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
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
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.
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
[personal profile] rmc28
I managed to get up and out fairly promptly today and it was an ok run, but I was a bit disappointed afterward to find that I was only marginally faster than on my long run on Saturday.

The good thing is that I no longer feel as though 1 minute is a terribly long time to run, so I should be able to move up to 2m:1m next week, and week 5 of my return-to-running plan.   Here's it is, for future reference:

Week 5: 30 min at 2m:1m.  30 min at 2m:1m.  5k weekend run at 1m:1m
Week 6: 30 min at 2m:1m.  30 min at 2m:1m.  15k weekend run at 1m:1m
Week 7: 30 min at 2.5m:1m.  30 min at 2.5m:1m.  5k weekend run at 1m:1m
Week 8: 30 min at 2.5m:1m.  30 min at 2.5m:1m.  18k weekend run at 1m:1m
Week 9: 30 min at 2.5m:1m.  30 min at 2.5m:1m.  5k weekend run at 1m:1m
Week 10: 30 min at 2.5m:1m.  30 min at 2.5m:1m.  20k weekend run at 1m:1m
Week 11: 30 min at 2.5m:1m.  30 min at 2.5m:1m.  5k weekend run at 1m:1m
Week 12: 30 min at 3m:1m.  30 min at 3m:1m.  10k weekend run at 1m:1m

Week 12 is about where I was before breaking the toe. 

I'm conscious that I haven't actually managed two consecutive weeks of running 3 times since I broke the toe.  Just managing that this week will be its own special achievement.
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
[personal profile] rmc28
I did the same route as about a month ago, but this time I padded it out to get a nice round 12k done.  I was deliberately aiming for a slower pace at 1m:1m but couldn't actually have done it much faster even if I'd wanted to, certainly not as fast as last time.  

Aim for next week: 2 short runs & 1 "long" run of 5-6km, all at 1m:1m.

rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
[personal profile] rmc28
Another run at 1m:1m.  Nothing really of note except that it's the first time I've managed two runs in a week since early August.  It was neither especially pleasant or unpleasant, it just was.

This is nominally Week 4, run 2 of my back-to-running plan from June when my broken toe seemed to be healed up.  I think I'll repeat week 4 next week too.  In the meantime I plan to do a long run at the weekend, something in the 10-12km range, also at 1m:1m but consciously aiming at a slower pace.
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
[personal profile] rmc28
So, another two-week running gap, for boring reasons of ill-health and/or children.  Yesterday I got as far as bringing my gear to work, but didn't actually feel well enough when it came to it.  Today I did.  So I ran! 

1m:1m run:walk throughout, and an average pace of 8:09.  I enjoyed it and I will do it again on Thursday, body permitting.  And on Friday I (finally) have my weights-planning session.

I'm getting more used to running for entire minutes at a time now.  Way back in August I was talking about redoing Magic Mile to reset my training pace, but the trouble is I don't think that would actually get me out of the rut where I've got really really good at only running 30s at a time, and kind of rubbish at running for any longer interval. 

So I think what I need to do is run more at 1m:1m, and just do my long slow runs at that ratio, and then work on increasing the running ratios on my short runs.  I don't think Magic Mile is going to be helpful until I can run at least 3m:1m on my short runs.

Although I've not run much in the last month, I have been keeping up the regular walking.  My weekday routine now includes 20 min, 30 min and 10 min of walking, and is likely to continue doing so.  This is usually enough to hit 10,000 steps a day, which seems to be the magic minimum amount to stop my pelvic girdle pain flaring up.  So all lunchtime / weekend running or walking on top of that is a bonus.


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.
rmc28: Photo of me shortly before starting my first half-marathon (half-marathon)
[personal profile] rmc28
I didn't run at all from last Wednesday until today, and while I did walk a great deal at Worldcon, we came home on Tuesday and I managed only some walking on Wednesday and then very little at all until today.

My plan had me going to 10k now, but I decided I was ok with going up to 12k given the complete lack of distance run in 10 days.  In the end, my phone crashed half way round, so I had another fun job stitching two GPX files together and feeding back to Runkeeper to find out what I actually did, which was 11.65km rather than anything like a nice round number.

I did 30s:45s run:walk ratio and achieved a significantly faster-than-expected pace - enough to make me double-check the mapped route, but it was accurate.  Maybe the extended rest was good for me!   

Over the next six weeks or so I'm aiming to push my long-run distance out to 20km, and get my run:walk ratio for short weekday runs up to at least 2.5m:1m. 

My pace is sufficiently improved that I think I'm going to do the Magic Mile test next weekend to recheck what my training pace "should" be.   I was going to wait until had my run:walk ratios back up, but I'm enough ahead of target that I think I'd rather gather some data.  (numbers: I ran at just under 8min/km, with a target of 9min/km.  If I were aiming for 8m/km, then I should be doing 1m:1m ratios.)

Short Run

Jul. 22nd, 2014 11:01 pm
ofearthandstars: Photo of woman running in silhoeutte (running)
[personal profile] ofearthandstars
I ran 1.5 miles tonight, starting with 1.25 miles in 11'41", walking for 11 minutes, and then finishing up the last quarter mile with an easy run. I wanted to run continuously, but knee pain after my last run has me feeling more conscious of the mileage. If I run with my knee brace on very firm/tight, I have the right "grip" but then I find I've a stiffness to the knee; wondering if a new brace that slides on or buckles/tightens in a different way might be helpful. Also wondering if I'm keeping my knees stiff because of fear of injury. Trying to find the right gait also feels more difficult than it used to be. I have to keep reminding myself to position my feet to land below my body, to strike on the mid-foot, to not turn my leg in or out - it almost seems harder than when I first began running. In good news I didn't feel too winded and I didn't tired out, although it was like swimming through a warm porridge, thanks to the humidity.

Even so, it's the farthest distance I've run since early June. Iced immediately afterwards, and was able to go without ibuprofen tonight. If my knee feels good tomorrow I'll repeat the distance Thursday.
ofearthandstars: Photo of woman running in silhoeutte (running)
[personal profile] ofearthandstars
I've been out of sorts for the past 5-6 weeks since developing runner's knee in early June (came down wrong on the knee - which has had prior injuries/issues - during an easy pace run). This was a bit of a blow to me as I've been trying to build distance all year in the hopes of running a 10K this fall. I'm not sure I'm on schedule to do it this fall after the injury, but time will tell. Prior to the injury, I was making 4.0 mi/6.4 km runs with about an average pace of 11'32".

During my month off, I've been cycling and doing some yoga, mainly to try to strengthen my quads/hamstrings to help support the knee. I also bought a new pair of running shoes since the old ones were very high-mileage. Today I took my first run post-injury, a meager 0.4 miles (I'm following the conventional wisdom that one should start at a tenth of their previous mileage and then slowly add on a tenth if things are pain-free). I'm also wearing a brace on the knee, which I wore prior to the injury. I found at the very start that I was incredibly unsure of my gait/stride, probably because I was afraid of experiencing pain in the knee and possibly because it's been a while. I had some mild twitchiness across the top of my knee during that, but it seemed to fade once I figured out my stride. It definitely felt too short - it was only two blocks. After the run I took to my bike and rode 4.0 miles at an 8-10 mph pace. Once back at home I pre-emptively iced - the knee is a tiny bit grindy, but otherwise pain-free, so I guess I'll call it a success for now.
rmc28: Photo of me shortly before starting my first half-marathon (half-marathon)
[personal profile] rmc28
The aches I'd noticed on Thursday were still there faintly on Friday, and gone on Saturday.  I gave myself an extra day for caution and today  I decided to go for approx 10k, which turned into 12.2k because of fitting my running time to the thing I was listening to (ahem).  I did 30s:45s run:walk, and averaged 8:46 min/km, more or less the same as last week.

I was trying to consciously pay attention to how I was running, how the ex-broken-toe and the opposite knee were feeling, and also (given discussion on [personal profile] highlyeccentric 's post) how my shins were feeling.   Toe and knee seemed fine, with occasional twinges (the knee was feeling unhappy at about 8k but eased up again before I got home).  Shins were occasionally achy but this also passed.  By the time of writing this, an hour or so later, my muscles are aching but not my bones or joints.

A couple of my rather-more-experienced running friends have talked about "trying to run as quietly as possible" as an approach to running in the most efficient/least stressing way.  The idea being that trying to break down the movement into most efficient steps is hard to think about, but "being quiet" is a whole-body exercise using all our conscious and unconscious feedback, and seems to approximate to the same thing.  There is no way that I actually run quietly, but I can certainly change how my feet hit the ground so as to run more quietly and it does seem to feel more comfortable too.

If I still feel ok tomorrow I will try my back-to-running week 3 again, with 30s:30s run:walk.

rmc28: Photo of me shortly before starting my first half-marathon (half-marathon)
[personal profile] rmc28
Runkeeper added a random extra loop into its tracking of my route, but as best I can allow for it, I ran ~9.75k at about 8:46 min/km.  I feel fine, about as tired as I'd expect.

I am almost certainly going to have to move lunchtime runs to the evening if we have more hot weather though.  Today was fine: overcast and occasionally rainy, and I was so much happier than during my hot lunchtime runs in the week.
rmc28: Photo of me shortly before starting my first half-marathon (half-marathon)
[personal profile] rmc28
I stuck to my plan for a third day!

It was very warm and I consciously ran slowly throughout, resulting in a noticeably slower pace than either Monday or Tuesday.  I tweaked the route a bit because I was bored.

Another day off tomorrow and then 10km on Saturday.
rmc28: Photo of me shortly before starting my first half-marathon (half-marathon)
[personal profile] rmc28
I stuck to my plan again! I'm finding 30s:45s harder than I think I should, but still doable, so hopefully my cardio fitness will rebuild with practice. Also I probably need to consciously run more slowly at the start, which is hardly news.

I ran the same route as yesterday, very slightly faster (probably within the uncertainty of the GPS measurement). Tomorrow is a day off and then another short run Thursday lunchtime.
rmc28: Photo of me shortly before starting my first half-marathon (half-marathon)
[personal profile] rmc28
Achieved first lunchtime run this week! First run at 30s:45s since the toe broke, and I certainly noticed it being harder than 30s:60s. More pleasantly, I also noticed getting a bit further than I did on the same route last week.

The weather is warm but bearable to run at the moment. I don't know what I'm going to do when it really is too hot at lunchtime this summer (like last year, there will be at least some days, I know). Try to run either in the morning or the evening instead I suppose, but that depends very much on my children being cooperative in their sleeping habits.
rmc28: Photo of me shortly before starting my first half-marathon (half-marathon)
[personal profile] rmc28
In my last post I talked about making a plan and said "Let's see how long it survives contact with reality."  The next day I had a migraine, and after that I had a vicious cold which stopped me running for a fortnight.   So that was how long it lasted. 

In practice though, I think it's just been postponed a bit, and it did mean I got to noodle with my spreadsheet some more, which for me is basically relaxation.

This week I did two ~30 min runs in my lunch hour and a 5k run today.  All were done at 30s:60s run:walk and averaging 8:45 min/km.  So far, all seems well, with an occasional ache from the toe but no other issues.   

Next week I plan 3 lunchtime runs and a 10k weekend run, all at 30s:45s run:walk.
rmc28: Photo of me shortly before starting my first half-marathon (half-marathon)
[personal profile] rmc28
I had a week's holiday where I tried to walk as normally as possible for me, and the toe seemed to be tolerating it, with occasional achy evenings.

This week I did three lunchtime walks, and a 10k walk today.  I actually averaged a faster time today (10:16 min/km) because I bothered to change into running gear and let myself go as fast as possible without caring about getting sweaty.   Again, everything seems to be ok apart from occasional aches, though I'm paying close attention in case my gait/posture is being subtly changed.

Next week I plan to do a similar pattern of workouts, but this time at a 30s:60s run:walk ratio, and a 5k weekend run.  If that goes well, I'll carry on increasing the run:walk ratios in the following weeks and alternating 5k with longer distances at the weekends until I'm back where I was before I broke my toe. 

I've just spent a happy time with a spreadsheet plotting out this return to running and then what I hope is a sustainable fitness plan for the rest of the year.  Let's see how long it survives contact with reality.
liv: oil painting of seated nude with her back to the viewer (body)
[personal profile] liv
Still can't shake this accursed cold I picked up when travelling in August. After one attempt at running when I triggered the nastiest asthma attack I've had in years, I decided I'd better actually take a break. This has been really really frustrating. The more so since I was just about to hit a full year of successfully running several times a week and my hundredth run.

This week I decided I just have to get going again, because this is getting ridiculous. I do have some kind of respiratory crud for a large proportion of the year, it's just part of the way my lungs are generally a bit rubbish. So in the past I have always said, having a cold is not an excuse, because otherwise I'll be off running more often than I actually manage to run. But the point of this is to make myself healthier, not sicker, so I don't want to be stubborn to the point of being self-destructive.

Tuesday I was really under the weather and was pretty sure I wasn't going to be able to manage running. So I walked home from work instead; I took the shorter route, which is 4.7 km instead of 5.3 km, but involves walking up a steep hill at the end. I was trying to push myself to a decent walking pace but even that wasn't really happening, I ended up with 11½'/km, which is really slow by my standards. And I can really feel that I've been essentially off exercise for two months; just a few miles of walking at a semi-brisk pace left my muscles sore and stiff for the next couple of days.

This morning I was still sniffly but somewhat better, so with great psychological effort I dragged myself out for a morning run before work. I decided to just baby my lungs and ran slowly enough that I wasn't really out of breath, and managed to keep going for the full half hour. I am aware that you're really supposed to train by running like that and just gradually build up the comfortable pace, but I'm really reluctant to do so because a "comfortable" running pace for me is about 9½'/km which is just depressingly slow. So in some ways it was good that I was being careful of my lungs. The slowness is a mixture of being out of condition and still not being really well, so I may try a few comfortable pace runs and see if I can manage to improve a little bit without pushing myself too hard.

I did actually find a good rhythm in spite of coming back after a long break. I felt I probably could have kept going at that pace for a good while, but stopped after half an hour because I needed to get to work. The other thing is, having actually completed a run and found it physically pleasant will make it a lot easier psychologically to drag myself out again next time. 3.7 km including the warm-up, not that the warm-up was a whole lot slower than the running / jogging part.
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
[personal profile] rmc28
I went running today, for the first time since the end of June, according to my notes.  I enjoyed it!  I hope to do it again later this week. 

My department at work moved offices in the last two weeks; the new one is approximately 10 minutes walk away from the old one, but it is on a different university site on the opposite side of a busy road.  I spent most of today's run exploring the site - I've been there before, but there are new buildings I haven't seen before, and a bit of landscaped lake with a gravel path around it which I looped twice just for fun.
 
It's becoming clear that I'm just not going to go running in the evening after work for a while because the daily grind of children - work - children - bedtime leaves me too tired.  However, going out for a run in the middle of the day gets more and more appealing as the dark creeps in to the start and end of my day, and there are showers in the office.

I did a very simple 5 min warm up, 30 min slow run, 5 min cool down.  I took about 5 minutes to change beforehand, and 15 to shower and change after, so it just about squeezes into a lunch hour, so long as I finish near the building (which I didn't quite manage this time).

My vague plan is to do this twice a week (Tue & Thu) and add a daytime weekend run on top.  The lunchtime runs are going to be constrained by time, so the weekend runs are where I'll work on distance.   The local 5k Parkrun is the obvious initial candidate though I can't go for a couple of weeks; while in the medium term I want to start working up to 10k, for now I want to focus on establishing the habit of running 3 times a week.  I would be delighted if I could manage that for >4 consecutive weeks.

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