So near and yet so far…

Today, I thought that I would run 4 miles, but as it turned out it only made 3.99 miles… never mind, I did this in 49.00 minutes and did not have to stop and have a walk break. Quite pleased with my effort, hopefully I’ll get out in the week next week now it’s a bit lighter in the morning. This is the furthest I have run so far without stopping to walk, feel really good.

Now to hit the shower!


Appearances can be deceptive…

I understand that when people see me, they see a red-faced, middle-aged woman shuffling along the pavement, with a grimace on her face. Why bother? It looks like no fun at all, barely moving quicker than walking. I swear sometimes walkers increase their pace deliberately to challenge me to overtake (I always do, incidentally, the speed differential may be so miniscule it takes an age, but overtake I do).

I don’t look good running. I don’t run fast. I don’t even run that far. But I do it. When most (sane) people are in bed or relaxing on a Sunday morning, there I am, clawing my way up to 10k. Even when I’m having the shittiest time and feel like I am about to die, I say to myself, “I am here, and I am doing it.” It has become a mantra for those horrible runs that seem never-ending, even though I have run the same circuit dozens of times before. Not very fast, not very well and with possibly the worst attitude in the world, but I have gone to the effort of getting my trainers on, out the door and doing it.

Today was not one of those runs. Today was great, I feel all glow-y and pleased with myself having cracked the “continuous run for over 3.5 miles” barrier. Actually it was 3.55 miles, but I hate to brag… with a nice split pace of 12.18 minutes per mile. Weather was sunny but cold, windy but not as much as last week.

Only 7 weeks to the Lincoln 10k – I should do my entry now while I’m feeling positive and then there’s no getting out of it!

Back up and running

I have been going out Sunday morning since the start of the year and have now worked my way back up to 3.12 miles (approx 5k). This morning was a bit slower than last week as it was a very windy day which made running on the flat feel like running up hill!

Hubby is in training for the London Marathon at the moment, so I ran with him for the first bit and then left him to get on with it. Now I am back up to 5k, I am going to start adding bits onto my route every week as my next race goal is to do a 10k. At 38:45 this morning, it wasn’t exactly a pb, but as the mornings get a bit lighter, I plan to add two short early morning runs (just sticking to 5k) into my schedule. I know I can get round my 5k route and home ready for work in time without having to get up stupidly early!!

This will be a bit of uncharted territory for me as in all my years dabbling in running/jogging, I’ve never really cracked the 5k limit. But why not? Since I’m married to a marathon runner it seems the least I can do!

Update – where does the time go?

Since I wrote the last post, work has been super busy and then the PC died – now we have a new PC (thanks to my clever hubby who put it all together!) and I’m going to make more of an effort to get to the keyboard.

It was interesting to read that in the last installment I was running for three minutes at a time. Last weekend, I completed a 5k race in 33 minutes 34 seconds which by my reckoning puts me at a pace of around an 11 minute mile. The last time I did a 5k race was about 7 years ago and I took over 38 minutes, so I was pleased with my efforts. If you had told me that I would be running for fun (ie no teacher making me) when I was at school, I would have laughed you off the planet. I’ve also found that I enjoy running outdoors, and am taking advantage of the long days at this time of year to head out in a morning before work.

It does feel good to achieve something positive. There are lots of other things going on right now which are getting me down a bit (work things mostly), so this is an important boost to my self-confidence.

I’m still here…

How did a 10 day hiatus happen? Ah well, not to worry.

Measurable goals so far this month: successfully remembering to remove makeup every night so far. Started week 4 of Podrunner intervals and was surprised that when I used it on the cross-trainer this week, I am now running for three minutes at a time. Three whole minutes! I also managed to shed another 2 pounds and now total weight loss is at 16lbs.
I have also made time to practice the mindfulness meditation for 10-20 minutes each morning, depending on my schedule.

Attitudinal goal: being aware of complaining. Yes, I am being aware when I complain about something. I have also come to realise that there are different kinds of complaints – sometimes, it’s just me letting off steam when something has frustrated me and I don’t expect anything to happen, it’s just the way it is. For these I am telling myself that I need to accept these situations. I might not like them, but there is nothing to be done, so why get upset by them?
There are other kind of complaints that as soon as I hear myself raising the issue, I start to think, what can be done to improve this situation? At work, for example, there are issues which arise as a result of some of the processes we use needing updating, and until we work on that, the same problems will arise again and again. So a positive way to deal with these is to come up with solutions and implement where possible, or bring them to the attention of decision makers if necessary. Although I haven’t quit complaining altogether, I’m being more mindful of the things that annoy and frustrate me and how to use these feelings to achieve something positive.

I feel especially tired today as I did my 30-minute walk/jog this morning and went for a 3 mile hilly walk with my husband as it was a beautifully sunny day here. Tired but good. 🙂

April challenges check in

OK, not Monday like I promised (I’m back at work this week).

So, the habit I’m trying to establish – taking my makeup off every night – is going fine. Not missed a night so far.

The complaining thing was going great until – you guessed it – I returned to work on Monday. So I am still complaining about things, but I am more conscious that I am doing it. I get half way through expressing a frustration and a little voice inside me says “Ah, whining again…”, so I have to think of something else to say. Or not say anything.

Awareness is a good starting point. More to follow…

Diet and fitness progress

Completed my first shuffle of the week this morning. There’s something about running first thing on a Sunday morning which I love, the quietness, the quality of the light, it’s just awesome.

It wasn’t cold enough to wear my hat this morning, but I did start out with my gloves on and wore them for about 3/4 of the route. It was good to have some different music to move to as well.

I’ve not been as strict with the diet as in the previous few weeks, so consequently I didn’t lose any weight this week. Ah, well, it’s not all about what the scales say, I’ll be redoubling my efforts next week and I’m feeling good about my running progress too. Since I’ve started living more mindfully, I’ve noticed that my relationship with my body is changing somewhat. Rather than seeing is as a fleshy mass to be dieted and exercised into submission, I’ve started to appreciate it more as an amazing machine, this vehicle which takes me wherever I need to go. I’m lucky to enjoy good health, so hooray for my body!

That said, I am still shallow enough to want to look good in my bikini in 10 weeks time! 😉

Be here, now

In a world of to-do lists, goal setting and self-improvement, having awareness of the present moment without passing judgement is no easy task.

But that’s what we do when we meditate. Breathing in, breathing out, constant, ongoing, one moment to the next. I am the breathing mountain, solid beneath the clouds of thoughts constantly changing, I watch them pass without getting caught up in the stories they tell. The appearance of the mountain might change through the seasons, or the weather, but it is still its essential self.

Living in the moment, living the journey without getting all caught up in plots and schemes and plans. The first step to awakening.

Week 1 complete

Completed the first week of Podrunner “First day to 5k”, although a little skeptical that I will be able to complete a 5k run at the end of the nine weeks. Oh well, there’s still plenty of time.

I nearly decided not to go out, but then I stayed in bed yesterday instead of going, as I had persuaded myself I felt too sore and tired from the previous effort. I knew, though that if I missed another day, I would lose my momentum and then end up giving up. Glad I made the effort to do it, even though it was another hat and gloves morning.

Upper right six

Had the final part of the root canal treatment today. My tooth is now so devoid of nerves that I didn’t even need to have an anaesthetic. It is pretty much an empty shell of a tooth, so we will see how many years it will last before it will need to be taken out.

I felt relieved when it was all done.