Monday, 2 February 2015

The Running Diary #1 - Just Keep Running



When I started back at university this September, one of my goals was to starting running regularly. I did start, but I wasn't very good at keeping it up. I then made it one of my 2015 New Year's resolutions - because if it's a double resolution I'll be doubly determined, right? 

Actually, I have been. It's been going pretty well if I do say so myself. I left you with my post on 'The First Run of 2015' and now I think it's about time I let you know how it's been. In fact, I just re-read that post and now I'm feeling super-impressed with myself all over again! (Honestly, running endorphins do wonderful things.)

Kit
I bought more running clothes - seeing as I'm actually getting so much use from them now, I felt like it was no longer a waste of money. I also wanted some fluorescent and reflective clothing for running in the evenings. Sports Direct do great sales, both in store and online, and I got some big discounts on a jacket, sports bra and running tights. I swear it's been completely unintentional that I've ended up with a very coordinated set of running kit - everything is black and pink! Might use that as an excuse to buy a few different coloured items...

I also downloaded the Nike Running app to keep track of my runs - so long as my GPS holds out, this means I can instantly see how far I've run, how fast I've gone and where in the run I've gone quickest or slowed down. I'm the kind of person who loves seeing statistics and analyses, so watching myself improve each time and beat my records is so satisfying. The only thing is, I don't have music on my phone (I know that's probably weird in this day and age), so my headphones are connected to my iPod, meaning that the Nike app talks out loud unless I remember to switch off the voice setting. I like knowing how far I've run, but I don't need everyone around me to know too!

The Runs
Since that first run in January, I carried on doing one or two 5km runs a week, generally on the weekends or when I had mornings off uni. I actually find myself getting quite excited at the prospect of going for a run, and once I've set myself a time to go I'm pretty good at sticking to it.

The past couple of weeks, I noticed that I was feeling a lot better on the runs, that they were getting much easier and that I felt like I could keep going a lot longer. When I've had the time, I've been doing longer distances, and when I've had more on, I've been doing much faster short runs just to keep things varied.

The Big Run
I ran 9.44 miles (just over 15km) on Friday which felt amazing. Tiring, but such an achievement! I hadn't actually planned on going quite so far, but my housemates who are half-marathon training were doing it and so I decided to tag along. My original intention was to stick with them for a bit, then peel off and do a shorter distance by myself.

I think now that I've got my cardiovascular fitness a lot better though, I can find a natural pace and stick quite comfortably at it for a much longer time than I realise. Running with friends keeps me motivated and helps me overcome the mental block that says I should stop, when actually my legs are having no trouble carrying on! I've I had been by myself, I'd probably have only gone about half of that - and it would have felt ok, but not quite such an achievement. 

Seeing as (despite rumours and suspicions) I'm not actually entered into any races at the moment, timing isn't something I'm focusing on. I can comfortably run at about a 10 minute mile pace over that kind of distance, and maybe push on a bit to get nearer a 9'30 minute mile at 5km. I know I can actually run faster, but it's not as comfortable and I quite like having enough breath to chat if I'm with others (or, er, sing along to my running playlist if I'm alone haha).

The best bit though was probably the house yoga session we did afterwards - I'm pretty sure you're not meant to giggle between all the stretches, but my muscles definitely appreciated it!

The Injuries
Luckily nothing serious! But Friday's run left me with a blister right on the arch of my foot. When I attempted to go running Sunday morning, I got about 1km before feeling it pop and then start to rub - ouch! Seeing as I need my feet to be in good working order for walking round hospital wards this week, I had to stop running. Disappointing, but not every run can be 'the best' I suppose!

I think it's pretty safe to say that I've caught the 'running bug' - why else would anyone voluntarily go for a 9 mile jog on a Friday night?! This does mean that there's almost certainly going to be more Running Diary posts. This might be my most successful new year's resolution ever!
Jennifer
xXx
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9 comments

  1. Wow 9.4 miles! Well done!!!! I've been running home from work which is about 5.3 miles and I'm loving it, so much so that I'm going to extend my route home to get more mileage in hehe! Bet you felt amazing after 9.4 miles (albeit knackered) x

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    1. That's great - I wish I could fit running into the day like that! I don't mind feel tired - it's a nice healthy tired! x

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  2. 9 miles? That's insane, I can barely do 5km myself haha. Good on you!

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    1. Haha thanks! I didn't think I could do it either, it's amazing what a bit of persistence can do!

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  4. I desperately want to start running but I don't know where to start... Congrats on your achievements!

    Ayaan - girl lost in transit

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    1. I would definitely recommend starting! Start simple - short, manageable runs to get into it and enjoy it :)

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  5. Wow well done on your runs thats awesome! You're making me want to get back into running, I miss it, although now I'll hardly be able to run 1k let alone 5 any more!

    Emma x
    Writing Essays With Wine

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    1. Thanks! I missed it too - definitely do start it up again! I could barely manage 1km either at the beginning, but I decided that I'd never get any better just sitting at home!
      x

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