I’m pretty sure me blogging about every single training run could well be really dull, but I’m doing it anyway. A few reasons: I don’t want to miss any details or information for me when I’m looking back on progress, etc and also I know that I’ve been voraciously seeking blogs and forums etc to read as much as I possibly can about running, and more particularly running as an overweight person with flat feet, severe overpronation and a history of a loud Inner Critic! So if I create some of this content, there may well be folks out there who are interested. So I will blog!
Today took some getting out. The running group I’m part of shares their training runs in a private online group, and I was a bit depressed by seeing other people being faster than me. This put me off a bit, but a lovely friend of mine (also a runner) gave me a good kick and told me to get out in the sunshine.
Yesterday I bought some new shoes. I’d been recommended to get some lovely comfortable cushioned trainers to absorb some of the impact. I was very excited to hop on a treadmill in Decathlon in a pair of Kalenji Kiprun LD, and be able to run 500m without any significant overpronation and little of the usual aches and pains. What is even better is that Decathlon offers a 30 day guarantee on these trainers whereby if you don’t get on with them within 30 days you can return them. For someone like me with very particular shoe requirements, that is an amazing deal.
So how did they fare? At first I had included some IronMan Gel Heel Cushions – because I was pretty sure that more cushioning would surely be better. However, during the first 3 minute running interval I felt like I was over pronating, and the shoes didn’t feel as great as they did in the shop on the treadmill. I stopped to remove the gel heels, which raised my heels a bit too, and then the sensation of over pronation stopped and they became more comfortable again. Interval 2 was not too bad, with some tightness starting in my left calf. I stopped to stretch out both calfs just before Interval 3, which helped a bit, but Interval 3 saw really sore, tight calves on both sides plus some pain under my foot. I finished the run interval anyway (it wasn’t unbearable, but it was hard) and the great news is that once I stopped running my calfs felt normal. I’m no expert, but I think if there is discomfort when running that continues when you’re not running then you’ve likely done some damage, but if it stops when you stop then that’s likely just your body complaining about something it’s not used to.
So whilst I had some discomfort on the running sections and really did feel slower than a turtle running in treacle, I have hope that these shoes are helping my bio-mechanical issues and once my body gets used to this running lark I’ll be OK.
This run felt really tough whilst I was doing it. 3 minutes of running is the most I ever got to when I tried C25k before, and it can feel like a long time. Actually though, whilst I felt like I was trudging along and I didn’t feel I was going very fast at all and I was breathing hard, the time went reasonably quickly. I got home to a group email from the running group organiser saying “It doesn’t matter if you’re running slower than walking pace at first” which was encouraging. I guess you have to work on increasing distances and stamina before you can start adding in speed. I mean, no point trying to run fast if you can’t run for any time without stopping. So whilst it feels totally remedial and ridiculous whilst I’m out, I can accept that I’m doing all the right things for now. I’m sticking to the program 100%. I was tempted to add in a few extra intervals after the main set today, but I really do want to do the program as is. After all, if the expert wanted us to run 5 or 6 intervals she would have set that. She didn’t, she set 3 intervals so that is what I did.
I was pleased with the outcome of the run though. Firstly, I did it. That’s a major thing all on its’ own! Secondly, I managed to get 1.97km in the set (including a 3 minute walking warm up). I know 2km is not a long way for many but for me, right now, it’s a long way to be run/walking especially given that two weeks ago I didn’t even know I’d be on this running course doing it at all. I stop the recording of the run when I’m done with the main set, so I can judge progress over time, and then I record the walk home seperately. One of my small aims is to get a full loop in during the main set. I could always just head out for less distance, haha!
Also, rather than comparing myself to others in the group, who appear to be pretty much unanimously quicker than me, I can only really compare myself to myself. I did Run 3 on Thursday and Run 4 today so you wouldn’t necessarily expect much progress in that time. However, the walk portions of the set were the same (3 minutes x 3) and so in this run I did 3 minutes more running than last time. It got me 600m further than last time, and, despite the fact that this run felt more eeeeesh and harder when I was out, turns out I actually improved my pace by 18 seconds. Small gains, but gains nonetheless.
So lessons learned today:
- Get out and do it anyway
- Gel heel cushions weren’t really for me
- Don’t try to assess how you’re doing when you’re out there. Technology is gathering all the info for you to look at later, and your assessment when out will likely be inaccurate in a negative direction which will only affect your performance in a not good way
- Doesn’t matter how fast you’re going as long as you’re going
The other thing I remembered today is what has changed for my family. Before I met The Trainer and started training coming up for 2 years ago I used to dream of being an “active family”. Wasn’t sure what that really meant but I know we spent more time sitting on the sofa than out doing anything. Some changes you can see – the fact I’m running, the weight loss, etc – but other changes aren’t so noticeable. But when you force yourself to look back the changes are obvious. This week my husband rode 140km by commuting to work 3 days of 5, plus a leisure ride at the weekend. I’ve done 3 runs this week plus a great PT session with the lovely Kim. And my son and I walked to the pet shop 2.25km away with no fuss or complaining from either party! These activities would have just been unthinkable two years ago but now they are regular and not that unusual occurrences.
Sometimes we spend our time thinking about how far we have still to go, but we have to realise what we’ve already achieved. I am part of an active family already. It isn’t something out there still, something to be working towards, it’s here, right now. That dream came true, I just need to remember that more often!