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...
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September 2017

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