Rain + rain = puddles

A certain amount of thickery today… Despite the fact that it has rained pretty much every day since, um, ages ago, my little brain didn’t click that this would result in the canal towpath being mainly puddles. We nearly gave up before we started as our usual route is closed for lock repairs, we had to fight through hedgerow to get past anglers’ brollies, got distracted by ducks and then had a mile of puddle dodging/near drowning. I don’t mind getting wet or muddy, but have wonky ankles and a poor sense of balance so muddy puddles are fraught with danger for me, especially when they’re next to the cold, dark depths of the Leeds-Liverpool. After a mile we gave up on the towpath and went on the road to run through the town centre instead. Not necessarily the rural nature run I had in mind, but we did 5 miles.

Time: 01:00:32
Distance: 5.01 mi
Elevation Gain: 595 ft
Calories: 600 C

At what point do you realise that you have no shame as a runner? I think I’m nearly there after going to Asda post run, mud-splattered tights, windswept hair, bright red face, soaking wet trainers…and I didn’t bat an eyelid.

And the experiement proved…

That my hypothesis was correct – ran 3 miles before yoga, tom yum soup for tea and then yoga-ed. And managed to stay conscious for the entire relaxation at the end, no snoring, no drifting, no suddenly realising that I’ve not heard a word that the teacher has said since “lie down on your mats”. It was rather splendid.

In fact, I’ve come out of the class feeling completely blissful and chilled out. I feel like I’m smiling from inside for the first time in ages. It’s a wonderful feeling and having it has made me realise how long it is since I’ve felt like that.

The way our yoga class runs is that it’s an 8 week progressive course, but the courses run continuously so a new course starts every 8 weeks or so. New people join, old people drop out, old hands guard their mat territory like feral beasts (that’s just me then?) and we go back to basics again. I think this does us all good; I know that I pick up bad habits and it’s easy to slide into casually skipping through postures without thinking deeply about what you’re doing. This probably applies to more than just yoga and it’s maybe something I need to do a bit more through life in general. Maybe it’s something we all need to do.

In other news, I’ve finally discovered Garmin Connect. Whatever your feelings on Garmins, this appeals to my inner geek and makes far prettier graphs and maps than the training centre. I may even get brave and bore people with my (quite frankly embarassing) run stats, particularly since I’ve realised that I’m very coy about admitting what speed I go at (hint, it rhymes with ‘glow’. Very glow).

In wool news, I went to Whitby and sold a kidney to buy vast amounts of lovely but pricey yarn. So I now have 3 pending projects from the new wool pile, 1 planned from previous escapades, 3 half formed ideas, 1 half baked idea (thanks to a link on Beanz’s blog I now have a pattern for knitted cupcakes. It scares me how much this excites me) and lots of stray balls with no future plans. I must stop buying new wool.

Positive steps (with a bit of a lithp)

A slightly odd run tonight. The original plan was to go to the group and run there, but we ended up doing a 4 miler a deux. This means that we probably went a bit further than if we were out with other people, but also a bit slower. Our speed wasn’t helped by the need for a bit of a loo stop in the first couple of miles – the end result being that we ran/walked a bit/ran the first two miles, went to my mum’s (thank god she was in, she’s let me down before with near disasterous consequences) and then ran the two miles back again.

To be honest, it was nice just being out without stressing about time/pace/distance (although she did refer to my “bloody garmin” because I made us keep going until we hit 4 miles, I’m not bloody stopping at 3.95 I tell you. So there.). It was a little scary on Saturday as even the thought of going out for a run made me feel anxious. I appreciate how weird this sounds and I don’t really have a reason for it, although I wasn’t in the best of spaces head-wise over the weekend (I’ve perked up since then). The sweet irony is that I sometimes have to do anxiety management at work and I know all of the theory about challenging negative thoughts, grading and practising tasks, riding out the anxiety feelings, flight or fight, the lot. I’m just crap at putting into practise with myself when I need to. The upside of this is that I have a good stock of anecdotes to give examples from, I think the latest one can be filed under “Examples of Black and White Thinking – if I do a run that isn’t 100% perfect to me, it’s a crap run and I’ve failed. Ergo, I may as well not run as I will inevitably fail”.

Husband has suggested that we have a bit of a Decemberthon to keep me motivated. I like the idea, apart from the fact that I can’t pronounce it without sounding like Violet Elizabeth Bott, Juneathon is a lot easier to say than Dethemberthon. Add to this the fact that the running bully and I are planning a bit of tag team bullying to get us back on track, we’ve a canalside run booked in for Saturday morning and a 4.5mile race in Santa hats in a month. All very positive steps, I think you’ll agree.

Next run, round the village tomorrow 5pm pre-yoga. Ooooh, actually, I can test a hypothesis that a pre-yoga run will be as effective as a pre-yoga nap for keeping me awake during meditation (and the nap is very effective, despite it taking me nearly a year of falling asleep in class to realise this).

Where’s the last month gone?

Um. Hello. I’ve just realised that I’ve not posted anything for a month. Crikey.

Suffice to say, I’ve still not found my running mojo.  I’ve been trying to get out at least once a week so I don’t give up entirely. In fact, I had two cracking morning runs on 28th and 29th October; I had 2 training days for work which resulted in the lovely combination of late starts and nearer location. I decided to take advantage of the opportunity (and the sunshine) and went out at 7.30 doing 3 miles each day at a not too bad for me pace. The problem with this is that although I really enjoyed them and they reminded me just how much I enjoy running (once I’m out there…), they were freakish one-off events that didn’t really help me get back into a routine. Even my club running has petered out a bit, but that just seems to be because life has started to occur on Tuesdays recently.

Having said that, I did a club run tonight and it nearly killed me. 3.5 miles, a bit hilly and I’m suffering with “decorating thighs” at the moment. The last two days have been spent balancing precariously on ladders, mainly using my quads to support myself (in yoga terms, it was a bit like doing a half camel four foot in the air) or doing a lunges with one foot on a rung and one on the meter cupboard. Poor ladder safety, but excellent end results. Next good intention is to go out on Saturday, club run Tuesday and book an after-work run midweek.

On the knitting front, The Big Knit hats are now on sale in Sainsburys. I remain very jealous of other people’s hats. I’m knitting a twirly scarf and have plans to run amok in one of my favourite wool shops tomorrow or Thursday. This will mainly involve running around touching yarn and dribbling wildly.