Mind & Body – they’re bizarre entities

So I ended last week on a total high, everything was wonderful in the world, I was full of the joys of spring, brimming with joie de vivre. So much so I even took the time to write a brief ‘letters to the Editor’ of a national running mag, extoling the virtues of running, and how much I’ve improved in body and spirit in the space of twelve months.

Obviously this was far too risky a move, and so far, all this week my running has been awkward, uncomfortable, and unpleasant.

Tuesday was an ‘easy’ run, the focus being on 40 minutes of keeping heartrate at or below 150bpm. But the temperature on my walk home from the station seemed to hide quite how mild it really was, and when I was all layered up for my run I just overheated, and on the whole felt incredibly lethargic. I struggled to get the motivation to head out the door, but I did it, and this should really be seen as a bonus, because there was a time not all that long ago that I just wouldn’t have bothered. I don’t think it helped that I had it in my mind that it was a 30 minute run, then got home to see the number 40 written on the plan!

Last night was not quite so bad, but still this lethargy was unwavering, and the 15mins easy, 15mins steady, 15mins tempo just felt like a bit more effort than it needed to be. Still though, another run down for Jantastic – on course for 100% this month!!

When I got home this evening, hoping for a shift in my running mood, I found myself left wanting as I forced myself to get changed and head out the door. I headed down the hill pretty fed up with being so fed up this week! About 3 minutes down the road on my tempo session, set to a soundtrack from The Offspring, all of a sudden marathontalk kicked in on the music player. Dammit, my shuffle hadn’t worked, so I slowed to a walk to sort it out before setting off again. Blast, surely my time and effort would stumble now. The first mile felt a little uncomfortable, I didn’t feel like I was struggling too much, but my legs seemed to be more tired than the effort suggested that they should be.

In 2012 I have so far lost a little over 3kg, and I had read that too drastic a weight loss can actually lead to losing muscle rather than fat. This was very much in my head over the first mile, but I was pretty surprised to get the feedback via headphones to suggest that I had completed the first mile in 8:30. Pretty happy with that split given the time it took to faff with music player. Over the next mile I caught two runners, and headed off up the hill to the top of Redhill, when I got the next split I couldn’t believe it was 7:57, woops – had I tried to hard to catch those two runners subconsciously?!? But then a strange thing happened, I realised that I didn’t feel like I was hurting anymore. I felt like I was running pretty quick, and I was aware that my legs were feeling it, but not to the point that I had to stop and then it occured to me that my breathing was a little laboured, but my heart wasn;t leaping out of my chest.

Third mile – 7:53. Fourth mile – 7:58. Wow, three miles, pretty consistent splits at sub 8 minutes. Having done a first mile quick too, and the last mile (minus a little bit) in 8:08, tonight I am absolutely chuffed. Tonight seems to have been a proper realisation that I am improving. I felt as I set out, that I was getting worse. But it turns out that going quicker than I think is getting easier. :-) Awesome!!!!

So far this month I have completed 21 runs, covering 94 miles – in order to meet 2012km target I need to hit 104 miles each. With parkrun, 12 miles, and a 30 minute run on 31st this month should bring me in at about 112miles.

The Offspring is always my go-to band for a tempo/hill session. Pretty much any song is awesome, but when this one kicks in, the tempo just creeps up a little bit more, and it makes me smile :-)

Oh, but plankaday isn’t improving though. Being tired before a run, means I am exhausted after it!! Oh well, I shall persevere!

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