Tuesday, 29 May 2007

Quote Stealing

Saw this on Warrior Women and thought - I bloody love this image:

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: “WOW!! What a run!”

Just a little thought for the day. (More on last night's elliptical 10K later.)

Monday, 28 May 2007

Crumbling Away - Let's play Catch-Up

Reader - I murdered him.

Well, not quite. I did pop in and see my lovely (and well trusted) local doctor - May 22nd. To my surprise he took one look (and a few squeezes) of my ankle and said, "You've got ligament damage, no running for 8 weeks, and no cycling!" I replied that it didn't hurt, it was only a niggle, did he really mean it? Was told in no uncertain terms he DID mean it and I was allowed to use the elliptical machine (as long as it didn't hurt) and do general, gentle use with some light stretching.

I was very polite, thanked him for his time and went and sat in the car and cried like a baby.

Now, I do realise that this seems (and is) a complete over-reaction. But those that know where I started from (a base of nothing, with no fitness and much wobbling lard) will understand that 8 weeks without running is a long time. The Dundee Half goes out the window. It took so long to get where I am now, that any set back feels so utterly defeating. Especially with an injury that I can't feel unless I run...(more on this later).

After two days of utter grumpiness and horrible depression I decided that I would use those 8 weeks to keep fit, and loose a little more weight; thereby making it easier on my body when I can run again. TheO has been extremely supportive and understands that I am not well disposed to feeling 'broken'. (There was a hideous car crash 7 years ago when I was in hospital for 7 weeks and had to learn how to walk again; any injury makes me extremely depressed.)

So with their encouragement we headed to the pool on 23rd May. I did a decent 40 lengths. First 20 I stopped every 4 lengths for a mini breather then I did the last 20 in a one-er. About 40min overall. 50% breast stoke 50%crawl. A good workout but not as satisfying as running, and my exercise log carefully states in big black letters that it F***ING SUCKS NOT TO BE ABLE TO RUN. (Let's just say I'm not completely adjusted to the situation.) However the good news was that it didn't hurt.

With this new found optimism (hmmmph) I used the elliptical machine on Friday 25th May and thank gd it didn't hurt either. A wonderful weightloss 4.15 miles in 45min. A SLOW but sweaty pace which really made me feel like I'd actually worked out. Fluctuating between 3 and 7 on the resistance scale, my legs felt much better afterwards - as did I.

Now that I've calmed down a bit I realised that there were lots of questions I wanted to ask a specialist about my ankle.
1. How did it happen (there was no 'moment of injury')?
2. How can I prevent it?
3. Seriously, do I really have to not run for 8 weeks?
4. If the above is true what are the best ways to keep my level of fitness up.
5. If I need orthotics - tell me now, so I can run into my dotage rather than be frickin' crippled.

So I'm going to see MAGICDOCTOR on the 14th of June (first appointment I could get). By that time I'll have had 3 weeks and 4 days without a run, so at least I'll have rested it properly.

Moving on. I had a wonderful (and in no way depressing because I couldn't run) w/end watching 2 friends complete the Edinburgh Marathon May 27th. One in a PB of 3.37 with almost no training (he's a kids sports advisor so spends all day, every day in physical activity - but even so...). We were impressed and hated his jammie-ness simultaneously. His girlf was just glad he survived. And RF - put in the most outstanding effort to come in at 4.30ish despite popping ibuprofen the whole way round and having a horrible ITB knee injury. She's done sub4h in the past but this finish was about pride - and she really pushed herself though the pain barrier. I was so gddamn proud. I know she'll be harsh with herself, even though her training was disrupted by injury. I know she'll be gutted - but she shouldn't be. It was an incredible thing to watch.
On a personal note, the only negative of the day was that after 3 1/2 hours on my feet spectating and a 1 mile walk to the bus my foot hurt bad. It went away during the bus journey, but then the 2 mile walk home made it hurt like hell. DAMN - this takes me out of a days hill walking next w/end too.

AH well, just time to eat less and get a few pounds off. This has also been a DISASTER all week as we had sis-in-law and the 'phews visiting.. Thai food, lunches out; then guests to entertain - more lunches out, then huge meal out pre marathon AND post marathon ... a very bad week.

All set for this week to be MUCH BETTER.


Ps Thanks for putting up with the HuuuuuuuuGE rant.

Sunday, 20 May 2007

Running and Hurting

Ah well. There's the rub.
If only it did bloody rub and not ache indiscriminately.

3 miles in 30:20 BUT had a 5 min walking break as my foot hurt.

The arch on my right foot started to ache after 1.5 miles. At 2.5 miles it got a bit worse so I walked for a bit. Then I finished off running but the pain returned.

An ikooo injury, but an injury none the less.

Bizarrely the little black bitch Bridie didn't fancy a run either and only perked up on the way back. She stopped me for some water after .5 of a mile, she's a smart pooch.

I think I'll pop to the doctor just to check I'm not doing myself serious harm...

Wednesday, 16 May 2007

Normal Service

As promised normal service did resume yesterday. It was one of those glorious days: sunny, clear blue skies, an almost Mediterranean warm breeze. The bunnies, butterflies and birds were out in force. The hedgerows were in bloom (I would name them if I could). Generally the type of day that makes you glad to be alive.

Did a peaceful and someone plodderish 4 miles. It was a hilly route up the quarry and beyond.
10.08 (this includes walking for 25 seconds up a super-steep bit at the end, I just couldn't be arsed).

So 40.59 for 4 miles. I was trying to take it easy, not look at the time etc.
Still disappointed not to get a long run in last week; but in retrospect I think I needed the break. It was so nice to run again, really helped to clear my mind of work - and everything else.

There is one small fly in this ointment however, I seem to have a slightly niggly ankle pain. Inside of right ankle, quite high up, but also feels linked to the arch is a bit achy. Can feel it when I run but can also ignore it? Any words of wisdom?

Tuesday, 15 May 2007

In the midnight hour

Been a lazy SOB recently. Don't know what's come over me. I'm officially designating this week as my lazy/relaxed/low mileage week. No run since Tuesday. No long run at all. And then there was the cup cake, the muffin and the eclair... say no more.

In my paltry defence I've been busy as a worker bee. (Oh to be the Queen!) Work has been manic, TheO went away to London for a few days and returns tomorrow with two charges (US young'ans who will need to be suitable fed, sheltered, watered etc). So, apart from work I fitted in a host of hideous domestic tasks including a full weeks shopping at 1am this morning. All hale the Tesco's shaped chief. It was the strangest atmosphere. The lights were partially dimmed, the music and speakers were off, I saw one other shopper apart from me ... the staff were friendly, unharrassed; and if you are happy to pick your way around the plethora of re-stocking trolleys - a truly delightful shopping experience. Remarkably relaxing, almost soothing.

Other sights:
No, really, this one is more interesting. We went out to dinner with some mates who dropped us home (now, we live in the country, up a hill, 2 miles from the nearest shop/village) and had to stop because there was an old (I'd guess 70-ish) runner heading up the hill - at night - in the dark. My first thought:"Good on her!" If she feels happiest running at night then more power to her. I'm delighted she feels safe. Gives me hope for my dotage.

So, I bid you all goodnight, and hope that normal service will be returned tomorrow. ........... when I actually put my trainers on and get.out.the.door.

Friday, 11 May 2007

Scream if you want to go FASTER

Aching today - but happy. Gym session yesterday, did my one mile - just to see how things are going. I used my first minute to move slowly from walking to running. Then I just ran and ran - my *new* 1 mile time is [drum roll please ...] 7.33!

This has given me a real boost. It was hard but not deathly, I could still walk and breathe afterwards (this is a real improvement). I'm a few tiny little seconds away from exactly halving my mile time since the first ever mile... and it's only taken 9 months and a couple of weeks. 15min initially, down to 7.33min for one mile.

The weights were also fab - my leg muscles are really beginning to 'pop' in all the right places. Underneath the flab I must be some kind of goddess........ Or maybe I was just too inspired while watching the Shakira and Beyonce video at the gym :) Just need to work those arms properly ... feels like the last place that the weight wants to leave.

Now I just have to start working on the mileage again. I've cursed the weather by buying summer running tops. It's plummeted to between 5 and 7 oC - that sucks. We were walking to dogs today and it really did feel like a cold autumnal day. Boo Hissssssss it'll have to be a run in the cold and the wet tomorrow - ick.

Wednesday, 9 May 2007

Achievements for the day.

Work - 0 Application for the Dundee Half Marathon - 1


Blue ...
Still fairly happy about the w/end's race overall. Loved doing the distance. Thinking of applying for my next half - need these things to keep me going. Dundee - 1st of July - probably.
Went for a lovely 5K on Tuesday. Bad black dog was adorable, it was sunny but not too hot, managed a quick 29min overall and that included walking for a minute (during which time I re-tied my shoe as I was getting foot-ache). Took it easy but ran hard. I know that might not make sense, but walking for a minute is a big step for me - normally I ignore any pain. It felt like a nice short session after the w/end's exertions.
But still there is a cloud of blue around me. I had the realisation of why people end up running marathons and ultra distances. Only once will you ever finish your first race at a certain distance. I know, no matter how much I improve or change my pace nothing will feel like finishing my first half. (Still no intention to do a marathon.) I know that the endurance factor sets the brain into some kind of revelry. Setting goals and achieving them does the mind good like nothing else.

I can get faster, I can get fitter; but I can never again go through the finish line for the first time.

On a happier note I went to TKMAXXXXX to have a look for running tops - found exactly what I wanted for about a tenner each. Fab Nike tops from 'last season' reduced by 2/3 - made my sad and pathetic day feel much brighter. Then spent 20 min in JJB fighting with the new Nike bra. Hmmph - not impressed with the fit. It took me from a 38D to a 36C to get the right fit - but still no where near enough support to actually go running. Love the design, love the smooth straps and lack of seams, love the idea it wicks; hate the lack of support; and we all know that in a sports bra, only one thing really matters.

Monday, 7 May 2007

The best of times ... the worst of times

Wow - I don't even want to blog about it, I'm so conflicted. So gutted and disappointed with circumstance, and with my my own feelings.

I'll give you all the details and let you decide how I should feel.

Official time 1.01.07 Official distance 10K (6.22miles)
Distance (remember this, it'll be important later) according to GPS 6.45 miles....
Average pace 9.28
Best pace 5.52
Calories burnt 786 Calories eaten post race celebrating a friend's bday - 4786 he he he!!

9.05 - mostly down hill but extremely congested and getting around people was tough going
A good start to my "start as fast as possible, there's hills later" plan.
9.57 - quite happy as this included a small hill (The Mound)
8.39 - incredible but true - there was a nice stretch of downhill before ...
11.02 - Arthur's Seat - about 1.5k going UP and UP and UP - here the wind blasted us in the face
8.19 - chuffed to bits - there was some lovely downhill and I decided to take full advantage
10.14 - long slow drag up at the end
::last 0.45 mile segment in 3.45::

10K time according to ORWELL was 59.02

So, I think you see the dilemma.
I did 10K in the time I hoped for but the race is 'officially' 10K and I didn't get my sub 60min goal - the goal I'd trained for, raced for, planned for and generally slogged my guts out for.

It becomes even more galling when I explain that the kilometre markers were only present at 1km, 8km and 9km... so I didn't even know the race was going to be long - or that I was off their pace - until I was 8km. There is only so much you can do at 8km. Hence the flat out sprint (for me) for most of the last 0.45 of a mile.

I think most of my disappointment comes from the whole end experience for me. I finished and it started to rain, I felt cold (obviously) and slowly made my way to the agreed meeting area. (Having seen no friends.) Wait 10min while putting on my race tshirt to try and keep warm. No one turns up. I try and find them - by that point I was near tears... all I've ever said to TheO was that I really needed them at the end of the race, I don't care about support on the way round, I just need them at the end. They hadn't made it in time from their hill support stance. They never saw me peg it down Middle-Meadow-Walk. They never hugged me at that moment of self doubt. Bugger it. This is horribly self indulgent and whingy. (I'm hoping for some PMT/S issues to be involved here.)

So, enough, pull the socks up, stiffen the upper lip and GET OVER IT is my advice to self.
Meanwhile I've posted on Runner's World to question whether the course may have been a little bit long - and so far everyone agrees with me!!!!! Now I really feel sorry for the elites, as it was a windy day everyone is blaming their being a few minutes off the pace on the wind - when it really should be the distance. ce la vie

Thursday, 3 May 2007

Giving my demons cake

No time to run.
Got a whole bunch of stuff delivered to a gallery in person.
A whole bunch sent by post.
A commission engraved and a commission finished and approved for posting tomorrow.

11 friends for a massive dinner party tomorrow night.
Saturday a photographer is coming to take a group/non-posed/relaxed shot of 6 of us - it was TheO's 30th gift from said friends.
Sunday is the race......
Eeeek - I was meant to run today - a little 30 min leg stretcher but there wasn't a spare minute.
What should I do - RUN or REST ---- please let me know?