Run 6 – And Bad News But Then Hope

Run 6 –    30 mins run/walk with the Run Club

Total Time: 31 minutes

Total Distance Travelled: 2.08km

Distance Run: ?

Distance Walked: ?

Overall average pace: 14.54 mins/km

Average run pace: ?

Average cadence: 75 spm

Average heart rate: 151 bpm

General impression: Today was our first outing into the great big world as a Run Club. Every other week we get to go to the local Country Park and trot around with Andy, and this was the first week.

It seems that this learning to run game is very much an up and down thing. Thursday evening I was very frustrated with myself in Run Club. We were doing Glute activation exercises and I couldn’t feel my glutes working at all. Them and their memory loss is proving quite annoying. I was so ready to quit at that point. I mean, I have very flat feet, dead glutes and I’m overweight and not very fit at all. What about any of that suggests I should be a runner?! I put it down to tiredness, and turned up this morning for our first outing.

I quickly got frustrated again when the critique of my running was that my form starts out good but degrades as I get tired. This I know, but if I could do something about it I would. Once again I was ready to quit. I mean, no sport is worth getting this upset with yourself about , is it? With the encouragement of a fellow Run Clubber I set off on my last “out and back for a minute each way” set. On the way back I joked that we should do a funny run to wind Andy up, and then did an impression of a funny run. Well, it wasn’t bloody funny because I felt something like a pop in my calf, and I stopped immediately, clutching my leg. Andy tried to stretch it out for me, and then got me to walk back to the others, but I was severely limping. The pain was awful, and I was in tears because I was meant to be running The City Mile in London tomorrow. Andy tells me that it is a muscle spasm in my calf caused by my stupid movement, and I have to stretch it as much as I can. A few hours later, it’s getting a bit easier and I’ve managed a very gentle stretch but walking is still painful without hobbling. I’m so angry at myself for being so stupid!

Once I got home I decided that I was done with running. I mean, two sessions with tears is not a fun thing. I was thinking I should just listen to my body, with it’s aching Achilles and sore calf and flat feet, and quit. There are still sports I can do – like lifting heavy weights for instance – but maybe running isn’t my bag.

Then, with my leg elevated on cushions and alternately being heated with a water bottle and chilled with edamame beans, I remembered why I started. I really want to be able to go to parkrun on a Saturday morning, without it being a major ordeal. I want a 100 parkrun t-shirt. I want to be able to exercise anywhere and everywhere by just pulling on my trainers and heading out for a run. With our holidays we go to some amazing places, and I’d love to be able to run around the lake in St. Bonnet Le Troncais, or around the park at Belle Isle. And I realised that the only thing stopping me is me. I can achieve all of those things and more, but not if I quit.

I don’t know if the 8 week time frame is realistic for me. Form is better now (until I foolishly joke around) but fitness seems worse. At the end of 2 minutes I’m done. This is weird because just last week I ran for 8 minutes and 32 seconds without stopping, and did a mile in 14 minutes 17 seconds. Similar pace to what I’ve been doing on intervals this week so not sure what the difference is. Anyway, just because this Run Club is 8 weeks long doesn’t mean that I have to fit into that box. If it takes me longer to get to run 5k without stopping then that’s what we will have to do.

But if I want that T-shirt I’ll have to keep trying.

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