Sunday, January 22, 2006

Week 5 Day 4

A couple of years ago a work colleague decided that she was going to start running to lose weight. This was a very skinny colleague, under 9 stone, but she is constantly trying to lose a couple of extra pounds. Her big plan was to run to and from work every day for a fortnight. The problem was, she made this plan widely known, and quite a few of us expressed our doubts that she'd be able to do it. I suspect that the blokes who bet on whether I'd beat her in the Abbey Dash (which she didn't run in the end) placed bets on whether she'd keep it up for the 2 weeks.

She didn't. She may have managed the run once or twice. One day we drove along the route to shout encouragement and, having given her a bit of a head start so that we'd catch her about half way, managed to catch her walking. Another time she bribed me to give her a lift most of the way time. Another time she admitted she'd got dressed in her running gear... and caught the bus.

As weight loss efforts go, it wasn't particularly successful. (But rather better intentioned than some of her other plans, including the yoghurt diet - 3 tubs of 100 calorie yoghurt per day).

I suddenly remembered this plan earlier today on my long run.

My schedule said 9 - 10 miles, and I realised that if I attempted to run it round the park and the lake I'd have to do multiple loops of the same route, and that I'd get tempted to give up. That's the problem with running past your end point more than once, it's so tempting to not bother with that final circuit.

So I started trying to work out another route to clock up those 9 - 10 miles. My first effort (basically into town the short way and back) fell woefully short, at about 6 or 7. That's a decent run (and I wouldn't do it every day), but not what I was looking for. So I worked out a longer run, from my house to Headingley (about 4 miles), into town (another 2) and then back up towards the park, basically running along the bus route for as far as I could (or until a bus turned up). I knew that if I got to the park it would be 9 miles, and if I made it any further (or even managed to make it home) it would get it up to 10 or possibly more.

And I did it! I'm not 100% sure of my timings. I know it took about 37 minutes to do the first 4 miles, then I pressed the stop button rather than the lap button on my watch, and only noticed after 6 miles. I then ran the last 3 miles in about 27 minutes (or at least my watch said 1 hour 4 minutes when I stopped after 9 miles). So assuming that those middle 2 miles were at about the same speed, I'd guess somewhere between 80 and 90 minutes total (I had actually been thinking in my head a little over 90, but looking at the bits of timings that I know, it can't have been that much). I definitely seem to be getting faster with this training plan, and I probably had a little more energy in my legs were it not for the fact that I got to the bus stop and a bus was due in 5 minutes which gave me a nice period of time for some stretches before it turned up...

I can't believe I managed to drag myself out of bed on a morning when the weather forecast thing on my computer popped up -2, when it was horribly foggy (it still is, and visibility was well under 100 metres for long periods of my run), and I managed to run 9 miles. It was very strange running through the city centre at 9am on a Sunday morning, and the route wasn't the most scenic, but I knew the route so it was easy (I want to try the Meanwood Valley Trail at some point, but I want to walk it first so I know where I'm going).

And on Monday morning I'll email Emma and tell her that I ran to the city centre and back, and I went the long way round!

She is going to get her arse kicked in the Capital 10k if she turns up this time...


Blogger Fatslayer said...

I have some sympathy for your work colleague - it's so easy to make a public promise to do something life-changing, but so difficult to actually carry it out.

I know in the past I've said "This time I'll get to goal, I promise..." and a few days later I've done the eating equivalent of wearing gym clothes but catching the bus, then wanted to crawl under the nearest rock to hide my shame and failure from the world.

It's tough to keep to a healthy resolution at the best of times, but harder still when the stakes are so high. By the sounds of it you work in quite a competitive environment, and the pressure to succeed when gloating male colleagues are betting on you to fail must be quite a burden.

Kudos to you for being able to tolerate that sort of pressure - I'm not sure I could! You're doing great, and maybe your success will show your collegue that major changes are possible if you're determined enough to succeed.

7:29 PM  
Blogger YP said...

Oh, I'm not being mean about her, I really don't mind whether she did it or not, it's more the fact that at the time I thought it was virtually impossible to run even one way without stopping, and now I'm capable of doing the round trip and then some for "fun"!

8:47 PM  
Blogger Jen said...

Great job!! I've been reading your blog for awhile, and it is awesome to see the changes you have made! I also read your posts on 3FC. Your comments have helped me more than once!

Keep up the good work!

8:52 PM  
Blogger Fatslayer said...

YP, I wasn't suggesting you were being mean, and I'm sorry it came across that way. I was just saying (a bit ruefully) that I know a bit what it feels to make promises and then break them, and the guys you work with sound like a tough bunch to impress.

9:25 PM  

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