I am not going to dwell on how shit my exercise has been so far this year and that last week, despite rigorous planning, I only managed a 15 minute home practice and a 60 minute hot Pilates class (which was brutal by the way). But, as they say… there is no point looking backwards when you are trying to move forwards!
Things have finally turned around and this week has been pretty good as far as my exercise is concerned.
I can’t really pinpoint what has caused the shift. I think the better weather helps, and I have been planning on getting back to it for a while so my intention was there, but it’s just my motivation that’s been lacking! It feels like a change just kind of happened on Tuesday when I was away with work. I started thinking that having a generic plan to run 3 times a week feels too overwhelming as the thought of getting on my trainers and running 5Km feels too much so I just don’t go. I hadn’t any races booked in and having missed the 10Km the week before so I just felt stuck.
With that I decided to book in a 10Km trail run near me on Sunday 25th February and a half marathon on 10th March. The 10Km is on Wimbledon Common, not far from my house. I don’t usually run there, but would like to. So, it is a good opportunity to learn a route that I can try and repeat in the future. The last time I ran on Wimbledon Common was when I did my London Marathon training in 2013 and I loved running through the tress there. I remember it incredibly fondly and weirdly I haven’t ever gone back. So I am actually really looking forward to running there even though after booking it I realised there isn’t a medal! Luckily I have one left over from last year for a virtual run I didn’t do!
This year my plan was to do a half marathon every quarter as I will need to train for this and can’t just expect to turn up and get round it. I was due to go to Inverness to run the half marathon there on 11th March with some friends, but Giles is away that weekend and I can’t leave the kitties at home alone for a weekend. Instead I have booked in to do the Thames Meander which will be very flat and in light of only having 4 weeks to train I think this will be more in keeping with my capabilities.
On Tuesday, after booking the races I found a 4 week plan for getting me up to a half marathon from where I am now: which is just about capable of getting round a 10Km. The programme is based on 3 runs a week which fits my 3+3 plan of 3 runs and 3 yoga classes a week.
Just like that I got to it. On Tuesday night despite being very tired from work I went to the gym and ran intervals on the treadmill. The programme focusses on running at effort levels from 1 to 5.
The first 5 minutes warm up at level 1, another 5 at level 2, then 3 x 1 minute at level 5 followed by 2 minutes at level 1, then 5@2 and 5@1. I did a 10 minute warm up hill walk and 10 minute cool down and in total covered 6.11Km. I think in total I ran/jogged 4.32Km, so not a huge distance but a great start back as it was achievable.
Then on Wednesday I took an hours lunch break and went to yoga for a 60 minute hot Bikram class. I really enjoyed it and loved the heat and humidity. I have to do more of this practice!
On Thursday I was on leave from work and woke up feeling full of cold with a sore throat. This is so typical of me. I work myself too hard and when I get time off I am ill. It’s something I am working on and I need to find a better way of recognising I am not getting enough rest other than just winding up sick. Despite feeling under the weather I had an appointment across London, so I decided to go wearing my gym kit so that I could walk back in the sunshine. It turns out that it was 8 miles, but the sun was out and I really enjoyed the taking the time to catch up on listening to my favourite podcast.
On Friday, despite being on holiday I had a conference call I couldn’t afford to miss, but calling in generated more work and I ended up spending all afternoon working. Even though I have recognised this pattern of overworking, and being sick I still worked! It comes from a place of trying to not get too far being, and not letting people down. But in trying to please others I end up taking on too much and I run myself down. Something I need to address for sure.
On Saturday I met up with a friend for a jog around Tooting Common. We mixed walking, running, sprinting and jogging: a kind of fartlek training covering about 6Km. I had a really sore lower back which was bothering me and so I went to Yin later in the day. As luck should have it the Yin class had a heavy back focus and I had a real emotional release as I let the tension in my back go. I love the Yin classes and I heard that the instructor is doing a 7 day retreat later this year, so I am going to seriously look into doing that. It should be heavenly!
Today I wanted to get up, run and then go to Yin at midday, but the cats are waking me at 5am every morning and this morning after being up for an hour I went back to sleep and woke up again at 10:00, had breakfast and went to Yin. Afterwards I had lunch with one of my yoga friends and had a great catch up that helped me think through a few things that have been bothering me. It always helps to be able to talk things through and I didn’t organise therapy for this week so haven’t really had an outlet.
I was also due to do a 8km run today, so I really need to get on and do that. It’s now dark and cold outside so I have very little motivation. But, if I do it I complete my 3+3 for the first time this year!
My current plan is to put on some veggies to roast, then run so that dinner is close to ready when I get home. I can do this!