Bank Holiday Weekend Running

We’ve done a fair bit of running over the bank holiday weekend. We did 4.25 miles on Saturday and 30 minutes on Sunday and for good measure another 30 minutes this morning. As I mentioned a few days ago I struggled on the last 30 minute run before the weekend.I was therefore absolutely dreading the 4.25 miles. I had lined up every excuse I could think of but then decided that it was just as well to get it over with. It won’t do to be scared of 4.25 miles when I’ll have to do a marathon in 7 month’s time.

We are still running on the flat along the canal rather than risking setting my calf off with hills. So, with the watch set for 30 repetitions of intervals of our 90 second running/30 seconds walking we set off. I hated it. Kath tells me there was lots to see. Lots of ducklings, a few goslings and a heron. I didn’t really take any of them in. I just wheezed my way along. We turned round at 2.12 miles and turning round and heading back gave me a bit of a boost. I think my posture improved and I felt like I just might be able to make it. More wheezing along. With a mile to go my lower legs felt really tight, tight but not painful or twingy – so onwards. We started a running interval again just as we hit the 4 mile mark and I felt ok, in fact I felt pretty strong so I decided that we should try and run to the end – the end I knew would be pretty much bang on at the next bridge. Complete focus on the bridge pulled me towards the end and then suddenly we were there, done. 4.25 miles. Just over 56 minutes with an average pace of 13.13minute per mile.

We had decided to see how our legs felt before making a decision on a Sunday run. When I first got up my legs felt a little weary and we wanted to go out anyway so we thought we’d see how we felt later. We went late afternoon, 30 minutes along the canal in the opposite direction to Saturday. It felt awful. It felt worse than the run I complained about last week. It wasn’t so much my legs, I was struggling for air and it just felt like such as huge huge effort. After turning round at 15.5 minutes I was hoping for that boost. It didn’t come. I was just about  to give up when I heard a lamb at the farm to our right bleat really loudly. It made me jump and laugh and suddenly stopping wasn’t an option anymore. In fact, we missed the last walk and just ran the last 4 minutes straight off. Our pace was close to pre-injury best. 2.35 miles, pace of 12.47. I should have been thrilled, I was just shattered.

Monday – as we continue the madness, we have stepped up the running time.  We’re still following the principles set out by Jeff Galloway  as part of the RunDisney training but we are adjusting the intervals/run/walk ratios as we feel comfortable. We will now do 12 repetitions of 2 minutes running and 30 seconds walking for our 30 minute runs and however many repetition it takes for us to cover the required distance on the distance runs. This morning’s run was a funny one. We went out slowly and really, running for 2 minutes didn’t feel much worse or longer than running for 90 seconds and 30 seconds walking is fine. I didn’t hate the running, I remember ducklings, but it felt like really really hard work. We plodded our way to 2.27 miles with a slow pace of 13.13 minutes per mile but I now know what that run/walk ratio feels like and I’m ok with that.

As a little reminder why I am putting my self through this – we’ll be starting our fundraising in earnest soon – we’re raising money for a charity called Panthera. They do amazing conservation work. Have a look at their website and if you can support us it will help us keep going and it will ensure Panthera can keep doing the brilliant work they do. You can donate via our Justgiving site.

Panthera – please support us and therefore them if you can

If you have read the previous posts on this blog you will realise that this running thing is a massive massive challenge for us and for me in particular. Part of what helps me get my backside out there plodding round is that it is a way I can help change the world. Yep here’s the slightly cliched vomit inducing bit about changing the world… Those of you who know me already know that changing the world and helping others (mostly my students) change the world is kind of my thing. Making a small difference is really important to me. I’m not naive I know I make a tiny tiny difference if I make one at all but that’s enough. If we all try and do that every day the world will be a much better place. So if I am going to run, drag my moomin butt round a stupidly high number of miles and go through that physical pain and mental struggle then there has to be some changing the world happening as a result of that. Otherwise I am not playing.

Any money we raise in this slightly insane endeavour is going to an organisation called Panthera. Their mission is this:

Panthera’s mission is to ensure the future of wild cats through scientific leadership and global conservation action.

Panthera and their ethos speak to us on a number of levels: Panthera’s work is science based and at the cutting edge of conservation. It understands that there are a number of factors that have to come together to make conservation possible and that dealing with any one of them in isloation will not work. Education and training are fundamental to what Panthera do. Have a look at the letter from the Chair on their website to get more of a sense of what they do. So, education and training, programmes/projects which target the specific needs of the big cats they are focused on as well as the communities sharing the geographic area with the cats and work underpinned by the latest science are all things that earn my respect. The other reason to support Panthera over any other conservation charity is that 100% of the money raised will benefit the coservation programme/projects as the running costs and non-programme costs are covered by the Panthera board of directors. It seems that these people believe in what they are doing and are prepared to put their money where their mouth is and that passion and commitment is something I am delighted to be able to support. They really do change the world and they change it big time. With your support for our running challenge, we can help them do that! If you can sponsor us, however small the amount, please do. It really does mean a lot to us and seeing the amounts of money raised go up over the next few months is really going to help keep us going!

Sponsorship page is here: