Run 1 (17/09/2018)
New week, new start and another chance to hit my 16k a week target with 2 x 3k and 2 x 5k. I was out with the pup in the morning, we covered a very leisurely 5k through the woods in what is likely to be one of the last great sunny days of the year, a truly enjoyable walk. I managed to fit the run in the early evening and it was still pleasantly warm.
This evenings run would be 3k as I needed to pickup some groceries and be back home to fire up the BBQ ahead of a friend popping around and it was already going to be tight. I took an extended once round the park warm up as it seemed to help last time. There’s an outside gym class on the green on Monday’s and they where setting up what looked like a bunch of interval training obstacles, lots of fit looking people turning up.
So I set off with the sun just dipping down beyond the horizon behind me. The first km is going well at 7 min 28 secs, it’s feeling comfortable. I’ve also put together a new playlist based on various recommendations and most of the lap “The Distance” by Cake was playing. It’s a track/group I’ve never heard before and it’s a stunning running track, I was literally gliding around.
Second km and it’s now getting dark in the park and the temperature has dropped, great. Another new track/group “Runnin'” by Sinkane and I just gotta keep on runnin, runnin. I’m so glad I’ve mixed up my playlist this is actually fun. Just as I pass the gym class a hundred people sprint at me (on their first exercise) which made me laugh and gave me a boost.
The last 3rd km and I’m feeling pretty good, I’m getting out of breath at the top of each incline but easily recovering half way back down. I’ve also got a really nice rhythm going and a stonking new playlist. This lap features “Demons” by Fatboy Slim featuring the fantastic voice of Macy Gray. I finish off the 3rd km in 7 min 21, I’ve checked the time, I’m out of it, I’m going to be late as it is. Annoyingly I actually want to keep on running, I’m well up for another 2k. Sods law! I run to the shop instead.
Never underestimate the power of music, especially the right music, it can literally carry you around. I’d been listening to the same stale playlist for the last month and it’s fair to say it had lost some of it’s potency, mixing it up made a huge difference. Fresh new tracks, make the time pass far quicker by occupying the mind. I hope I can recreate the performance for my next run, I’ll ensure I have time to do the extra 2k.
It’s that time of the year when the nights seem to come crashing in, I realised tonight I’m going to spend a lot of time running in the dark. By the time the sun returns I should have 5k mastered.
Run Rating :
Run 2 (19/09/2018)
Spent a good part of the morning walking the dog around the local and park and then headed back there just after lunch with the intention of running my first 5k of the week. It was stormy conditions, very gusty and intermittent rain showers, luckily it wasn’t that cold. The park was needless to say fairly empty.
Based on my last performance, I’ve done an extra warmup lap around the park, all the time watching the weather deteriorating and thinking I should start my run it’ll be pouring down shortly. I’ve got my new playlist and I’m intent on picking up where I left off on the last run, i.e. to feel fresh at 3k.
The first km it starts to rain, I’m sheltered under the trees for over half the run so it’s all good. Until half way round and I hit the full force of the wind on the climb back up the park. This is my first experience of having to run into a headwind and let’s just say it ironically takes the wind out of your sails. It’s not like I’m evening get the benefit 0f the wind at my back on the other half of the park as it’s sheltered. In spite of the wind I’ve managed to knock the first km out in 7 min 11 secs. Which for me is recklessly quick, but I’m feeling ok so I push on.
The 2nd km is going fine until I hit the wind again, this time it’s even stronger, in fact it’s so strong the sweat of my forehead is being blown into a horizontal bead of water dousing whoever is unlucky to be passing me on the right. It’s taking quite a bit of effort to get back up the incline and I’m feeling fatigued by the time I’ve hit the top of the park. I’m panting wildely and I can feel it’s taken quite a bit out of my legs, my stride has started to shorten to compensate. Worryingly my pace is 7 min 18 secs which is nigh on suicidal, especially in these conditions.
By the time I hit the 3rd km and the windswept incline again, I’m really not enjoying it and I have all the telltale symptoms of an imminent blow out. I’m having to dig way to deep to get back to the top of the park, my stride now down to baby steps and my breathing out of control, I finally crest the top of the hill. My stomach is doing cartwheels and I suddenly realise I’ve got a bad case of flatulence to have to sort out, that’s another first. So I occupy my time on the down hill section trying to let out a few sneaky ones in a force gale wind, who’s going to tell.
Crunch time, do I have the will to pull myself together and push on for the last 2k or am I going to head to the pits. Needless to say it was the latter, I’d had enough. The last 3km amazingly (or maybe because of) my flatulence and fatigue was 7 min 21 secs. But I was spent that last km was probably one of the hardest I’ve ever ran.
I’m frustrated that yet again I’ve not made the distance, so much for getting to 3km feeling fresh, more like the walking dead. I check the Endomondo app to stop the run and realise it’s a new 3km PB, shaving almost 40 seconds of the last PB in August. Well that’s something especially in these conditions.
I think I’m going to give myself a pass on this one. I’m still not happy that I failed to manage the pace correctly but on the other hand it was in the face of the first storm of the season, so to come out of it with a PB at least I did some work, even if it was the wrong work.
It of course leaves me with little wiggle room to hit my 16km goal for the week, I’ll need to do 5k on the last 2 runs. The only good news is Friday’s weather is looking better and now I know to run round the park in the other direction if I want the wind against my back.
Run Rating :
Run 3 (21/09/2018)
I started this run with some trepidation since my last run my left knee had generally ached, the night before it had a worrying stabbing pain when bent beyond a particular point. As a teenager I managed to do some serious damage to my knee while long jumping. I remember it vividly as that evening I watched my first true horror film Alien with my father. The film was made doubly traumatic by the searing pain from my knee at every jump scare. It had taken me several months to recover and a lifetime to get over the movie, even to this day I have an odd bony protrusion on my knee cap. So it’s fair to say I’m a little bit paranoid when it comes to knee pain.
The park was getting dark by the time I started my warm up walk. I’ve come to the conclusion that the extra 10 minutes fast walking really does help, it helps me at least get my mind on the job at hand. At this time of year it is also allowing me to identify and make mental notes of the running hazards, with the recent storm the paths are strewn with debris. It was still pretty windy, but I know from the last run if I go clockwise I’ll have the wind to my back when it matters.
So I set off. I need to average 8 min/km if I’m going to get through this, so I’m dialling back my pace, adjusting my stride to smaller steps. First time round in 8 min 4 secs, spot on pace and feeling pretty good.
I’ve got a new mental trick to try. As I tick off the laps, I’m going to mentally reset, forget everything I’ve run so far and imagine I’m just starting the run, it seems to work – 4 laps is definitely easier to run than 5 laps.
The second km goes well, it’s a good pace as I’m not getting the digging deep feeling in the pit of my stomach on the incline. The second km is 8 min 9 seconds, pacing is going well. Reset. I just need to run 3 laps, that’s my speciality.
By the 3rd km the park is getting pretty dark and it is mostly unlit, I really am having to use my mental map of the route to dance around the branches and other debris. I notice I’m getting very little benefit from the wind at my back on the way back down. The 3rd km is 8 min 20 sec, slow and steady. It’s crunch time the 3km mark is usually my make or break point, my weakest point mentally on these runs. Reset. Cool I just need to run 2km that’s easy.
The 4th km could have been easier, I have to swerve to avoid a Jack Russell that then decides to chase after me nipping at my calf. I try to get my breathing back under control, I’m laughing too much. A little bit further and this time a German Shepherd on a long leash decides it’s going to sniff a post on the other side of the path, the poor owner desperately tries to pull it back, to no avail. I manage to dive out of the way at the last moment. Finally in the near darkness there’s a family walking home, their young daughter on her first bike slams her breaks on to avoid going into my path and then accidentally let’s go and ends up slowly rolling into my new path. Not a problem I’m getting quite good at this obstacle course. All in all an eventful lap, at 8 min 16 seconds. Reset.
Wow all I have to do is run 1km that’s a cake walk, I don’t even feel tired and more importantly my knee is feeling fine. By this point I’m running more from memory than sight with large parts of the park in pitch blackness, I’ll need to start thinking seriously about what winter running is going to mean. The last km is uneventful the only things in the park now are me and snoring squirrels.
5km done the last lap in 8 min 8 secs and it was easy. In fact it’s the easiest 5km I’ve ever done. The time isn’t going to trouble my previous PB at 40 min 58 secs it’s almost 3 minutes slower, but the difference is I feel fresh as opposed to dead. Fresh enough to run home another 0.7km, the only thing that stopped me going further was concerns for pushing my luck with my knee.
I’m writing this the morning after the run and amazingly my knee feels fine, better than it had going into the run, which is hugely encouraging. The reset mental trick really helped, I spent most the run (after the first lap) thinking what remained was easy.
I have one more run this week it needs to be another 5k to hit my 16km target. I’ve realised I have a scheduling problem, I want to run every other day, that’s 4 days a week in a 7 day week. If I don’t keep to a mon-sun then my accumulative stats in Endomondo don’t work properly. Basically the maths just don’t work. I either end up running 4 runs and then 3 runs in alternate weeks or stick to 4 days a week and not have a break between them. I’m not hugely happy with either option. My reliability is not helping, running 3k/5k/3k/5k would help by spreading out the distance runs, but when I flake out and leave myself back to back 5k’s it compounds the issue.
Having given it some thought I’m going to stick to 4 days a week, but if I fail the distance it’s a failed run. I’ll add the distance to the week, but I’m not going to push the problem down the line and try and get it back later. That will also force me to commit properly to runs.
I want to see this week out, so I’m still planning for 5k tomorrow. From Monday however I’ll stick to the new plan with a 3km run. I honestly can’t believe how much effort it’s taking just to organise this, surely it should be about the running.
Run Rating :
Run 4 (23/09/2018)
Just like last week, today’s run didn’t happen. It poured down all morning and by the early afternoon I was fending off a crazed pup desperate for entertainment, So instead I took the pup for a long walk and play in the local dog paddock where he got more than just a little bit muddy. Much to the annoyance of Wen as he was booked in for his next puppy training class an hour after I finally dragged him back home.
This week’s total effort is a little over 11 km’s, pretty much on par with last week. That said at least I managed this week’s distance with a little less messing around than last week (3 runs vs 4) and secured 3 new PB’s, so some progress:
|1 km||06 min 38 sec||1/9/2018|
|1 mile||10 min 56 sec||1/9/2018|
|3 km||21 min 44 sec||19/9/2018|
|3 mile||37 min 15 sec||7/9/2018|
|5 km||38 min 30 sec||7/9/2018|
|Most calories burned||859 kcal||21/9/2018|
I’ll pick this up tomorrow (Monday) with a 3km run.