Wem-ber-ley, Wem-ber-ley….

Hurrah! Another non-running post. Excuses go:
Wednesday: Waking to rain lashing against window, not condusive to early morning run. Also fell asleep at kitchen table while reading the paper – I felt that this suggested a certain level of tiredness.
Thursday: Made the mistake of going to my mum’s to get changed. Got caught up in the loveliness of having a chat in the kitchen.
Friday-Sunday: Set off for Wembley at 8 o’clock. First beer opened at approximately 9 o’clock. Alternately drunk and hungover for much of the weekend.
Monday: I’m optimistic for later on, but am still feeling the effects of Friday-Sunday.

Basically, I went down to Wembley for the rugby league Challenge Cup Final. We do it as an annual trip and it’s an amazing weekend that is usually fuelled by quite a lot of beer. This year, I had the lovely idea that I could take my running kit, take it easy on the Friday night and go out for a restorative plod on the Saturday morning. I love the idea of running in London (or any city). Whenever I see city runners, especially at lunchtimes, I get running envy and start to whip up fantasies of how, if I had a proper job with a proper lunch hour (instead of 30 minutes eating at my desk followed by 10 minutes trying to shake couscous out of my keyboard), I would be one of those runners. I would also be thinner, less red-faced and have a perky ponytail that bounced as I bounded through the streets. My plan for the weekend was scuppered by the fact that we were staying quite a way out of central London and also that twelve years of experience have taught me that this isn’t the weekend to try and run.

As it was, I was rough as a badger’s arse on Saturday morning, much to the amusement of my husband. He had to endure me whimpering gently as I complained that it was far too hot, my head hurt and I really didn’t want to put clothes on. It took me approximately 45 minutes to get dressed. I was a pitiful sight. I’ll not go into detail about what put me right as it was quite unpleasant, but the end result was that I perked up and set off for London Village for a lovely breakfast and a bit of culture visiting the BP exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, of which I think this was my favourite.

It’s lucky that I had a spare week in my training plan, as I’m now a week behind (oops). I’ve also found out that the day that I’d planned for my race is the day after a charity do to raise money for Help For Heroes and Myeloma UK (and to raise sponsorship for a Myeloma UK place in the London Marathon). This poses the dilemma of do I do the race, stay sober and have an early night (bearing in mind that I have the breaking strain of a kitkat)? Find another race (which I’m finding a bit tricky as I’m running out of races)? Or admit defeat and weasel out of it til next year (and crown myself Queen of the Weasels)? Answers on a postcard please.

EDIT: I’ve been thinking about this and have realised that I’m absolutely petrified about doing a race as they’ll all be full of proper runners and I’ll be at the back.

Is someone stealing time from me? Eh? Eh?

When I decided to have a go at following a proper training plan, I looked at the schedule and marvelled at how little 3 days a week looked. In reality, I’ve not dragged out my sorry arse since Wednesday morning. And I appear to be prioritising the easy weekend runs, whilst neglecting the interval sessions, I can’t imagine why…

It’s tricky trying to do different stuff (especially when you’re a wuss like me) when you’re running with company. My friend’s still a bit demotivated on the running front and wasn’t keen to get dragged into a 5miler with fast bits in the middle – I got into enough trouble when we reached my front door only for me to announce “well we’re nearly at 3.7 miles, so we might as well make it 4…”.

My note to self from today was “turn off the garmin’s autonag setting when out with other people” – I don’t think it helped the demotivated friend to be harrangued by what sounds like an angry doorbell whenever we slowed down.

Inner pace

God my posts are whingey some days – I can only apologise.

Since deciding that 10k is far preferable to 13.1 miles (how did I not realise earlier?), I have acquired a lovely 8 week training programme from Runners World and, for the first time ever, have 9 weeks to complete it in. Normally if I decide to do something like this, I usually mistime it by a couple of weeks so that I have to squeeze 8 weeks into 6… I’ve tweaked things around a bit in the first week so that the sessions fit better with my week (although I stuck hard and fast to day one being a rest day) and have figured out how to put intervals and workouts into my garmin.

Unfortunately, I haven’t quite got the knack of simple garmin things, like when can you set off if it seems like it’s never going to find its satellites or if you start off inside. Due to my thickery, I set off on Tuesday’s group run (when knowing the distance would have been fab) with the damn thing bleeping at me and telling me I was auto paused (I wasn’t going that slowly…). I didn’t have high hopes for the session as I was asleep 15 minutes before I needed to set off and was a bit flat after a crap day at work. Of course, I had a good run and really enjoyed myself. The only downside was that our route took us by my office, but in the spirit of mindfulness I noticed that there’s a cornfield a couple of streets up from the industrial estate where I work. I was far more excited by this than I should have been. Plan said easy 2-3 miles, ended up about 4.5miles and a bit more effort than I intended because I was talking to someone who is naturally faster and fitter than me.

This morning’s run was supposed to be 2 easy miles and 2 fast miles. I’m still struggling a bit with the easy pace and end up going at my normal pace and then trying to speed up too much. This meant that I went a bit hopeless and kept giving in and walking, some of this was in my head, but I think the  slightly harder than planned session less that 12 hours before didn’t help either. The upshot of this is that my average speed on the fast half of the run actually ended up slower than my easy speed. I’ll get the hang of it eventually, but in the mean time I’m planning to do a short timed session ignoring distance and pace so that I don’t start getting too stressy about it.

Good things from this morning’s run:
Seeing people that I routinely pass on my drive to work (I love late starts)
Being passed by 2 of our neighbours, which made me quite smug
Seeing a sheep wake up – it kind of unfolded its legs and leaned up on a sheepy elbow, peering at me in a curious and sleepy.

What’s that I can hear?

That’ll be the sound of me back pedalling furiously. I had a moment of clarity this morning – I don’t want to do the half that I’ve been muttering about.

I think that although I might be able to do enough to finish the course, I wouldn’t be happy with ‘just about finishing’, I’d want to do it well. The prospect has also taken out some of the fun from my runs, especially while I’ve been feeling a bit snotty this week (when I finished today it was like I had a family of slugs living up my nose, not nice) and I think I’m putting too much pressure on myself.

Back in January, I set some running goals for myself this year – a half marathon did not feature anywhere on the list.  My running goals were fairly basic (and pretty insignificant) but realistic. I wanted to keep runnning at least twice a week (tick! – well apart from high days and holidays), be able to run comfortably for an hour (yup – I’m not a pretty sight, but I’m not wheezing like an asthmatic spaniel), be able to run 10k (I managed just shy of 8 miles the other week) and keep a regular running log (hmmm, does random blogging count?).

My only race goal was do a 10k (and then I added on that I wanted to do it in under an hour). I’m looking a bit sheepish as I type this, but I haven’t actually done that… Why the heck am I jumping ahead? Because I’m an idiot, that’s why.

Did an hour today, 37 minutes at a steady pace (more of that in a minute) and then 23 minutes doing intervals (which I enjoyed more than I expected). It wasn’t what I expected to do, but my head seemed to be ruling my legs a bit too much and I couldn’t seem to find a nice rhythm. Maybe I’m still a bit too obsessed with the garmin (When will that pass? Anyone?), but being able to pace myself properly was rather nice. Last week I found that the only way I had to keep an eye on my pace was whether or not I was going faster than the canal barge next to me. Steady, but it’s not really the most accurate or challenging of techniques. Incidentially I was going faster than the barge. Honest, I was, I promise…

New toy!

Oh, the childish excitement in the Hopefully household. I finally gave my garmin a trial run this morning, admittedly it was a slightly rubbish run and only lasted 20 minutes, but the trade off has been that I’ve been bouncing around the house like an idiot (the Friday feeling is strong in this one today).

Due to the excitement of wearing my new toy, I set off at quite a pelt until I realised that my sinuses and chest hurt. And then I had quite a poor attention span (ooh! shiny things…) and ended up looping about side roads and stuff… just because I wouldn’t have to plot it on a map when I got in.

Tonight has been spent going ooooh as I try to fathom all of the features on it, download updates, play with maps and stuff like that.

Hopefully tomorrow will see me doing a nice long run (following the route of my 90 minute run from a couple of weeks ago and trying to add on a bit at the end). I’m a bit concerned that  I may be undone by either my general snottiness or the lack of exercise this week, but fingers crossed. It’s actually been quite nice having a lazy week, but I’m ready to get back on the horse.

(note to self – would being on a horse make the run easier? Hmmm).