25K)
[personal profile] angrboda
On to week 2! First day of this today.

As always, week 2 is the week where Evil Laura just really really irritates me.

1) I cannot count four whole steps on each intake of breath and four more on each exhale, Evil Laura, unless you actually want me to asphyxiate completely.

2) I certainly cannot do this while also concentrating on foot fall and just generally not falling over.

3) You do not reduce to the chance of picking up an injury. That sounds like you actually want to have an injury. You want to reduce the risk!

4) A song with the words I'm running circles round you, I think your time is past, I gotta tell you now that this is never gonna last is just hugely demotivation so early in the program. Put that sort of thing later on when your runners has proven to themselves that they actually can.

5) Do not say 'just one more 90 second run to go' just before the second to last run! Springing an extra run on somebody who thought they were finished is just wildly unfair. And again, talk about demotivating!

6) And my final usual beating of a dead horse, there is no such thing as 'warming down'.

Something tells me I shan't be repeating this week if there's the slightest chance of avoiding it. I abhor week 2...

So how did it actually go? I think it went quite well. I could definitely tell I was running longer and I did get to the point of really hoping 90 seconds would be over soon a few times, but never felt like I didn't think I could do it. That very last one was probably the most difficult primarily because, I think, it was sprung on me when I thought I was finished. So far as I recall Evil Laura is not nearly as irritating in the other weeks as she is in this one, so it's just a question of getting through it.

I'm definitely feeling that I'm doing more exercise in general. All the aches and pains. There's a lot of groaning and all-round feeling old in this house at the moment. My shins have started making themselves known, but not in a splint-y way. Just the normal 'we-don't-like-this-staaaahp!' way, so that should help with time if I keep an eye on it, I think.

Does anybody know a stretching exercise good for the shin area? I know the ones for the calf, thigh and bottom areas, but I don't know any for shins, and I suspect it might do me good.
angrboda: Running feet with running shoes on. (C25K)
[personal profile] angrboda
Hello! It's been a goodly while since I've last posted anything here. This is because I haven't actually been running for a goodly while. Bad dog!

I completed the c25k program a couple of years ago (I think?) and was rewarded with my fantabulous Kenwood kitchen machine. I love that thing! I really don't know how I ever managed without it. Anyway. Then winter happened and I didn't run because dark and icy. Especially icy and I'm afraid of falling.

So the next year, I tried again and got maybe a third of the way through the program, but then I had to skip a week due to being poorly and never really managed to start up again.

Now, I'm starting up again. Husband and I have made a sort of pact. I need to start this up again, he wants to start up getting out cycling again, on account of his rather sedentary job that he can't commute to by bicycle, and we both need motivation, discipline, accountability and rather a bit of nagging. So, deal is, I will start up running, he will start up cycling and we will chivvy each other to get it done. So long as one of us is still following their program, the other is not permitted to stop.

To this end, we have invested in fitness trackers (Garmin vivosmart HR, for those interested), which we have now been using for five days now, so we're still learning how they work, really. User interface between the unit, the phone app and the website dashboard is not even slightly intuitive and I have discovered that sometimes you have to change the same setting in all three places individually because apparently those don't sync. And that's only if you can actually find the setting! The great thing is, though, we can see each other's profiles on the app, so there can be no cheating!

Still uncertain what we'll do when snow and ice and cold and dark and winter comes. Probably something to do with an exercise bike or something else that can be done indoors and folded away. I seriously can't run outside if it's icy or if I even just think it might be slippery.

tl;dr, Husband and I are making each other get fit by use of fitness trackers and nagging.

So, once again I have "teamed up" with Evil Laura, she of the NHS c25k program, and I've done the first two runs of week 1. I am still forever amazed that 60 seconds can somehow manage to be three times as long as 90 seconds. Brisk walks at the beginning of the session decidedly brisker than so-called brisk walks later on.

I'm managing, though. It's quite interesting to look at my pulse graph afterwards and be able to clearly tell the runs from the walks. I am, however, apparently experiencing a weird glitch in the garmin, because both times I've been out, it appears to think that I've done nearly 80 kilometers per hour for about 45 seconds, which I obviously haven't. I've tried comparing the two runs and at first I thought it had happened at the moment when I slid on a squashed apple (nice pulse spike there!) but the graph says that's not when that happened. It seems to have been at around the same time in the two runs. Can't work out what's going on there. A little annoying, really, because that way I can't know the actual fastest speed I've had during the run.

Ooh, and also, I've bought the most amazing running shoes! They are so ugly they're actually really awesome. They're Nike shoes, multicoloured and they look like they were knitted. When I first saw them I knew I had to have them. :D Wonderfully comfortable to wear as well, rather like wearing a sock with a shoe sole on it.

Right, Garmin (I feel I should name it something or other) tells me I have to move around, so I'm going to go and walk a few laps around the dining table. :)
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.
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
[personal profile] rmc28
I didn't run on Friday while away from home, mostly because it was raining really hard and that combined with being somewhere unfamiliar was enough to put me off.

So I ran late last night instead.  I feel a bit self-conscious running late at night past people's homes when it's generally very quiet, so on the residential street where I live I ran in the road the other side of the parked cars, and then up the main road until I was halfway and then turned around.

This was 12 minutes, alternating minutes of running and walking, and I completed it fine.  I turned around at 6 minutes and was convinced I was going to overshoot home right up until I finished the last minute of running, so I guess my estimation of distances is a bit off at the moment.  I was actually slower than the previous session, but am trying very hard not to care too much about time/pace at the moment, just completing the sessions.

To try to get back on track to 3 times a week, I'm aiming to do Mon, Wed, Fri and Sun this coming week, either early morning if I wake up early enough (and toddler continues current pattern of sleeping in), or evening.  
rmc28: Photo of me shortly before starting my first half-marathon (half-marathon)
[personal profile] rmc28
Yes, this is me restarting the training programme entirely!

I was really quite ill in June with a nasty throat infection, and have taken a while to get over that, and then had an unexpected spate of migraines.  So it's been over a month since I ran at all, and I am feeling much less fit and a bit scared to "overdo" exercise (it can be a migraine trigger for me). 

The thing about this training programme is that I know I can do the early stages very easily, so I don't worry about overdoing things, and it builds up time and distance sensibly.

This session was a short and sweet confidence boost: 10 minutes total, with only 4 of them actually running.  I managed all four running intervals without feeling worse than a bit out of breath, and I even managed to work up a sweat in the cool of 10pm.  Overall pace 8:26 which is better than I had expected.

I hope to run again on Friday and Sunday this week.


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).
ashtoreth: (running)
[personal profile] ashtoreth
Hello! I'm a new member but I have been working on getting more fit over the past year. I've been walking and starting to learn (to enjoy) running. I have a Fitbit Flex that I love, have been scouring the Skinny Ms. site for fun recipes and workouts, and have just begun the C25K training. It's an easy app to download and I am using it tandem with RunKeeper.

I started Week 1, Day 1 today. Even going out early, it was brutal from the humidity. The puddles on the ground were the only indicators of the thunderstorm we had last night. I'm going to have to push the time I run back further to when the sun is just an idea on the lip of the horizon until this heat wave breaks.

In all honesty, the enthusiasm I had last night to start this training quickly waned this morning when the first bell rang to start the running segment. There was a lot of self-talk occurring to get me through the longest minute of my life, but my enthusiasm began to perk up after the 4th interval and hearing that I was 1/2 way completed. I continued through the training, adding humourous comments to the announcer's "begin running" instruction, and indulging in a moment of black humour when I was in the middle of my 8th running interval and saw a deputy sheriff approaching. I figured that if worst-came-to-worst, I could collapse early enough so that the deputy would stop and give me a lift home. The chuckle was enough to keep me going, and I felt exhausted and exhilarated when I completed my first training session.
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.
faesdeynia: (Default)
[personal profile] faesdeynia
Where I live (TX, USA) we've been fortunate this year. We've been hammered with enough rain to finally lift us out of the crushing drought that we've been in for the last decade; with that, we've had marginally cooler temperatures. However, it also means that we've been beset with high (for us) humidity. I attempted to run last week, a 2x20minute, as a bridge to the final 5K workout. It wast 85F and 80% humidity. Needless to say, I chose to abort the run and head home about 3/4 of the way through. I could feel the cramping coming on.

So, I was very back-and-forth about what to do. I could try rising very early and running before I go to work; I already get up at 0500 so that would be quite the adjustment. Or, I could try using a treadmill; not a huge fan of those, but it's an option. Fortunately, the rain finally broke and the humidity has receded somewhat. It's still high, but it's been around 50%.

I was hoping to finish big this past Friday, at a local race. However, due to aforementioned rain situation, the course was shortened to 4k. Otherwise, we would have torn up the field from all the mud and rain. So while I jogged the whole course, I did not consider that finishing.

This morning I finished a 5k run with my running buddy Michael. It felt less big than I thought it would, but still; now I really do have to pick a new goal. He suggested faster vs further; his rationale is that faster benefits further, but not necessarily the opposite.

I ended up with a pace that sits around 14:30/mile (9:00/k). It feels incredibly slow sometimes, but I will get faster :-D I'm still undecided what I should do to continue running over our long, miserably hot summer, though.
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.


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