I have been struggling with running lately. Maybe I’ve been struggling with running since the London Marathon, or even since Dopey. I’m not sure. I have had very few good runs – you know those where even the hard bits feel like they’re ok and you’ll get through them. Instead every step of every run recently has felt HARD. Even the Disneyland Paris 5k (I will blog about those races when we finally get our race photos!) which I really did enjoy and which was a lot of fun was HARD. I haven’t found that easy running rhythm for months. I’ve got slower, too.
I signed up to the Too Fat to Run Scream if you want to go faster programme – which is just as well because I need something to get me out the door at the moment. I know I have the next half marathon coming up really quite soon but to be honest I don’t want to think about it too much, I’ll freak out. So the Scream thingy – it requires a commitment of 3 runs a week and it required the running of a baseline 5k in the week ending today. Instructions for next week will arrive tomorrow. Hm. At the moment I’d be happy with just ‘going’; ‘going faster’ seems so very unlikely. I’ve told you about the first disastrous run post half marathon in the last post… I actually just wanted to pack it all in but of course I need some perspective – ideally not mine. I had run a half marathon just 2 days before; it was the first week of teaching, I repeat, the first week of teaching – it’s a wonder I was functioning sufficiently to put trainers on and really lots has been going on on planet Jess recently… As several people pointed out, I should really give myself a break. I did – until Friday.
So Friday was run 2 of week 1. It wasn’t straightforward. I was at work. I teach from 9-11 and from 3-5. It would be late by the time I got home and the chances of me finding excuses were through the roof – so we agreed we’d run separately. Me in the gym at work and Kath at home. Me-in-the-gym-at-work. What?! You mean like the sort of gym where other people go? Where gym bunnies live? Hm. I packed my bag and when I got to work thought about this some more. Me, in the gym? I thought I’d go a lunchtime and then realised that this would be a pretty popular time slot. Popular with people. So I took my stuff the the class I teach and then headed straight for the gym after the class. As it was the intro session I’d finished a little early and was in the gym (only 2 others there – yay), changed and ready to go at 10.58. I jumped on a bike for a couple of minutes just to warm up a little and then I found a treadmill that was as far away from anyone else using a treadmill as possible.
After a little bit of faffing with settings etc I found a rhythm. It was too hard going and I was really conscious of sweat pouring off me but I just kept plodding, I had to slow a bit and then a bit more but I never walked. I just kept watching the ‘kids’ outside the university building I could see out of the window. After what seemed like forever I got to 5k and stopped. 40.21. It felt like I’d run much faster but I hadn’t. The gym had also filled up rather alarmingly. I hadn’t noticed. I think if it had been that full when I arrived I would have run away! Anyway, run 2 was a hot and sweaty ploddy affair but I got it done and set a treadmill baseline in the process.
Run 3 week 1 – today. We needed to do a longer run today to keep the half marathon training going but we were also conscious of how tired we’ve been. So we planned to run the roughly 4 miles from our house to my friend’s house to feed her cats, have a little break there and then run back to the bottom of our hill taking us to around 7 miles. I thought I could also use the way there to set an outside running 5k baseline. Well it was another of those HARD runs. The first mile is almost all down hill and we set off quite speedy for us and clocked an 11minute mile. We should have set off slower! Anyway we got ourselves to 5k in what we think was 38.05 – that’s what the Garmin said at the time although the data on strava now shows it was 37.29. So as the aim is to go faster I will take the quicker baseline and work on beating that. We did have a couple of walk breaks. The way back was really tough and we walked a fair bit but still, done.
Walking up the hill to get home was horrible. My lower back kept sort of cramping but everything has settled down now I’ve had a bath and some food. More yoga as we go through the rest of the afternoon and evening and I think it’ll be fine. So here are my Scream if you want to go faster stats (I’ve rounded a bit!):
Outside baseline: 37.29 Outside target: 35 minutes
Treadmill baseline: 40.21 Treadmill target: 38 minutes