Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Bang goes the other shoe!

Remember my last post where I talked about how everything was feeling good and I was getting the hang of things, and that it all made me very nervous and I was just waiting for the other shoe to drop? Well, drop it did. I have to hand it to those Running Gods their vengeance is swift. This time it took the form of a stinking cold which appeared on Saturday and stuck around until Friday, meaning I missed both running classes (and my dog's training class too but that's off topic). Normally I wouldn't worry about missing a run but the problem with missing a class is that they all move onwards and upwards without you. So when I came back to class yesterday I was told that we would be running for 6 minutes and walking for 1. The last class I had done with the group we ran for 2.5 minutes and walked for 1. Quite the jump in my opinion! Obviously I set off way too fast and spent the rest of the time mentally kicking myself for it. As we got to the last repetition I genuinely felt like crawling and am amazed I managed to make the drive home without my legs spontaneously dropping off. 

I woke up this morning slightly stiff (to be expected I guess) dreading this evening's run club. I battled the urge to miss this one too and dragged myself there only to find I was one of only two others who had managed to come along. While that made me feel happy (in a sort of proud we-are-so-hardcore way) it also meant that somehow the pace was sneakily increased to the point where, not only did we run 4K non stop but we also ran it faster than we ever have before, shaving three whole minutes off our time from two weeks ago. This makes me very happy. It also makes me very worried. Worried about how achy my poor, barely recovered body will feel tomorrow. 

Still, three minutes faster. Boom. 

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

When did that happen?

Yesterday I had a sort of out of body experience. Well, not really an out of body experience exactly. Not like the ones you hear about, when people are dying in hospital and they say they just floated up out of their body and watched themselves down below. I didn't have that. What I had would maybe be better described as an "out of personal context" experience? I know that's not much better. Bear with me and I'll try to explain. 

I have been doing my Tuesday run club now for four weeks and my Monday one for two. Last week I did my Monday class, my Tuesday club, and I went for a run on the Thursday too. It was only yesterday, halfway through my 4k run with the ladies from run club (that's right, 4k without stopping, check us out!) that I realised I had become the person I used to watch running down the street, on their second out of four potential runs that week. That infuriating, super motivated person who didn't look like they were actively dying right there on the street. There I was, in the freezing cold, dark October evening, jogging along quite happily, chatting to the ladies about how easy this was all getting. (Chatting while running! Actual speech creating capabilities. While running!)

Seriously when did that happen? I can't remember there being an actual moment where this transition noticeably came about but somehow, running is no longer wholly unpleasant for me. It's not fun, let's not exaggerate now, but it is definitely not unpleasant. 

I do feel like I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop though. Like maybe the Running Gods are just lulling me into a lovely false sense of achievement before they make me twist my ankle or some such punishment. While I wait for the other shoe to drop I plan to revel in this realisation that I am edging ever closer to being able to call myself a proper runner. "Proper" by the standards which I have set for myself, not any ridiculous standards set by those photoshopped running magazine ladies. (Psst: they're not real!). 

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Run Club: week 3 & Running Class: week 1

This week marked the start of my now weekly double whammy of running classes. Today's class, like every Tuesday, is more informal, a group of ladies who aren't "proper" runners just getting moving and motivating each other. Monday's classes, which started yesterday, are a bit more formal, and take place in South Oxhey. Both classes aim to get us running non stop for 30 minutes. Which a present I really can't do.

I definitely enjoyed yesterday's class. We did 8 reps of minute and a half jogging and minute and a half walking. There were slight inclines involved and we were also switching from pavement to grass, which always unnerves me cause I have endless visions of me slipping and landing oh-so-elegantly on my bum. Thankfully that hasn't happened. Yet. At the end of the class we were given homework. Yes, homework. Homework which consists of doing the same 8 reps two more times before next class. It's going to hurt is all I can say on that subject for now.

Despite warming up properly and cooling down properly with stretches and walking, I still woke up this morning feeling very stiff. This did not help motivate me to go to today's run club. Especially since it's so dark and damp out, and my house is warm and has a soft puppy in it. I dragged myself out anyway and I am glad I did. Normally we run around a park and do some interval training around a tennis court but as it was so dark today we decided to stick to the roads and just jog. And jog we did for 3.5km without stopping. It's the furthest I've ever run without stopping or slowing to a walk so I am really pleased with myself. 

I am not looking forward to waking up tomorrow and inevitably not being able to move but I will just try not to think about that for now and enjoy the fact that on a dark damp night I get to come home to a warm house with a soft puppy in it. 

Friday, 2 October 2015

Run Club: Week 2

I have to say, I am genuinely enjoying running class. I have never, ever been one to get the so-called "runner's high" after going for a run. Small sense of satisfaction, yes. But that amazing invincible feeling everyone goes on about? Nope. I secretly (or not so secretly) think that it's a conspiracy to lure people into running, thinking they're going to have this wonderful feeling at the end which will make it all worth it. Lies! Anyway, my point is that while I've yet to experience that "high", I actually felt quite good after this week's running class. Not in an invincible I-can-do-anything way, more in a "oh my god I can still breathe and don't feel like I need an ambulance" way. That is because for the first time since I started running, I actually ran for the whole half hour class without stopping to walk once. I know this may not sound like much to some of you but trust me, for me it's something. It keeps proving that the whole needing to stop and walk every two minutes was all in my head. I really don't need to stop. I mean eventually I will have to stop, I'm not a robot. But I won't need to stop as often as I used to. Which in my mind is progress. 

I think the only downside to the class is that it starts at 7pm and we run in and around an area which is sort of dimly lit which, as the nights pull in, will make it tougher and tougher to see. I'm not so worried about safety because there are at least ten of us girls so we have safety in numbers. I'm more worried about us crashing into each other cause we won't be able to see where we are putting out feet! So that'll keep things interesting. 

Finally, because this week went so well the Running Gods decided to intervene yet again, because god forbid I start getting too positive about all this. This time their intervention came in the form of a "thanks but no thanks" email from the London Marathon 2016 people. I had entered the ballot back in May but sadly didn't get lucky this time. However, I refuse to let the Running Gods win and have contacted a few charities close to my heart to see if I can get a charity place, so fingers crossed for me please and I will let you know if I get lucky!