Conquering the Mountain

th

Today, I achieved a milestone. I refer to it as Everest but it is in fact a very small hill. Let me explain.

My running route looks like a rectangle, with steep inclines on the shorter sides and a more gentle gradient along the long sides. This makes the initial jog easy (downhill), turn the corner, carry the momentum then… Everest. what starts as a gentle gradient becomes a small hill, and for weeks I’ve made it only halfway up before feeling like my lungs were going to collapse. But today – FANFARE – I DID IT!

I not only got over the hill, I plodded on and got all the way to the end of the long-bit-of-the-rectangle! Then I had to walk up the short rectangle bit (massive hill) but I kept up a good pace and did some lunges while I got my breath back. Then i jogged-ran-jogged across the home straight and repeated. Didn’t manage to get up the hill without stopping for a second time but once was enough. Yay me!

Interestingly, this took me a minute longer than usual. This could be because today is ridiculously hot, or because my ankle hurts from wearing supid sandals at the weekend, or (more likely) because I’m slower plodding round at a slow jog than I am jog-walk-jogging. I assume it’s better for me to keep jogging for as long as I can?

Anyway, I’m off to enjoy the sunshine 🙂

Keep on running!

Advertisements

Running Scared

dog-1134629__340

As you may know, I’ve started jogging round my local park a few times a week. As it’s nice weather, that tends to mean a fair bit of people and dog dodging as the path is quite narrow. Today, I was grabbed by a child and befrended by a German Shepherd (I literally looked down to see him padding along next to me like some kind of spirit animal). Whilst I don’t mind a minimal amount of interruption I’ve found that it does distract me and slows me down. It also makes me very aware that I’m a young woman on my own running through some secluded areas where anything could happen. I know that this sounds paranoid but I have become suspicious of anyone without an obvious ‘purpose’ to be there (running, dog walking, with children etc.) I’m not sure what I can do to protect myself or make myself less vunerable? I do go to boxing classes so could probably defend myself to a certain extent but I don’t know what I can do to prevent anything happening in the first place. Perhaps I need to borrow someone’s dog.

The other problem that I’ve encountered is focusing on pushing myself. I’ve found that if I think ‘I’ll run to that tree’ I can get there but no further – it’s like my brain holds back the exhaution until I reach my goal then heaps it on so I can’t go on. I’ve been trying to look at the concrete in front of my feet to stop this but it’s a difficult habit to break. I’m still not entirely sure what I should be doing wth my breathing either which doesn’t help. I’m just trying to keep it steady but the path I run on is quite hilly so that often doesn’t work.

In other news, I’ve started properly timing my runs and I knocked a whole two minutes off my PB so I’m pleased that I’m improving. Yay me!

Magical Thinking

image (5)

Whilst I was doing my every-other-day-run/walk I took some time to appreciate my surroundings. I’m so lucky to live in the UK and to have a beautiful park close by that I can jog round at my own pace in relative safety. Such a first world privilege.

image

Above is the dovecote (with dove!) that’s part of one of the original buildings on the site. So pretty. Theres also a walled garden which is tended to by the local residents (I need to volunteer to do that).

image (6)

However, what caught my eye today was someone’s tree decorations for the fairies. I thought these were so beautiful:

image (4)

How did they get there? They were quite high up. They obviously took a bit of skill and forethought. Who put them there? Why?

Perhaps I’ll use them as inspiration for a short story. Watch this space!

So I guess today’s run was a more of a walk but I’m ok with that. Took me 33 minutes to do 2.2 miles which is rubbish but then I did get distracted. Bit of gentle yoga tomorrow in preparation for the bank holiday weekend.

Peace and love people!

Running: week 2

running-573762__340

This week, I’ve been pleasantly surprised to find that my little jog round the park is actually over a mile long – and I’ve been doing two laps! I’ve also been trying to pick up my pace a bit and to extend the amount of time I’m jogging and reduce the walking bits in between. I’ve been advised that there’s a number of apps that can help me with this but my phone is years old and none of them will download properly so for now I’m just relying on a timer.

One of the negative things I’ve found out this week is the effect that the pollen count can have on my stamina/basic ability to breathe. I thought my hay fever was fairly mild but running seems to multiply the effects 100 times over. Eurgh! Also, I’ve had a bit of a weird week and this seems to have distracted and demotivated me a bit. I really had to focus on my breathing (or lack of) to get myself moving. No idea how I’m “meant” to be breathing, just trying to keep it steady and even.

Current plan is now to start bringing my lap times down by focusing on the run/walk ratio – and with that increase the distance that I’ve run. I’m also going to start trying to incorporate some of the steeper inclines in the park.

Wish me luck!

 

Running at a snails pace

Confession: I have started running (well, slow jogging).

I have always wanted to be one of those girls who throw on a pair of trainers and go off for a run to clear their head. I realised fairly quickly that I was not one of those girls. Instead, I am one of those girls who are extremely heavy footed, with an incredibly short stride and a breathing style akin to that of an inbred bulldog. I do not look pretty when I run.

Due to this, plus the fact that I don’t wear makeup or do my hair, I am too scared/vain to run outside my own house, so I drive to the park. This situation is not ideal. I have nowhere to put my keys (had to shove them down my sports bra) and the park itself is on a steep slope. My current plan involves running across the flat bits of the park then walking up and down the inclines. I’m finding that quite hard so I tend to slowly jog for about 1/2 of the flat bit, then walk for  few minutes, then try to run again. It takes me about half an hour to do two circuits.

Today, I ran past a woman casually strolling along the path. I thought I was doing quite well and completed a running/walking lap of the park. As I made my way back to my car I realised that the woman was right behind me – I literally run at a snails pace.

I’m trying to control my breathing and work on getting an even stride but it’s really challenging. Does anyone have any tips for a newbie runner?  Or advice on where to put keys etc.? Is it meant to be this hard? HEEEEEELP!!!!!