5 April 2011

4 and 5 April Training

Here's the view from yesterday:

I didn't get as far as I had thought I would. I'm not sure if it was just that I was dragging, or started running earlier than I have in previous days, but it was only a little further along that Saturday. Kew Palace was next to me instead of well behind me as I had anticipated:

Basic details from yesterday: 8 km in 1:08, pace 7.1 kph. It did feel pretty sluggish and sloggy.

Today was rainy and cold, but I got out for a speed interval training. No pictures because there were no planned walking intervals (when I allow myself to take a picture). The details aren't pretty, but I did get out and do it. I think the Cardiotrainer app is still acting a bit buggy (though that may be GPS satellite connections rather than a buggy app per se), so I take the numbers for this morning with a grain of salt: 4.4 km in 38 minutes, pace 6.9 kph. The path shows two different angles that go across the river, and since I go over and back on the same bridge, I know something's wrong, but nevermind. As I keep saying, it's foot in front of foot to get me there.

Two comments on how the training is going. It's hard. I have to fight myself out the door in the mornings, and sometimes it takes me an hour of arguing with myself to get pushed out the door. A couple of friends who are or were runners have spoken of the joy they get from running, and I figure at this point, I'll never be that person. I feel accomplishment when I'm done, and I try in the midst of it to be fully present to the moment (feeling breath, seeing the world nearby in the flowers and the trash along the way, centring myself and relaxing my shoulders), but it is work each time I lace up my shoes and go out. Not bad work, but work.

Secondly, I seem to finally be getting the benefit of the expense of calories. My body is feeling leaner, more fit and while I'm not managing calories as I should be, I find myself mostly eating a bit healthier (though the Cadbury Mini-Eggs may be my downfall this Easter), and not as frantic about eating as I have been. That's a great side effect of all of this work, and I'm glad for it.

Tomorrow's plan is for my long intervals again, and I'll see where I might get to this time.

2 April 2011

2 April Training

Here's the place on the path, just over 4 km into the run:

Basic stats: 8.1 km, 1 hour 6 minutes, pace 7.4 kph. My longest training session so far, furthest travelled in a session. 7 minutes fast pace, 1 minute recovery, plus walking to warm up and cool down.

Lots of people are out on a Saturday along the river. Plenty of runners of every variety. I have to admit my favourites are the ones who make eye contact and smile in greeting. I get focussed and appreciate their dedication, but like the smiling recognition of fellow travellers. Even a grunted 'morning' works. Lots of bike riders, too, some who don't quite understand sharing the road, but nevermind. No one knocked me down, and that's a plus.

Herons have been busy the last few times I was out. I've seen several peering into the low tide on the river, two or three in flight, and one carrying a twig, doubtless for a new or repaired nest. I don't know if I like them or the little seed-eater birds that dart across the path sometimes. Here's the river at low tide where I turned around:

Monday I move to the next interval set of 8 minutes fast intervals and 1 minute recovery. This may well take me to the point where I can make a circuit rather than turning around, and I'll be approaching going a full 10 km during my training. Then it'll be a matter of increasing my speed and consistent running. Less than 2 months to go. I'm feeling optimistic, if not confident.

1 April 2011

31 March & 1 April Training, Competition and No Jokes

Ran on a different path yesterday, around Old Deer Park and a little on the Thames Path. Here's the view from half way along.

Basic details of my consistent run (even though something was buggy with my Cardiotrainer yesterday): 4.11 km run, 37 minutes, 6.7 pace. I do think I went further than that, but am quibbling with the trainer. As I said in my last post, the point is to get out there and do it, and I did.

Today's a day of rest and getting started on a little at home weight training to strengthen muscles needed for the run and overall. Starting small I did 3 sets of 10 squats with my 2 five pound weights. I need to add some abdominal work and a few other things, but if I try to do it all, I'll fail. 3 sets of 10 is a good start.

Peter was out for a run today, and clocked 7 something miles in the hour he was out. Last week, when he was reporting on his progress, I commented, 'oh, we're doing about the same then,' with a sense of great satisfaction. He kindly noted that he was reporting in miles what I was reporting in kilometres, so it wasn't so much the case. Difference noted.

I'm aware that as I do this training that my competitive self is in full function. I compare myself to others who are more consistent runners or longer term runners, I compare myself to myself even. And my critical voice blooms and flourishes.

Early in my training while I was on the treadmill in the gym, I would watch others. A well muscled young man would perform a kind of lift that I'd been taught would injure your back and I'd scoff. Nevermind that he was in terrific condition, obviously unhurt, more practiced than I at what he was doing -- I was in full judgement mode, picking at his form.

The woman running on a treadmill a few metres away with a funny gait earned my unhappy assessment, too. No matter that she'd been running consistently for the 10 minutes I'd been there and I was only managing 90 seconds of running and longer periods of walking. I could judge her to be inadequate in her form and hold myself above.

Shoving to the front, my better self would observe the criticism, offer a reminder that I was no expert, and that I'd do better cheering others on their path than trying to rise above them with no good cause to do so.

Here's the thing: When I was at my most fit, and spending lots of hours week on week at the gym, each time I saw someone pursuing their fitness, I did just that -- cheered for them. I said a prayer quietly that they would find the way to feel better in their bodies, feel better about themselves, find whatever strength they needed to carry on that path. The woman coming to her first weights class, or trying a step aerobics workout, the man running along the bay when I was driving somewhere -- I'd want to go over and shake their hands, congratulate them on their hard work and tell them to keep it up.

I find myself reflecting upon this as I bobble along the Thames path each time I go out. Lots of runners are there with me, and I have to tell that critical voice to hush.

'She's rockin' her run! You go!' I think as the grey haired slim muscular woman flies past me.

'Wow, she runs like me!' as I smile at the woman passing me going in the other direction, 'How great that we're out here together.'

When I feel good about myself, centred and assured, I am more likely to cheer for another, more likely to cheer for myself, too.

So, I'll keep going, foot in front of foot, and I'll watch that critical voice and take each time it appears as a moment to pause and remember that the point is to keep on, the point is to let that best part of myself come through and to cheer loudly for us all, because we're all on that path.