Hills, hills, hills

Warning: this is a smug post. Having regained my running enthusiasm last weekend, and posting last Tuesday morning about getting the ‘kicked up the butt I sorely needed’, this week’s training has gone pretty darn well. I’ve been out for five runs in eight days – one a quick 2 miler last Tuesday evening, three runs that were just over 5k – one Friday morning, one Sunday morning and one last night, as well as the biggy – tonight’s 5.2 miles.

On the 5k runs I tried out a couple of new routes. Neither intended to be as long as 5k – I just had a quick look on Google maps & picked a few new roads to run down. Both routes were really enjoyable and proved to myself, three times over, that 5-6k is a pretty easily doable distance for me now without too much pain or sweat.

This week I’ve stuck ridgedly to the training plan that had largely been ignored for the past 6 weeks, which called for a 60 minute run this evening, and I only fell short by a minute. So I did the 5.2 miles just shy of an hour, which although is a lot slower than I’ll need to run to hit 10k sub an hour, is the longest distance I’ve run since my race in September last year. Insert happy face.

Now, I may have mentioned this before (no, I’ve definintely mentioned this before), but I consider where I live to be quite hilly. Maybe it’s coming from Norfolk – probably one of the flattest parts of Britain. You may not think so to look, walk or drive around, but once you start running, you realise it really is. So much so, that I decided to take a few (somewhat dodgy) pics whilst out on a couple of my runs this week. Unfortunately none of the photos can convey what my thighs were feeling at the time.

This one is a bit dark – even though the mornings are getting lighter, this was about 7.15am. This is running up Mansfield Road, away from Nottingham City Centre, down the hill and then up through Sherwood. This hill is made worse by the fact it goes straight through the little shopping area in Sherwood, so there are lots of lovely people about to watch me puff and struggle.

Now, the next two really don’t do the angle justice. It’s looking up Mapperley Hall Drive, which leads to Mapperley Top. Cleverly named as it is, a the name suggests, on the top of a hill. A really bloody big hill! One that required a quick walk/photo taking break and everything.

There you have it. Boring photos over. Conclusion: I like running and I like when I like running. I need to remember this more often.

Race Day Countdown

I am officially in countdown mode. Also known as blind panic mode. I’m running the Derby 10k in 24 days (Sunday 3rd April), and freaking out has commenced.

I went through the exact same training pattern last year – start off all enthusiastic, write up training plan, stick to 3 or 4 runs a week, make some quite quick, pleasing progress.

Then, a few weeks in, I feel like I can get away with missing a run or two. One or two turns into not running for nearly three weeks until one day, the realisation that I’m running 10k in less than a month sets in and there it is – the fear.

This fear quickly turned to guilt this weekend when I saw all the Team Bangs on the Run ladies on Twitter completing the Paris Half Marathon. They’d all trained so hard – I’m only doing 10k in the town down the road – I need to pull my finger out! Especially as I’ve told anyone who will listen that I’m hopefully going to complete it in less than an hour.

So, (I think) I’ve got the kick up the butt that I sorely needed, and this week training starts again with a vengeance. Watch this space…

I’m back!

Last night I was on a near 3 hour train journey back to Nottingham after a flying 24 hour visit home to Norfolk. I spent a good proportion of this journey (an hour and 40 minutes) on the phone to he of A Janathon Confession fame. This put me in a really good mood, and I’m not sure how but in turn this developed into some much needed motivation to go for a run.

So, kit was laid out on the radiator, alarm was set for 05:45 and when I woke up this morning, I was wide awake and actually really excited to run.

Made it out the door for just gone 6am and ran 3.8k (even added a little detour at the end to ensure I tipped over the 2 mile mark). Took 25 minutes, which evened out at slower than I thought but ran my fastest km (5:50) and fastest mile (10:03) on today’s run. These times need to become the norm in the next seven weeks in order to hit my goal of a sub one hour 10k, but I’m a super happy bunny this morning!

Whilst out running, I was thinking about the post I’d read on Bangs and a Bun’s blog about excuses people make to get out of going running. I think at one point or another I’ve made all of the excuses listed (bar the one about kids!) I’m never going to be someone that can keep up their training plan without fail every single week. Before this morning, I hadn’t run for 10 days. I go through waves of motivation, which you’ll be able to tell from all my previous posts. But Bangs’ post did make me think I need to stop being so pathetic and just get out there. A recommended read for anyone like me that’s trying hard to get into running, but just needs a bit of a nudge sometimes.

The Twenty-Fourth and Twenty-Fifth Days

Just a really quick one again today – having such a mega, mega busy week. These are just gonna keep on coming over the next few weeks! So much going on that I can’t wait for the weekend to come and I can have a bit of a breather.

Haven’t been able to get out for a run over the last couple of days, so instead downloaded the Nike Training app. After a slight battle with my iPhone, and some clearing out of the music on there, I had enough room to actually download the app – it appears in takes up a lot of memory.

Tried a couple of the quick 15 minute focused workouts yesterday and today – Butt Buster and Ab Burner. Thought they’d be a nice opportunity to lay on the floor and wave my legs in the air a bit, but the Butt one in particular was not the easy ride I had hoped for. I’m sure my neighbours particularly appreciated the jumping around.

Did feel a bit stupid doing some of the exercises in my tiny bedroom, especially with my makeshift medicine ball – a large jar of jalfrazi cooking sauce!

Was a really quick dabble with the app to be honest, will definitely give some of the longer, more comprehensive workouts a go and see how I get on with them.


The Twenty-First, Twenty-Second and Twenty-Third Days

A triple-header of a blog today, as again I fell off the Janathon wagon.

Firday 21st – Still suffering slightly from the flu-like symptoms that had ruined The Twentieth Day, it was a Domino’s and sofa evening and an early night as I tried to feel better in time for the next day…

Saturday 22nd – After a good eight hours sleep (for the first time in ages) I felt loads better on the Saturday morning, and boosted by another round of cold & flu capsules and ibuprofen I caught the 9am train from Nottingham to London. Living in such a small city, where it literally takes less than 15 minutes to walk from one side of the city centre to the other, I always find that going to London I cover loads more ground than I’m used to, so went in my Converse’s ready to hit the tourist trail.

When I got into St. Pancras, the Victoria line was down, so decided to walk to Euston to meet my friend Charlie. We then got the bus over to Oxford Street to meet our other friend, Naz. There was some pacing up the street, followed by a lot of mooching around Selfridges, and a long time stood around the Mac counter (damn it being the end of the month!) before heading back on the tube and over to Liverpool Street. We wandered around the shops at Spitalfields, before setting up camp in The Luxe.

It started off with a mug of tea and bowl of chips, before we began to make a small dent in the cocktail menu. Three and a half hours later, I was pretty tipsy and wishing I could stay in London to continue the fun. Instead, I had to get back on the tube to St. Pancras and I caught the train home.

I didn’t end up walking around as much as I thought I would, but getting up at 7am and not returning until nearly 11pm, I didn’t have much choice but to count the small amount of walking that did occur (in between drinking) as the day’s Janthon effort.

Another night of eight hours sleep (yipee!) and onto the next day…

Sunday 23rd – I usually go for a run before I’ve eaten anything, but this morning I woke up starving, so after enjoying poach eggs and mushrooms on toast courtesy of the housemate, I had a bit of a slouch on the sofa before finally heading out at 2.30pm. It was a thoroughly average run today – REALLY windy and I felt pretty downbeat that it wasn’t a lot easier.

The Twenty-Third Day Stats:

  • Exercise: running
  • Distance: 2.84km
  • Time: 21:13
  • Pace: 7:28/km

I’m still getting really annoyed at how hilly all my runs are! I vow now that next weekend I’ll drive somewhere else and go for a longer run somewhere a bit flatter.

On the plus side, I’ve had a text and a Facebook message this afternoon from two of my colleagues that are part of (the yet to meet) Monday Running Club, who said they’re definitely up for running tomorrow. Hurrah! The route we’ve come up with is flat but quite long. I’m interested to see what I’m like running with other people, as I haven’t done so yet as part of Janathon.

It’s 10 weeks today until our Derby 10k race. I found a 10 week 10k training plan on the internet, which I’m going to try and stick to. I feel glad that I can already run the time/distance required for the first couple of weeks of the plan, and I’m hoping that following it will help me actually make some progress. Going out on my own means that I haven’t really pushed myself. Now we’re over three weeks in and I’ve only done one run that was longer than I could comfortably manage on the 1st January anyway.

Only eight days left of Janathon, but it’s only the start of some proper training for the 10k.