A day off from running yesterday and time to think about my choice of next goal.
I remembered that after my knee injury a number of people telling me that when they got injured it was an increase in speed that had caused it, so for me I have made the decision I am happy with my plodding pace so lets go for distance.
Next Goal - 10K
Had a look at some online training plans including this one - HERE
Have realised that I am already well on my way so can see if I can sue the plan to get me to 10K over the next few weeks. I am aim for the middle of July as a goal.
Today, accompanied by Chris and Eddie (in my ears), I set off just to see how I felt as I was plodding along. I decided to follow a similar route to my normal one, and just let my body tell me how I felt about how long to run for. I tried to consciously not look at my watch.
Very soon I knew I was more than 3K and added an extra bit of the park that I haven't run through for so long, it was great to see what changes they have made, I remembered last year they were beginning work in one area and this now seems to be nearly complete.
After that bit of the park I headed back this time retracing my route, to conquer 'The Hill' which I should stress is no more than an incline, but back last year when I started this journey it was one of my initial goals 'run up the hill'. Toady I sailed up there and just kept plodding until I had decided I'd had enough for today.
Check of watch - 6.13k complete
I did feel as though I could have gone on, but enough for one day, we don't need to do it all in the first week.
I have noticed my breathing recovers much quicker now, so had a look at a few more stats, and have noticed my Avg.Heart Rate has reduced from 177bpm to 166bpm - this has to be a good thing.
I checked my 5k time but there wasn't much change in it so haven't recorded it as part of my Movember's Miles For Mates. - there is still time to take part, support a great cause and do something amazing for your physical and mental health Here is the link.
According to the plan it's a quieter day tomorrow, so will see what Saturday brings.
Now wether the choice of what you listen to impacts your time I don't really know. I have mentioned before that 88bpm is a good pace for me at the moment but theis morning I thought I would try listening to the Radio.
I listen to the radio quite a lot and choice of station often depend on the time of day and what mood I am in.
Today I thought Chris Evans would be a good choice, 1 - he runs, 2 - there is talk in between the music, 3 - he has some interesting guests.
So off I set with Chris chatting to the guys at Brighton and Hove Albion about virtual crowds at the premier league game with Arsenal.
Music and chat continued and very soon I was at 4K, and matching my 30 minute run pace from Sunday. At 10am I was joined by Eddie Temple-Morris who aided me to my 5k with some Deacon Blue (always a good choice)
At 5k I stopped my watch to see my new best time 34:58 first time under 35 minutes since June 2019.
Well clearly the choice does make a difference.
Now I need to make a choice - time or distance?
Today was all about something new.
For the first time ever, I was part of a running relay. I have doen some walking ones in the past but never running. Builth and District Running Club organised a 15 hour relay, for teams to complete in isolation - send in your times via Strava or similar.
I am part of an online group, South Wales Running community and they organised 2 teams, split into half hour sessions. Complete a minimum of 30 minutes more if you want.
The sessions were allocated and I was on for 9.30 as part of Team B.
I had a trial run on Friday to make sure I could time my run, and also so i could test I culd run for 30 minutes....
This morning I made my way to my chosen start point, I needed to be somewhere flat, as most of my routes start down hill, which wouldn't be fair for my time.
I gave myself enough time to arrive, do my selfies and also a Facebook Live. There were loads of people out for their own runs, but I stood out in my Team B bib.
A few asked what I was doing, so it was nice to tell them about South Wales Running Community and the #BaDRelay15.
At 9.30 off I went, it was busy but I managed to avoid people and was soon into my stride. My playlist was keeping me on my 88 BPM time, so I wouldn't over do it.
For the first time since June last year, I completed a lap of Roath Park and very soon after my 30 minutes were up.
4.32K a whole extra 0.12K longer than my practice run.
Baton was then virtually handed over and I headed back home.
Great fun and even in these times when we acn't be with people it felt like I was part of an event.
(before, after and time)
This Sunday I will be part of Team B for South Wales Running Community taking part in Builth and District RC 15 Hour Relay - I'm only doing 30 minutes....lets not get too carried away.
This morning, following my instructions I decided to test my Tech, to see how to record the time etc on Sunday.
I set a timer on my watch - 30 minutes - so that when it went off I knew I would be near the end of my allotted time and ready to stop my Apple Workout )I have this linked to Strava to keep it simple)
I had no idea how far I could go in 30 minutes, so set off on my plod around the area, heading to the flattest areas as there was rules about running down hill.
As I plodded along I realised I would get much further than I thought, in fact over 4K, which surprised me.
I managed to stop my Workout at 30:03 (although Strava says 29:54) I'll make sure I go a bit over for Sunday.
Realising I was still a little way from home I reset my watch and completed another 1K so I would have a 5K time for today - 36:11 - which I know had a very short rest whilst I stopped and started my watch but it is still 2 minutes faster than my previous PB.....yeah
Now, if I can just do that again on Sunday there will be some genuine Green Shoots of recovery.
Today is Global Running Day so today I pledged to run 1 Mile for someone who inspires me.
There wasn't a huge box to type in all the people who inspire me, but at least I have my blog.
People who make a positive difference for others
Whether it is part of a big campaign, a charity, a movement, or just individuals who do something to help others.
In my life there have been certain points where people have made a difference in my life.
The teachers who encouraged me to organise mass participation events, my employers who supported me through community engagement opportunities, which eventually meant a change of career.
Meeting inspiring individuals, who run charities, who have set up events, some of these events have remained small, other have become huge national events, but all have helped to make a difference.
People only ever do what they know, if we know more we can do more.
My own 1Small-Step was born out of watching so many individuals completing their own challenges. The back of the pack runners who plod their way around the course, they are out there running much longer than those who come in first. I thought if they can do these amazing things then so can I.
I have written before about how I struggled in 2018, and how my wife managed to stop me from falling - 'I've got you' - simple words but they mean I am still here to ramble on in my blog.
To share those words and my story with fellow runners at events like MoRunning, and then have strangers just come up and thank me was humbling. I hope that I can in my way just help to make a difference to someone.
So to everyone who has been part of my life journey, we may not have met personally, sometimes I was just the bloke on the finish line with the microphone, thank you.
Thank you for whatever you have done to make a difference.
So we start another month - welcome to June.
Managed to finish May with a further 5k so that was 37 miles completed in May, and we have already done 3 for June.
Was up and out fairly early as it looks like another warm day, altered the starting part of my route slightly, in an attempt to make it as flat as possible. At 2k of plodding along I was feeling fine so decided to alter the middle part and see if I could keep plodding. Normal route starts to go up hill at around 2.5k, I knew it would extend my total distance but figured if I can keep plodding along when its flat, rather than Walk/Run/Walk it would be better for me.
3k still feeling good and also at 4k, so just kept running (at my plodding pace). My watch told me I had completed 5k but as I was still a little way from home I let the timer keep going and in total I did 6k.
Had fun then working out what my 5k time was (39:36) - 48:05 for 6K but there was some walking at the start and end.
What is more my head was clearly in the place it needed to be - if it wasn't for the hills I probably could have carried on, my average was 8.00/km.
The mental part of running is as important as the physical, just the same as it is with your health.
I am continuing with my Movember's Miles for Mates, to be ho nest I have no idea when it finishes, so I'll just keep updating my time as it improves.
I have also entered the World day of Running Challenge (27 June) and next Sunday I hope to be part of a virtual Relay.
More on both of these later in the week.
What started as a bit of exercise during lockdown, a daily walk, a bit of a faster walk, then a bit more distance has added up to 34 Miles in May, and thats doesn't include the walks with the dog, mainly as I forgot to record them.
The weather today is another hot one so I went out fairly early, and by the look of it so ddid the rest of the world. It was like a normal Saturday out there and certainly does not feel like we are still in a global pandemic.
I am always careful to give plenty of distance between me and anyone else around, and even went on to the side roads as the main roads were just too busy. On the whole even where it was busy people were being sensible and maintaining distance, but I feel safer when its just me (and my headphones).
I guess thats just a caution thing, like washing the food after doing the shopping....I though I was a bit weird suggesting it, turns out other people do exactly the same.
Sometime a feel we (and by that I mean me) over think things....what if this happens....how will that impact things....This is not a bad thing and being prepared is a great skill but it doea play havoc with your head.
My Movembers Miles for Mates is continuing - you can still take part
Yesterday wasn't a great day. Nothing in particular, just a day when things don't feel great.
We were busy most of the day which helps to occupy the mind, a 5K walk, finish decorating the spare bedroom, grass cutting, a log burn up.
We looked at our planned holiday for this year which looks more unlikely each day, so maybe that was what was in the back of my mind, my knee twinged a few times but seemed to correct itself so or maybe it was just one of those days....
A fresh start today and out for a 5K walk/run, I tried a slightly different route figuring it would be around 5K - turns out it is 5K to my front door (result). Even though my time was lsightly slower than the other day I still did 40:34 - there are less downhill bit and more on the flat so I feel this is abetter representative of my time.
This route also gave me no Red sections on my map mainly Yellow and Green.
I have said it before music is a great motivator for me when running, but you do need the correct BPM - otherwise you can get carried away by the beat and then have to slow or stop. Today at just the point I needed I was joined in my ears by T Rex - I love to boogie (88 BPM) perfect to plod along to. I will have a look at other songs of s similar speed and make a new playlist.
Being aware of your mental health is so important and if you are not having a great day, then recognise this and ask for help, often just talking to someone can help. Movember Miles for Mates is as much about mental health as it is physical - thefixevents.com/movembers-miles-for-mates
Today was all about an experiment......
What would happen if I walk/ran my normal route but in reverse?
No I don't mean running backwards!
Just set off as normal but run down my hill nemesis instead of trying to run up it at the end of my run.
Well firstly, the bit before the hill seems to be a lot longer than I remember, making me thing when I get to the top of the hill normally I have lost all sense of direction and of the real world. Secondly the hill does look just as steep on the way down as it does on the way up!
I was careful not to over do things, I knew there would be a temptation to blast down the hill and then pay the price on my knees. So steady pace was maintained.
I have checked my map against the normal route and I can see my pace was a lot more steady, less green bits but much more yellow...and from what I can see the only red bits was where I was waiting to cross the road. Even with very little traffic around I still had to wait for probably the only car on the road.
Anyway the result: time reduced to 37:20 - thats more than 3 minutes faster than the other direction
I made sure I updated my record on my Movembers Miles for Mates tracker, and noted I moved up the board by quite a few places.....yeah Go Me!!
Movember is working to support guys in their communities with resources and advice to look after themselves and each other, it is so important to look after both your physical and mental health.
You can join the challenge at thefixevents.com/movembers-miles-for-mates
Today I tried out a new route, anything to stay away from the hill at the end of my route in the hope of saving my knees.
Linking up part 1
I remembered my friend telling me about a route he used and as he lives quite close I thought I'd reach out and ask him about it.
It was nice to have a quick catch up and touch base, turns out he hasn't been running for a while so maybe my efforts will encourage him as well.
New route stored off I went, with Cap on, and today with a training buddy, my wife, who is also trying Couch to 5K.
The new route is definitely less hilly and whilst we only walked at pace, I still managed 45.21 plus we talked as we walked and it was nice to have some company.
Linking up part 2
I have been making a note of my training using Apple products, and I remembered that back last year it was a case of choosing either the Apple workout or Strava to record things.
However, in the time of my injury it looks like Strava and Apple are now friends so when you record your workout via Apple, it automatically lets Strava know....
There is a few settings to do but a very helpful YouTube man sorted that for me.
So I am back in the world of Strava as well.
Physical Health and Mental health are important at the best of times but even more so as we all deal with whatever level of isolation/lockdown we are living with. Being able to get out of the house and walk/jog/run even for 45 minutes helps me to feel better.
Also taking time to talk to other or be together, even if it is virtually, can help people to feel connected
It really is more important than ever to check in with friends and family. You can make a real difference to peoples lives.
There is still time to be part of Movembers Miles for Mates - here is the link
After 24 years of helping others to achieve their running goals - it is now my time.