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:
I 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!