Feeling the Fitness (and getting lost in my home town)

I have managed three runs this week. One after work, one during lunch (a 5k in just 7 seconds over 30minutes) and today was my weekend long run. And I smashed it! So I must be getting fitter because 5 weeks ago I never could have run 6.6k (I only stopped running to walk up a little hill that I forgot was coming). So clearly all this running is actually having an effect on my fitness and now I can feel it. And even though I stopped when the app said to, I probably could have kept going.

I did a big loop around the town and found a great path round a new build estate that I think I will make a regular route. Only problem was that when the run ended (I did a guided 42 min run from the Nike Run Club app) I wasn’t entirely sure how to get home. So I ended up walking a long cool down route, but I did discover a whole new side of the town I have lived in for 4years. I can’t wait to go out again and find more hidden parts of the town.

Have you discovered anything on a run?

Before and After Pics

So normal people take a picture of themselves when they begin a fitness push with the aim of taking an after pic to see and celebrate how far they have come.

I’m taking before and after pics of new shoes!

My old running shoes had just reached the end of their life. And as this current running effort seems to be sticking I thought a good pair of shoes is a must, to help prevent injuries. I went to Alexandra Sports and they fitted me up with a new pair. If all goes to plan these are the shoes that will get me on my way to the half. But I will probably need a new pair before the event (see how optimistic I am about my mileage). Once these snazzy things have done their time I will take an after pic.

I’ve already been for a run with them, just a 3k. And they were comfy but I could feel the difference they were having.

If anyone read this much about someone’s random shoes, then thanks! Leave a comment so I can say hi? Are runners obsessed with running shoes? I think I’m about to be. Wishing I could afford a proper trail set. After the half maybe.

Hell YEAH! A great long run today.

Sundays are going to be my long run days and I had a few things to do today so I went first thing in the morning (well second, as I had a coffee of course). And it was awesome, I kept my pace slow so that I could run non stop (which I did!) and I very quickly got into my stride. I saw no one else until the very end and the Sun shone and I got damp shins from the dew. It was glorious.

Although I maybe getting ahead of myself, I’m trying to find some mantras to recite to myself when the distances really rack up. One that came up on the Nike Coach Run today was “Run with the Run”. I quite like that so will use for a while .

This was one of those runs where it all just worked! Looking forward to my next long one.

Committed

So I have signed up for the Bath Half Marathon 2020!! Now I have a commitment which makes it easier for me to keep going. I signed up when I got back from work and then went for a 5k. It wasn’t a great run, but knowing that I have to build up my miles kept me going.

Where I live there is a cat that often sits on a bridge over the canal where I run. I call her Bridge Cat. Today she was there as I finished and I gave her head skritches as my reward! I’ll have to take a picture of her next time I get chance, she is a local celebrity!

Ouch, don’t wear a hat running in the country!

I run with a hat because I like to be able to isolate myself and a hat helps. But it turns out that it isolates too much. On my 5k out and back, I avoided a low hanging tree branch on the out, but on the back I was so focused on keeping going and avoiding the stinging nettles that I didn’t see the branch because the visor of my hat hid it from me. Wham! Knocked my hat off. Luckily its was a small branch but enough to give me a bit of a bump.

So my grand piece of advice, now that I am a wiser runner, is don’t wear a hat. Or, you know, look up a bit more frequently!

30:39min 5km

Intervals – First Impression

I’ve been aware of interval training for a while. But it seemed too hard, unnecessary and more importantly what if it doesn’t count towards me reaching the next level on the Nike app!!

But a friend mentioned that it really does make a difference to your running, so today I tried it.

I didn’t love it. But I didn’t hate it. It actually felt good to really run fast and strong at a pace I could do knowing that I’m allowed to stop after a minute. So I guess it was a chance for my body to practice running at that strength.

I will do it again. I wait to see whether interval training makes a big impact on a beginner like me.

5k!

Just did 5k non stop. Honestly wasn’t expecting to get here so soon. Either I’ve under estimated myself or I’m gonna pay for it over the next couple of days.

I learnt that although I don’t like running after eating dinner (I even waited an hour after eating an omelette). I can do it! But I’d rather run before I eat.

Had a slight panic on this run as just at the 2k mark I came across some race marshals and I thought I was about to be swept into an unexpected 10k race or be battling the wrong way through a crowd of super keen speedy runners. As it was, it was a cycling time trial. Phew!

So now I can set my first time goal. I did that 5k in 31min 12 sec. so my first challenge to myself is to 5k in less than 30min.

What challenge have you set yourself today?

What an appetising picture!

What is it like to run?

If you are not a runner, but you are reading this, then maybe you are thinking of becoming a runner, so here is what it is like to run. 

You get your gear on. This is the hardest part. Once you (ladies) have struggled putting on a sports bra the worst is over and now you may as well go for a run anyway!

Changing from walking to running – this is a mental effort, I have to take a deep breath and sort of do a springy hop/skip type movement that I like to think tricks my body into moving differently.

The first bit – I lied earlier this bit is worse than putting on the sports bra (but not as bad as taking it off at the end). This bit just never feels good, it takes me about 1k to get into a rhythm, to get my breathing right and when you first start out you will not run this far non stop, maybe you only run 15m before walking. Either way, this bit sucks.

The Zone – If you can get past the first bit you can get into the zone. This is the bit where it’s almost as hard to keep going as to stop, your legs, lungs and arms are in sync and just doing their thing, your brain just has to watch out for stones and people walking their dogs.

The end –  you can see it, feel it, smell it. Sometimes I just struggle on to the end checking my watch every 10 seconds to see how much closer I am to being allowed to stop. Sometimes, on really good days, I up the pace, stretch the legs, it feels good! I am a runner, all those people walking don’t know what they are missing out on!

Stopping – this is easy to do or hard, at the moment its is quite easy, but again you have to get your body to change its set up, the arms may end up on hips, or on your head and you slowly walk, taking big breaths and sweating profusely!

Running is not glamorous but it can feel so good!

22:30 min 3.54km

Starting at Zero

So, this is supposed to be a blog where I document the experience of running zero kilometres to completing a half marathon.  It might end up being somewhere I use to motivate myself or commiserate with myself. We shall see.

Full disclosure, today I wasn’t really starting from zero. Zero was two weeks ago. I decided to start running (again) and set up a begin running program in the Nike Running Club app. Then I got a cold, and it has stopped. So today was a restart.

Instead of carrying on with the programme I did a 20 minute “First Run” guided run from the Nike Run Club collection. First time I had done one of those and I highly recommend it. I also wore my new running leggings and maybe that was why the run felt so good.

20 min 3.11kIMG_6343