Tub on the Run


Janathon Day 12: The Long Run

In the middle of my funk last night, I posted to Twitter that I am struggling.


I can feel self-sabotage brewing.  I have never run as much as I am now, and while I really do feel like I am beginning to make some progress (my heart rate average is lowering, though my average pace is staying relatively stable), I am beginning to wonder whether I can really do 13.1 miles.  Thirteen point one miles is a very long distance for me (and for most people I would imagine).  I don’t want to fail, but I almost feel that it is inevitable.  I’ve tried getting into running so many times, and my consistency requires more work.

I genuinely hadn’t intended the tweet to be seeking pity or anything, but I was genuinely touched by the response I had.  It was reassuring to know that most people will feel the same at one point or another.

So this morning, I scoffed some porridge, waited an hour, faffed around a bit, tried to find some clean workout clothes, eventually found them, stepped outside and faffed a bit more whilst waiting for my Garmin to sync.

A couple of minutes later, off I toddled.  6 miles on the plan, but I needed to do just over to get my 10k recorded for my Virtual Runner race.  I chose to go from home to Darts Farm, which turns out to be around 6 miles.  It was a mildly undulating route.  Unfortunately I didn’t break my 10k record, but it was relatively close.  I probably would have done it, but for getting stuck behind some walkers and their dogs.

One thing I am beginning to find is that my heart rate is coming down, but the perceived effort seems to be getting harder.  I don’t know why that is, but I really flag in how I feel towards the end, though this isn’t entirely represented by my pace.

Anyway, I arrived at Darts Farm.

Darts Farm

I took £2 with me so I could get a drink, which I desperately needed by then.  Matt was meant to meet me there, but had got a bit sidetracked.  I busied myself by shopping for my Foodie Penpal (new matches came through!).  We also bought lunch to bring home.  Matt picked me up and home we came.  I plan to spend the rest of the afternoon doing laundry, catching up on the Janathon and Jantastic blogs, and pottering.

Janathon exercise, done.  Jantastic Week 1, done.  10k for Virtual Runner, logged!

Logged for Virtual Runner


Janathon Day 5: 0 dry runs this year

I am beginning to wonder if the weather gods are conspiring against me.  As I dragged my lazy bum out of bed this morning, the weather was dull but dry.  I made porridge and took it back to bed.  I pottered a bit (read: looked for a clean t-shirt to wear on my run) and as I decided it was time to head out the door, the worst kind of rain started falling.  You know the kind – the rain that is just miserable and light but all encompassing and therefore makes you very soggy.  I started grumbling to M, and then I muttered the words “maybe I would do better off with the gym”.  The words fell out of my mouth before I could really understand what I was staying.

I hate running on the treadmill.  I hate the experience of landing in the same place, on the same surface, to the same sounds (the whirring noise that is punctuated by the squeak of the runner landing. Every. Single. Step) with the red LED lights shining my pace.  I hate the complete lack of fresh air, and that I turn a genuinely scary shade of crimson.  I loathe the lack of anything interesting to look at.  Sure, there are TVs built into the treadmill, but I cannot run looking down (especially when doing so gives me motion sickness from seeing the belt move around in my peripheral vision).

Don’t get me wrong, I think treadmills have their place.  That place is for short runs where the weather is truly awful (and I am talking neck breaking sheet ice conditions), but as a general rule, they’re just not for me.  I came to the swift conclusion that just over 8km on the machine would probably have deprived me of my sanity.

And so, with grim determination, I headed outdoors.  I did swing by the gym to get the cancellation form though, as I just can’t see me going back any time soon.

To add insult to injury, my Garmin wouldn’t lock onto any satellites for what felt like a soggy era.  When it did eventually find one, I pootled off for my 5 mile long run.  As I huffed and puffed up the hills, I realised that the wind wasn’t too strong, and for that, I was incredibly thankful.  I’d even managed to keep relatively dry trainers for the first 2 miles.

I ran into one of the lanes, which proved to be both a blessing and a curse.  It is a single track road, and used as a short cut by many.  I thought that lunchtime on a Sunday may mean that it would be less busy.  I had misjudged.  While it was annoying to have to stop every couple of minutes and excuse myself into the gutter, after those hills, it was also quite nice to catch my breath (and take a photo).

Summer Lane

As I took this photo and noticed the mud just in front of where I was stood, I hoped that the people who ran in the cross country race at Killerton today had a slightly less squidgy day for it (though I doubt they did).  Rather them than me!

Then it was on the mostly downhill stretch to home.  It passed rather uneventfully, though I started getting annoying with my Yurbuds, which decided that my ears were no longer the place to be.  I may have to dig out my over the ear headphones for future wet runs, at the Yurbuds don’t live up to their ‘never fall out’ fame in the wet.

Long Run Week 4

Pesky Mile 2 scuppered my average pace times, as the other mile splits were pretty decent (for me), and I actually managed negative splits for the first time ever.

I arrived home, soggy, out of puff, but glad that I went out and that I didn’t go to the gym instead.

Yoga for me tomorrow – need to stretch out a couple of muscles on my left side.


New Year’s Resolutions

Right now, I don’t actually mind the term “New Year’s Resolutions”.  Ultimately, I see it is something to work on in the longer term, call it a goal, an aim, a resolution.  I haven’t always felt so, but I think some goal setting would be helpful for me.  Having had the last week off work has done wonders for reducing my stress levels and clearing my mind of some of the incessant chatter and clutter.

So what and why?

  • First thing’s first, complete Janathon

I attempted Juneathon (unsurprisingly back in June) and gave up because of a foot problem (excuses, excuses).  Janathon is “the colder brother of Juneathon”.  Want to know more?  Visit the website – http://www.janathon.com/.  This also helps work towards blogging more regularly.  When I first started blogging, I was quite good at posting regularly, but things tailed off a bit.  I’m not entirely sure why, as I enjoy writing and blogging.


  • Improve my Slimming World consistency

I have hardly been consistent this year.  In fact, I have managed to start seeing my weight increase steadily since the wedding – something that I need to nip in the bud quickly.

Weight Chart 2013

Part and parcel of this is managing stress better.  I promised myself that I would be significantly slimmer by the time my birthday came around, and I must work on that now.  I’d also like to break my 10 week weight loss streak.  I’ve tried enlisting the help of others by way of challenges, but this hasn’t really worked, so I need to remember that this is my battle.

  • Get my 5k PB down to 35 minutes, and my 10k time down to 75 minutes

I am pleased with my efforts so far this year, but I would like to get my times down.  I have no idea how achievable any of that is for me, and the numbers are plucked out of thin air.



(Thank you photo-fit.net for letting me use the photo)

  • Complete Silverstone Half Marathon

I don’t think I have yet mentioned this on the blog, and I’ve hardly mentioned it to anyone outside of the blog, but I have signed up for the Adidas Silverstone Half Marathon.  I want to see if I can do it.  I don’t know if I can, but I am going to try.  It seemed a good half for me to try, as I know Silverstone very well, so I know what to expect (strong, cold winds, some hills that don’t look that steep, but can be).  I’ve started the Hal Higdon Half Marathon Novice 1 plan, and I need to get better at sticking to the plan.

Half Mara Logo

  • Keep up regular yoga practice

Yoga keeps my mind from whizzing around at a rate of knots, and I always feel better for having spent even just 15 minutes doing some stretching in the quiet.

  • Declutter!

Declutter is for lots of things.  Whether that is the flat, some unhealthy relationships, work, whatever – it needs decluttering.

  • Celebrate progress!

Whatever progress looks like, whether it is a running win, a weight loss success, work-related or just something else.  I spend a lot of time in 2013 feeding the demons and not looking for the silver linings, so in 2014, I will be trying to turn the tables on this.

Well that’s me set for 2014, what are you looking for this year?


So, about Weston Christmas Cracker…

I have been considering not running the Weston Christmas Cracker 10k.  My inner critic reasoned that I wouldn’t be able to run it as only fit people can run it, and besides, what with working my old job and my new job, I haven’t had the mental capacity to add running into the mix (running takes a huge amount of mental effort for me).  All very true.  I haven’t been out, and I failed to follow my Hal Higdon 10k plan.  I’ve managed to get to 4 miles.  Additionally, the inner critic reminded me that I am heavier than I probably should be for my joints, and running is high impact of course.

Then, with some blue sky thinking, I remind myself that regardless of the time I do, it will be a personal best.  It is the only time I’ll be able to do it without failing (unless I fail to finish, but then there will always be another day).  Yeah, I am heavier than recommended, but I have been through my entire “running career”, and the few extra pounds (ok, extra stone), is still one stone less than when I started Couch to 5k in January.  Yes, there is a reasonable chance that I could come last, but someone does have to come last.  If that person is me, then it is me.  I am pretty sure that they don’t shoot the last person back.  Plus, I paid to enter (as is the custom with these kinds of things), and what a waste of money if I don’t do it.  Additionally, I have been severely mince pie deprived so far this year, and this is one of the only acceptable ways that I can have a mince pie (I’m sure it will taste better than all other mince pies by the time I get to the finish line!).  Of course, it’s also “nothing ventured, nothing gained”.

Having done battled with my inner voices (though I do promise I am not entirely mad), I have convinced myself to do it.  There are aspects that I am not looking forward to.  Specifically, I am not looking forward to my mother-in-law cheering on father-in-law (who will make it home sub-45 mins) and then hanging around waiting for me to come back and have a lot of faux praise.  All I want to see at the end is a mince pie the face of my husband, who will have really understood what an accomplishment it will have been for me.

Mince pies for Fetcham Park

Mince pies for Fetcham Park (Photo credit: ayca13)

I’m trying to work out what is best to take with me.  I have my usual running kit, but what should I take in addition?  I am thinking some food, warm clothes, clean socks, knickers and a bra, deodorant, hairbrush.  All tips welcome!

In other news, I weighed in today, and maintained over the two weeks.  Hurrah!  That is quite good.  Friday involved a delicious three course Thai meal for my Mum’s work’s Christmas Party.  I also drank quite a lot (for me).  Perhaps the yoga yesterday helped, or the 2 mile run today.  Who knows.


Bad foot and an action plan

My foot is not much better.  Google diagnosis aside, I think I may have a lesser spotted (on a Tub anyway) overuse injury going on.  The solution?  Rest.  Hmm… Easier said than done when you work in a rather large factory.  I have tried not to spend too much time on it.  Exercise for Juneathon was shopping.  I’m hoping that counts – it got my heart rate up, as hobbling is surprisingly hard work.  I suspect it won’t count, and in that case, I am unable to offer anything in lieu.

As we all know, my eating habits have gone completely to pot (or rather, to the various takeaway outlets in my town).  In a bid to address this, I buried my nose in the latest Slimming World magazine.  I’d bought it at group last week, but I hadn’t actually got to the point of reading it.  I’m still not finished with it – I read a couple of the stories, and got as far as the meal planner.  I decided that probably one of the best things I could do would be to follow a meal plan for the week.


Each month, the Slimming World magazine puts a weekly plan in, sometimes based on green or red days, but this one has been based on the extra easy plan.  Helpfully, they also put the recipes in along with a shopping list.

This is a good thing – I haven’t had to think about what to cook at all.  Things also won’t get stale this week, as we’re eating different things every day.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s cost a reasonable amount in Tesco to get to this point, and that is motivating me not to waste the food we bought.

I have also decided, pending recovery of my foot, to go back to Week 1 of the Hal Higdon 10k novice plan this week and build up some running confidence again.  Tonight should have been a strength and stretch night, but there is little chance of that happening now (especially seeing as Game of Thrones has returned to our screens).

I’m hoping to report a happier foot tomorrow!


A ’10k training plan’ plan

I am hoping it isn’t going to be too much longer that I am sans laptop of my own (I have sneaked on to M’s while he is out at the cinema).  I have realised I really do quite enjoy blogging and miss not being able to get my thoughts down and published.  Anyway.

I read an article on Run Eat Repeat the other day about training for a half marathon.  No, no.  Don’t worry, I haven’t lost my mind (entirely).  In Monica’s post, she talks about Hal Higdon’s training plans, so off I toddled, over to Mr Higdon’s website, and browsed the plans.  I have been thinking that it could be that I am struggling with my running as I am planless.  Couch to 5k is great in making sure that you get out for 3 days a week, and that you cannot progress to the next until the current week is complete.  Being left to amble along without any real structure is hard for me (I like boundaries and structure).  I have designs towards running an autumn 10k (maybe even a late summer one), so I thought the novice 10k plan could be the bout of structure I need.  I have shuffled around one of the days so that I can get in the right amount of gym classes.  It will also be interesting for me to take the pressure off the time limits, and look at distance instead.

I had planned to go to Zumba Tone tonight, but my partner in crime was very late, so I went home, resolving myself to some yoga instead.  I haven’t practiced yoga for roughly 18 months, and wasn’t exactly good at it at my peak.  For my “strength and stretch” session, I youtubed this:

I struggled.  I struggled a lot!  I seem to have regained the flexibility of a reinforced steel joist with little difficulty, and my muscles seem to have completely lost the ability to stretch well.  I still can’t do downward dog.  It’s just not comfortable.  I did enjoy the video though – it was challenging but in a nice way.

Food wise, this not blogging thing is really mucking things up.  I know my confessional is longer away than normal given the poorly laptop issue, and coupled with my extraordinary ability to selfsabotage around each milestone, it hasn’t been pretty.  It’s been quite tasty though.  Back on plan though.  Otherwise it’s all a mini yoyo.

I’m off to see if I can find my pendrive now though, as I had written a post for my Foodie Penpals reveal tomorrow, but I can’t find the silly thing now.