I have good news and bad news …

The good news is that I have finally reached the 5K mark – my last (of 3) 30 minute runs saw me just sneak past 5K:

http://www.mapmyrun.com/workout/273205936

However, the bad news is that I had started to suffer from shin pain as my runs got longer.

When I realised that my shins were not only bruised, but that I also had a strange lump on my left one, it was time not only for rest but also a visit to the osteopath.

Thankfully it turned out not to be shin splints, which is what I had feared, but something to do with the effect of impact vibration on my muscles.  After several quite painful sessions of deep tissue massage, and some ultrasound, I have been given the all clear to run again.

But.

I have had to go right back to the beginning.  So running for only a minute at a time, with a 90 second rest in between the runs – 8 in all.  And instead of one rest day between runs, I have to take two.

However, the upside of this is that it now seems really easy!  I remember those first few runs where I thought a minute would never end.  Now I can just concentrate on enjoying the run, and the scenery.

And the scenery is quite spectacular.  I’m still running in Morden Hall Park, and the difference in the park since I first started running there is amazing.  It has been lovely to run without having to layer up the clothes – and getting hot whilst running is something of an experience.

There are still lots of magpies, but today was a good day, and my first sighting was a pair, so 2 for joy!

Morden Hall Park 3; June 2013 Morden Hall Park 4; June 2013

 

Morden Hall Park – Mud, Midges and Magpies

I’m already in week 8 of my 9 week C25K plan.  I have no idea how that happened!  It seems amazing to think that only two months ago I was panicking about having to run for 5 minutes without stopping.

I have one more run left in this week, and it will be another 28 minute run.

The progress with my running has been nothing short of startling – to me at least.  And what I have discovered is that being able to run for longer times is actually as much about my head as it is about my stamina.  Once you know that you can run for ten minutes, it seems much easier to accept that you can run for fifteen.  And when you get to fifteen, twenty is obviously a doddle.  Well …

The hardest thing about continuing with the running has actually been the weather.

A year ago I would never have believed anyone who told me that I would be running.  I certainly wouldn’t have believed them if they told me I would be running in the cold, the rain and the snow!  But armed with The Hat and my latest discovery of disposable hand warmers, I have managed reasonably well.

My new trainers have certainly taken a bit of a bashing, as much of the park has been very waterlogged.  Once you’re warmed up though, there’s a strange satisfaction in running through the mud and puddles.  Keeping my inner child happy, no doubt.

On the odd occasion I have run in the sunshine, and it’s amazing the difference it makes.  But there’s a downside to everything.  When the sun comes out in the park, so do the midges.  And as I haven’t quite mastered running with my mouth shut, I don’t like to think how many of them I must have consumed.

Another phenomenon that I have had to get used to is the number of magpies that I see in the park.

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I had no idea quite how superstitious I am!  If I see one magpie, I’m immediately looking for a second one, so that I can be happy that the day will bring joy rather than sorrow.  I came round a corner yesterday and saw a full complement of seven.  No idea what the secret is going to be!

Anyway, this was yesterday’s run:

http://www.mapmyrun.com/routes/view/188066290

According to the app, I ran almost 5K in my 28 minutes.  I’m not entirely sure it was that far, but I’m not going to argue.

One more 28 minute run, and then next week I move on to three 30 minute runs, which should take me to the 5K mark, there or thereabouts.

Who would ever have thought it?!

 

 

Today was my first long run

I have just completed Week 5.  This week saw the running really ramped up.  Unlike other weeks, where the runs are the same each time, Week 5 had three different runs.  The first was 3 x five minute runs, with a 3 minute walk in between.  The second was 2 x eight minute runs, with a 5 minute walk in between.  And today was just one long run – of twenty minutes.

I had read ahead and knew that it was coming, and I was rather apprehensive of it.

The first five minutes were OK, but in the second five minutes I started to wonder if I was going to be able to do it all – but then I seemed to get into more of a rhythm and managed reasonably well.  This is my route (hopefully this link will work):

http://www.mapmyrun.com/routes/view/179916544

Turns out that I’ve run 3K today!  Suddenly 5K doesn’t really seem that unattainable any more.  And I really never thought I would say that.

Next week, from tomorrow, the diet re-starts.  I have been somewhat distracted recently, with both my sons celebrating significant birthdays (21 and 18 – no idea how that happened – they were babies 5 minutes ago), and my food and alcohol consumption has not been brilliant!  It certainly hasn’t been low carb, which is what I’m supposed to be doing.

So tomorrow sees a return to the scales, and a couple of really strict food days.  I’m going to start monitoring my blood pressure too – as this was a little high last time I was at the GP.

Running and magpies

Today was the last run of week 3.  4 runs altogether, 2 x 90 seconds and 2 x three minutes.  Three minutes does seem an awfully long time when you’re in the middle of them!

Whilst running in the park, I spotted several magpies and it got me thinking about the ITV show of the same name:

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mWqXZEngVc8

Watching Magpie was a bit of a rebellion for any middle class child – it was definitely not as wholesome as Blue Peter!  

I saw several mapgies during my run, but they were all on their own.  I wondered how long the gap between seeing two single birds had to be, before it would count as either “one for sorrow” or “two for joy”?  

Anyway.

It was really cold today, and snowing when I set off.  I’m amazed I even went out to be honest as I do not like the cold  <whiney voice>  I put on even more clothes this time, and it was just about OK, although my hands were still freezing.  I can’t say that I found the three minute runs getting any easier than when I started week 3, so I’m not especially looking forward to week 4, which starts with a three minute run which is then followed by running for five minutes.  

I’m going to make a playlist of songs that last for five minutes, so that I can focus on the music and stop thinking about how long I’m running for.

But my knees aren’t as achey as they were a couple of days ago, so I suppose that is progress of a sort.

Week 3, Run 2 – done

I was not keen to go running today.  My knees have been hurting a bit and, more importantly, it was really cold and grey!

But I have The Hat!

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Even though I look ridiculous in it, I have been very grateful for the warmth it affords me.

Running for 3 minutes does also have the advantage of warming me up, so although it was cold when I first set off, by the time I was half way through the run, I wasn’t really feeling it.

I actually found myself thinking that it was over and done with very quickly today, so I suppose that bodes well – especially as next week sees the length of the longer runs increased to 5 minutes. 

I’ve been looking ahead at what is to come:

http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/c25k/Pages/couch-to-5k-plan.aspx

… and not sure that was really a good idea!  Things seem to really ramp up from next week onwards.

My main concern at the moment is my knees.  I’m not sure if it’s just that I’m unused to running, and that they need to get stronger, or if there’s more of an issue that I will need to get sorted.  I’ve started to take a supplement, Regenovex, which is designed for joint health.  It contains Marine Bionovex Oil and Hyaluronic Acid, and is supposed to help with synovial fluid and cartilage.

Fingers crossed that this is just a short term problem.

Welcome to Week 3

I should have done this run yesterday, but we went out to lunch, and roast beef with all the trimmings and half a bottle of red wine saw me firmly ensconced on the sofa for the rest of the afternoon!

I was a bit apprehensive this morning, as the run would involve running for 3 minutes, which is double the length of the runs last week.

So Week 3, Day 1 was a 1.5 minute run, followed by a 1.5 minute walk, then a 3 minute run followed by a 3 minute walk.  This then repeated, so overall the running today was 9 minutes.

Actually it was fine.  

I enjoyed being outside today.  It was cold – 3 degrees according to the thermometer in the car – but the sun was shining and it was really quite warm in the sunshine.  So I was running not only in The Hat but also wearing Cool Dude sunglasses.  (Cool only in my head, you understand.)

And I was running to Duran Duran today, which was fab.

I’m not sure what other users of the park thought, hearing me screeching my way around the park, but I enjoyed it!

Her name is Rio and she dances on the sand …

Week 2/Day 3

We went out for dinner last night, it being Valentine’s Day and all that.  So this morning I was a leeeetle bit fragile.  Before I knew where I was, it was already 11.00 am, and there was no time for running, as I had a Ladies Wot Lunch lunch to go to.  

I had it in my mind that I wouldn’t run today, and that I would go tomorrow instead.  But somehow, I realised that I actually wanted to go for a run so, a suitable time after lunch, I set off.  

What a different kind of day it was today!  The thermometer in the car was showing 10 degrees so I threw caution to the wind and ran without my hat.  Ditching the gloves was a different matter.  I hate having cold hands, and I suffer a little from Raynaud’s disease, so it’s always a good idea to try and keep them warm.

I enjoyed running round the park today, especially as there are so many signs of Spring now.  But I found the run harder than I had expected.  The voice-over on the C25K app tells me when there is 15 seconds left of the run, and those 15 seconds seemed to go on forever today!

My knees were a bit sore when I finished, which I’m sort of worried about.  But I’m not as stiff or as achey as I have been after previous runs, so hopefully all is well.

Anyway, that’s week 2 over and done with.  I start week 3 on Sunday when apparently I will run for 1.5 minutes followed by a 1.5 minute walk, then run for 3 minutes followed by a 3 minute walk – and then repeat that.  The jump to running for 3 minutes seems a massive one!

Wish me luck …

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