Sunday, January 08, 2006


This weekend's aim was to run for longer than I've ever run before, to see whether the crazy half marathon idea is quite so crazy after all. Yesterday morning I woke up and all I wanted to do was run, which was promising in a "getting hooked" sort of way, but not so good on the basis that it was meant to be my rest from running day, and I don't want to wear my legs out. If I'm going to do this, I want to do it sensibly, and looking at the training plan I'm vaguely using, that definitely doesn't mean running every day. No training plan would suggest that, come to think of it.

So I didn't run, although I did get round to sorting out my subscription to Runners World magazine and the website, which I've been tempted by for a bit, but I wanted to get a copy of the magazine first before just signing myself up. The new issue finally appeared in the shops yesterday, so I got it, liked it and signed up. I was meaning to buy a watch for running in anyway, so I reckon that getting a watch free with the subscription will cover the cost for the first year or so. I also swam and went into town to try on some size 12 suits. They fasten, but aren't quite comfortable enough to buy. Still, this time last year my size 22 suit had starting getting a bit tight again, so I can't complain about still being a 14! I'm kind of between sizes at the moment, and trying not to buy anything else until I hit size 12, as the 14s are definitely loose and I don't want to buy clothes that are already on the big side.

Anyway, I got up this morning and it was cold and drizzly, but having resisted a run yesterday I was determined that I was going to do it. And anyway, if I'm meant to be building up my running over the next two months I can't avoid bad weather. I need to run outside more. So I got kitted up and headed out. But first of all I picked something else up. The one advantage of the car park where I usually park being closed, and my car being a bit temperamental (it doesn't like reverse gear at the moment, the stroppy bugger) is that my bus pass effectively gives me free bus travel at the weekends. It costs less than 4 week days of day tickets, so I get 1 work day and the weekend free. I decided that with today's plan being to run as far as possible and with the weather, I'd take it with me so I didn't need to worry about getting home in the freezing cold if I ran out of steam too far away!

I headed out of the house, and I headed left at the end of the road. I usually go straight to the park, but I'd decided to try a new route to the park. This would mean I'd have to run over 5k to get to the park rather than the mile it takes by going right. I'd run about a mile in the wrong direction then head back on a diagonal to get to the bottom of the park instead of the top end of it where I normally come out. The route got me where I went to be, but maybe I should have checked whether there were any hills, it was definitely hiller than my normal route!

I got to the cafe on the lake in decent time and started doing my running in circles. I really like this bit of the run, but it gets a bit repetitive. I have two separate 2.5km (roughly) loops, one round the lake and one from the cafe mainly along roads on the edge of the park to get back to the cafe. I ran the lake loop twice and then the road loop once to take me up to 13k. I was running more or less continuously (other than crossing roads and avoiding traffic) for about 1 hour 25, so I ran a little slower than my normal pace, but still between 10 - 11 minute miles (8 miles in 85 minutes). I started doing my cool down walk, and cool down isn't quite the word for it, I seemed to freeze within minutes, so when I got out of the park again and saw a bus I summoned up what was left in my legs and sprinted to catch it! It's good to know that there was still some energy there, as it gives me confidence that I can build up my running even more if necessary.

It was probably the best run I've ever done. I really got into a pace where it felt like I could just carry on running and running. I wasn't breathing too heavily or sweating too much, just plodding on nicely. My legs felt pretty strong for most of it, and on that evidence I can certainly run for even longer than that.

Checking the half marathon programme I've been looking at, this is about right for 6 - 7 weeks out (I ran 7.5k on Monday and 5k on Wednesday and Friday), which means that the end of February isn't stupidly impossible. I'm getting more tempted to do it at the moment, although not quite tempted enough to actually sign up! Not yet, anyway.

So the rest of the day will probably be fairly lazy. I've got lots of nice healthy food in the fridge (and I found a greek food stall in Leeds market that has all sorts of healthy-ish treats like stuffed peppers and marinaded butter beans and garlic so I got myself some treats). Yesterday's eating was pretty good, and I got a lot closer to my ideal of cutting out the treats I've started allowing myself recently.

I hit 78kg on the 9th December, and I'm still here a month on. I shouldn't be upset about maintaining over Christmas, it's better than a gain, but I don't want this to be the start of a plateau. I want to get back into fat burning mode and start seeing the pounds come off again. And if a 13k run doesn't get the burners turned back on again, I don't know what will!


Blogger Vicky said...

Hey, well done you! Going to be starting running tomorrow after a 3 year break. I can't imagine 13K at the moment. Runners World is well worth the subscription, though the watch might need a new strap, mine is waiting a nice comfy one. I would say good luck to you, but you don't seem to need it! :-D

12:27 PM  
Blogger kathrynoh said...

Wow 13k! I'm impressed :)

How far is a half marathon?

12:56 PM  
Blogger YP said...

Too far, that's how far a half marathon is... Seriously, it's 13 miles (about 21k I think?)

1:06 PM  
Blogger Kykaree said...

Well done, 13k in that time is amazing. By June the 10k will seem a sprint to you!!!

And no way should you be disappointed about maintaining over Christmas, it's good practice! I am sure you'll start processing that fat off in no time!!!!

2:59 PM  
Blogger B said...

I'm with kykaree, maintainence over the holidays is no small feat!! Give it time sweetie, you'll get there.

Runners impress me in general, such dedication!! You go girl!


1:53 AM  
Blogger K said...

Well, wow. 13K. That is seriously, seriously impressive.

As for Stratford - I lived there while studying at the Shakespeare Institute from 2002-3, so we didn't overlap. But that was when I had my first attempt at getting fit, so I used to go for long bike rides including the Greenway and Tramway routes, which are included in the marathon. It wasn't a particularly happy time, but the bike rides were one of the better bits.

3:29 PM  
Blogger Xena said...

Go go go! That's terrific! Sounds like you will be ready in time, and finishing last is better than not finishing at all! I can relate to needing a goal to work towards - it peps up the workouts.

3:50 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home