Category Archives: Running

EYES ON STALKS / PUSHING THE ENVELOPE

(a post from just before Christmas…which I meant to publish last week but pressed the wrong buttons)

I ran officially for 3 minutes without stopping… and then to make sure I ran for 3 minutes more some 6 minutes later…

Then later that day I took a train into Birmingham for our works Christmas Dinner. Unfortunately the usual confusion over how much each person needed to put in to settle the bill meant that myself and a colleague just, by a matter of a few seconds missed the train back to the office in Solihull where my car was parked… the guard saw us standing by the train door pushing the open button and refused to open the doors… despite the fact that the train then didn’t depart for another minute… not very Christmas spirited…so we had to stand on the platform and wave bye bye to our colleagues who had run that little bit quicker than us and had made it on to the train

The next train didn’t leave for another 40 minutes and wasn’t much use to my colleague as she was travelling on to Banbury and this one finished at Leamington Spa.  I suggested we caught that one anyway as I would be heading down towards Banbury and it would only be another 15 minute drive.

On reaching the office we discovered that neither my card nor hers would activate the car park barrier so it was fortunate that a concerned colleague who wanted to make sure we got back safely had stayed behind and seemed to have an “access all areas pass”…

An hour and thirty minutes later I finally crawled into bed at 12.25am in the morning…

This morning I forced myself to do the core and barre as I have been a bit lax this week but my heart wasn’t in it… I needed to be back in bed…

Fortunately my team leader shared this view and said if there was nothing urgent I could go home at 3pm… so I ditched the planned lunchtime run, tied up the urgent stuff and headed home…

The truth is I only came into work because my trainers were here…

I think I may be pushing things a bit much…some people claim they exercise as a release from the stress of the day… perhaps it will someday work for me…work is a bit stressful at the moment, I probably came back from my chest infection a bit too soon because I was worried about things I hadn’t done and getting behind… not exercising also causes me stress because I am worried about not keeping on target.

I have to remind myself that it is mostly the journey… the aiming and trying and that even if I don’t quite make it the fact that I tried better and perhaps improved on what went before is sufficient

Note to self: Don’t beat yourself up quite so much when you can’t because you don’t feel up to it, Do beat yourself up if you don’t do it because you can’t be bothered !

Week  5 Day 3

I haven’t written much about the C25k as to be honest one session has been much like another involving much procrastination and self negotiation to get me to put my trainers on and get out the door.

Each time I complete a session I am elated that I manage to run for that number of minutes followed by a day or 2 of despair as I contemplate the next session and wondering how I am going to run for even that miniscule extra amount of time…

Yes, the increases do seem small to someone who is not trying to go from a standstill to running in 9 weeks but believe me each extra minute seem an impossible task when you are in the process of trying to achieve.

An example of the difference of perception both a seasoned runner and a non runner can have compared to a learner is the conversation I had with 2 colleagues who run. They don’t run at work because they find the terrain around the office flat dull and boring “What do you mean flat?” I exclaimed “I can tell you exactly where each incline starts and finishes and how steep it is!”

Week 5 Day 3 however is in a different league of increase. Whereas most days you get a couple of extra minutes W5D3 goes from a longest run of 8 minutes straight up to 20… it is, according to the internet where most people falter.

I expected to be amongst the fallen. At the start of Week 5 I seriously expected that I would still be trying to complete W5D3 well into the New Year and as a result kept putting the first attempt off.  I was meant to make the attempt on Christmas Day. Well. I knew that wasn’t going to happen so decided to run after we were kicked out of work on Christmas Eve…however I managed to find other urgent things that needed to be done… like wrapping. Christmas Day I contemplated my trainers… for about 30 seconds. Boxing Day  I woke up early, stared very hard at my trainers but decided that there was far too much preparation needed for dinner  (This was 7.30am, dinner was at 2pm…)

It was not until latish on the Sunday morning that myself and Mrs 54 managed to guilt each other out of the house and down the road as part of a dog walk. Both agreed we would just give it our best shot and that there was no shame in failure… and maybe to improve our chances we would walk for longer than 5 minutes so that we didn’t set off on the hill…

And you know what, despite the rain, we kept going…and even, due to a glitch in the App, ran for 25 minutes… so next week should be a breeze.

You cannot believe the sense of euphoria that enveloped us. We kept stopping and grinning at each other not being able to believe that we had managed it on the very first attempt… albeit an attempt that was probably slower than if we had been going at our normal dog walking speed…

Of course after that we started googling races under the delusion that we were now runners and basically the next stop was the London Marathon.

Didn’t last for long though as Week 6 Day 1 then kicked my sorry bottom because despite the longest session being only 8 minutes it wore me out… I also used Strava to time the run and measure distance. Boy was that an eye opener (Yes, if I had walked the whole 2.7 miles it would have been quicker than the run/walk!)

Week 1 Day 1 (C25K)

According to the progress wall on the App I made my first run on Sunday 15th November…

I was guilted into it as my neighbour Mrs 54 ran passed the back of the house whilst I was cleaning the kitchen and then stopped at the back door for a chat…

She had just been on her first run  “I texted you to see if you wanted to come but you didn’t reply”

“No, sorry, I’d already started cleaning the kitchen. I was planning to go later…”

Unfortunately this was said in front of witnesses and the Man chucked me out of the house at about 3.30pm saying “if you don’t do it now you will miss the light, it’ll be dark just after 4pm”

Good tactics on his part to be honest. He knows that I love walking down our lane at that time of day as the sky goes crepuscular. I get a wonderful surge of “hiraeth” (which is a welsh word with no English equivalent related to a feeling of home and belonging)… only really works though in the winter when the fields are bare, there’s a slight chill in the air and when I stand on top of the hill looking back towards the village I can see the welcoming twinkle of lights and I know that within 10 minutes I can be back inside being hugged by the warmth of our house…

So I set off… with the phone pressed to my ear as I didn’t want to use headphones in case of traffic (there are no pavements, it’s a countryroad) and I didn’t know where the volume control was on my phone (the Boy, in a stereotypical children are better at technology than adults way, showed me where it was a couple of weeks later).

Walking briskly as I didn’t want to start running whilst on an uphill stretch (because that would send me straight back home) I headed out of the village…and then… I ran…

Imagine the sound of a hundred hippos galloping across concrete and you get the idea but. I. Actually. Ran…

And then collapsed on the sofa… but not until over half an hour later.