Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Triumph Over Lazy Brain

Last Wednesday I did a midweek run of 8 miles. I did not want to do it. I did not enjoy it. I endured every minute wishing that I could get it over with soon so I could go home and plonk by bum back on the sofa. The important thing is though that I did it. I actually wrote a pros and cons list of whether I should run or not. I had virtually no cons on the list. The best I could come up with was that I had an hour or so longer to sit on the sofa and watch TV. I was so disgusted at how pathetic that sounded that it galvanised me into action.

Afterwards I though I'd feel pleased that I had triumphed over lazy brain, increased my fitness, and got another entry to write up in my blog. Funnily enough, I wasn't. I didn't regret going for the run or anything. I'd just hated every minute and was glad that it was over.

It can't just be me that has runs like that? Please mojo fairy, would you mind sending some enthusiasm and get-up-and-go my way? It would be much appreciated. Thank you.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Why is it so hard to get out the door?

I would like to start this post with a shout out to my boyfriend, who very kindly responded to my appeal for people to kick my ass (verbally) into actually getting out on my training runs. It is mostly thanks to him that I got changed into running gear and went out and completed 12.25 miles a couple days ago. I'd wanted to do 16, but my Garmin battery died and I didn't see point in running aimlessly with no idea how far I was going.

One thing I will never understand about running though is why it is so damn hard to get out the door in the first place. Surely, the hard part should be in keeping going? I suppose,in fairness, once your muscles start to hurt then it is, but up until then it feels easy. Once I am out the door, I'm usually quite happy to jog around until I run out of time, get hungry or start to hurt. It's the making the initial move to get outside that I struggle with. I dread it. I think things like oh God, not another long run or OMG, it's gonna take ages. Then I proceed to make a whole host of excuses as to why I can't do it. It defies logic, it really does.

The run itself was quite nice actually. I saw all the resident duck and swan families on the pond, I got some hills in, I got to crunch through a load of pretty coloured leaves that had fallen from the surrounding trees and then once it got dark I hit the streets and from the top of a massive hill I saw all the twinkly street lights stretching out for miles and even some early Christmas lights adorning someone's hedge. I must remember to take my phone with me next time so I can try and take some pictures, it's hard to describe how nice it looks with just words.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

The Winter Solstice 30

I've had an idea. It is probably crazy. It sort of makes sense to me in a masochistic sort of way, but even I am aware that it's a bit mad. So anyway, you're probably thinking 'well what's the big idea then?' Here it is.

I quite like the idea of being an ultra marathoner. It appeals to me. The title would give the impression of health and fitness and of marathons being far to easy for a super-fit athlete like me (although if you know me, you will be laughing so hard at the idea of me being a super-fit athlete). Technically, any distance over 26.2 miles is classed as an ultramarathon, although 30 miles, 50 miles and 100 miles are popular distances. Now there is no way in hell I will be running 100 miles all at once any time soon, but 30 miles is do-able. It is only 4 more miles than a marathon, and I've done 2 of those already.

I have three main problems with realising this brilliant (crazy?) idea of becoming an ultra-marathoner. Firstly, I have not sufficiently forgotten how much I hate marathon training, how hard it is and how much time it takes. Secondly, ultra marathons tend to take place far away from where I live and as I have no car and a great reluctance to spend a fortune in hotel bills, this doesn't make them very appealing. Lastly, at a lot of the ones I've looked at, at least some degree of map reading is required as the courses tend to be off-road. The only map I can read with any degree of confidence is a street map. I have no clue about using a compass and grid references to find my way around.

I think I have found a solution to two of those problems. Whilst there is no way to avoid the training, there is a solution to the other points. It is a simple, cheap and elegant solution. I am going to run my own ultra-marathon. I'll plan a multi lap race which starts from my house, where I can lay out whatever sports drinks, gels or bars I fancy (I can buy a lot of those for the price of what a race would usually cost me). I will plan various routes near my house that I'm familiar with (no orienteering for me!) and will post proof of my mileage and time on here and facebook.

Admittedly, there will be no shiny medal at the end, or cheering crowds to spur me on but the title will still be there and I can then retire officially from the world of ultra-running. Either that or sign up for a proper one, it's hard to tell which way it'll go at the moment.

I've set my date. I will run this distance on the 21st December (the winter solstice). It works out quite nicely because it'll give me an incentive to train through the winter and maintain my fitness rather than do what I usually do, which is to run about 5 miles a month until the weather improves then spend all summer trying to regain my sorry state of fitness.

I just need one favour. Please keep reminding me that I said I would do this. I need all the butt-kicking possible to keep me on track. If I think no-one has read this then it will be all too easy to delete the post and revert to my usual winter hibernation, so make sure you post some comments. Thank you :)

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Need a rant. Need it now.

OMG Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr. I am so damn frustrated right now. You want to know why? Good, cuz I'm gonna tell you!

Today I was back marking with some beginners. No problem there. Most beginners are very slow and walk quite a bit, which is fine, because everyone starts somewhere. I don't mind running/walking with people who actually want to get better and are trying to get better and improve. But the person I got stuck with today didn't appear to even want to try. She literally refused to run. Whenever I tried to push her to attempt it, all I got was a load of whiney excuses. She couldn't breathe, she had a cold, it was too hard, she was dying, she had a stitch....and on and on and on. We might have jogged for maybe a metre in total. 

I know this sounds really judgmental, but this person just pissed me off. I don't care how slow beginners go as long as they try. All the beginners I've ran with before have been slow, sure, but they've been huffing and puffing their lungs up with the effort. They're struggling to breathe, but still apologising for not being as fast as the others. This person tonight wasn't breathing any harder than if they were walking through the supermarket and didn't appear to care. It really felt like they were just wasting my time, but even worse they had brought a friend with them, who clearly wanted to run but felt guilty about leaving her friend behind, so they were holding their friend back too.

Sorry if I seem like a horrible person for writing this, but It just pissed me off that I could have been trying to support someone who actually wanted to be there and instead was stuck with someone who actively wanted to avoid running.

Ran the half mile home as fast as I could, I was so frustrated. Clocked a 8:49/mi speed. That was the only good to come out of tonight as far as I could tell.

In other news, I'm now signed up for the Bridlington Easter 5 Mile Dash and the Leeds Half Marathon as well as the Wakefield Marathon. Yay!!!

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Janathon day 15 - Uh oh!!!

On the plus side, I did run today. On the minus side, it was only for a mile. My calves felt really tight and I could feel it pulling at my Achilles tendon, so I thought that it was better to stop and live to run another day, rather than risk pushing it and hurting myself, especially given my recent shin soreness.

Another plus is that my run today was only 11 minutes long. Maybe I should reconsider this marathon running business and concentrate on trying to run really fast miles instead. It's gotta be a lot easier to motivate yourself to run for  10 minutes rather than 4-5 hours at a time.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Janathons 13 & 14 - In all honesty

Janathon day 13 was the walk to work and back (approx. 15 minutes each way). The reason for this uninspiring entry on my janathon record is, in all honesty, because I couldn't be arsed to go for a run. In fairness, it is not just laziness that is causing my reluctance to run. My knees and shins have been feeling a bit sore and overused recently. I'm blaming the pounding they got during my speed sessions.

Janathon day 14 was a 3.29 mile run tonight. I figured I'd better go for an actual run, what with this being a running blog and everything. I'm also involved in an event called Jantastic, which is another running challenge. This months target I've set at 4 runs per week. I should've set it at 3. Then if I only did 3 then I wouldn't look so lazy. But me being me, I went for broke and picked 4. I don't think I've ever ran 4 times a week. Certainly not for a couple of years anyway.

However I didn't thoroughly read the rules of the challenge before signing up. It is a 3 month challenge. In January you only have the number of runs as a target, which would be 4 in my case. However, in February you then have to set another target for how many miles your longest run will be each week (note to self, pick something easy like 10 miles), in addition to the target for number of runs. Then in March, you have to predict your finish time for a given distance and points are taken away for being too fast or too slow. Balls. Let this be a lesson to you all in always reading the small print. Oh well, I suppose it's a really good foundation for my marathon training. Did I mention I was doing another one in June? A really hilly one? When will I learn......?

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Janathon 10, 11 &12 - Erm oops.

Hmm there appears to be a bit of a blip in my good intentions. On Friday the only exercise I got was walking to work and back, and walking to Asda to get the ingredients for my boyfriends romantic birthday meal.

 On Saturday, I slept right through until 4.30pm, and did no exercise that day as I felt too disorientated to contemplate doing anything but watching films on TV. Unless you count the stairs I came down to get to the TV - it's a very loose definition of exercise admittedly.

I must've needed the sleep though, because I never sleep for that long normally, and to be honest I've kinda been feeling like my life has been nothing but work, run, sleep and trying to fit food in somewhere if possible since we started back at work. Maybe I need to shorten my midweek runs so I'm not getting so tired.

However, I was back on form today with an 8.5 miler with some people from SRC. Feel bloody freezing afterwards though. I could do with a niiiiice hot bath to soothe away my hypothermia.