Sunday, 31 May 2009

25 mile month

Distance: 8.1 miles
Time: 1h15m40s

Mile 1 - 9m48s
Mile 2 - 9m32s
Mile 3 - 9m58s
Mile 4 - 9m47s
Mile 5 - 9m10s
Mile 6 - 9m00s
Mile 7 - 8m42s
Mile 8 - 8m41s
0.10m - 0m58s

At long last I'm back into the habit I want to be. Running a few times a week, with a long run on Sunday. Given that it was hot again today, I decided to leave today's long run until the evening, when it would be cooler. Whenever possible now - I want to run on a Sunday the 8 mile circuit from my house, it's the shortest loop that's easy to run, yet gives me a more interesting run out than simple laps of the village. Sometimes I'll run further, but hope to not often run at least this distance each week.

I set off at an easy pace, not wanting to burn myself out in 7 miles like I did a couple of weeks ago. It's also been a tiring week. The gym session on Thursday took more out of me than I thought it did at the time, but things will get better soon when I'm back to exercising at least five times a week. There was a nice breeze, so even though it was still quite warm, it wasn't too hot to run. I took the first half of the run quite steady, and then when I knew I was on the home leg, I sped up, sensing that I was getting closer to home with each stride.

It felt good to be out running in the sun, even though I knew I wasn't as fast as my last long run a couple of weeks ago. No matter. I'm not in a race. I just want to run every week, and today was a big step in the right direction. I've only managed to run 25.8 miles this month. Less than even a marathon distance. That feels a bit weird.

Thursday, 28 May 2009

Burn baby burn

Distance: 1.8km
Time: 15 mins

This evening I spent an hour in the gym. I was having my own programme set-up for me by a personal trainer. Basically I want to lose a bit of weight (I still have a bit of a spare tyre in spite of the 730 miles I've run in the last 18 months), work on my core (to aid my posture and improve my running), and generally improve my strength & fitness. Oh, and I also need a plan so that as well as a target to aim for, I have a structured approach to gym work. As long as I know what I'm doing, I have an incentive to go along twice a week and work my way through the exercises.

I started with 15 minutes on the dreaded treadmill. But hey, 15 minutes isn't bad. I've spent over 1½ hours on one before. And better than just running a flat 1½ miles or more, the PT set me off on a mixed hill programme where it ups the incline automatically. I was up to 6.0 a couple of times, so It was giving me a harder workout than just normal running. When it returned to 0.0 at the end it felt like i was running downhill.

Then a set of core fitness reps. 15 of each V-sits; Ab crunch & Russian twist.
Then 20 of each. Then as many as poss of each. I found the V-sits really hard on the 2nd go, so swapped them for a Long arm crunch instead. The Ab crunch on the fitness ball was the easiest, and the Russian twist got really hard towards the end. Apparently these do get easier after a couple of weeks! After 25 reps of each, I was feeling the burn.

Now onto the machines for some strength work. Leg press (60kg). Leg curl (30kg). Chest press (20kg). Shoulder press (15kg each arm independently). Ab rocker (30kg?) The PT wrote all my benchmark weights down, so I don't need to remember them. Lastly I tried the "Woodchopper" at 10kg, but ended up doing the reverse version (more like a golfswing) at 7.5kg to start with. I may try alternating them to work on the different bits of the same muscles. Just 12 reps on each machine, upping the reps or the weight when it gets too easy.

Right, that's all the core & strength work done. More cardio to end with. 10 minutes on the Elliptical Trainer. 5 minutes forward at level 4 and 5 minutes backwards at level 5. I think I covered something like 0.6k (again it's on my progress card, so I forget the exact distance). Next time, and every time thereafter, the idea on this exercise is to beat the distance. So each time I try a bit harder and up the pace a bit to get further than the last session.

Now I'm all tooled up with a proper workout plan, I shall be back 2-3 times a week to put the plan into action, followed by a catch up in 2 weeks' time to monitor my progress. And I should see an improvement in my running too. Hey yeah, I can run a marathon. So I can run for 4½ hours nonstop. But if I'm going to keep on running, I think I need to improve my all round fitness and keep my motivation levels up. It's harder to do without a goal at the end, but one day I will run another marathon, and I aim to be fully fit when that happens. You never know I could go for a sub 4-hour one next time...

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Another quick jog

Distance: 4.19 miles
Time: 35m45s

Mile 1 - 8m44s
Mile 2 - 8m36s
Mile 3 - 8m37s
Mile 4 - 8m14s
0.19 m - 1m32s

At last I'm getting back in the habit of going for a run. Today I was keen to get out for a 4 mile run, but kept putting it off as it was windy and rainy. Having given myself a bit of a kick up the backside for procrastinating, I managed to get out and run a brisk 4 laps of the village. This is more like it, I seem to have found a faster pace now. It'll be good to stick to this. This gives me more confidence to enter a half marathon with the aim of doing it in under 2 hours.

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Getting back to fitness

Distance: 625m
Crawl: 25 lengths

Distance: 5km
Time: 22m26s

reps: 230

I'd thought about going for a run on bank holiday Monday, but my feet were still a bit tired and aching from all the walking I did in London at the weekend (for some reason I decided it was a good idea to walk from Waterloo to Notting Hill as it was such a nice day on Sunday, rather than go underground...), so in the end yesterday I put my feet up - the only exercise I managed was to mow the back lawn (long, long overdue!)

I went to the pool at lunchtime today for the first time in a couple of weeks. I was hoping to get in a half mile (32 lengths), but soon found I was tiring. Since I've been exercising a lot less in the last four weeks since the marathon, it seems my level of fitness has dropped off a bit. No worries, I still made a good 25 length session.

Then after work I had my "start-up session" at the gym in Wantage. This was little more than an induction, and I have an appointment now on Thursday to have a training plan put together for me. This is so I can get the most out of having signed up for a year's membership, to give me some targets to aim for and a plan to stick to to give me the motivation to go regularly.

Whilst I was there I decided to get in half an hour's workout with a 5k row, followed by some machines. I set the rower to level 3 to closely mimic the resistance when really rowing, and settled into a steady 29/30 strokes per minute. For the last 200m of each 1k I sped up to 33-35 strokes per minute. After a drink of water and a short rest, I did 100 reps on the adductor and 100 on the abductor, and then 30 on the chest press to finish.

So now I'm a fully fledged gym member, I shall be swimming on a Monday, gymming on a Tuesday and again on a Thursday when I can, and perhaps even some classes - but I'll see what they suggest on Thursday. Apart from that I shall be running on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. Well - that's the plan anyway. Lets see if I stick to it!

Friday, 22 May 2009

Looking forward to tomorrow's Tweetup

Distance: 3.13m
Time: 26m39s
Mile 1 - 8m32s
Mile 2 - 8m22s
Mile 3 - 8m22s
0.13m - 1m21s

Friday evening. I haven't run for ten days! Busy all last weekend, then under the weather, then busy again... I really need to take my kit to work and get out for some lunchtime runs. Still I was determined to get my running shoes back on, and get out of the house for half an hour. It seems the less I run, the faster I want to when I get going again. I think I overdid it a little, ending up with a stitch on the third mile. So I eased off to finish.

Off to London tomorrow to have a Tweetup with fellow FLM09 Tweeple and bloggers. Not sure who's going but it should be Becki, Phil, Becca, Neil (plus mrs neil), Dan, Sir J (plus mrs Sir J), and maybe a couple of Tweeps from Justgiving. If I've missed anyone, then sorry! I'm tired (been awake since 2am), so just off to put the finishing touches to the potato salad for tomorrow's picnic and then off for a much needed early night!

Hoping to go for a long run on Monday. Perhaps...

If you're in London tomorrow, and are free then send me a Tweet and come and join us!

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Too nice to not run

Mile 1 - 7m59s
Mile 2 - 7m45s
0.32m - 2m40s

Now what? I seem to be one of a many FLM09ers suffering from PMT. Post Marathon Tension. The blues you get once the huge challenge you've been working up to for months has been and gone, and all you have left is a shiny medal and a letter in the post from Marathonfoto asking for an arm and a leg for some pictures of what has already become just a memory.

I'm thinking of joining a local running club, to give me the enthusiasm to carry on running. To keep a sense of purpose. Without a training plan I feel a bit lost. Getting out running on Sunday was great, but keeping it up, getting back to running 3 or 4 times a week is going to be harder. I was all set to dump myself in front of the TV this evening, but as I drove home the sun got to me, and I decided I had to get out and run. Even just a short one.

I was so keen when I got in, that I set off at quite a lick, making the first mile round the village in under 8 minutes. And I was so chuffed, I sped up for the second mile before slacking off a bit on the last bit back to my house.

Hey this running stuff is good. I haven't run a couple of miles that fast for a while. Hurrah for me for getting myself out of the door, even for just a short one.

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep

Mile 1 - 9m10s
Mile 2 - 8m53s
Mile 3 - 8m43s
Mile 4 - 8m47s
Mile 5 - 8m52s
Mile 6 - 8m48s
Mile 7 - 8m36s

Today saw my first run out since the London Marathon. The only exercise I've done since 26th April was a 25 length swim on the following Tuesday. I wanted a complete rest from running, as advised. I'd asked the sports therapist when I had an hour's massage to iron out the kinks in my neck and aches and stiffness in my muscles. Running 26.2 miles took its toll on me, but with her help most of the aches had gone by Wednesday. She suggested 2-3 weeks off to let my body fully recover from the 4½ hours pounding the London streets.

I've been itching to get out running since, it feels so odd to have gone from 4 runs a week for the last 9 months to nothing at all. I got half way through writing up my blog entry for the Marathon, and my laptop broke. It's with the supplier waiting to have its data transferred off before being restreamed. I hope I haven't lost everything...

So, back to today. I had a lazy morning, cooked up some brown spaghetti to have with zapped bolognese for lunch and watched the Grand Prix. At 3pm I got ready to go, and headed out of the door. I'd decided that I wanted to go for a proper run out in the countryside, rather than laps of the village, as it would give me more purpose, and I wouldn't feel like wimping out after just a few miles.

I chose the 8 mile route and set off. The birds were cheeping, and soon I was running in the middle of the road (where I could) to avoid the camber at the edge. A mile in and I realised I'd made a huge mistake. I hadn't used any bodyglide or tape to prevent chaffage. See? This is what happens when you get out of routine! There's no way I'd make it round over 5 miles without getting sore nips, and could imagine the bleeding that 8 miles would bring. There was only one solution, off with the t-shirt!

As usual, I thought I'd set off too fast. Could I keep up a 9ish minute pace for 8 miles? Well, we'll see. Will I make 8 miles? Not sure. I can always turn back, but once I'm out over 3 miles away from home I'd have to choose as before long the only way back would be to cover the full distance. I was a bit amazed to see that I'd sped up for miles 2 & 3. Yep, I can go the distance. My pace over the whole run was pretty consistent too. I was running faster than usual, as I was just so happy to be out running again.

Things went well right up until Mile 7, when I got a stitch. I eased off a little, and ran up to the village sign. Well chuffed to have made it round 7 miles in just over an hour. At this point I decided this was enough for my first run, and I'd simply walk the last mile back home through the village, to warm down. Ok 7 miles wasn't quite what I'd planned when I set out, but it was still more than the 6 miles that I'd hoped to do when I decided to run this weekend.

I'm busy next weekend, so no long run to look forward too, but I reckon I'll be heading out for some lunchtime runs now that I'm back in training. Training for what? I don't know yet. I'll find something soon so I have a new goal to aim for. A sub 2-hour half marathon in the summer I think...

Oh, and the title of this blog entry is thanks to the song going through my head. It was number 1 the week I was born. If I'd entered the world just one day later - it would have been Get It On by T.Rex

Running 13.1 miles in memory of Carl

I ran the Silverstone Half Marathon on 15th March 2009. I managed the 13.1 mile course in 2 hours and 4 minutes. Not a bad effort for my first Half Marathon! I returned in 2010 to run it in 1 hour 54 minutes, and plan to do it again in 2011. I decided to run this in aid of The PSC Trust and PSC Support in memory of my brother Carl, who died from liver failure in November 1997. If you'd like to sponsor me for this - please email me at PSC Trust
PSC Support Or visit my Justgiving page for PSC Support at PSC Support - Justgiving
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