Having completed my correspondence, the bits and pieces around the house and helping Richard unpack the groceries I noticed I was feeling better this morning and decided that as Richard wanted to tidy up the front and back of the house, this would allow me a window to go for a run, so without hesitation I took it.
This is my first proper run in about two weeks as I haven’t run since I fell ill during our break to Luxembourg. I have had a bit of rubbish still sat on my chest and decided it was best not to push myself too far for fear of making myself ill again. It’s also gotten colder and damper and this only aggravates my asthma.
Any I got out today, it was still, sunny but 12 degrees and there was a breeze in parts but nothing too major.
I must have looked a site though as I was running with three devices strapped to me today. I had my replacement Garmin to test as I haven’t run since it arrived. I had my iPhone running the new Nike+ Running app as I have not tried that since the iOS7 upgrade AND I ran with a Polar FT2 Heart Rate Monitor which I have been asked to review for The Running Bug.
Amazingly all that tech didn’t slow me down or confuse me but I must admit it did take a while to find a satellite on my new Garmin and the Polar took a bit of getting used to but I got on with the run and didn’t let the technology distract me.
I ran for 4K as I didn’t want to push myself too far on my first outing in a while and was pleased with my pace. I got back into the form and pace quite quickly and it felt (at the beginning) that I hadn’t missed any running at all. Wearing my Royal Parks Half Marathon t-shirt helped though as it reminded me of my fantastic achievement at the beginning of October and what I am capable of.
The run did wonders for my chest, it feels clearer than it has for week and my head feels much clearer too – I have had a week of high volume stress so this has helped blow the cobwebs away.
As I said I was happy with my pace but didn’t want to got too mad on my first outing in a while – I did start to feel my legs get a little heavy but I persevered until I got to the 4K marker then had a decent stroll back to the house to cool off.
I am so happy to be back running and as I have the winter gear out (I went out in compression shorts and top under my normal kit today), I know that I am well protected from the elements.
Look out for the Polar review when it’s published on The Running Bug.
This weekend Richard and I celebrated our Civil Partnership Anniversary (7 years) and went to Luxembourg.
Richard has been there before on business but neither of us really knew what to expect of it as a holiday destination. As we learnt most people come into Luxembourg to work or to visit en route to somewhere else in Europe (in fact I bumped into a colleague at breakfast in the hotel doing just that with her parents).
It’s a very quiet place but that’s not to say there isn’t anything to do.
We visited the museum of modern art, the Royal Philharmonic, Notre Dame Cathedral (and were lucky enough to enjoy an organ concert), the museum of Luxembourg, we walked around the old city and took in all the sites, including some of the many towers and castles.
Per captia Luxembourg is the third richest country in the world and it shows – people don’t think twice about driving to the shops in their Porches or Aston Martins whilst browsing the shops with the latest Prada handbags and wearing the latest Gucci winter coats dripping in jewels from Cartier. This was quiet self-evident in the cost to visit as Luxembourg either has expensive places or cheap places – there is no middle ground.
We had some lovely meals and the cuisine is as mixed as the culture of Luxembourg. Most people speak French and English (as well as Luxemborgoise) but Richard and I managed to uphold the Englishman abroad stereotype and made sure when we were tired that we would answer in Spanish! It made a few people smile and it helped break the ice but it was a bit embarrassing.
I managed to get a really heavy cold whilst flying out on Friday so wasn’t on top form so on Sunday morning we spent as long as we could in the hotel before checking out and then browsing the Museum of Luxembourg.
This didn’t stop Richard and I enjoying our time and celebrating our anniversary. We purposely didn’t plan anything and took our time, taking in the sights and simply enjoying one anothers company.
It really is a lovely country, the people are friendly, I have never ever witnessed anywhere like it before, it’s so quiet and tranquil but you get the feeling lots of hard money deals are going on behind closed doors. The architecture is a mixture of German, Danish, Dutch, French and English and the modern architecture would rival that of Seville.
I took a few snaps whilst we were there, as did Richard and most are from our iPhones as we decided to travel light. This is a selection of my favourite photos and there is a set on Flickr you can browse through.
I would highly recommend Luxembourg if you wanted to get away for a couple of days It’s only an hours flight from London and theres nothing quite like it.
I started today with an easy paced 40 minute run which got me just over 6k
I ran early and at a decent pace which I felt really happy about.
I really needed to get out there as I had a f-ing awful day yesterday. If I could erase the day I would but hey shit happens.
The run helped me focus on something else and helped me balance all my demons!
I saw the herd of cows this morning and am glad I decided to stick to the roads as this time, there was a bull with them!
I am happy with my pace too as I appear to be getting quicker. It was cooler too which I think makes a difference.
Our middle nephew is visiting for a couple of days so we took him into London to see the sights.
William got to see the City, Tower of London, Tower Bridge, the South Bank, Westminster, Parliament, Trafalgar Square, Soho, Leicester Square, a picnic in St James Park, The West End and Regent Street. I think that equates to about 12k all in all so my feet and legs have done me proud today!
We also paid a visit to the land of the pimple free, underdressed boys wearing too much make up – Abercrombie. William bought an amusing tee shirt which I am sure will raise some eyebrows when he returns home to Plymouth!
Thankfully the day was a little overcast and there was a breeze which meant that we didn’t over heat either in London or during my run.
One thing is clear, I think we shall all sleep well tonight!
More is planned for the weekend and I am tackling something personal first thing tomorrow which I hope to crack. I’ll let you know more when it happens. Until then just keep your fingers crossed.
I have to say thanks to Apple for more great customer service. My – volume button stopped working so I had a Genius appointment yesterday and they’ve replaced my iPhone 5 😃. I’ve also treated it (!) to a shiny new inCase case 😃.
Whatever you’re all up to, have a great weekend.
I set out tonight to do a new routine based on the plan I got from the British Heart Foundation and Full Potential. The timings are much the same but the effort and plan is slightly different.
Tonight was a run of threshold work and I was very pleased with myself that I managed to set up the Garmin without the need for the instructions.
I started the Garmin and got into a jog, all was going well. I finished the 15 minute warm up jog but the Garmin didn’t start the intervals. I stopped. Fiddled with the watch but couldn’t seem to get it to move to the next interval.
I decided to stop and reset the watch. I did this and started on the interval sections. It was only when I came out of the interval sections to the cool down that I saw the instructions on-screen to press lap button at end of interval session. This is guess is what I should have done at the end of the warm up session! You live and learn.
Of course this means my Garmin stats are screwed tonight as I have two sets. I did also track the run with Nike just to get some cheers (sadly I didn’t receive any ). I am glad I did track with Nike as at least I have an overall pace and a complete distance.
I am a little perplexed though as the Nike app drained my battery tonight. I carry my iPhone in case of emergencies and only put the Nike on Saturday and tonight for some emotional boost with regards to the cheering (thanks again for not giving me any tonight I am not bitter honest!). Anyway for some reason my phone had only 8% battery left and with all the running I have done with iSmoothRun etc I have never experienced that.
My friend Enda had the same thing happen when he ran at the Olympic Park on Sunday (yes you heard that right!). I am not sure he used Nike to run with but his battery gave up the ghost before he finished his run. I wonder if it is anything to do with the heat?
I am sure I could merge the two Garmin routes together somehow – anyone got any bright ideas how I can do that via Garmin Connect?
I must have been mad to do threshold work in this heat but to be honest I’d have been mad to do any running in this heat. The trees did offer lots of protection though and as I am now permanently running with no music, I can spend more time listening to my body and my breathing.
It was a hard run tonight and the intervals were very tough – I managed them though and am happy I got them out-of-the-way. I think I may stick with this new plan and see how I get along.
I felt the old plan simply had me plodding along and I know with half marathon training it’s about getting the miles in but I do want to try to speed up and improve my pace. The coach said he reckoned I could run the half marathon in 2 hours which I am sure is achievable but with the heat and my current route I am not sure how this is possible. I guess I need the weather to cool down and to switch back to road running as the even surface may put me in a better position to improve.
I have received some more sponsorship over the past coupe of days. Some from friends, some from colleagues and some from complete strangers online and readers of my blog. Thank you all so much for supporting me and the British Heart Foundation.
If you have not done so already please be so kind as to reward all this effort and sponsor me British Heart Foundation. I will be running ing the Royal Parks Half Marathon in October. Thank you.
Well the mid section of tonight's training was fairly long and fast. I had a tough central 15 minute section where I had to run quickly and I managed to maintain my pace for most of the run.
Of course electronics coaches such as Gipis cannot keep calculate for hills and wind but I think I managed pretty well considering.
As you can see from the map it's very warm with plenty of green streaks in there. I am really happy with tonight's achievement especially as I had a few nagging doubts about a pain in my knee/back of my leg. It feels fine now. I am sure it's a result of last nights activities…
I was unsure how I would cope on tonight's run as I was at the Woodkid concert last night jumping and dancing around all night. I think I managed about 5 hours sleep to so I was tired and achy today.
I did adjust my playlist so that the Woodkid tracks were closer to the start of the run and in the fast section and it worked. Believe me once you have been in a concert where there are massive drums thundering out the beat and you see his enthusiam – it's nothing short of infectious.
I did chuckle today as I walked past St Paul's and the bells started to chime, I was immediately transported to last night, th eglantine white statue of the boy and the opening bars of Run Boy Run. This brought a huge smile to my face.
In fact we enjoyed last night so much we have already booked for his next show in London in November as he will be accompanied by a full orchestra.
I have now told everyone about my half marathon ambitions and am very pleased with the positive response I have had from friends, family and colleagues. I have already raised £150 which is brilliant – thank you. Some people are confused and think I am running a marathon, I'm not. This is a daunting enough challenge for me!
The Richmond Park 10k is a couple weeks away and I am confident that I will be in good shape for it. I plan another run with Paul during Friday lunch break so that should give us more opportunity to time into one another's running rhythm.
Today's fastest track was The Conquest of Space by Woodkid
It appears that Wednesdays Nike Flyknit run has spurred me on and has given me the encouragement I needed to get back into my stride.
I decided to keep iSmoothRun on free run and just kept going until I felt like I couldn't go any more.
I got out, put my LunarGlides on a took a decent route, no loops just a straight run…
It was windy out but I didn't let that deter me and I just kept going.
I headed out pass the station and along the Avenue of Remembrance. It's still lined with bare trees but the daffodils are trying to poke through.
As I started my run I startled some pigeons in a tree and as they took off a branch snapped and hit me in the chest.
Not wanting to let it slow me down (or to look like a fool in front of the many cars that lined the road), I kept going and shrugged it off.
I think the open countryside to my right and the cars pouring into Colchester gave me some incentive to keep going and to focus on my running.
I had a few stops so that I could catch my breath, have a quick drink and to skip to some faster/better music but held a good distance and pace throughout the run.
The fastest track (again) was I Love You by Woodkid (can't wait for the new album) and my cadence is back at 80.
I did download Cruise Control which is an app which tailors the music on your iPhone to your run. I thought it picked tracks with certain bum and played them to suit your pace. I stopped mid way through the run to start it up and I continued my run. I hadn't realised the app actually slows the music when you are running too slow (against its original bpm), and speeds it up to the right pace when you speed up.
It's very clever at adjusting the music to suit your running speed but I don't want my music to sound warped which is what it did do.
It's like running with a record player and if you slow your pace the music is moved from 45 rpm to 33 (that makes me sound old).
I honestly didn't like it at all and stopped again to switch back to the iPod and my normal playlist.
That's £2.99 I'm going to try and get back from the developer as I think the app isn't very good. Not my kind of thing at all.
I added some new tracks to my playlist today which was good as it gave me something new to run against – although as already mentioned Woodkid came out on top again.
I'm going to continue with this routine of free runs with the mentality that I run as far as I think I can rather than just run for a set period of time. Seems to be working out.
I enjoyed running in my LunarGlides again, although not as light as the Flyknits I ran in on Wednesday night they are definitely better for my running style.
My Asics simply seem too heavy and lumpy which is a shame as I loved my first pair. Looks like I'll be replacing my old LunarGlides and continuing my running with them (the soles are wearing on my current pair which is why I switched back to the Asics).
The limp on my heel wasn't apparent when I finished which sadly it had been with the GT-2170's. looks like my feet have completely adjusted to Lunarlon soles and Nike has come out on top!
Bring on the next run (although I have a mad week ahead and a forecast of snow and cold temperatures to look forward to but what can you do!).
Another morning of DIY, more snow, freezing temperatures and housework made for a chilly, busy Saturday.
I got out there though and got in my stride pretty quickly. I had to pause once or twice as the wind was so strong and the temperature was
Polar have released an iPhone 4S/5 app which works with their heart rate monitors. I tried the app today and it tracks similarly to iSmoothRun. I don’t have a monitor and wondered if getting one would help my performance.
I believe I have gotten over my mental block with regards to winter running and the weather, I now have to conquer the cold and wind. This isn’t so easy though as this is what triggers my asthma and gives me a tight chest.
Anyway it was a good run and I’m glad I got out there today
Fastest track for today was Speed of Love by Owl City.
I haven’t gone out on a run all week and today was very busy so I was a little apprehensive about getting my trainers on. It’s milder than it has been and dry with some sun so todays weather is a definite improvement.
Prior to the run we decorated our first floor hall, I ironed the weeks clothes for work, made lunch, helped Richard hand the new fire in the study and cleaned the house. I wasn’t sure I had any energy left for a run!
I had a brief pause at the beginning of the run as some neighbours said hello but once I got going I as enjoying myself.
My right calf was really tight and I dig drag my foot once or twice – I was convinced this was my Asics again but am not 100% sure. I haven’t run all week and these are nearly new shoes so I am bound to feel some pain and discomfort.
I did well through my run and just as I entered my 5 minute cool down my iPhone played Woodkids Run Boy Run. I smiled to myself and agreed that whenever Woodkid came on I would run my fastest and furthest regardless of what I was supposed to be doing. And you know what? I did! I put my foot down and didn’t let my pace falter for the duration of the track. I thoroughly enjoyed this energetic spurt in the run and decided to give it another go.
Woodkids I Love You came on next and I sprinted through half of that too. I was tired by this stage and thought it best not too push myself too far so I slowed my paced and completed my cool down walk.
Not surprisingly this was my fastest song!
I used to do these sprinting sessions when I was deep in to my training last year and I am glad to see I can pick this pace up again.
I admit I have been plodding along a bit and these speed sections help to remind me that I can find more energy in my legs when I try, regardless of my chest, my breathing, the weather, the shoes or any pain. I now need to harness this new-found drive and continue it through my other runs.
I can tell I have been pushing myself as I was tearing up due to the sweat running in my eyes – this and the fact it’s the first run in ages I have not needed my hat or gloves! I did run past the allotments twice and on the way back had to immediately stop as some gardeners were burning garden waste and the smoke immediately got to my chest. I think it was wise to walk through this, a cause it was painful to breath and b cause the combination of smoke, sweat and tears meant I could not see where I was going! Once I was clear of the pollution I was on my way though… must remember this new hazard, particularly now the weather is improving and the gardeners are getting busy again.
And yes for the eagle-eyed I have reverted back to kilometers, it’s a much friendlier unit to run with and one I am familiar with. Regardless of if I am running a half marathon at some point, running K’s means I know where I am (and I can always aim to run 21 k). Thanks for the advice Paul.
I am sure after all this I deserve a rest (and I bet my Fuelband count will be through the roof!).