August 2011: Stockholm Midnattsloppet, a 10k race through the nighttime streets of Stockholm. This is us working to get there.
…because I have signed up for a 5k race in Stanley Park on Dec 4!
RunKeeper started a new training feature, including a program developed by Jeff Galloway with the goal of completing a 5k in less than 30 minutes. Which I figure is a good step along to my overall goal of completing a 10k in less than 60 minutes :D This training program is set to start in a week and finish on the day of the race, which I figured is just too perfect to pass up. I’ll use the intervening week to continue making these much-needed tweaks to my form.
(Darnit, I wish you and I were on the same online running tracking thingy - that would be much more fun. Stupid Nike+ not working on iPhone! I really do like its features and interface better. At least RunKeeper is catching up in functionality.)
Anyway, looking forward to reading a race recap, if you’re planning on posting one, or what your next goals are.
Alrighty! I no longer have the hacking crud and am no longer dealing with traveling for family crap. I *do* still feel like a miserable excuse for a human being, but NOT running is exactly the WRONG thing to do for depression, so off my ass I get.
I did manage to get in one really nice run while at my mom’s place, through a park I spent a lot of time in as a kid, but it was more for mental reasons than fitness. About a click north of my mom’s place is a big conservation area with some gorgeous singletrack (this city slicker sadly loves her some trail running) and the weather was beautiful.
ANYWAY. While I was recovering from a nasty cold I did some research on the big problems with my form, so this afternoon I set out to work on some of them in my first outing after the lengthy break. I am working myself out of a bad heel-striking habit with lighter more flexible shoes and a few form changes from this “ChiRunning” idea I’ve been reading about. So far, so good - with all those gear and form changes, just coming back from a lengthy break and an illness I didn’t want to completely kill myself. But when I remembered to maintain the form stuff I was working on the running felt a lot easier. I deliberatedly turned off the feature of my fancypants GPS-enabled iphone program that tells me how fast and far I was going and just paid attention to time, and when I finally looked at my gadget it turned out I had run a lot faster than I thought I had. So - promising!
I was extremely cheered to hear about your new personal best AND the accidental 9k :D That is awesome. Sounds like you are in terrific shape for the upcoming race!
Mkay! More from me later on music, running while sick, and other stuff.
A family emergency thingy is impacting both running and blogging activity. I will be back!
Oh, I so hear ya. I’m not really going through it right now, but I just came out of a spot of sleep deprivation RIGHT before we started blogging this, and it makes running pretty much impossible. I am enjoying my reprieve, as it may be brief: both K and HM are mildly sick with a stomach thing right now, so there’s disruption right there, and of course I might get it myself.
On the bright side: rest is GOOD. Ultimately, you’re better off letting your body recuperate from past and current stresses, and you’ll run better for it in a few days when you can get out there again. (I know you know this stuff, I’m stating it for encouragement and cheering purposes, in case any encouragement or cheering are desired!) You aren’t going to be out for so long that you’ll lose the fitness you’ve gained; that recent major victory is where you’ll pick back up from.
The rule that works for me seems to be: force myself out there if it’s psychological or hormonal, because for me the physical effort & fresh air improves general situational/neurochemical grumpies and endocrinologically predictable discomfort. But if it’s physical (my body’s real sleep deprivation, illness, injury) take it real easy or skip it.
Anyway, hope things are looking up chez vous on the teething toddler and gastric ailment fronts. My next run is tomorrow, whereupon I will post on how awesome/mediocre/clusterfucktastic/whatever it turns out!
PS if/when you get a chance - I’d love to hear about your favourite running music…
Went for my run today, didn’t push too hard since I don’t want to be adding too much mileage too quickly, but it felt OK. It wasn’t bad, it wasn’t great, it was just kinda normal and average.
The neat thing is that the “average” of today in terms of distance and speed is the “HOT DAMN BUT I AM AWESOME” of three weeks ago - progress! Nifty.
And now to reward myself I am eating far more ice cream than I probably should!
How are you doing?
I will continue to use the word SLOPPET because it is fucking hysterically funny - FAR funnier now that I know it’s not even a real Swedish word :D (I just will not use it in Sweden, perhaps, or within earshot of your dad.)
I too am a big fan of special shirts, especially now that special race shirts are made of comfy high-tech material (ohgodiwillneverrunincottonagain). This will be an especially awesome shirt. I can feel its synthetic fibres already, oh yes it will be mine, precious.
I am doing the same sort of thing with hills. Up-hills are fine (though painful) because that’s just kicking my ass and I can do that - but since what goes up must come down, and running downhill is murder on the ol’ joints, I remain wary of hills. There are some nice ones in this neighborhood so I’ve got plenty to work with when I decide to tackle them.
My current favourite route is a gentle downhill to start, around a pretty level park as many times as I feel like it, and back up the gentle hill.
I just got back from running 5km! OK, it was a bloody slow 5km - 41.5mins, avg pace just over 8mins/km. But I ran (uuuuuh, for some definition of the word “run”) the whole time and it’s a baseline to start with.
The interesting thing is that I didn’t feel that I hit my stride at all until 4km in. Then I felt totally happy to just keep going (helped that a kickass song came on). Ran the 5th click faster than the second, third, or fourth according to the GPS data off the motivational gadget - same pace as the first. Felt like I could have kept going, but that probably would have been foolhardy. This seems wacky, but strangely that always was my MO; funny to see that I still work that way. I think it just takes me that long to loosen up and get comfortable, physically and mentally.
OK, I definitely gotta thank you for that tip about the Myrtl Routine and the link. What a world of difference ALREADY. Here’s what I did:
Time to go for a run - changed into the ridiculous-but-comfy running clothes, watched that video once through to get the idea. Then watched it again and did the exercises along with it using pause where necessary. Then hit the pavement … walking. Did not start running nor did I start my training program gadget until I hit the dirt in the park! So between the Myrtl Routine and the walk to the park (about 1km), I was good and warmed up AND running on a more manageable surface before kicking it up a notch.
Ran my 3km… and kept going. Without my joints and connective tissues holding me back, I was actually able to challenge my muscles and cardiovascular fitness. AWESOME.
At the end I did do a little bit of pavement running (I *do* want to be able to run on pavement - needing dirt is way too constraining in the city) even though my planned workout was technically finished, but I was well warmed up by then, didn’t push it too hard, and, well, an awesome Foo Fighters song had just come on and I didn’t want to stop.
4km in 30 minutes, which is still a long way off my goal pace and distance but is SO much progress over where I was stuck before! Turns out I just needed a good warmup - something I never felt the need to do in my early 20s.
Came home walking and did the Myrtl Routine *again* so hopefully any soreness tomorrow will be good ol’ DOMS and not that elderly, frail feeling. I suspect that as I start getting some of the strengthening benefits of the Myrtl in addition to the stretching/warming up it will get even better.
(I actually *like* DOMS - it’s weird. When I was lifting a lot in university I loved blowing the hell out of my legs on the squat rack and not being able to walk the next day. Masochism or something.)
ANYWAY! THANK YOU! I have realised that an older body CANNOT skip a good warmup, and if you hadn’t shared that info with me it would have taken me a lot longer and possibly an injury to realise this incredibly obvious fact!
So after taking a week off to recover from overdoing it and a weekend away being nerdy and decidedly unathletic, I went for my planned run today after work! And despite feeling sleep deprived and generally horrible it did not go so badly.
Right now I am getting about 3.5km in 30 minutes. I could push it harder or longer, but I’m being cautious because now that I Am Old I’m running into something that I didn’t have to deal with when I was younger.
Background: after an incredibly unathletic first two decades of life (couldn’t run around the block, last picked for any team, etc, the standard stuff - literally more likely to catch the pop fly with my face and break my nose than land it in my softball glove) I started commuting to my summer job by bike. And I loved cycling so much that I started biking just for the hell of it - Ottawa to Smiths Falls and back was a favourite run. A roommate convinced me to try running (OK, troof, I wanted to impress her with the hopes of getting into her pants - SUCH A PIG) and I, experimentally, did (try running, that is - never did get into her pants). This led me to taking up pretty much any athletic pursuit where I was not competing against anybody, as long as it required no skill - just brute force and a high tolerance for pain. Running, weightlifting, and road cycling - I even did a couple of triathlons.
(Dear Mrs MacDonald: take THAT, wrap it around your stopwatch and shove it and that damned whistle from Grade 7 gym class UP YER ARSE!)
I was never fast. I am not built for speed. The best I ever did was a 10k road race in about 60 minutes (though I was easily benching my own weight and squatting about 1.5x in the gym). The thing I ran up against then as a limiter was aerobic fitness: I had to learn to work through the discomfort in my lungs. Once I figured that out, I could go for ages - I never ran a half marathon race but I ran the distance several times.
After graduating from university and joining the working-too-much world, I pretty much let it all slide. But here I am, 34 and terrified of ending up like my frail and near-crippled older female relatives. And so I run. And I think I will start a little light weightlifting again.
The difference now is that long before I run up against the limits of my aerobic fitness (which doesn’t actually seem to be that bad), my legs feel weak, frail and fragile. I don’t know what to do about this except take it slow to avoid injury, and gradually build up distance and speed. Perhaps a change of shoes? Perhaps altogether avoiding running on pavement?
Too much running on pavement, too much pushing it too hard, and “bone-weary” is a perfectly accurate description of the result. Hence this pathetic little plateau that I’ve been unable to break past since taking up regular running again about a month ago.
It is kind of scary, to be this weak and fragile. I will bull through it, cautiously, and I’ll feel better once I start making a little progress and my legs stop feeling so much like lead.
Aging. It kinda sucks. Good thing I’m tackling this now or I’d be an invalid by the time I’m 60.
SO! Goal: I want to be able to run 10km in 60 minutes or less, and avoid injury. I do not think this is unrealistic, though it may take quite a while to get there.
Can’t figure out if I can comment from my phone so I will make a separate post.
First of all I hear you on the toddler sleep interference thing. I got MORE sleep AT PAX than I have since coming home: Mama was gone for 3 days, so Monkey does not want to let Mama sleep. Aaaargh. Soooo tired. So hard to haul my sorry butt out for a run.
Second - that is SO RAD that you’re doing 4.5km straight now!! I am so impressed and proud of you, my self-described unathletic couch potato friend! I do not think you can make those claims anymore!
Rock ON, woman.
My own update once I get home…!
(also: your pic, m’dear? Lovely.)