ladyofastolat: (sneezing lion)
[personal profile] ladyofastolat
These two weeks took rather longer than planned, with days missed due to excess Morris dancing and illness, but we’ve got there eventually.

Week six

Run 1 (Sunday). After the much-feared 20 minute run at the end of week 5, week 6 started by returning to intervals – 5, 8, 5 minutes. I'd read online that a lot of people struggled with this week, often because they got over-confident and set off too fast. I, too, struggled very much with this run, but that because we did it just after a full day of Morris dancing, and I was shattered before I started.

I couldn't run on Tuesday, since my calf was still protesting very much about the dancing. However, it was markedly better by Wednesday, and I had to conclude that it really was nothing more than a VERY stiff muscle, and not anything more serious.

Run 2 (Thursday.) Since we would be travelling on Friday (our usual running night) and Pellinor was missing dance practice in order to pack, we went out on Thursday instead. This was two 10-minute stretches of running, and I can’t remember anything about it, except for surprise departure of our next door neighbour.

Run 3 (Sunday.) Our first off-island run, done in a park in Manchester. This was 25 minutes non-stop running. My MP3 player was out of juice, so we went (slightly inaccurately, as it turned out) by Pellinor's watch. [ profile] louisedennis kindly accompanied us as we went round at our newbie speed, and had a fancy watch that tracked our route and pace, though I can't remember what it reported. I found this run fairly challenging – not shattering, but hard enough for me not to feel up to much chat. However, I had a sore throat, which would blossom over the course of Monday into a full blown cold, so perhaps that’s the reason.

Week 7

I had to miss Tuesday’s run, due to my cold. Pellinor headed out without me, and returned looking shattered, reporting that without me to slow him down, he ran TOO FAST and, although he was soon aware that he was running TOO FAST, he somehow was incapable of working out how to slow down, so well nigh killed himself, but didn't... *pant*... give... *gasp*... up.

Run 1 (Friday). Although I'd felt pretty rubbish on Tuesday and Wednesday, my cold got rapidly better after that, and unusually for me, didn't turn into a chesty cough, so I ventured out on Friday night. This was another 25 minute run, and I found it a lot easier than the previous Sunday's, once I’d got past the first few minutes.

Run 2 (Sunday.) Another 25 minute run, this one done mid-afternoon. We both found this harder than the previous run. There was a strong head wind for part of it, but we also blamed a late night carousing with Morris men. (My carousing was remarkably restrained, but I still had the late night.) With my MP3 player dead again - I'd failed to switch it off on Friday, so it had played infinite Infinite Monkey Cage episodes to itself until it died – we used the timer on Pellinor's phone. Our attempts to avoid the head wind and the increased number of people who were out and about on the pavements in the daylight, meant that we did a slightly different route from normal, and the lack of podcast meant that we had no feedback on how many minutes had passed. (Our phones were hidden in pockets.) I found this rather stressful. Just before the run, I installed GP3 tracking on my phone, so afterwards was able to conclude that we'd somehow managed to overrun by nearly a minute, and run almost 4km at an average of 6 minutes 31 seconds per km.

Run 3 (Tuesday.) Yet another 25 minute run. I'd had the day off work and had walked 18 miles earlier, and although my legs weren't weary, my knees were grumbling slightly, so I thought I might have some problems. As it turned out, we both found the run a lot easier than Sunday's. Apparently we managed an average of 6 minutes 29 seconds per km, thus proving that although we may be slow, we are also quite consistent.

Overall, one thing I've become very aware of is the effect of very small slopes, wind direction and tiredness. Running has led me to discover small rises on roads I've walked hundreds of times without noticing that they're anything other than flat. Unless it's a howling gale on a hill, I've never noticed wind direcetion making walking harder or easier. I've also never noticed my walking endurance being affected by the amount of sleep I've had the night before. I've actually done some of my longest walks on days when I'm very sleep deprived, on the grounds that at least it will keep me awake and stop me from getting dopey and useless on the couch. With running, though, we've both found our Sunday runs generally harder than weekday ones, and these are the most likely to take place after a late night.

After the first 25 minute walk, I felt a bit dizzy as soon as I stopped. I thought this might be due to hunger, since I’m very prone to hunger-related dizziness, but it went away after a few minutes, even though I hadn’t eaten anything. Since then, I've felt briefly dizzy after every 25 minute run, even those just an hour or two after dinner. I see online that this is fairly normal, but it's a bit annoying.

I've also concluded that I find it harder when I don't know how far I've still got to run. I find it quite arduous and stressful to be running along hoping against hope that the voice to pipe up in my ear and tell me that we've done 10 minutes (or whatever.) Mind you, I would also find it stressful to be reminded every minute that I still had a long way to go. At the moment, the best thing for me is to do exactly the same route each time, since I know that I've just got to keep going until I reach that point there. It's the same with walking, really. If I think about the time or mileage, it takes forever, but if I know that I'm walking to a certain place, even one that's a very long way away, I just get on with it and the miles and hours melt away. For future runs, after we’ve finished the programme, I think I'll need to map out a carefully measured route along familiar paths, and then just forget about times and distances until I reach the known location that marks the end.

28 minute runs next week...

Date: 2017-03-01 09:59 pm (UTC)
ext_24338: (Tree Sunlight)
From: [identity profile]
Go you! (And Pellinor!) Sounds like you're doing well, despite colds and Morris dancing sessions and late nights!! :)

Date: 2017-03-02 09:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thanks! It hasn't always been easy these last few weeks, but I think we've come a long way. It's beginning to feel that we're going for "proper" runs now, and the target feels achieveable. Just a few weeks ago, I was saying "if I reach the end" and now I'm saying "when." :-)

Date: 2017-03-01 11:19 pm (UTC)
ext_189645: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
Are you still enjoying it though? It sounds rather stressful!

Date: 2017-03-02 09:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The runs themselves have become rather more about endurance than enjoyment, it's true, but I definitely enjoy having done them, and seeing the improvement in my fitness. Several people remarked on how tireless and energetic I was at dance practice last night.

I think the runs will become more enjoyable soon. Because we're following a programme, the emphasis at the moment is on the duration of the run, which I'm realising doesn't work well for me. We're also running in the dark, on the same route through dull residential streets. It will be nicer when the evenings are lighter, and when we're fit enough to run slightly longer routes through pretty scenery, focusing more on where we are, rather than on the need to run for the designated time.

Date: 2017-03-02 07:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I find it quite arduous and stressful to be running along hoping against hope that the voice to pipe up in my ear and tell me that we've done 10 minutes (or whatever.)

Once you are sure that running is a thing you want to keep doing I would recommend getting a running watch. It made a huge difference to me being able to see how far I had gone (and how fast I was going - which stops you both going too fast and going too slow). Mine can show two out of time, distance, pace and speed (which is slightly irritating since I'd like to be able to see at least three of them) but fancier watches show you more and [ profile] kargicq has one that vibrates if he's going too fast or too slow so he doesn't even have to keep glancing at his wrist to see how he's doing! If you're interested, we ran 3.74km on the run we did together at a pace of 6.48m/km which I reckon to be a good "easy" pace - i.e., the pace I normally do long runs at it. 6:31 minutes per km seems pretty respectable to me for people who aren't at the moment actually trying to up your speed. It's definitely around the speed I was running at when I started couch to 5K and a bit faster than I would adopt for any run I'd decided was supposed to be at an "easy" pace.

I definitely had the dizziness thing for quite a while after I started running. I don't get it so much now unless I've really been pushing myself so I suspect it is related to fitness at some level, though I don't know.

Date: 2017-03-04 03:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I did look briefly at running watches online, but there was a bewildering array of choices, and I decided that it was a bit early to spend that amount of money. If we keep up with running, though, I do feel it would be a good idea. I've realised that I enjoy runs more if I DON'T keep checking times and distances, but focus just on the physical route. However, if it suddenly find myself wanting to check the time or distance and not having that information instantly to hand, then it's far worse. So the best solution for me would be a watch that I choose not to check often, but is there when I want it.


ladyofastolat: (Default)

September 2017

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