This has been an interesting week and on the whole, a good week.
Before I update you on the running, a few observations:
- My asthma is much better. I barely use my inhalers these days and *touches wood* I haven’t had so much of a sniffle since I started this new phase of my life and I am feeling much healthier in general. The asthma is an interesting one though. The doctors always tell you that exercise will help, but frankly I have always been a bit sceptical. I always carry an inhaler with me (I’ve discovered it fits perfectly into one of those puzzling tiny pockets on the running coats) but I don’t need it. I suspect however, that if I left for a run without it, the thought of not having it would likely result in me needing it, but I’m happy with this as the option for the time being.
- I am wearing much less make up these days (those that know me well will be disbelieving of this) so this is a very surprising development. Running whilst wearing make-up results in horrible spots – hence, I am wearing less make-up. Prepare for MAC and Estee Lauder to announce a profit warning any day now…
- I am much more comfortable in “leisure wear” and trainers now than my regular clothes. They are so comfy. Unfortunately Waynetta Slob is not a good look and I need to reign myself in a bit.
- Sporty Daughter really doesn’t like it when I try and leave the house wearing a fluorescent comedic headband. Apparently it’s “really embarrassing”. She really shouldn’t have told me this as I now feel compelled to find the most outlandish clothes possible to run in. The internet trawling has begun and this will only spur me on to lose more weight to be able to fit into these loud running outfits to make my daughter cringe. Motivation comes from unforeseen sources.
- I have now lost a total of 19 pounds and some clothes no longer fit. I can get into a suit that I last wore the day I found out I was pregnant with Sporty Eldest daughter (who is 9). It’s a teeny bit tight, but I am sure that I will be wearing it properly by the end of the month. I bought it brand new for a meeting with a huge client in 2007 and I’ve worn it about twice. The second time I was wearing it, I got two blue lines on a pregnancy test. I haven’t been able to get into it since.
My runs this week have been better.
Last Friday I volunteered to attend a “This Mum Runs” event where we were filmed running (and jumping!) and a couple of ladies were interviewed by a proper film crew. It was to be used to promote how one little thing that you do in your life exercise-wise, can make a difference. It was brilliant and I met some amazing ladies. Many of these ladies had started out like me on the c25k and were now regularly running 10k and beyond. They were also so incredibly friendly and encouraging. We did some loops around Greville Park in Ashton and it was good. I walked/jogged back to the office, soaking wet (as we experienced rain of biblical proportions during the session) and quite cold but felt inspired. Literally all you need is a pair of trainers and (if female) a sports bra to get started. They had done it and I am doing it. We all agreed that getting started is the hardest part and they all said that it does get easier….apparently…although you should always expect it to be hard.
On Sunday I went out for my best and most enjoyable run to date. I went with Sporty Daughter, God Daughter and my friend the Red Lady and we completed the Bristol Harbour loop. I did walk a bit but not as much as I had thought I might and we really enjoyed ourselves. The Red Lady did intervals whilst waiting for me to catch up and dare I say it, it was fun. We experienced rain, hail (which hurts when it hits you in the face) then glorious sunshine and a rainbow, which was beautiful. I definitely want to make this a regular thing and it has further motivated me to get quicker to be able to effectively train with the Red Lady for the 10k. Sporty Daughter also got to experience a proper run (without having to wait for me to catch her up) and she found it more difficult that she was expecting. She said to me afterwards – “That was really hard Mummy. You’re doing really well if you’re doing THAT 3 times a week”. This was a lovely thing for her to say to me and I do believe my girls are impressed with my commitment and progress. The thought of them watching me cross that 10k finishing line gives me goose bumps.
Tuesday Evening I jogged home from work. This time I used the app and for the first time ever did not want to kill myself over the first 5 minutes. This was an amazing feeling. I knew I could keep going and I did. The app had me running in 10 minute slots and for the last slot I ran for the “cooldown” period also, meaning that I ran for 15 minutes. I did feel stronger and I didn’t feel as weak in my legs. I am beginning to understand what people mean when they say that running is as much about mental strength as it is your state of fitness. My legs could keep going because I refused to stop. Belief is important. I also tried a technique that the Red Lady told me about – I slightly lengthened my stride which although I’m fairly sure made me look a bit weird as I ran (think – Phoebe from Friends running) I do think it made me a bit quicker. Typically however, this was the one time I forgot to set the GPS Fitbit tracker on my phone, so I don’t really know if I was faster or not. This is incredibly frustrating.
Of course, before I get to 10k I have to be able to run 5k without stopping so this is now my real goal. I may have mentioned before that I love a gadget and I am someone who likes to obsessively research any potential new purchase (I’m a bit blokey that way) and my research has led me to the decision that I want a Fitbit Surge (which is their GPS tracker sports watch). I know lots of people like the Garmin and my sister swears by the TomTom but the Fitbit system is working so well for me and “if it’s not broke don’t fix it” as they say.
I’ve asked Husband (and he agreed) to buy me one for Mother’s Day as a reward for running 5k properly. Unfortunately, I didn’t check the dates before making this deal so imagine my joy to discover that this year Mother’s Day is absurdly early – Sunday 6 March. Normally it’s much later than this so I seem to have put myself under quite a lot of pressure, but do you know what? I want that watch so I am going to run the 5k by the end of this month.
I’m going to run a Park Run on the last weekend in February. It needs to be a flat one (!) but I’m going to do it. Husband has also said that he will run it too so this will kick his 10k training plan off – it’s depressing that he will probably be able to run 5k off in one go, but I do like the idea of us training for the same race together. He will probably have to loop me often until I get quicker but on Sunday 15th May we will both sit down to a (very large) lunch knowing that we have both run 10k. I may, or may not be wearing a fluorescent yellow headband.