Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Before you judge a man

Slight blog delay this week; slight run delay too.  A bit too much festivity at the weekend, coupled with a Bank Holiday monday has meant a bit of lay-off from the 'mill.  As ever, there were consequences - a slight step up in runtime today has been extremely hard to cope with.  I almost had to give up at one point, breath coming in ragged gasps through a sandpaper windpipe, but did eventually manage to run at 8kph for an entire 3 minutes non-stop!  That wasn't the whole routine before you scoff; just a split.

Finally got round to my gait analysis this weekend.  A visit to my step-brother's gym in Harrogate led to an introduction to the local sport shop - they got me on a treadmill and videoed me walking and running.  There was a slight mishap at one point as the belt slipped and I nearly came a cropper but we did get some useful footage.  It's really quite alarming - my ankles bulge inwards to a degree that looks as though my leg's about to snap off.  Apparently there's only one shoe for me (a Brooks Adrenaline GTS 13 if you're interested).  With shoe fitted (a bloody size 13) I was retaped with impressive results - leg came down straight with much less stress on the ankle.  They do take a bit of getting used to; lot's of medial support made my balance feel a but dodgy on the 'mill today.  The result is worth it though - no shin pains at all today.  Just the rough breathing!  If you're seriously considering any sort of significant running I can't recommend it enough - most places who do it do it free (or with a small charge which is then deducted from your shoe purchase).

The weekend was a success - Saturday doing a restaurant crawl in Harrogate and a bit of a Leo on Saturday to celebrate a birthday (Happy Birthday Kirsten).  Unfortunately it was topped off by us ordering £40 of Domino's Pizza between three of us!  Unsurprisingly the old weight seems determinedly stuck at around 130kg.  England's cricket team seems to be rediscovering its mojo, largely down to Yorkshire (when Yorkshire're strong etc. etc.) and the Mumbai Indians romped home in the IPL to win me a tenner.  Get in.  Also managed a barbecue on Monday - grilled seabass stuffed with coriander, lime, nam pla and coconut. Mmmmm.....

I'll be watching the Woodhall Spa 10K at the weekend (running's 90% mental you know) and may even enter a 10K before the year is out so watch this space!

Apologies for no stats recently; will resume them next week, perhaps with a calorie count!

PS Before you judge a man, walk a mile in his shoes.  That way, when you judge him you'll be a mile away and have his shoes.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

The man with no name

OK - it's done.  A week in Spain.  Managed a couple of runs alongside a canal through a golf course (I think it's part of the irrigation system) which was a hell of lot more picturesque than my gym!  Learned a couple of things though:

1) Running on roads is actually a lot easier than on the treadmill.  I've always presumed, and been told, the opposite (and hinted as much in earlier blogs) and I'm sure the fact that I was running on dead flat concrete helped but it was so much easier.  There was none of the time dilation I've previously bored you with and the pace I did (measured by GPS on one of the many running tracker apps available) was actually faster than that I do on the treadmill whilst feeling easier

2) Running through Spain on a bright hot day listening to Ennio Morricone is quite cool

As I feared I've regained a little bit of porkiness but I did have a damned fine holiday.  Good sustained periods of sunshine, daytime temperatures of around 25C and wandering out of a night in shorts and T-shirt for beer and food.  If you're in the area around La Manga del Mar Menor in spain (between Cartagena and Alicante) I can recommend a place called La Catedral in Cartagena behind the roman ruins, Escuela de Pieter at the end of La Manga (a little sandbar protruding about 22km into the Med) which is on the beach and a really rather nice place to spend the day and Meson del Prado in San Miguel de las Salinas which does a Menu del Dia including wine for 9€ a head.  Restaurante Rebate is also pretty good.  As I write this the reason for my slight weight blip is rapidly becoming clear!

Done another session on the treadmill today and it felt hard.  Really hard.  For the first time I started to get significantly out of breath and on a couple of occasions almost had to give up.  However I completed the session as planned (a 4.5km run/walk) and probably lost about a pound of sweat.  It was only when I finished and switched the treadmill off did I notice the servos spin up as the deck settled down to level - I'd done the whole thing at a 1 degree incline without noticing.  Now that 1 degree may not sound like much but, as I now speak from experience, it bloody well is!

So - at the end of phase two, week two:
Two runs whilst on holiday in Spain
Pretended to be Clint Eastwood (a bit)
Weight: Not telling!
Culinary highlight : Prawn and seaweed salad at La Catedral and ice cold draft Cruzcampo; rather a lot of

Monday, 6 May 2013

Phase One complete

On Saturday I ran for 20 minutes straight.  This completes Phase One of my training (to progress from couch potato to a 20 minute run).  This is both good and bad news; the good news is that I managed a physical feat which would not have been possible just a few weeks ago while the bad news is that I now have to progress to Phase Two - training up to a 5k run.  I did the first part of that this morning, increasing my running pace to 8kph (I've only got little legs) and I don't think I'm going to enjoy it!  On a more positive note the weight continues to follow a downward trend, although I don't think the upcoming week in Spain will help in that respect!

The sun is finally shining and it's actually warm enough to go outside and enjoy it.  The heating's been turned off and we've even managed a couple of barbecues.  I'm now officially on holiday for the first time since last October so things are generally looking up!

So, end of Phase One
Can run 3k easily
Weight 127.7kg (a drop of 5.7kg, very nearly a stone)
9km covered last week
First big challenge coming up - a weeks' holiday