Monthly Archives: July 2012

Improvement?

The past week has seen me almost achieve target runs and I’m pretty glad about it.

I was going to run on Monday but heavy rain made my general outlook pretty bloody low which, combined with flooded country lanes around site and little desire to go for another late outing, made me carry out my “if I’m not going to enjoy it I won’t do it” promise to myself and not go out. Tuesday instead saw me trying a new road away from site in the hope it’d turn out to be around 5 miles of pleasantness.

Because I’m working with a bunch of fuck-tards at the moment and I still haven’t got a phone line despite having been set up on site for 4 months (got no power either but that’s another story) and because I haven’t got enough time or desire to play on the computer each evening, my aerial mapping knowledge of my site is poor. Hence I didn’t know where exactly I’d end up, despite having a passing knowledge of the lanes from my youth cycling around them during the school holidays.

So I opted for an out and back route. Which now I view it on satellite makes the perfect link to a loop if only I’d turned another left and followed my nose. Next week I’ll do just that.

Being the next incremental distance increase, as expected, my legs hurt a bit. So Thursday saw me shorten my mileage slightly from plan but complete another small first-time loop which ended out at 3.75 miles. The best bit, though, was that despite running down a steep hill for just over half a mile I never seemed to climb back up the other side. So despite the issue of my calves hurting each step, they never had the opportunity to scream.

Very nice.

So today saw me head out for an unusual morning run on my favourite Gill Lane loop in the beating morning sunshine. Yep, sun. Whatever next? Summer, hopefully…

It was warm but I wore my relatively untested Under Armour¬†shirt to see if it helped and I reckon it jolly well did. I couldn’t tell a difference on my back between running in direct sunshine (it was around 11 o’clock when I was out) and the shade of the trees. Getting home I was delighted at the lightness of the top as I stripped it off and realised that, while I’d clearly made it wet, it was excellent at wicking the moisture away from my skin. Very good.

And my legs feel fresher now than they did before I left for the outing. And it’s my longest run so far in my Mizuno trainers that have been universally caned by everyone I’ve seen a review from. And they performed amazingly, too – not even a hint of contemplation regarding what’s on my feet can only be a good thing, I reckon.

Happy running and gradual improvement? How many days until the wheels fall off, I wonder? Ah, that’ll be soon when I attempt some intervals, I guess.

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Little by Little

And so I progress.

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been putting in little jogs here and there, gradually increasing the distance, effort, pace and terrain as increments in occasional runs rather than trying to kill myself all in one outing.

I’ve done a short hill slowly. A longer slope a little quicker. A longer outing on the flat at a pace I was comfortable with (previously it would have been slow; at the time it was a concentrated effort to maintain. Not pushing on as such, just concentrating on not slowing down). A short run (relatively) quickly.

All in an effort to a) recover form in my legs (my calves have been screaming on every run where they’ve tightened through little use) and b) recover my fitness and form.

The good news is it seems to be working. A bit. My fitness has lost it’s peak but generally ¬†seems in fine form. My legs are hurting less with each outing and had some fire in them last night.

And last night was my first new, proper outing.

Fitting a set of stairs on Saturday was my test of health. I didn’t struggle at all (I’m always feeling odd pains around the bones, but I think they’ve knitted and aren’t harmed by general useage now). I haven’t yet recommenced weight training but intend to have a go at this on Sunday.

So last night (having avoided the foul weather the night before) I headed off for a new loop from site. And what a splendid outing it was.

Warm, undulating, on-road; I headed out hoping to do 5 miles and that’s what happened. Setting off I paused to let a van pass on the narrow bit of the main lane from Hawkinge towards Paddlesworth and then, just before the Cat and Custard Pot pub paused for a car, then I turned down an even smaller road towards Densole that was never flat, constantly up and down before turning onto a yet narrower road (constant tyre marks up the banks type road, this one) towards Elham before heading back towards Etchinghill to pass two horses before heading back to the car and seeing my final van just before the pub again.

5 miles, two horses, three motor vehicles and legs that, on the final stretch before stopping, felt simply great.

A superb run. Much as I’d love roads to be everywhere (where else can you jog for 38 minutes and see so few road users? It felt like a set from war movie as I eased along). And, despite the road being up and down all the time, never really out of breath and stretching either legs or lungs.

But today my calves are again tight. I’ll ease them as, tomorrow, I decide on a route. Maybe hills, maybe flat (I ran the first bit of the Hythe canal as part of my recuperation from the sea at Seabrook to just past the Romney Hythe and Dymchurch Railway station in Hythe. I’m planning, in stages I think, to run it all the way to Rye before doing the whole length in one go if my fitness allows along with a spell of dry enough weather to make it a pleasant exerience. It’s fewer than 15 miles and flatter than a pan-type cake, so should be a lovely outing. I might do another bit of this tomorrow). Probably a short outing, though, whichever route gets lucky.

But I seem to be running again. Just hope the weather improves. I’ve a race to enter before the end of the year, after all.

Bit of a jog

Yesterday seeing the end of Juneathon, I decided mid-way through the month that I’d pop out for a jog no matter how much grief my ribs gave me.

As a brief catch-up, having broken some of my chest cage on the mountainbike in collision with a fence over the last weekend of April, after two weeks the pain was such that a doctor visit created inquisitiveness that I might have displaced my liver. A week later an abdominal scan revealed that nothing seemed amiss and the last two weeks have seen gradual improvement in ability to breathe and generally move around more freely.

Still struggling with anything that tenses my abdomen (getting out of bed is the worst) and not being able to take a deep breath without stabs of pain, any outing was going to be slow and steady. I still have horrible stomach ache for around half an hour each morning as my insides realign from being prone for a couple of hours but things get better from there.

So yesterday I did indeed run.

A slow half mile to start, settled breathing allowed me to create the largest of my short loops in my head and so it went on. Deep breaths hurt lots, so were avoided with pace kept to ensure no pain. The nicest feeling was my legs not hurting as the run progressed. Unable to stretch them properly over the past 5 weeks, I feared they’d tighten immediately but they felt simply superb; even now on the following morning they want to go out again.

And the nicest bit is knowing that having one small run under my belt, I can do more to maintain some sort of ability as the healing continues (about 3 more weeks is likely, apparently).

Monday’s outing is already planned.