The thing with consistency is that, well, you have to be consistent. I like the idea of consistency generally. Consistency is sensible and safe and likely to see success in whatever it is you are being consistent about. The problem is, I’m rubbish at consistency. I don’t consistently blog, I don’t consistently file my emails or anything at all, I don’t consistently eat well, I don’t consistently exercise and I most certainly don’t consistently run. It’s been a month since my last running blog post and oh goodness has it been a fun sort of running month. Let’s see.
Just after my last blog post we went away to the Northumberland coast for a few days and I nearly threw in the towel completely. I didn’t seem to be able to run, I couldn’t do it, it stressed me out and I just felt crap about it all. Instead of a gorgeous 6 mile happy plod along the beach, I had a couple of barely a mile, tears, snot and general tantrum sort of events. I was quite ready to never really run again.
Once home, I got myself together again and decided that actually, yes, I do want to run. I managed 3 miles and then a couple of days after I managed 5k non-stop. Then we went to Bolton Abbey and I did the little loop while Kath went on to the next bridge. It was good to do it and I didn’t walk that much but neither of us were really feeling that one. Then we had a go at some speed work which I bizarrely sort of enjoyed – it was a sort of fun fartlek for beginners where you simply count strides and do the same amount fast and to recover going up in increments of 10 (starting from 10). I made it to 80.
Then we hit June and I did a couple of short runs including one in the gym on the treadmill which was horrendous but, accidentally, very fast. I thought the treadmill was set to km rather than miles – reasonable assumption because that’s what it usually is – and therefore set it to run a steady 5k at 8minutes per km pace. That should have been easy but felt impossible so I quickly dropped to 10 minutes per km pace which still felt impossible so when I hit 2km I stopped, wheezing, huffing, puffing, sweating like mad and very very very very very grumpy. As the workout summary flashed across the screen I realised that the treadmill had been set to miles. I’d run 2 miles in just under 20 minutes, not 2km. Madness
Next I wanted to go out for a 5 mile little run but couldn’t do it. Head shut down and then my feet started hurting so I gave up half way and walked home. Two days later I thought I’d better have another go and I managed 5 miles non-stop running feeling pretty comfortable all the way. Then I had a gym session with lots of stretching and a bit of strength work the next day but no more running during the week until today. Today I managed 6.5 miles. I’m not sure how because it was awful, hideous, vile running.
We set off from Bolton Abbey Cavendish Pavilion and crossed over the bridge and ran towards the Abbey. I felt tired before I’d run 100 metres. I was a little worried because my tummy has been a bit uncomfortable for days – days of work travel, eating on the go and eating crap! It remained uncomfortable but more in a painful way than a ‘I’m going to wait until you’re as far away from the loo as possible and then make you really need to go’ kind of a way. I plodded, walked the hills, plodded. Bleurgh. We got to the car, had a sip of water and energy drink (more on that another time I think), nipped to the loo again and then set off again on our usual loop. I did not at all want to go, not one little bit but I just silently gritted my teeth and kept trying. We dropped into intervals of 2 minutes running and 1 minute walking and that’s how I got round. An eternity and 6.5 miles after we set off we got back to the car. The running was a whole new level of awful but at the same time it was fabulous to be out. We saw lots of ducks, blue and great tits, sparrows, chaffinches; we saw a dipper chick being fed by its parent and we ran a few metres with a sandpiper before it flew off showing us the way. A little further on we saw oystercatchers and then a heron flying across the field. On our way home we saw a further 3 herons.
When we got to the car I grabbed the water bottle and wobbled across the car park to the edge of the River Wharfe and collapsed in a sweaty mess. Kath came over and she brought me the first of the RunDisney Virtual Shorts medal for completing my run. I may not look it but I was excited and happy to get that! I earned that one. What a slog! The virtual run series is supposed to be for 5km runs really but in my head I had sort of decided that I wanted to keep them for the bigger wins in each of the months the series covers and running that route, just over 10km, is huge. We’ve attempted it a few times and I’ve never made it and I haven’t run over 5 miles since I abandoned the Half Marathon at Disneyland Anaheim in November. I got this monkey off my back and I feel better – even if the actual running was hideous.
But anyway, consistency. I have been running but not consistently enough. I seem to manage 2 back to back runs and then there’s a huge gap to the next. It’s ok in terms of maintaining that bit of fitness I have but it is not enough to build and it doesn’t make increasing the miles easy. I’m off to Mexico City for a conference on Monday, I have packed my gym stuff and I will run. I’m not sure about treadmill running but I’ll try!