The first week in January is done. On the running front it’s been a funny week. On the one hand I have done well, getting back into the schedule, (17 miles this week) on the other it’s been hard work mentally and physically.
Before Christmas I said that I was going to take a break from sugar free as it would be hard to maintain with all the celebrations. Shazruns warned me to be wary, maybe a couple of days not a couple of weeks. She knew what she was talking about. The 5lb which had just melted away over a couple of months jumped back on in 2 weeks – I didn’t think it was possible – and shows no sign of just jumping off again! Now I’m paying the price as the extra weight does make the running harder.
Yesterday I felt the most despondent I have ever felt whilst on a run. Yes it was dark and raining but I just didn’t seem to have the will to put one foot in front of the other. This morning hubs asked me about how the running was going and I told him about how I felt. I know quite a lot of people who have taken up running after me and within a few weeks are running 8 minute miles. Yet despite plugging away for quite some time now and running 3 or 4 times per week, I count myself lucky to manage a 12min per mile pace. Normally I can accept that I’m not good at this but it doesn’t matter because running makes me feel better and anyway I have other gifts to be grateful for, you can’t have everything. But somehow yesterday it got under my skin.
I went on to explain to him that I thought that I might be one of those people whose genetic make up is such that they can’t improve their VO2 max/fitness. He was sceptical so I googled some of the research and articles that have been written about it to show him. He did point out, that despite my disappointment I am actually much better at running than when I started out, when I couldn’t run at all. I had to concede that I had improved when compared to the previous me.
The other thing that came out from reading these articles was that although my fitness may not improve through regular aerobic exercise, my health will. So although my heart will never be able to pump so much blood to my muscles that I can run like the wind, I can still lose weight and have better metabolic control over my blood sugar, preventing diabetes, and lower my cholesterol.
Thus armed with the information that helps me to justify my place in the running world, I put my kit on and went for a run. I did the 10k that includes the massive hill;
Today’s strategy was to try to just keep counting my steps and to do 1000 steps without walking. When I got to the hill, I said that if my heart rate reached 150 I could walk until it came down to 140, so I did the hill in 4 or 5 running segments.
I was caught up by a cyclist who couldn’t cycle much faster than my run so we had a little chat as to whether the hill was worse running or biking. I thought biking, you can’t slow down to walk on a bike, and I’ve only fallen off my legs 2 or 3times when out running, and never because of a hill!
In the end it was quite a good run as on the downhill bit I managed to keep up a steady jog (yes sometimes I even get short of breath running DOWN hill!) and managed an 11:30 mile with an overall pace of 13:07, so 30 seconds per mile better than November. Maybe my husband was right after all ( but he doesn’t read this blog, so don’t tell him. Husbands don’t need to hear that kind of thing, it’s dangerous!)
So to sign off I’d just like to say To all the people in the northern hemisphere, I hope that you are coping with the January blues. Top tip? Fake it til you make it, just keep on with the routine until it all gets better. To those of you on the sunny side of the planet, enjoy it while you can!!