liv: oil painting of seated nude with her back to the viewer (body)
[personal profile] liv2015-04-22 04:15 pm

Running IRL again

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.
rmc28: Photo of me shortly before starting my first half-marathon (half-marathon)
[personal profile] rmc282015-01-04 02:49 pm
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Week 5, day 3

My plan to run yesterday was scuppered by a visit from my stepsister, which was a really pleasant reason.  (She is training for the Paris marathon in April, we might have geeked about running training for much of the visit.)

So I ran today, in the least-freezing part of the day according to the weather forecast.  It was cold.  It was just above freezing and I did not slip on any ice, though I ran past several frozen-over puddles.  I was covered from neck to wrist to toe, plus my usual ski-tube-hat-thing and my rather less usual gloves and running gilet, and it was just about bearable.

This session is the first continuous run of the programme, 20 minutes straight through with just the warm up and cool down walks at each end.  I followed the same route I've done for the previous 3 runs at home, and could tell I definitely went further and faster in that 20 minutes than in the 21-or-so minutes for the previous ones.  It wasn't quite as ok as day 2, but I got through it without stopping, so it's all good.

My pace for this was approx 7:45 min/km which I'll be very happy with if it's what I can do over 30 minutes at the end of week 9.
rmc28: Photo of me shortly before starting my first half-marathon (half-marathon)
[personal profile] rmc282015-01-02 11:04 am
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Week 5, day 2

So I said I wasn't planning to run yesterday, but as it turned out I was very short of sleep and one way I know to get myself tired enough for a nap is a run!  Also the weather was considerably less cold and the children reasonably cooperative, so I kitted up and went out just at sunset.

It was only when I was already outside that I realised that Week 5 is where things change up, so instead of the 3x 5min run I'd done on Tuesday, it was 2x 8min runs.  So I didn't give myself time to worry about it and just went with it, and it was surprisingly ok.  I seem to be finding my way into the zone where I don't think very much and can just keep running, so when I came to the end of the first 8 minutes I was "oh, is that over now".  The second one I was getting noticeably hot towards the end, but I concentrated on not rushing it, and again I felt pretty good when it was all done.

Runkeeper tells me my pace was a little slower, but then my biggest problem always has been going off too fast.  If I'm finally learning not to do that in favour of being able to just keep running, I'm in favour.

I need to figure out my schedule for tomorrow so there's time for a run, because then I can get back into Monday-Thursday-Saturday from next week rather than the following one.  This time it's 1 lot of 20 minutes, which doesn't scare me as much now as it did when I saw it before yesterday's run.

[also I had a lovely 90 minute nap afterward, long enough to restore myself, short enough I could get up and do a few normal evening-routine things afterward before going to bed 'properly' for work today]
rmc28: Photo of me shortly before starting my first half-marathon (half-marathon)
[personal profile] rmc282014-12-31 12:29 pm

Week 4, day 3 & Week 5, day 1

I managed to run week 4 day 3 on Friday 26th, just before sunset. I was a bit cold at the start but as usual ended the run quite hot.

I was then intending to run on Sunday, but we did a long journey on Saturday and I was too tired and unmotivated to do so. Monday I thought about it but it was cold and icy on the pavements and easy for me not to bother.

Yesterday I made myself get out and run week 5 day 1 because it was getting too easy to not bother. It was still cold and icy but at least one side of every road had been defrosted by the sun by the time I ran. Where normally I run up one side of the street and back the other I just ran up and down the 'dry' side. It wasn't much fun, especially at first, but I was pleasantly surprised when it finished to find I'd been slightly faster and slightly further than the previous Friday, despite running only 15 minutes total rather than 16.

I'm back at work on Friday so I think it will be easier to run Friday lunchtime than force a run on New Year's Day (not because *I* will be hungover, you understand, but I rather suspect spouse will be, and he has the children all day on the 2nd too.) Then I can run Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and then back to Monday-Thursday-Saturday as a routine.

If I can stick to the 3-times-a-week plan, I will complete c25k week 9 at the end of January. I rather suspect I won't actually have run 5k by then, so 'week 10' will be 2x 30 minute runs and a 5k run at the weekend, to prove to myself I can do it. And, well, that is pretty much 'week 1' of this half-marathon 'to finish' training plan.

I'm not committing to any particular event at this point, because I'm fairly certain I'll miss weeks and have to repeat them and all that.  But a goal I have is to complete that half-marathon training plan and know that I can run the distance if I want to.   I've done it once, I want to do it again (and again, and again, but once more will do to start).

Week five, a little behind schedule

I'm doing marginally better at keeping up with the program than I am making it over here to talk about it. The rest of week four went right on schedule, even if I was majorly clock-watching on the last two running intervals.

My normal schedule is running Tuesday, Friday, and Sunday. Week five's Tuesday, it poured down rain all day, and then it snowed Wednesday morning, wheeee. The weather in the afternoon was still pretty rough and cold, but I knew I could push through the five minute intervals so I went anyway. And then Friday the weather was pretty nice again and I just... didn't feel like it. So I ran day two on Saturday, and the last day of week five today.

I was pretty sure that I could physically get through the eight minute running intervals, and I put them on the easiest part of my route anyway. I was more worried how I'd do for will power, but it turns out that I manage far better with longer intervals. Timing it by multiple songs takes the clock out of it pretty well for me.

For today's 20 minute run, I just went for it - started on the hilly section near home and turned around fifteen minutes in so that the last five was back uphill as well. The cardio wasn't too rough, and I managed a little over two miles, so I was pretty happy with my pace, but my legs are definitely screaming at me now, about 6 hours later. I'm glad I've got two days before starting week six.
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
[personal profile] rmc282012-12-08 03:44 pm
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Week 5 Day 3

Success!  I ran 20 minutes continuously!

It was hard work and I ended it hot but with a big endorphin-and-success buzz.  I think I basically covered the same distance as Day 2 as I followed a near-identical route, but RunKeeper failed to record the distance.   I did have some doubts during the run as to whether I could manage it, but stuck with it, kept my pace nice and slow, and it worked.

I enjoyed having finished very much.  I think now I'm confident I can finish, I am more likely to enjoy the actual running too.

It has generally been too cold for me to contemplate running after dark this week; I am turning my mind to logistics so I can run in daylight Mon, Wed, Fri next week.  It makes all the difference.
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
[personal profile] rmc282012-12-05 02:55 pm
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Week 5 Day 2

I had some free time this morning courtesy of Nicholas's "settling in" time at nursery, in preparation for going for a full day tomorrow.  So I decided to seize the opportunity to run in daylight, even though the night's faint dusting of snow was still melting. I've lost my little bumbag, but I found the little running backpack I bought a few years ago for power-walking, which worked quite well for carrying keys, phone and (as it turned out) unnecessary clothing.

I wore extra layers: a ski rollneck under my usual running top, and leggings under shorts, and a "snowboarding" cloth tube over my ears and head.  By the time I was halfway through the first  8 minute run I was actually hot, so I took advantage of the 5 minute walk to strip off the head tube and the running top and shoved them in my little backpack.  I completed the run in reasonable comfort, apart from being out of breath etc.  I took a different route from usual, down a long street with one side in daylight so the snow had melted away, and for the first time found RunKeeper's reminder to turn around useful.

I'm pleased that I seem to have got the hang of adjusting my pace so I don't get horrible stitches; I usually get the beginning of one, slow down, and it goes away again.  This bodes well for 20 minutes in one go in the next run.  Friday morning if possible.  I am amused that I am now thinking of routes to maximise time in the sunshine - I can imagine that in summer I will want to do the opposite ...
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
[personal profile] rmc282012-12-02 11:20 pm
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Week 5 Day 1

Yay running!

My bruised knee is nearly better, it was sunny, and I managed to organise enough time for a run this morning.  I had meant to be conservative and redo week 4, but I had a fat-thumb moment on the app and started Week 5 instead so decided to go with it, on the grounds I can just redo week 5 instead if I'm not up to it.

It was noticeably more pleasant to run on the sunny side of streets than shady, to the point that towards the end I just ran up and down the sunny sides, rather than my usual up one side, down the other.  I ease got a stitch part-way through the second of the three runs and slowed down further to ease it off.  Total distance 3.3 km.

I am so happy to have restarted.  It's going to be a challenge to get out during daylight this week, and it's awfully cold in the dark, and I think I need some kind of long-sleeved top, but overall I am really happy to be back on it.
liv: oil painting of seated nude with her back to the viewer (body)
[personal profile] liv2012-11-17 03:36 pm

Week 5 success

I did it! I ran for 20 minutes without a break! I am so pleased with this, I really didn't know if I was ever going to be able to do it. Average pace 9'13'' /km, including the warm-up, though I think I wasn't going a lot faster during the run than with the fast walking warm-up. 2.7 km total, which is on the low side of what I typically cover, but doing it all in one go is a different story altogether!

Conditions were not really great for running, but I decided to risk an outdoor run again. I tried [livejournal.com profile] lnr's advice of running with a scarf over my mouth to warm the air hitting my lungs, but it didn't really seem to make much difference and it felt weird to run with my mouth covered. So I just did it anyway; again, it was sunny and I stayed in direct sunshine most of the time, so I don't think it was actually under 8 °C.

The ground was pretty sodden, so I decided to run on the path. It is definitely easier to run on paths than on the grass, which I think did help with completion. But I'm still scared of impact on hard surfaces and don't want to make it a habit. There was one footfall of the whole run where I landed awkwardly, and my knee can still feel it. It's not painful, I don't think I've done serious damage, but I don't want to keep doing that and potentially build up cumulative minor stuff.

It's hard to describe how it felt to run so much further than I ever have before. I definitely see what people mean when they say the jump from intervals to 20 minutes continuous is mainly psychological. It wasn't really any easier than last week, when I gave up after 12 minutes, or two days ago when I felt as if 8 minute intervals were the limit of what I could do. I was just more determined to finish, somehow. And the second half felt easier than the first, partly because I fell into something like a rhythm (to my astonishment), and partly just the knowledge that I was already more than half way. My legs were getting tired by the end, whereas in the past I've always been so focused on how hard it is to get enough air that I wasn't conscious of muscular fatigue at all.

But seriously, this C25K program really does work; less than a couple of months ago I had to force myself to run for a whole minute at a time, and now I'm doing 20! I am starting to believe I might actually complete this.
liv: oil painting of seated nude with her back to the viewer (body)
[personal profile] liv2012-11-15 03:34 pm

Week 5(b) day 2

It was really too cold to run today, but it was also such a lovely sunny day that I really wanted to be outside at lunchtime and really did not want to drag myself to the gym after it gets dark this evening. So I attempted the two 8-minute runs in the park, going really slowly and laboriously. The first run I had to pause briefly and pant at about 6 minutes, but I didn't stop for more than a few breaths, so I'm counting this as mostly a success. I think I wasn't really properly warmed up until about half way through the second section; at that point it got back into reasonable hard work territory, rather than struggling for breath.

Overall 2.8 km in 27½ minutes, so an average pace of 9'45'' / km and thus a bit faster than last time I tried week 5 day 2, even though it felt like I wasn't doing as well.

I tried a new thing: I finally got my ducks in a row to run with a podcast playing, and used the NHS C25K podcast, which consists of inoffensive music and a voiceover from a lady who says occasional encouraging things like "you're halfway there, you may be tired but keep going" and "you're doing brilliantly, just a few more minutes". The inoffensive music was not particularly to my taste, but it was definitely useful to have audio cues giving me the timings so I could run without clockwatching. And the affirmations did make me feel good about myself, even though I know full well it's a crude brainhack of a recorded voice and not meaningful praise.

I'm going to have another go at the scary 20 minutes at the weekend. Keep me accountable, lovely community!
liv: oil painting of seated nude with her back to the viewer (body)
[personal profile] liv2012-11-13 08:58 pm
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Week 5(b) day 1

I'm really glad I decided to repeat week 5 this week, because today's run was really, really tough. I thought it would be easy, dropping back to the 3x5 minute runs from the beginning of week 5, but no, it nearly killed me, though I did just barely finish, with all the running sections at 7.5 kph. Don't know if that was because I was over-confident, or because I was trying out wearing a top with some structural support and it compressed my ribs slightly, or because I've been running outside for the last couple so got used to a slightly slower pace and being able to slow down when I'm struggling.

Oh well, they say you shouldn't analyse these things too hard, sometimes you just have worse runs. Overall 2.9 km in 26 mins, or slightly under 9' per km.
liv: oil painting of seated nude with her back to the viewer (body)
[personal profile] liv2012-11-10 08:52 pm

Week 5 day 3

Today it was cold but sunny, decided to risk running anyway. The measured temperature was 8°C, but by running in direct sunshine it was warm enough for my lungs to cope. Having reached the end of week 5 (albeit a day behind schedule), I was supposed to just run for 20 minutes continuously. I managed 12, which is still 50% more than I've ever done before. I think I probably went slightly too fast, though I thought I was going slowly; the average pace was 9'9'' per km (so really quite a lot faster than I managed the midweek workout of 2 x 8 minutes). And maybe I could have pushed myself a little bit more, I'm not sure; I'm finding it slightly hard to tell.

Plan for next week is to repeat Week 5 and see if I can manage the full 20 minutes this time. And if not in one chunk, I will make myself do it in two, rather than giving up once I'm exhausted.
liv: oil painting of seated nude with her back to the viewer (body)
[personal profile] liv2012-11-08 03:08 pm

Week 5 day 2

It was just about warm enough to run outside again today, so I went out to the park at lunchtime. I ran as slowly as I could and that was slow enough to manage the full 8 minute run twice. My average pace for the whole session was over 10 min/km again, but it still feels like an achievement to have managed those longer runs. Also in the first 8 minutes I ran from the entrance to the park all the way to Morrisons at one end of the park, and in the second 8 minutes from just beyond the entrance to the end of the rugby pitch at the other end. Which felt like satisfying "stages"; it would be reasonable to try to work up to covering those distances in 6 minutes or perhaps even 5.

Runkeeper recorded over 2 miles for the first time, but that's mainly because I ended up half a mile from my start point and reckoned I might as well get credit for the walk back. Realistically this was 2.8 km in 28'17''.

And now I have to psych myself up to the scary 20 minute continuous run for day 3!
liv: oil painting of seated nude with her back to the viewer (body)
[personal profile] liv2012-11-06 11:20 am
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Week 5 day 1

This first workout isn't very much of a jump up from Week 4, which is good because Week 4 was still a bit on the edge of what I can manage. First two five-minute runs at pace (7.5 kph), then the third run at 7 kph. I actually got a stitch somewhere in the middle of the second run; I was able to keep going through it, but of course it got more painful during the recovery section, which made it hard to get going again in the final run. Hence the slower pace.

In a lot of ways I'm quite pleased, because this is almost the first time in my life that my lungs have been able to power me to run enough to get a stitch! I've found something else to limit me apart from my rubbish lungs, which suggests that my fitness is genuinely improving.

Total was 2.9 km in 26 minutes, so still pretty much dead on 9 min / km overall.