Virtual Running February 5k

Long time no blog (as usual)!

It’s been pretty mental round here lately. I’ve been down to Portsmouth to see the family a couple of times, for reasons I’ll probably explain later. Last weekend I ended up staying on my parents’ dining room floor as my Uncle and Auntie and my 4 and 8 year old cousins were staying too! We had a great time, walking along the seafront and going to the Blue Reef Aquarium. My youngest cousin got a balloon there that I ended up carrying most of the day, not a great look for a 26 year old, especially when the kids kept running off! I also bunked along for brunch with my sister and her boyfriend and best friend at Coast to Coast, a new American-style restaurant by the sea. I had eggs Benedict which was absolutely delicious, with a massive hash brown on the side. Yummers!

We also went out for drinks with our neighbours last week at a pub down the road we’d only ever been to for breakfast (best fried bread ever!). It’s so nice to finally have some friends up here! They told us they’ve just got kittens, so Rob’s already got plans to make our home, their home. He loves cats, that boy! I’m also going out for lunch tomorrow with a new translator friend. My resolution to make more effort establishing a proper social network in Nottingham is going pretty well.

But I guess a lot of people are after a running update, so here it is!

I entered Kirsten’s new Virtual Running challenge this month where you simply run 5k at some point over the month, submit your time and then compete against others to gain points over the year and win prizes.

I decided to try my first 5k on February 1st, as good a day as any! I finished in 38.07, way off the 32.30 I did at the Run with Richard 5k last September, but considering I hadn’t actually run since then, I didn’t think it was all that bad. And I don’t think that course was actually a full 5k, Runkeeper didn’t think so and that time is too good to be true for me.  I was already getting better, though, and I took it down to 37.49 a week later.

To try to work on my speed and endurance a bit, I then decided to go for faster 3k runs. I did these quite a few times, varying my pace up and trying to walk shorter distances each time. I also implemented a new plan of running the last 250-300 metres or so at 10.5 km/h, which is pretty fast for me. I like doing this now as it makes me feel like I’ve really earned the rest at the end and I can pretend I’m sprint finishing a race like Mo Farah!

Another change I’ve made is my shoes! I’ve been running on off-the-shelf Nikes since I first joined a gym back in 2011. Needless to say, they weren’t doing me much good, so I headed off to Up and Running to get my gait analysed and get some proper running shoes. The guy stuck me in some normal shoes to start with, then filmed me as I ran on their treadmill. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing when he showed me the tape! My left foot is fine, but my right foot not only overpronates, but also flails like nothing the bloke had seen before. It’s hard to describe, but basically it crosses behind my left calf on a diagonal instead of coming straight back. I reckon it’s because that foot turns out naturally when I walk, but there’s not much shoes can do about it. I did get some running shoes, however, and what a difference. I never realised my shoes were the reason my right shoulder always ached during running. I’m so much more comfortable now!

Yesterday I was feeling really good in the afternoon, not too tired and I’d been drinking plenty of water, so I thought to myself “tonight’s the night” and headed off to the gym. You can only submit one time per month for the 5k, so I really wanted to do well. I ran for longer periods, I walked less, I only took little sips of my drink to stop myself from getting stitch and…..I smashed my time! Right down to:

February 5KI was so proud of myself! I can’t wait to see how much I can speed it up over the next few weeks. I’m not expecting to cut another three minutes off, but I’m sure I can take it down further. If anyone wants to friend me on Runkeeper btw, just drop me a message!

See you soon for next month’s training!

Advertisements

Pilates, Pictures and Progress



I think the streak I was on last time I wrote ended after about 12 or 13 days all in all – not too shabby!

I’ve been pretty busy with work lately, leaving me knackered at the end of the day and not really wanting to do much by way of physical activity, but I’m still getting at least 3 or 4 days of exercise per week.

I went to get some new gym gear the day after my last post – with only two of us in the house, we can only justify putting the washing machine on every 4 or 5 days, so I needed an extra set to keep up with the gym and yoga. I also went to Sweaty Betty to get a hairband as my fringe really gets in my face. While I was trying them on, the cashier started to tell me about the free yoga and Pilates classes they run there, all you have to do is sign up for a free membership card, so I did! The only problem was that our chat distracted me so much, I didn’t notice I’d popped out one of my earrings with the hairbands. They’re one of my favourite pairs of studs, the family I lived with in when I was on my year abroad in Germany gave them to me as a leaving present, so I was pretty upset. Luckily, I had the sense to call the store in the morning and the cashier found it while I was still on the phone. Phew!

I picked it up on the Tuesday when I went to my first Pilates class. I hadn’t done Pilates before, but I enjoyed it. It’s fairly similar in some ways to what I’ve done at yoga, just focusing more on strengthening the core and other muscle groups. I went this week too and ended up having the instructor pulling on my leg to demonstrate how we should be stretching! She also showed me how to roll onto the outside of my feet to stop my knees coming together when I bend them, always good to know!

Now on to the pictures and progress!

I did my first 5K run since September this week! Rob was out all day Saturday, so I headed to the gym and battled along on the treadmill. I ran a lot more than I walked, trying to do 800m – 1km at a time running with 100 – 200 m walking gaps in between. I ended up finishing in 37 minutes or so. Not too bad considering I’m pretty much on 2 weeks of training at the moment. After that, I headed to the pool and jacuzzi for a nice relaxing cool down. I had the entire place to myself most of the time I was there!

My other achievement of the week was this:

Headstand

I did my first headstand at yoga! I haven’t done one since I was a kid! I was so pleased with myself, I came home and made Rob take pictures of me doing it so I could show off on Facebook.

Where I also showed off this:

Sloth T-Shirt

My Nan sent me this pole dancing sloth T-shirt. I love it!

That’s all for now, planning on possibly doing another 5K tonight for Kirsten’s challenge!