Sunday, March 30, 2014
Overall, I'm pleased with this week. I did 14.5 miles, which is not huge compared with some previous weeks; but it was a very intense 14.5 miles. Rather than just putting on the steps/miles walking and doing the same exercise as I've been doing for months, I spent my exercise time running.
This week I did 10 sets of 1 min run/1 min walk intervals on Monday and Wednesday, and 8 sets of 2 min run/1 min walk intervals on Friday. This was a LOT harder than last week, and I felt I really needed the days off between running days. After each run, my thighs ached all night; but I don't mind. It means that I was properly challenging myself instead of just coasting. I was surprised to find that I wasn't wheezing and dying during these runs. Don't get me wrong, I was puffing a bit after every interval; but I never felt that "hot lungs" sensation that I remember from overdoing it in my youth.
So, on my virtual walk from Heathrow to my Auntie's house in Wales, I am now getting close to Holywell.
Everything looks SO familiar, now. We used to drive past Holywell every Sunday to go to visit my Nana in Liverpool. As I recall, Holywell was absolutely chronic as far as traffic jams every week.
It's funny - I'm really starting to feel excited about getting closer to home. (I should explain that my Auntie lives in the house that my parents and I lived in when I was little.) It's almost as if I really am getting physically close.
I think I'll try to do some extra cross training this week on my non-run days to boost up my mileage.
Sunday, March 23, 2014
Well, I've had a lovely, active week this week. I ran with my running clinic on Monday, Wednesday, and this morning (although I hope I get credit for that run, as my FitBit battery was VERY low when I set it to recharge just now).
I've been SUPER careful about eating this week as well, and that's related to the running. Since having my gall bladder out years ago, I'm a bit nervous about getting out in the middle of a run to find that I desperately need "y lle chwech" (as my Welsh-speaking friends will understand). So, I've been eating very lightly all day before my evening runs and making sure to stop eating a good four hours before the run. That does wonders for eliminating late afternoon snacking, which had been a real issue for me over the past couple of weeks.
Anyway, I've done GREAT! Monday and Wednesday we did eight sets of walking 2 minutes and running 1 minute. Today, we did 10 sets of walking 1 minute and running one minute. It was a lot more challenging, but I managed it and was still able to carry on a conversation with the two girls I was running with.
I didn't have to worry about snow (as I did on Monday) or puddles (as I did on Wednesday), but this morning was quite cold (-4F or -20C). Most of my body was warm enough, but my thighs were FREEZING to the point of aching by the time we finished. I also discovered that it was no good putting my scarf over my nose, as that just channeled my warm breath up behind my sunglasses and fogged them up. So, I had to pull it down to just cover my mouth. I didn't get any frost bite in the end, so it all worked out.
Now, on to my virtual walk. This week I've left my cousin's house. (When I told my cousin that I'd made it to her house on Monday, my uncle and aunt said they'd celebrate and make me a nice roast - wish I could have actually been there to eat it!) Anyway, I have now left Liverpool and taken the ferry from the Pier Head over the River Mersey. Everything is SO familiar, now! I know all of the place names so well.
My 15.9 miles this week puts me at Willaston, just past half-way between Liverpool and Connah's Quay, and west of Ellesmere Port. We used to go the market at Ellesmere Port often. My Uncle Les (who passed away last year) was brilliant at haggling with the people there. He was also hilarious pretending to be a marketer - he had the patter down to a "T."
With all the exercise I'll be getting in the coming weeks with this running, I'll be at my Auntie's house in no time!
Almost forgot - Here's a pic of where I am. I have company! A nice man on a bike!
Tuesday, March 18, 2014
LOL! No sooner do I decide only to blog once a week, when I've got something exciting to blog about every day!
I had my first running clinic last night, and I ROCKED it! I was more excited than nervous; but when I got there and saw how large a group it was and that I was probably one of the three oldest there, I did wonder a bit if I was going to keep up with all the rest.
NO FEAR! I started at the back of the pack (just because that's where I happened to be when we walked out the door) and was up with the leaders at the half-way point. Then we did an "about face," so I was at the back of the pack again on the way back; but I was at the very front by the end. I wasn't racing at all or feeling the least bit competitive - I just always wound up at the front without noticing. So, at least that's one concern blown away - I will NOT be falling behind the younger girls. (I say "girls" because the entire group, except for one poor lonely bloke, is made up of women. We may get another guy in the group next week, though.)
I'm also quite pleased, because I was challenged but not completely out of breath or sore from this first run. That still holds true this morning, so it looks as though I've come through unscathed at this point. I was wondering about that; because we had a fairly significant dumping of snow the night before (wouldn't you know it! ), so it was like running in soft sand the whole way. The roads we ran on looked like they hadn't been plowed in weeks. They were so thick with greasy snow that they were down to one lane and the tire ruts were a good 6" lower than the centre. So, we all had to run in the tire ruts and hope that we didn't find ice under the snow. I was fine, but one poor woman beside me had a bad slip. (That's something I'm guessing a lot of people who don't live in this climate might not realize. You don't have to actually fall down to hurt yourself on the ice. When you slip, you throw your arms out and twist your body to stop from falling. A lot of times, a bad slip is just as painful for days or weeks afterwards as a fall; because you wrench all your muscles, and they're cold and inflexible...because you're on ICE! )
A nice little by-product of preparing for the running clinic all day, was that I was super careful about what I ate as far as calories and keeping away from anything processed/fried/sugary, etc. I didn't want to have stomach cramps or worse while I was running. Then, when I got home, it was already 8 p.m. and I wasn't particularly hungry. So, I just had a sensible supper and had no desire to snack at all in the evening. That translated into the first "on plan" day I've had in weeks and a 2 lb loss this morning without feeling deprived at all!
Anyway, the bottom line is that after all the logic that went into this decision to start running again, I'd forgotten the most important thing. The reason I ran so much years ago was simply that it made me feel FABULOUS. That's how I felt last night after that first run - like I could conquer the world!
Monday, March 17, 2014
YAY, me! It took me 2.5 months, but I've made it to my first goal on my virtual walking tour! I have walked from Heathrow airport to my cousin's house in Liverpool.
I only needed 2.2 miles yesterday to do it, and came in comfortably at 3.84; so, I'll use that extra mileage to pop down the road with my uncle for a newspaper.
Today is the day that I'm actually putting my "back to athletics" plan into action. It's been bothering me for ages that I USED to be an athlete. I was on my school's cross country running team, I was on the track and field team (triple-jump and hurdles), and I got up to Bronze Medallion level in swimming. I also played tennis, road my bike, and cross-country skied in my spare time depending on the season.
Flash forward a few decades, and I do NONE of that anymore. Yes, I scuba dive, and LOVE it; but that's not a sport that you can do every day where I live, even if I had that kind of time. So, a while ago I started thinking that I had to pick one of the sports I used to LOVE and go with it. It had to be something that I could do year round where I live on the frozen *#$&$ tundra (that got rid of tennis, bike riding, and cross-country skiing - yes, despite the fact that we're still up to our eyeballs in snow here, it does melt every year...so far...). I don't have access to a track and hurdles, and I think that's a bit of a reach for a 51-year-old, anyway. So, it came down to swimming or running.
I absolutely LOVED swimming, but when I was younger I lived walking distance from a good swimming pool. Now that I live in the country, it's a 45 minute drive to get to one. Add in the time for changing, showering, etc., and a 30 minute swim would add up to 3 hours from door to door. I really don't have the time to do that regularly. There's also the issue of crowded pools. That was why I stopped swimming in the first place. I would get to the pool to try to swim laps, and be bombarded by little kids playing. The last straw was when I was swimming underwater and one jumped into the pool, landing on my head. He hit so hard he smashed my face into the bottom of the pool.
Which leaves...RUNNING! Running doesn't have to cost anything to participate, I can do it as soon as I step out of my front door, and it can be done with a group OR by myself - whichever I wish. I can also do it with my DS when he has time (he doesn't need any training at this point - he could just wake up one morning and run a marathon if it struck his fancy) and with my dogs.
Hence, my second milestone - I begin my first ever running clinic TODAY! I thought, after being out of practice for a few decades, and overweight right now, I could use a little expert advice. I feel SO great that I have finally stopped TALKING about what I should do and started putting that into ACTION!
Sunday, March 16, 2014
Well, last week was fairly poor on the exercise and nutrition fronts. WAY too much work at the moment for exercise, and DS's birthday celebrations on Friday/Saturday definitely threw a spanner in the works as far as eating. All that is going to change tomorrow, however, when I start my 5K training.
I'll try to get out for a dog walk today as well, although I still feel horribly guilty taking Nia out without Anwen. The poor little thing cries so hard I can hear her crying in the house when I'm already on the street. She doesn't understand why she's being left out. On that topic, her limp has improved over the past week and a half, but it's not gone. If it's not entirely gone by Tuesday, I'll call the vet to have another look at her.
Alright, let's move on to the virtual walk. I'm getting excited today as my 12.56 miles this week (pathetic, I know) has put me in Liverpool!
NOW, I know where I am! All the names around this point are familiar - Speke, Woolton, Aigburth, Mossley Hill, Sefton Park! I can practically smell the Mersey River from here! When I was a child, we used to drive every Sunday from Wales to visit my Nana & Grand, so I spent a lot of time in Liverpool. My cousins took me for a lovely day to Sefton Park last year, when I visited for my uncle's funeral. Another of my uncles took me on a "grand tour" to the Pier Head and the three Graces, both cathedrals, and down to the Dingle to see my Nana & Grand's old house (the picture of me in March 2013 on my Spark Page was taken by their old doorway). I'm only 2.2 miles away from my first goal location, my cousin's house! I'm going to write them right now and tell them to put the kettle on for next week!
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