Blame it on Christmas Carbs!

After a week’s break and a very inactive Christmas (sofa sores were threatening!), I was keen to get back to parkrun (any run) this weekend.

Even so, I have to admit it was a struggle to get out of bed and not just because of the dark and cold and the lack of Chase the Place.  This time it was mainly due to yet another s**t night’s sleep.  There was a time when my head used to hit the pillow and I was out for the count.  But those days seem to be long gone.  Even an afternoon run doesn’t seem to do the trick.  Neither it appears does alcohol – not that I’m suggesting anyone should resort to such measures, heaven forbid – all those calories.  I keep reading this is a symptom of my “age” and I have now reluctantly decided to try an herbal remedy, one which rhymes with bytol!

I only bought a pack on Friday but then I decided not to use it on Friday night in case:-

(a) it was so effective I slept through the alarm and missed the start of the run or

(b) in case it had some unfortunate gastric side effects which would have made running rather awkward.

So instead I tossed and turned, this way and that, to no avail.  Or at least until about half an hour before the alarm went off.  Grrrh!

Still, the temperature soon woke me up on the start line and off I set.  My time was a bit disappointing, my second slowest since starting parkrun but my saving grace was none of that walking malarkey!  On reflection, I’m glad I didn’t resort to any pills or potions – I’d have blamed my slow time on that.  Perhaps I can blame too much carb loading over Christmas.  I have to say looking at the results page later in the day I was struck by the number of “PB remains at ….” this week, a good 64.5%.  Perhaps I wasn’t the only one experiencing excess carbs!?  Mind you, I’ve not compared it to previous weeks so it might just be my imagination or me clutching at straws.

Blame it on the Carbs! (But they were very nice 🙂

The other positive from this morning’s run is that I can now say I have achieved my 2013 running goal – to run 700 miles.  At the current time I’ve run just over 702 miles and I still have three days to go.  And then I can start on 2014’s goal, to run 800 miles.  Deep joy!!!!

PS: if the bytol doesn’t work, my next “remedy” is cherry juice.  And if that doesn’t work, heaven help my clients next year!  The non-shouting personal trainer might turn into a right grouch!

 

 

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The W Word

We’re not going to use the W word this week but suffice to say my saviour from last week’s parkrun could possibly have been my downfall this week!  Oh so fickle!!  I kept Royanna and her running companion in sight for most of the race and at one point I was hot on their heels, almost in a position to overtake (below is photographic evidence but you need a Flickr account to see the proof!)  However, somewhere just passed the 4k mark it all got a bit too much and the inevitable happened. 

[http://www.flickr.com/photos/95006464@N04/11366054296/]

But we shall move on and look ahead.  I can’t make parkrun this weekend but looking on the positive side not only do I get a lay in, I can also have a glass of wine on Friday night!  Parkrun can put a bit of a spoiler on your social life and it’s not been unheard of for me to make an excuse not to go out on a Friday night because I want to be as fresh as possible for Saturday morning.  Sad… but am I the only one?   As I’m planning to parkrun on New Year’s Day, New Year’s Eve could be interesting but at least on this occasion we get an extra hour in bed with a 10am start (at Shorne Woods anyway).

Having said let’s look ahead, let’s look back!  At the beginning of 2013 I read about a runner who set himself a target of running 1,000 miles in a year, I then decided to set myself a challenge, to run 700 miles this year.  Somewhere along the line this got converted into kilometres but anyway at the current time I have 28k to go and a fortnight left to do it.  Despite the Christmas festivities, I’m fairly confident I’ll manage the distance and thanks to the AA route planner, I now know this means I’ll have run from my house to Gretna Green and back.  I don’t know why I would want to run to Gretna Green and back but I’m quite impressed; I’ve never been to Scotland.

Look how far I went!

Actually that’s a lie, I have – I went to Glasgow for two days to teach someone how to use a computer – and anyone who knows me now will know what a joke that is!  Me, teach someone how to use a computer!?  I didn’t see anything of Glasgow other than the hotel and the office so that doesn’t really count.  Anyway, I digress!

So now let’s look ahead again – are you feeling dizzy yet?  2014 – Hmm, what shall we do this year?  Well I’ve decided to increase my distance and I’ve gone for 1300k (just over 800 miles).  This would get me to Galashiels and back!  Hope there are no hold ups on the M25!

Sorry – couldn’t resist this one!!

One of my other goals is to run a sub 2 hour half marathon.  Now some of you may be aware of the CSMART  acronym in connection with “work” objectives.  I’ve applied the acronym to this goal.

Challenging – definitely

Specific – yes

Measurable – literally

Achievable – on paper (my PB is 2 hours 3 minutes and 33 secs but that was in 2008)

Relevant – to me, yes – pride is at stake

Timed – again, literally!

So my first opportunity is at the end of March with Paddock Wood (fairly flat apart from a couple of railway bridges and done in 2 hours 7 mins 32 secs in 2012 – the W word came in about mile 10 at one of those railway bridges!).  But as a reserve, I shall also try for the Royal Parks Half (fat chance of getting in) and/or the Great North Run (been lucky on both occasions I applied but expensive in terms of travel/accommodation).

I stopped setting resolutions some years ago; they’re far too easy to break.  Goals, however, are much more tangible.  I would urge you to try the acronym on your own running (or other) goals in 2014.  Good luck and perhaps you could give me updates during the year?

Meanwhile, thank you for reading my blog during 2013 and I wish you a very happy Christmas and New Year.

Here comes Santa!

A Huge Thank You

So how’s my new plan going?  Not too bad so far, four runs of varying distances (maximum 8k) and no walking and yes, that does include Saturday’s parkrun!  J Although I’m fairly confident I would have completed Saturday’s run without any walking, it’s down to one of my fellow runners that I completed it as fast as I did.  I think this is the runner who encouraged me back in the summer, on that occasion she pulled ahead to finish in front of me but somehow on Saturday it worked the other way – and this after she slowed down to spur me on.  With only 350m to go and just over the last bridge, she turned around and urged me to keep going and we ran the rest of the race together but by some fluke I got the finishing token ahead of her and I finished 30th and she finished 31st.  When I got home I felt really bad and wished I’d swapped tokens with her.  I did say thank you!  So publicly, thank you Royanna Rogers.

[http://www.flickr.com/photos/95006464@N04/11252976855/#]

Next Saturday is the last of the eight Chase the Place runs and at the current time, I plan to be there – not giving up now!  But what happens once the competition finishes?  How will I continue to drag myself out of bed on a cold, dark Saturday morning?  It’s getting harder and harder.  Well, it appears the running gods have come up with another motivational tool and salvation is at hand thanks to Jantastic 2014!  The “scheme” is aimed purely at keeping people motivated through the cold winter months.  There are no prizes (actually I think I did see some reference to the Virgin London Marathon 2015 in the rules but we wont worry about that yet) and like parkrun, it’s free to join in.  All you have to do is sign up and commit to run a certain number of times a week for each of the three months, January, February and March.  As you progress there are further commitments, like committing to a particular distance for your long run and if you’re taking part in an organised run, perhaps a time commitment.  So I’ve signed up and made my first January commitment to run four times a week.  Details can be found at www.jantastic.me

Now I’d better start practising for that first commitment.  Where’s my trainers?

Another Week, Another Plan!

Ok, so having said I always run slower when I’m on my own, last week I proved myself wrong – again!  And I did probably one of my best solo 5k runs and no walking.  The following day I did another run, 6k this time and no walking.  Sunday I did 7k, no walking.  Saturday, parkrun, 5k and walking.  Although I improved on the previous week’s time, just after the 4k point there were a couple of walks – even though I knew I didn’t have far to go.  Couldn’t even blame my cold this week.  Grrrrh, it’s just so frustrating. 

So my new theory is if my legs get used to longer runs being the norm, then 5k shouldn’t be a problem – even though I’m not convinced it’s my legs that are the problem.  But longer runs should also improve my stamina, right!?  But I’m not sure that’s the problem either.

Let’s be honest, I’m going to have to start building up my distances anyway, half marathons are a bit longer than 5k!  And I’m only too aware of my widget winding down the months before Paddock Wood.  Before I know where I am it’ll be counting down the weeks and then the days and then the hours ….

And incidentally my Sunday 7k time was so good*, if I managed to keep that pace up, I’d achieve my sub 2 hours half with minutes to spare – if only!!  But a girl can dream 🙂

* I need to qualify such statements – good for me!!