How easy it is to lapse

This week has demonstrated to me exactly how easy it would be for me to lapse as a runner again. All the while I wasn’t actively running, I still thought of myself as a runner, albeit an inactive one. Having dragged my lardy arse out and rediscovered the pleasure of running, I hit my first hurdle. This was a dual pronged approach by the gods of mischief; part one comprised a sore calf, as incurred in a run last week. Part 2 was the weather and my wimpiness in the face of inclement weather. My last run was Wednesday, when the sore ankle/calf developed. It had stiffened up into a general aching calf by the end of the day and so I decided to rest it a week, before running again.

Wednesday came and went without venturing out. I have little willpower in the face of strong wind and rain, add that to the fact it was pretty much dark when I got home and the comfort of my sofa won hands down. Thursday I was just too late from work to even consider a run. Friday I was working from home, so could have gone out for a plod at any point really, but it was windy again and I was feeling cold and headachy, so stayed in the study with my radiator. On neither day was it that bad – I’ve certainly run in worse weather than that. There was no excuse for the failure to get out the door, it was simply a lack of willpower.

Saturday I finally ran out of excuses, it had been raining and while it was overcast, it wasn’t actually raining. It was breezy, but it wasn’t blowing anything as hard as it was earlier in the week. It was chilly, but it wasn’t frosty, as it had been earlier in the week. After a trip into town to do the shopping and head to the library to swop some books I finally found out the running kit and headed out the door. Couldn’t find my beany hat – it’s probably mixed up with the undies in the laundry basket – so it was baseball cap and long sleeved shirt and out the door.

And it was going pretty well for a time. Was debating whether to try the 10 minute run intervals that I’d started last time out, or dip back to 7 minute intervals. As it felt pretty good at 7 minutes, I went out for the 10 minutes. After 16 minutes, I got to the pylon. Not wanting to make this too long or over stress anything, I turned there, rather than heading to the next turning location. I started thinking about how to arrange at least one running session during the week, going for a run at lunchtime (either at work, or when working from home are both options) and I started toying with the idea of joining a club again- although I’d like to be running a bit further before i go along to a club – I’d hate to think I’m slowing them up.

And then the gods of mischief decided to throw the dice again. I was on my way back, having just started the third run interval, when I got that same stabbing pain in my right calf. Same place, same presentation – couldn’t find a stretch, hurt when weight was transferring to the toes. Buggeration. It wasn’t quite as stabby as the previous experience, such that I was able to run back, although I did add a few walk breaks into what should have been the last 10 minute run section. Even with that delay, the run turned out to have a pretty good average pace, being under 13 minutes for a mile. I’ve only beaten than 3 or 4 times since I started back again, so I’m clearly making progress – if I can just hold together for the entirety of a run.

So another run that was much like a curate’s egg. I spent the afternoon looking a physio websites, and may well be making a call on Monday morning to see if I can’t get this sorted out. Thanks to the gods of mischief for another hurdle in the path to being a runner again. šŸ˜¦

Not the best day

Some days are destined to not be the best days in your life. It seems yesterday was once such. One one level it wasn’t going to be a high point, as it was father-in-law’s funeral. Hardly the happiest of days. His coffin was received into church on the Tuesday evening, after which hubby and his sister and some local band members rang a quarter peal. I’d said that I would ring if needed, but I struggle to ring for that long – my hands hurt for several days afterwards. Fortunately, sufficient locals were available that I was not required. Not that being surplus to requirements stopped me heading down the pub with them afterwards – as is traditional in ringing circles.

So Wednesday morning finds us at his parents house, and all the family had congregated. I have to admit to being a little bit of a solitary soul, in that I can be sociable for a certain length of time, but after that I need my own space to retreat to. And when emotions are running higher than usual, that space on my own becomes more important. So after a few days with the family, I was getting a bit desperate for some time on my own. Plan hatched – I reviewed the map and plotted a route for a run. I used to live here, during my PhD, and all I can say is it doesn’t look very much like that any more! I’d hardly recognise parts of town and the new tram works mean that some roads and routes no longer exist, or are closed. Add that to my lack of navigational ability and you have a bit of a recipe for disaster. A simple route was planned, down past the station to the canal and back. Not the most scenic of routes, but not hilly or risky either.

And it was all going so well. I took it quite easy, intending to extend the run intervals to 10 minutes. In fact, by extending the first interval to the traffic lights (not being sure how long it would take me to cross) I actually ran for 11 minutes in one go. And then it all went a bit Pete Tong. Running down the railway bridge, I had this stabbing pain in my right ankle. On the back inside left of the right leg, just above the sock. ouch ouch ouch. Sort of came to a halt quite quickly and tried to work out what it was. I couldn’t stretch it and feel any pain, the only time it seemed to complain (which it did loudly) was after the weight had been transferred from the heel to the toes. I could point and flex the foot with no issues when no bearing weight, but put weight on it and lifting the heel was really sore. I tried a few steps onwards, but soon decided that was really not a good idea and headed back home. This was achieved at a sort of slow limping jog interspersed with lots of short walks. The 10 minutes run intervals were no more. I will not bother reporting time or distance, it’s simply not worth the effort. It might have been good while it lasted, but that was not a good run.

Having got home, my next concern was what on earth was I going to do about shoes for the funeral! I’ve got smart black heels with me to go with the black suit. And hobbling up the aisle after the coffin might not have been the calmness one had been hoping to achieve. Fortunately (and for reasons I fail to understand) wearing sizable heels was actually far easier then trying to walk in trainers was. I assume that the gait is quite different and the weight transfer and push off the toes doesn’t happen in heels in the same way as in flat shoes or when running. I will admit that the bottom of the calf did stiffen up during the day, and by the time we went out for a family meal in the evening (when I was in the third set of foot wear of the day – a pair of ankle boots with a small heel) the ankle was stiff and complaining in a more general aching manner. I could also feel a dull pain when trying to flex the foot or stretch the calf, so I know that it is something not right down in that area.

All of which leaves me in a quandary of when to try to run again. Leave it too long and I’ll have got out of the running habit, go out to soon and I risk making it worse. It’s sometimes easy to get caught up in your own problems, but I should remember that at least I’m alive and in sufficient health to be moaning about a sore ankle. Yesterday was possibly not the best day, but at least I have tomorrows to worry about and to enjoy.

Running away from home

Unlike the song, I did not run 30 miles or more, although I was over 30 miles from home throughout the run. This weekend was our annual trip to Norfolk, to stay with Mike & Barbara. The boys go out ringing peals while Barbara and I don’t. I usually take to opportunity to go into Norwich for a mooch around, both for old times sake and because there are some lovely shops in Norwich. This year’s shopping list included more underpinnings (now I know the selected item is up to the task at hand, additional examples were purchased in order to give the laundry fairy a slightly easier time of it) and some new leather gloves for winter (seeing last year’s examples are falling apart at the fingers) and scarf to match. All exciting stuff. Generally I have a weekend of having to do very little and it’s lovely.

Sunday morning and the boys were going in to ring for service at Peter Mancroft. I decided against (as I usually do) on the grounds that they’re an awfully long draft and that is not within my comfort zone from a ringing perspective. The one time I have rung there, the ropes felt like they were stretching more like elastic than like rope, and that’s really not something I’m able to cope with. urgh. So after having been woken up by himself as he left, then faffed about for a bit, I decided that I may as well head out for a run. The thing about running when staying away from home is that the navigation has to be very easy. I get lost at the least provocation, so anything at all complicated is simply not an option. But a nice out and back run along a railway path is well within my capabilities in this regard.

The path was compressed earth and sand rather than tarmac, but it was fairly level and not difficult to run on. As was evidenced by the large numbers of people I saw out an about using the path. There were quite a number of runners out; some speedy whippets, others who looked worse than I felt (which is always nice). Two runners overtook me, one of them having the temerity to do so twice – that’s surely just being cheeky! Then there were a number of cyclists of all flavours, from the speedy to the family out for a rind – the youngest still with stablisers attached. Then there were those walking their dogs. Although in some cases, maybe that should be attempting to walk their dogs. Fozbow was not going to come, no matter how many times he was called or whistled for; while another owner’s pooch had decided that rooting about in the pile of what I assume was compost or manure for spreading was far more interesting than chasing the ball. Bet he was a delight when he got home. But there were some dogs that were entirely under their owner’s control, including one collie who you could see was just dying to chase something, be it me or the cyclist, but instead stayed down with his nose between his paws until we’d all passed, then headed off in hot pursuit of a tennis ball. That was probably more people in one run than I normally see in several weeks on my current usual route, which just goes to show how valuable paths of this type are. An ex-railway line could be a rundown, scrubby patch of ground that’s good for nothing, or it could be altered into a valuable off road route forĀ  both recreational and more serious sporting users.

Being ex-railway line, the path itself does not have too much in the way of hills, although the three roads I crossed all required a rise up or dip down to. There was also one brick bridge that I passed under, with steps up, I was half tempted to nip up and have a look, but “up” didn’t sound too attractive a proposition by that point. The path is sometimes in a cut, at others it is embanked, so there’s plenty of variety to keep my wandering eye busy. Throughout the path has a hedge on either side, so it was never very exposed, while allowing a view of what was passing. It was also quite varied, wit houses, village green, open fields, a farm or two, a skate park and woods all being adjacent to the route. There was also some benches that caught my eye. Some were normal wooden ones, but some appeared to be made from what looked a bit like old railway tracks, parts of which had been twisted out of shape in an artful manner. I did not avail myself of any of them, but they did catch the eye, being a visual reminder of the provenance of the route being followed.

While heading out I had a debate with myself about when to turn round. I have a strange preference to turn round something, or turn round at something, hence running to the pylon (a fixed point) not just at a set distance from home at no particular landmark. Yes, I accept that sounds a bit weird, but that’s me. As I was getting to the end of the third run segment, and when I was thinking that I ought to make the turn soon, I spotted a road that was about to cross the path, so I turned at the crossing, just after the start of the 4th run segment. That meant that the run was the furthest and longest since starting back.

Facts & Figures:
Distance: 3.7 miles
Time: 50:13 minutes
Average Pace: 13:35 minutes/mile.

It felt good too. I had debated allowing myself to cut the run segments back from 7 minutes to 5 minutes on the return leg, especially if that had been longer – so as not to overdo it. But I’m glad I didn’t. It felt good at 7 minutes all the way, and I even managed to run up the final slope to the pelican crossing when I’d started my outing. Running when not at home can take some organising, you have to remember the kit and have an idea of where you’re going to go (or have a far better sense of direction than I do), but it can be well worth the effort.

Friday niceness

Friday morning isn’t usually a run time for me, but we’ve got today off. Yippee! So the alarm clocks were all turned off and we slept in. Bliss. About 8 am I surfaced and collected all the necessary gubbins to head out for a run. I’d not run during the week as Tuesday we had the tail end of Hurricane Gonzalo (or what ever his name was) blowing about and I really didn’t fancy that. Wednesday turned into a longer than anticipated day at work, and by the time I’d got home it was cold and dark and miserable and I didn’t fancy that much either. I looked out of the window on Friday and saw that it was not looking too bad for late October (I mean it hardly looked like June out there, but at least it wasn’t raining or blowing the tree horizontal – just looked sort of autumnal) and that made up my mind – run time. I may have been mildly deceived about the temperature, the breeze was a bit cool, but actually it wasn’t as cold as it looked. I went out in a long sleeved shirt and did wonder if I could have coped with short sleeves, as I felt a bit too warm for part of the outward leg. For someone who is always wearing at least one jumper more than the rest of the world, I don’t half overheat quickly while out running. When I made the turn and started running back into the wind, I was more comfortable about the long sleeves – that was the right decision.

I went out to the turn beyond the pylon again, but taking longer run intervals of 7 minutes, interspersed with 1 minute of walking. That meant that I only walked for 4 minutes out of the 45Ā  or so I was out. That’s just a smidge below 9% walking. When I consider I started at 60% walking, that shows how far I’ve come. Just need to keep chipping away at the walking and extending the running – then hope some speed will come back. There’s certainly room to improve on the speed front – today I was overtaken by a pair of lady runners. They caught me just after I’d started, before the roundabout. I caught them again, while waiting for the traffic to clear and we crossed when a nice lorry driver let us across in front of him. I know drivers in general and lorry drivers in particular get a lot of stick for being aggressive and inconsiderate, but I have to say that’s not usually my experience. Where I run on a road that’s not really wide enough for two cars, the vehicles almost always pull over to the other side of the road when passing, to give me room. I respond with a wave of the hand, to acknowledge their consideration. And I’d estimate that a majority then wave smile or nod back. I will admit that the cheeriness of the wave is highly dependent on how I’m feeling at the time! While trying to cross the roundabout, if a vehicle pauses to let me across, it is often a lorry. So let’s hear it for the considerate driver and not let the miserable minority besmirch the reputation of the majority.

The other niceness noted today was on the way back. There’s a drainage channel by the industrial estate that has got very overgrown and there were some workmen cutting that back when I was on the return leg. They’d not been there when I went out, so had clearly arrived in the meantime. They were cutting the trees and putting them in a chipper. Trying to keep out of the way,they were half on the pavement, but I decided trying to get between them and the hedge was probably not the best idea, so I skirted round them on the road. As I passed, they paused the chipper,which was polite of them – it was rather noisy and I suppose the possibility of being hit by flying chips did exist.

I’m not quite sure the run lived up to the niceness that I observed during it. Out was OK and I made the turning circle by the manor in good spirits. I’d not been checking the watch too frequently, instead trying to work out where I thought 7 minutes would be and not looking until then. For the first run section, I’d actually overestimated (only by 10 seconds, but it’s enough!) The return leg was into a headwind, and that seemed to make it all much harder. I was checking the watch far more often and well before I was even half way through the run section. Overall it was pretty good though. I certainly felt at times that I could run for longer, but each minute walk was not quite enough to fully recover. A couple more outings at this pattern before the next step up.

Back on my feet again

Never fear! The title it not intended to indicate a lay off with injury. Instead I’ve had a mad mad mad week with work such that I feel I’ve spent the entire week sitting down, be that on a mode of transport or in meetings. Monday started with driving to our Norfolk site, then being taxied to Gatwick prior to a flight to Switzerland. Just over 24 hours (and one 6 hour long site visit) later we were arriving back in Gatwick before the taxi back up to Norfolk. Then into a hotel, and into 2 days of back to back all day meetings. I did take my kit with me, hoping to maybe get out for a plod Wednesday night, but it never quite happened. Being in a meeting all day seems to mean that you come out of the meeting to find that your day job has been piling up waiting for you; so instead of a run, I did a few hours work, then found myself having to hurry back to the hotel to get changed before dinner out with the customer (as if we’d not seen enough of them during the day!). Now that bit I may have misjudged, it turned out to be a longer walk from site to hotel than anticipated – not helped by having to walk 3 sides of the site as there’s no short cut. grrr. Taking that walk at a fast pace, I have since had sore lines of tightness up the outsides of both ankles. By Friday, and the end of the third all day meeting in a row, I was so glad to be home that I just flumped on the sofa all evening, catching up on TV and generally being a lazy madam.

So after just about a week spent almost entirely on my behind I was feeling the need to get out. Saturday morning, therefore, became out and run time. Not having been out in the week, I stuck at the same pattern as previously, 5 minutes run to 1 minute walking. Only this time I went that bit further. Instead of turning round at the pylon, I continued on the same road until I came to the entrance to the church and the manor farm. At this point, there’s a sort of turning circle, which allow me to cross the road at a run without trying to half turn round to look quite so far over my shoulder. The only downside to extending the run is that I get a real physiological hill to get over. Just prior to the village, the road dips down and changes from open fields on either side to being almost enclosed in a tunnel by greenery. Heading down the slope is OK, but coming back you’re under this green tunnel, which is surprisingly dark, and you can see the top of the rise ahead of you. But where it is dark you don’t see the beginning of the rise very well, there is just the top and the sky seemingly far ahead of you; all of which conspires to make it look a lot steeper than it probably is. Just my luck, a walk segment ended just as I reached the foot of the rise, so I had to start running heading up it. Blimey, not done that in a while and it was quite hard going. However, that brings up my furthest run to date, and it felt really good to be out and moving the limbs. Even the tight ankles didn’t play up. Must be something about walking that aggravates then, although why running would not eludes me.

Facts & Figures:
Distance – 3.44 miles
Time – 45:49 minutes
Pace – 13:20 minutes/mile

So that feels much better. The body has been shaken out and still appears to work. Next week should have a lighter work schedule, so hopefully I’ll manage multiple runs and move up to a longer run interval next week.

Cool weather, warm pace

It was foggy and cold this morning when we left for ringing this morning. The little snowflake light on the car that indicates when it is cold or freezing was resolutely orange all the way, showing it was less than 4 degrees outside. brrr. All of which made me quite pleased that I wasn’t going to head out for a run until lunch time. When time came, it had cleared a bit, the fog had lifted but there was consistent cloud cover and only a watery sun; it didn’t look very warm out there. So I delved into the bottom of the kit drawer, unearthed a long sleeved top and headed out.

And it wasn’t all that warm out. I was cold to start with, but the body soon warmed up. The hands and ears took a bit longer to come to a comfortable temperature – it might be time to find the beany hat rather than the baseball cap. By the time I was half way I had pushed my sleeves up to my elbows, so maybe a short sleeved shirt would have been OK, but I’d have felt colder for longer, and I don’t enjoy being cold. Maybe that told in the pace, as I seem to have managed to run my fastest average pace run since coming back. 12:45 minutes per mile over 34.40 minutes didn’t feel difficult to maintain, which is good. Being cold doesn’t always make for a fast run.

Going out at lunchtime meant that it was a lot busier out than it is in the early morning. There were quite a lot of cars, but they were all being quite considerate and moving over to the far side of the road to pass me. Maybe there’s something about Sunday drivers having more time, or being less harassed, than their weekday colleagues. I acknowledge each of them for making that kind of effort with a wave of the hand, and quite a number wave back. I suspect they’re also thinking “nutter” but as long as they don’t think “target” I’m fine with that. There were also 8 cyclists, a couple of solos and three pairs. In two cases the pairs were wearing what looked to be matching kit – not at all odd. I wonder if it’s appropriate to count them in a manner analogous to Magpies, but that would make 8 for joy. It wasn’t a euphoric run, but it was quite fun, so maybe that’s apt.

The answer is blowing in the wind

Tonight’s run was a little bit windy. Strange weather all round really, but it was the wind that captured the attention. Not really cold, it was quite humid, but really very blowy. It had not long rained; I drove home in rain, and there was a covering of cloud in varying shades of grey, but that was scudding along above the tree tops at a fair old rate, propelled by the wind.

It wasn’t blowing so hard that you couldn’t stand up, nor was it capriciously peeking round corners and caressing the skin. This was wind that meant business, it was getting from A to B and nothing, not even a short podgy runner, was going to get in its way. So the question that I pondered tonight was why, when running an out-and-back route, does it seem to be a head wind more than half the time? My current outing is approximately an backwards L shape, where I start at the bottom tip of the horizontal, run 0.6 miles, turn to the left by about 90 degrees and run at least 0.7 miles before turning and retracing my steps. So what strange weather phenomenon causes at least 3 of these legs to feel like a headwind? All I can think is that I register a head wind most noticeably on my face, I don’t register a tail wind on the back of my head in anything like the same manner. A tail wind would have to be significantly harder to be noticed to the same degree. Similarly, a cross wind may register as a head wind because the sensor faces front. I’m not going to claim that I clearly run fast enough to create a head wind in the manner of a speeding bullet. I’d like to, but that would be exaggerating.

All of which was going through my head as I ran out and back into various degrees of wind. Today was the first run at my next step up in run ratio – a move to 5 minutes run for every minutes walked. This is getting serious, the entire outing was accomplished in only 6 run segments; I forewent the last 15 seconds of walking I would have been allowed and ran into the end of the road. It wasn’t easy, I was checking the watch several times in each run section to see how far I’d gone – never quite as long as I thought I had is the generic answer. And the walk breaks were most welcome and not quite long enough to be entirely comfortable and rested by the time the minutes was up. But having said all of that, it wasn’t awful. I didn’t feel I was about to expire and I didn’t feel the need to add any extra walks. Another step in the right direction, even if that was into a head wind.

Strange magic

What makes a good run into a good run? Difficult to say, but on some days the alignment of the planets is just right and it all comes together. You feel on top of the world. Today I felt I was on a roll. Well I was, but the parts of me that suffered undue movement last time out have been firmly restrained. I did battle with the shopping crowds and and inclement Saturday weather to visit a specialist purveyor of intimate garments for the, ahem, larger lady. As a result I now own what looks rather like a medieval implement of torture, but is, in fact, a sports bra. Once into the item (which is an exercise worthy of a contortionist) things are not going very far, let’s put it that way. If I’m completely honest, the adjustment on the shoulder straps are at their tightest and I’d like it a smidge tighter, so a couple of tucks are clearly in order, especially to give some room to take up any stretch. But compared to last outing, this was divine.

Whether that is entirely as a result of the new underpinnings or not it is difficult to say, but I had an epic run today! Set off in the middle of the afternoon, which is an odd running time on a Sunday. But what with ringing first thing and a coffee shop stop, a quick foraging session in Sainsbury’s, the Grand Prix (recorded & watched on catch up; eventful, but no one wants to see that sort of accident) and lunch, it was gone 3 pm before I set off. By this time the morning’s ground frost had long since departed, leaving blue skies and fluffy white clouds. It wasn’t quite as warm outside as it looked from inside, but no way could it be described as cold – not yet, anyway. It should be the final outing at 3 minutes run to 1 minute walking and it really felt like it was time to move up. The run sections felt fine, the pace was good. Once again I ran past the pylon to turn at the beginning of a walk segment, meaning that for the first time since I picked up running again I managed an outing of over 3 miles. Whoop Whoop.

Distance: 3.02 miles
Time: 38:51 minutes
Ave Pace: 12:52 minute/miles

Which is hardly speedy, but is the first time I have averaged less than 13 minutes to the mile since returning to running – which at least shows improvement in a positive direction. And it felt just really good out there. The running was not exactly easy, but it wasn’t lung bustingly difficult either. I felt I could have gone on for longer and returned feeling that post exercise rush of euphoria that makes the good runs so very very good. These are the kind of outings that I used to so much love running for; the days that make all the pain, discomfort, blisters, chafing, rain, cold, miserableness, (insert your pet hate here),Ā  worthwhile. This is what I’ve missed. This is why I will be out again next week, just hoping that magic happens again…

You got to master the fundamentals

From a running perspective it is a much quoted piece of wisdom that the fundamental pieces of equipment are a good pair of shoes and a properly fitting supportive bra. Well maybe the boys don’t need the bra, but for us ladies it is essential. We’ll put to one side the twin skin socks you find you want to avoid getting blisters, the lycra shorts (of various lengths) to prevent thigh chafing, the technical top to prevent underarm chafing and to wick away sweat (excuse me? us ladies don’t sweat, we merely glow), the headgear of choice, the electronic gadgets and any other running paraphernalia you can think of. When it comes down to it, a good pair of shoes and a bra are top of the shopping list.

Having done this running lark before, I have all the gear. I have shoes (currently 2 usable pairs and one still pristine and in their box), Hilly twin skin socks (an abundance, in various shades of muddy grey), Lycra shorts (capri and long – nothing above the knee in my house) technical tops (all shades and sizes), hats, wristbands & my trusty Garmin. What I am currently short of is bras. Well that’s not entirely true. I have several of these items, most fetchingly of the Shock Absorber variety – was ever a bra less erotically named? What I don’t have is any that will fit. Since I stopped running I’ve put on some weight. Like several stone. And gone up a couple of dress sizes. And a handful of cup sizes in the bra department. Not being a small girl to start with, there is enough mass there to set up some considerable momentum. A bra hanging on the line does look like I ought to put some plants in it and use it as a hanging basket. Not changed back size, so I can get the bra to do up, it’s just that it no longer contains all that’s there. If I’m honest it looks like I’ve got 4 boobs, either that or I’ve smuggled a litter of puppies down my top. Neither comfortable nor practical for running, methinks. Thus far I’ve been using a slightly Heath Robinson approach to the underpinnings, by wearing an older underwired bra (to lift & separate) while wearing over that a old sports bra (to hold it all down). On their own neither would be up to the task, but between them they seem to have been working reasonably well. The down side of two bras that should probably both be consigned to the bin is that there has been some chafing, most noticeably under the band at the front and on my right shoulder blade. And once it starts to chafe, you just rub the scab off next time out and it gets worse. I’ve got a substantial gash on my right shoulder as a result. Getting into the shower I really know about that.

So tonight I had a bit of a rummage in the sporty clothing drawer and found, shoved to the back, a bra that I seem to remember I bought online. I vaguely remember it was the wrong size in the box, or some other mix up, thus it never got worn and this was the reason it got shoved to the back of the drawer. Ah ha! thinks I, that might fit!! Well I got into it, that much is true, and boldly headed out the door (wearing more than a bra, of course).

Blimey, how wrong can you be?! It didn’t fit. It didn’t give anything like the support it should. Felt I was bouncing around all over the place. If you’ve never experienced the sensation, then you are lucky – it is notĀ  sensation one would want to experience more than once. It also messed with my head. I became very self conscious and convinced that everyone passing could see how much I was moving – when usually I couldn’t give a stuff what people think about me and what I look like while running. I run for me, not for anyone else and if the sight of my lardy arse in lycra upsets their aesthetic sensibilities well they really need to get over themselves. The things about boob bounce is that you’re always tempted to try and use your hands or arms to minimise the movement. Arms underneath and the down stroke is minimised. Hands holding them down and the upstroke is restricted. Thing is, I pay a bra to do that job, I don’t expect to have to do it myself. Which ever option you go forĀ  you feel like an idiot. It also feels really unnatural to be restrained like that. I usually run with some (probably excessive) shoulder roll and arm movement;trying to hang onto the boobage means that freedom to move is inhibited, which makes the entire act of running feel less comfortable.

So, bearing all that in mind, a shortened outing of just a smidge over 30 minutes is really admirable. I didn’t make it to the usual turn around point, but after 4 running segments and 15 minutes out I had simply had enough of that and turned round to go home. I did at least run the right pattern all the way, but that has to be one of the least enjoyable outings I’ve had. Which is a shame as it was such a nice afternoon that I’m sure I could have wittered on for ages about blue skies and fluffy white clouds. But it does inform what I’m up to at the weekend, I will mostly be putting my fundamentals in order with some bra shopping. Wish me luck…

You never can tell

I had all my excuses all lined up before I headed out the door tonight as I was expecting this run to be awful. It’s an evening run, after a day’s work, so you’re never as fresh as you are in the morning. It’s been a busy day; what with yesterday being my first day back after 2 weeks off, I’m still playing catch up. Working at home (the main road to work reported an accident before I left this morning, with queues already back 15 miles, so I decided not to try and get into the office and worked from home instead) means that often my hydration goes a bit haywire – I’ve got no prompts to have a break and a drink when I’m on my own at home. As a result I forget to drink, then overcompensate and, well, I won’t go on. It was the first run at a longer run interval, 3 minutes running to one minute walking. There you go, all my excuses all nicely prepared. And they can all go back in the box, because it wasn’t nearly as bad as it could have been. Which just goes to show that you never can tell.

Setting off after 5 pm does run into one small problem, that’s the queue of traffic at the roundabout which I have to cross; managed one arm OK, but had to wait for the second on both the outwards and return legs. That slightly interrupted the first run segment, but from there on I stuck to 3 minutes of running. I won’t claim it felt easy, on the return leg I was looking at the watch after less and less time had elapsed in a sense of increasing desperation for the three minutes to be up (they never were). I also extended the run slightly from those so far. I got to the turn round point at the pylon and had just about a minute of a run section to go. I decided to carry on in the same direction to the end of that run section, then cross the road and start coming back at the start of the next walk. That meant that I could actually take a moment to look over my shoulder and check for traffic, rather than turning into something coming at a high rate of knots down the road. Meaning that the stats show 2.84 miles in 39:09 minutes. It’s not desperately quick, but that’s not exactly the point: it is done, it’s yet another small step in the right direction. Having expected an awful outing, I’m quite pleased with that.