On Sunday 4th June I did my longest solo run this year. 8 miles in 1:27:07. There was some walking in places but I was pleased just to get through it as I really struggle to go out on my long runs. Doing it at all felt like such an achievement.
The start of that week was a bit busy with a long day on the Monday and an overnight stay in a hotel before work on Tuesday, so I didn’t make it to the gym or yoga until Wednesday, but at that point my training ramped up a gear. More about that in a moment.
I mentioned a while ago about wanting to retry the fast metabolism diet, something I have had successful weight loss with in the past. However despite a few false starts with it this year I just don’t feel that I can manage that kind of eating plan with my job the way it currently is. I can’t always make my own meals and the selection I get when I travel is limited. However I know I have to change how I am eating to try and lose weight so I have been doing the 5:2 diet since the start of the month. In the first week I lost 2 pounds, and last week I lost 8oz. After 6 months of exercising, eating well and drinking a lot less alcohol I had not lost a single pound and so I’m pleased to have lost a little weight even if it is only fairly minuscule.
I do feel physically different, like I’m changing shape or losing weight, which would be a very welcome change after being fixed at this same weight for 18 months. I forget that the weight gain I’ve had was caused by the drugs I was put on for my mental health, not due to laziness or overeating. When I took the medication I would sleep for 18 hours at a time and so I need to not be so hard on myself about it, but I do find it hard to be mindful of this.
My friend pointed out to me that I may not see a wildly dramatic change in weight with a diet change because my diet has been clean for so long. I have been vegan now for nearly a year and gluten free and dairy free for over a decade. However the 5:2 diet seems to be working a little and I don’t find this way of eating difficult so I will persevere.
I went to yoga on Wednesday lunchtime, but this was a 500 calorie day and it totally wiped me out. I struggled all afternoon but by the early evening I had a second wind and so I decided to go to the gym to do interval training. I didn’t want the week to slip away from beneath me without running and I’m so glad I went as I had a really good session.
In my training plan I needed to do 4 sets of running at a challenging pace for 7 minutes followed with a 2 minute recovery jog.
I did the 1st set at 10.5Km/h and 9Km/h, then 10.6 and 8.8 for the second set, the 3rd I ran at 10.7 for 2.5 minutes dropping down to 10.5 for 60 seconds and then 10.7 again for 2.5 minutes before the recovery jog at 8.6. The final set I ran at 11.0Km/h for 3 minutes, 10.8 for 2 minutes, 30 seconds at 12.0, 1 min at 11 and 30 seconds at 10.5, with the recovery run at 8.0.
I actually really enjoyed it. Running on the treadmill really helps me to understand and manage my pace in a way I haven’t yet mastered on the road. In total I ran 7Km in 46:09 including a warm up and cool down walk.
Then on Friday I did a 30 minute walk round the common for my XT session followed by a 75 minute Bikram yoga class. I had some super feedback from the teacher who has known my practice a long time and said she could really see such improvement in my postures. It made me feel like all this hard work is finally paying off!
On Saturday Giles and I went to Parkrun where I achieved my best Parkrun time to date (30.38). This is by no means a 5Km PB, but I am pleased to see my Parkrun time finally improving as they had been getting worse each time since I started. I utterly love the routine of going to Parkrun on Saturday morning. It’s a great feeling to have the run done early and the whole day ahead. I don’t know why I can’t seem to translate this to other days of the week. It would make things so much more simple if I could just get up and run in the morning.
After Parkrun we stopped for a coffee and then went to Yin yoga which was glorious. I absolutely love the stark contrast to Bikram. It’s a soothing, gentle and meditative practice. If only every Saturday could be Parkrun and Yin I think I would be very content. So whenever I am free to do it this will be my Saturday routine, and if Giles can come with me so much the better. It’s lovely to go together and enjoy that time with each other.
On Sunday Steve and I ran our June race, the Richmond 10Km. This race marks the half-way point of the year for our ‘one medal a month’ intention. Although technically it was medal 9 due to our over-achievement! Yay.
We ran the Richmond 10Km in January and booked it again for June to see our progression this year to date. In January it was cold and hilly and we completed it in 1:05:31. Ideally we wanted to complete it this time in around an hour, but really so long as we could beat our previous time we would be happy.
I have realised that I need to check my diary in advance of booking races, specifically checking what I am doing the day before so that I am not tired or hungover on race day. Sadly this realisation has come to light because this race was booked in for the day after a friend’s party! So on Saturday night I was out, but tried to keep moderately sober and left early to make sure I got a reasonable amount of sleep. I also only had chips for dinner so I hardly prepared well.
Steve had text me to remind me to take my inhaler and antihistamines but I forgot, and on Sunday I didn’t have breakfast when I woke up so arrived at the race hungry, tired, dehydrated and full of hayfever! Frankly it was a clusterfuck of errors.
The run was the same route as last time, and I legitimately did not find it as hilly. It was hot though, and I struggled with my breathing due to the hayfever and the lack of food meant I felt like I had no energy.
Despite all this we came in at 1:03:23!!
2 minutes and 8 seconds faster.
Had I eaten and prepared appropriately we could have at least shaved another minute off. But, I feel a real sense of accomplishment that I have kept up my yoga and running intentions for the year, and I am actually getting a bit faster and slimmer and overall much happier.
In other news I decided to join a running club. I have joined U.K. Run Chat which is an online running forum I have been part of for the last year or so though social media. Membership gives me a club affiliation which makes my race entries slightly cheaper and also comes with registration with English Athletics. I am now officially an athlete. Who would have thought?!
So, last week was rather excellent. My mood has been great, I’ve exercised a lot, I won my Fitbit competition against my work colleagues, I lost some weight and became an athlete. All good stuff.
This week I have done a 30 minute XT session on Monday morning, a nice little bike session. Then from then on I’ve done nothing and I feel so guilty for it and my mood has been a bit low. I need to exercise but have been busy and just haven’t made it out today or yesterday. I’ve not been to yoga for 4 days.
Considering how many days in a row, or even weeks, I would go without exercising last year the fact that going 2 consecutive days without exercise stresses me out now must be a testament to what a positive impact exercise has on my mental and physical health.
So as far as plans go I’ll attempt to run in the morning, do intervals and yoga on Friday and then I’m heading off to Vienna with work so will aim for another run and XT session over the weekend if possible.
Maybe I can even find a yoga studio there so I can up my practice number for the month, as I’m currently only on 4 classes so far this month! You’d have thought I would have learnt my lesson after last months frantic need to get classes done before the month expired.
Onwards and upwards….