Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Valley View session

The planned comeback is still working, and somehow I managed to make it through last night's session without throwing up.

The reps were once round Monkton Dene Park (we call it Valley View 'cause of the name of the road),  with 90 seconds recovery x5.  It's got a nasty little hill at the finish too, which makes a decent run at it almost impossible. 

To say this is my least favourite session would be spot-on, I'd rather be shopping or at the hairdressers (both of which I hate doing), but I'm back on the road to speediness so I got my head down and gave it my best shot.

One lap round is approximately 1090-1100m

4:51 / 7:08 pace
4:51 / 7:08 pace
4:55 / 7:14 pace
5:00 / 7:21 pace
5:10 / 7:36 pace

Thought I was going to throw up after rep #3, but was happy to get the whole session done. 

great turnout at the club tonight, I'm sure the nice weather helps, but all the usual faces were there - well done folks, and a big welcome to our newest edition: Alice.  (All the club sessions aren't that tough, honest...)

Monday, 7 May 2012

The story so far

Running is a bit like life, the more you work at it, the more you get out of it.  If you let it go, you're just gonna be unfit and unhappy.

I like to think I've now grabbed it with both hands and held on.

As a kid I was very sporty, mainly because I was pretty rubbish at stuff like English & Maths, it wasn't that I'm not intelligent enough, more that as a youngster I was a bit of a 'disruptive influence' because I wasn't that interested in learning about Macbeth or cosines and tangents.  I was pretty good at cross country, netball, hockey, etc. 

That's me in the red and white at Leslies Field sports day 1981 ish (top left). In the blue and white next to Jane Wardle in the Jarrow vest (left), and hiding behind my junior school friends Susan Holliday & Kay Bargewell (above right), taken at Monkton in 1983/84.

I managed to win a few trophies when I was a kid, I of course still have them along with my swimming badges and cycling proficiency certificate ;)

I continued with the sports right up until I left school, when I dropped it all, and sat on my arse for 10 years.  What a moron.

When you sit about doing nothing but eat, there's no way you can't balloon up, and was starting to reach the point where my ass was so big it was thinking about having orbiting satellites.  There's no way that I was ever gonna be happy at a size 22+ and after a great deal of hard work I've managed to shift a good chunk of it.

I may not be down to a whippet-like size (and will never be), but compared with the 'old me' I'm positively svelte.

 I've gotta thank everyone who helped me along the way, especially Andy, who was my inspiration to get started and keep going, and my club mates at Jarrow & Hebburn AC, without whom I'd prolly have shifted a stone or two, then been happy just bimbling about.  They've really pushed me on to actually compete in stuff, and try to get faster and faster.  Seriously - it can't be normal (except in the running community) that a woman in her forties still enjoys cross country, but wouldn't it be lovely if everyone did.

I'm going to have to sing the praises of parkrun too.  It fits right in between jogging for fun, and taking part in 'proper' races.  Not race for life or fun runs, I mean the ones where you go out and try to do your best time.  That could be a 5k race, or the London Marathon.  Parkrun is helping get people from just keeping fit, to thinking about improving their running, and joining clubs - this can only be a good thing.

 Above: Parkruns - Durham, Gateshead, Sunderland, Gateshead again, and Sedgefield

That's not to say you can't do the daft stuff occasionally - like running parkrun or the Great North run in a ball gown and fairy wings.

It's still a push to work hard though, eat sensibly, and keep training, and with all of that there are points where you get injured and can't run at all, but the thought that keeps you going is that you can get back out there in a week, or a month or four months time, and run like a deer, light on you feet.  There's also a point where you find your distance: the race you're most comfortable with, and what you really enjoy.  I've had a go at everything from 100m to marathon distance, and I can comfortably say I'm not a marathon runner.

I've had a total disaster each time I've tried to run 26.2 miles, so I'll be sticking with the short stuff thankyouverymuch ;) 

It's 5k and less for me really, I'm never going to set the world on fire, but in my own little world I'm not doing too badly.  As long as I can say I've given it my best shot, I'll be happy.


That's pretty much the story so far, fit to fat to fit again.  There's no-one but me to blame for me getting massive,  but at the same time, it's been all my own hard work to get it back. 

With great thanks to the North East running community - you're all stars!

Saturday, 5 May 2012

It's not rocket science

It's been ages since an update, well, I missed out the whole of April, but hey, I've been busy, what can I say...I was working...the dog ate my homework...I was kidnapped by pirates...

Ok, so I wasn't abducted by aliens.

I was working however, and I was kind of kidnapped by pirates (I went diving with the motley crew up to Lochaline at Easter).  But I've also been playing golf, and running (hooray!), so I'll put down a brief synopsis of what's been happening.

It's been a bit too long to stick down all the training, so I'll stick with the milestone stuff

Date / Race / Time / Pace / notes & random stuff
  • March 31st / Gateshead Parkrun / 24:39 / 7:39 / took it easy as I was running on the Sunday
  • April 1st / Hartlepool Marina 5 mile / 38:15 / 7:39 / mad that it was exactly the same pace as the parkrun
  • April 19th / 3k time trial / 13:56 / 7:29 / felt rubbish tbh, but was faster than earlier in the month
  • April 22nd / Terry O'Gara 5k / 23:03 / 7:25 / had a canny run
  • April 24th / Slagheaps session (intervals) / 1.12 miles per rep, average 7:10 pace
  • April 28th / Gateshead parkrun / 23:23 / 7:16 pace / 1st Lady, I know it seems daft that this is a faster pace than Terry O'gara 5k, but I've measured Gateshead at 3.22 miles, so for purposes of pace, it's a bit quicker.
  • May 1st / Jarrow & Hebburn 5k time trial / 24:03 / 7:36 / jogged round!  
  • May 2nd / Gordon Smith Relays (2m) / 14:06 / 7:03 / 2nd leg, incomplete team
 Whilst I may not yet be back to the kind of speeds I'm looking for, I am really pleased with the improvement over the course of the month.  At the start of the year it was all around 7:50/8:00 pace.

I can only put it down to working harder and scoffing less chocolate.

it's not rocket science

So, given the current rate of improvement, a radical overhaul of my diet, and a complete body transplant, I should be ready for the Olympics in twenty years time ;)

Thanks have to go to Evil Coach Darth Jim, for shouting at me and telling me to stop whingeing :S