Monday, 28 April 2008

Berkshire park

On a five-day absence from home - a combination of me-time (a retreat at the beautiful Douai Abbey in Woolhampton) and decluttering work - it's hard to fit in exercise. Finally, on the Monday, I finished working with my client at lunchtime, and had time to go out for a run (after a rest to let lunch go down) round the park behind her lovely home.

My calculations were pretty approximate on FetchEveryone - I don't know the park well, and with my usual hopeless sense of direction, I even managed to miss my way on the homeward stretch! - but I think I did around 2 miles at a reasonable pace. The last couple of minutes were walked in any case, as I found myself on some bumpy grassland, rather than a park, and didn't fancy a sprained ankle.

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Accompanied by birdsong

I walked down to Morton and back this morning to give some technical support. I really don't do morning running - especially not after a gym session the night before!

The plan was to run with Kim this evening, but she's not feeling well; so, as it's another lovely evening, it was no hardship to take myself down to Morton once more.

I was serenaded all the way down; not that I can identify any of them (despite the guideliness in the wonderful Bad Birdwatcher's Companion, which I am much enjoying at the moment).

Not a bad outing; a 10:37 pace is respectable at the moment, considering that even at best (last autumn) I didn't make it below 10:30. Besides, contemplating the prospect of running that route another two-and-a-half times (the 10K I've just entered for) makes me focus on distance, not speed!

Racing for life once more

I've just done as I promised: entered for the Cancer Research Run 10K event at Sandringham (we're going upmarket) on Sunday 28th September. Click here to visit my page.

The 5K Race for Life is coming up very soon - just 12 days away - and while I haven't badgered anybody to sponsor me on that, because I want to save my charitable efforts for the 10K, I was so chuffed to receive a sponsorship and a message from my dear friends Dot & Milton:

We thought we'd kick this one off just to show how proud we are of all you've achieved - Go Girl!! xx

As for the 10K: I've got (at the time of writing) over 22 weeks to achieve this. This I can do.

Monday, 21 April 2008

Oh, there are my muscles

A determined session with Kim on weights. It's only a fortnight since I managed a circuit, but I really felt it...

Sunday, 20 April 2008

Wymondham evening

I haven't run round Kim's home town for an age. This evening I went to her place, and we did a decent 2.28 miles in a fairly respectable 24:00. A beautiful evening, a friend to run with, and the occasional relaxed feeling in running that I have missed so much.

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Walthamstow racetrack

... no, not the dogs, and certainly not fast! But at least I managed the usual 1.17 miles to the station, with shoulderbag, and felt OK. Not a lot this week - but better than nothing.

Sunday, 13 April 2008

I was a junior marathon-er

Watching today's inspirational London Marathon, and fantasising about being there one day, I reflected that in fact some of the participants walk it - in part or in whole. While it's a very real dream of mine to actually run a marathon - preferably before I'm fifty - it's liberating to realise that the same "walk, jog or run" applies to 26.2 miles as it does to 3.1 miles - and that's what enabled me to attempt my first Race for Life last year.

More than that, though: something in the back of my mind said you have done this already, you know. A distant memory stirred of a very long sponsored walk when I was at school: a grey, wet day (like today), and this plodder here refusing to give up, or take a lift. When was it?

I burrowed around in some old files, and found it. On Sunday, 24th March 1974 (I was just over 11 years old), I apparently took place in the Mayor's Sponsored Walk. I had a total sponsorship of 20p per mile (wow) and according to my form, I walked 24 miles. Not quite a marathon, but not far off it. And here's the proof.

How long it took me, I've absolutely no idea - I would imagine in the region of 6-7 hours. However, I clearly did it, and knowing how stubborn I was then (what do you mean, then?), I doubt that I would have cheated.

So if I did it aged 11 - even though not a step would have been run - I reckon that, 35 or so years later, I can do it again...

Friday, 11 April 2008

Welcome back, tomato-face

I used to take quite a few of these photos. Just to prove I'd been running!

After a mad thunderstorm earlier today, it turned into a lovely evening; and having spent all day glued to the PC (managed to get a lot of work done, though, and better still, mostly paid!), I needed a break. So about 5pm I took myself down to the Hall as usual.

Still not back to where I was last autumn - and in recent weeks, my training has been sporadic, to say the least - but for the first time in ages, neither the ankle nor the hip protested, during or after the run. Better still, I did the 1.75 miles in just 18:10 - which is a pace of 10:23, and that's pretty much as fast as I've ever managed to run at any time. So I'm well pleased.

Monday, 7 April 2008

Being honest

I realised that my "this is now" photo hadn't been changed since December, so a quick mess around with the webcam and came up with a new one. (Adding it here for posterity as I know it will change again soon!)

What did bother me was my report on weight: given that I did get as low as 145 lb last year (although to be fair, that didn't last for very long), and my pretty constant weight has been 147 since about last summer, it hurts a bit to admit to being 149 this morning.

However... like most holiday times, it had, about ten days ago, been up to (aargh!) about 151 until I got back into a routine (I keep quiet about this, natch - wouldn't you?) - the same thing happened when we got back from France last September. So I'll try not to panic, keep a close eye on the food for a few days, and endeavour to get it back down ASAP.

PS: Having just checked out that entry above, I'm mildly depressed to see that I'd set myself a target which I'd then conveniently ignored: get down to 139 in order to leave the 140s behind. Hmm. Do I let this worry me and refocus? Probably not a bad idea.

PPS: Mind you, it was encouraging that one of my business colleagues, at a networking meeting today, thought I'd lost more weight!

It's been a while

... since I did a real gym session.

Actually, looking in my diary, it was 11th March - and even that was only a relatively short go on various machines before having a swim with Kim, who was suffering from a bad neck at the time. The last real gym session - a proper workout - was 19th February! Good grief. No wonder my shoulders are aching so much. I've got a lot more work to do.

It was good, though: 10 minutes each on bike, crosstrainer and seated bike, plus a 13 minute, 1 mile run on the treadmill (why does it always seem much slower and harder than it does out on the road?), followed by about 50 minutes of free weights and machines.

But I need - and really want - to get back to the routine of 1 x gym plus 2/3 x runs in any given week. My record over the last couple of months has been pretty pathetic, with usually two exercise sessions in any given week. I can do better than that!

Friday, 4 April 2008

The station run

No sooner had we arrived back in Norfolk after our holiday than I was off again: this time, happily, to earn some money! Four days' decluttering work split between two clients in London. A very enjoyable time, and I hope my clients found it so!

It's just under 1.2 miles from my parents' home to Walthamstow Central Station, and this route was one of my very first attempts at a walk-run combination when I started this lark, about a year ago (good grief). On the first morning, I was carrying a handbag (happily, the sort that you can sling across your back in the style of a rucksack - the newly discovered and excellent Healthy Back Bag) but also had a carrier bag with change of shoes, reading matter - that sort of thing. Bad idea. Totally off-balanced me, made the run deeply uncomfortable and excruciatingly slow - not enjoyable. And that ankle was protesting a bit, too.

Second morning, I walked it. Third morning, I'd learnt from the first try: I didn't take a change of shoes, stuck with the trainers; took a magazine [Runner's World, natch] that would go into my handbag; and didn't need an additional carrier. Much better, and some bits of the run (okay, okay, the downhill bits) were really enjoyable - much as things used to be. Final morning, walked it again.

So it wasn't a huge amount of running; but given that in a previous life I'd have done the whole lot by bus, I guess it's an improvement!