A note on running fashion.

So, just to bring home a point from my last blog: This was the cover of Runner’s World in 2015:

Runners_WorldNote the well-coordinated outfit.  The slicked back hair.  The glorious stride.

And now, what I wore today for my interval training:

Wait for it…

Wait for it…

Almost there…

Feast your eyes!2016-01-12 12.12.16

Please note that while the amazing University of Florida Gator running tights are new I’m proud to say that I totally forgot my running socks and thus wore these fabulous winter socks from Primark (purchased to keep the cold at bay whilst biking).  To top off my look I have Brooks shoes in NEON PINK and… while I failed to show my running top… it was also a hoodie in NEON PINK.

I also have a singing hat, which clashed with the entire ensemble.

People fled my presence.  I got some excellent (if not painful but necessary) sprints in along the river.

There are times when I have all the intention in the world to match.  In fact, I do have running outfits that actually do match.  It’s just that it is winter and I have two pairs of long running tights.  So, yeah, this is going to happen and I’m going to OWN it.

One of the best things about running is all you really need to get going is a half decent pair of running shoes.  Or a total lack of shame.

Happy to say I have both.

(Yay donate!)

 

Advertisements

Week One of Sixteen

I get a monthly subscription to Runner’s World.  It comes the old fashioned way, through the post, in a pretty plastic wrapper once a month.

On the cover is usually a person who is running along.  Chances are that that person is not actually “running” though I do know first hand that photo shoots can be exhausting nonetheless.  The fitness model is usually staring ahead, mid-stride, determination on their face.  Their clothing is perfectly coordinated, their hair slicked back as if the wind was hitting it just right. [1]

To be clear, this is nothing what I look like when I run.

I’ve started week one of sixteen.  Most marathon training plans are sixteen or eighteen weeks.  Up until now I’ve been just getting back into the swing of things: More time at the gym; Short runs around the the office; Runs to work; More pain on the pole (let me tell you of the hell that is “20s” sometime).  But now I have to take things seriously.  Commit to mileage.  Respond to everyone asking what I’m doing this weekend with the words, “Running.” Download several hundred episodes of Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me.

The funny thing is, even though this is my third time to the marathon rodeo…  Even though I’ve trained for (I think) fourteen or so half marathons….  Even though I’ve run countless 5 and 10ks…

It still royally sucks to get going again.

On the first weekend run I couldn’t remember where I put anything, and I still forgot things once I left and was too far gone to turn around and come back. My minutes per mile, which was with a pack, were fine, but it all felt unfamiliar.  I also went to my first pilates class ever, which was both awesome and terrible.  Awesome because it worked areas that I needed to have worked and terrible because it worked areas that I needed to have worked.

They say that you never forget how to ride a bike once you learn… which is sort of true.  I hadn’t ridden a bike in years and when I moved to Oxford I was forced to.  I spent the first week crashing a lot but after awhile I got the hang of it.  So let’s hope the saying sticks… That once you run a marathon you never forget.  Though, to think of it, I must forget something because I have a tendency to keep signing up for these things.

Oh yes, please donate to me so I have no choice but to train.

[1] You probably think I don’t like Runner’s World.  Quite the opposite, in my opinion it is the most complete runner’s magazine out there.  I recommend it if you are starting out or want to keep up to date with running.  And maybe, one day, I’ll be on the cover… wind in my hair… perfectly coordinated outfit flowing in the breeze…

3,658

Hi there to my dedicated group of 16 or so readers.  I realised something this morning that I thought I should share: I’m getting about as bad at blog posting as the seasons of Sherlock are becoming… highly irregular.  Hopefully, like Sherlock, once my posts do come they are complete and well-formed, preferably with no long list of drugs involved.

So, here’s my year in review: I did stuff last year.  Stuff that wasn’t always running stuff.  Went places, did various activities, ate, slept.  Outside of that I attempted to figure out my small child who has a very interesting mind.  Take for instance yesterday.  Yesterday was my birthday and, according to the candles he insisted I buy, I am 3,658 years old.

That’s right people, it’s time to come clean: I am a Time Lord.

Also, yesterday wasn’t actually MY birthday.  It was OUR birthday, I needed to share it with him.  Except, when he was asked, we weren’t sharing, it was his birthday.  Most importantly, he had all rights to the birthday cake… and the orange number 6 of the 3,658 years old that I am.

Funny thing is his actual birthday, in my opinion, falls in a far better time.  Stuff, for instance, is actually open.  If I was a small child in England the number of things closed the moment the holidays end is staggering.  Amusement parks?  Nope.  Some of the local manor houses with awesome playgrounds?  Nope.  All closed up until February or March.  I’m grateful that my younger years were spent in a place with the seasons of “Summer” and “Not Summer.”  And that “Not Summer” is defined as two weeks sometime in January.

So, what’s this year for me, now that I’ve just turned 3,658 years old?  Perhaps I’ll get the parking brake fixed on the TARDIS, but as that’s never been a priority for me.  I’ve got a third marathon to run, which I’ve been properly prepping for and now have to hit the real mileage training.  I’ve been learning to crochet granny squares, which I intend to make into a really long scarf (it’s a Time Lord thing).  I’m working on attempting to be more creative here and there, and keeping up with my active meditation app.  I’m patiently waiting for the new version of the Undress (seriously, if you are female… or male and are totally cool with wearing a dress… and do any form of exercise you need one).

And I’ll probably watch the new movie for Star Wars about 20 or 30 times.  All my Star Trek readers I’m hoping you’ll accept me for who I am as I love you despite our differences.

I’ll do my best not to be so hideous in my blogs.  To be honest, England still fascinates me and I need to share all the crazy wonderfulness with people.

Here’s to the next 2,721 years until my next re-generation.

 

Marathon Training Review, October 2015

Well, I’ve begun.

This of course means I’ve gotten a cold immediately and have had to readjust my schedule.

I’ve always sort of questioned the marathon training season as it falls into “awful winter season” and ends, usually on the day of the marathon, with either the hottest, coldest, or rainiest day on record (take your pick).

“But,” you say, “You’ve willingly taken this sort of thing on more than once, didn’t you know this is what is going to happen?”

Yep.  But I can marvel at the madness of it all much like some people marvel at the fact that the sun keeps managing to rise every day… except for those people who live in places where the sun doesn’t at certain points of the year.

I digress.

So yeah, I’ve adjusted my schedule down slightly but otherwise have stayed on track.  As I’m in the “running for running’s sake” portion of the training I’m not too fussed.  One of the things I’ve picked up on is that my body, outside of the cold, is pretty cool with running more regularly after the first week.  The first week it was like, “&*%*!!!” (exact words) but after that it was fine.

And so I enter into November.  For fun I’ve again signed up for Nanowrimo, which means that I will be writing a marathon while training for a marathon.  This is because I welcome both mental and physical pain, obviously.

I’ve also managed to get close to halfway for my initial fundraising goal, which is a guilt fuel.  (Thank you to those who have already donated – and to the mystery donor who jumped me to my halfway point!)  Remember, every pound you donate results in me putting on my shoes and pounding out the miles whether I want to or not.

Until next time!

Running the Numbers

So… I started my marathon training this week.  Tomorrow is my last day of my first week.  I’ve calculated that the training plan and it’s calculated at 28 weeks. This translates into 110 runs of various distances + 28 gym sessions + 28 pole fitness sessions.  If I can swing it right I’m going to attempt my long runs to the gym where, depending on timing, I can possibly hit up 28 yoga sessions over the 28 weeks.

Now, you ask yourself, how was this first week of training?  Was it inspirational?  Joyous? A breeze?

No, not really.

First, I can’t believe how hard running 4 miles is at the moment.  My stomach and legs really aren’t pleased with the whole idea and were really annoyed to find out that I decided to do this run not once, but twice this week.  You should’ve heard them yelling in protest this morning as I commuted into work.

(Well, it was me yelling in protest, but let me tell you: Absolutely no walkers got in my way.  TRAINING TIP: Try screaming, babbling incoherently, or carrying on conversations with your imaginary running friends as you run.  It can really clear the path in busy city centres.)

My legs and stomach are likely going to really freak out with the 2 miles I have planned for tomorrow as well.  But before you go off on one about how I’ll injure myself I am currently “just moving.”  Translate into: Not worried about being fast at the moment. Well, trying not to be.  My little running tracker tells me that I’m currently not only struggling to make 4 miles but I’m also slightly faster than a sloth.

(Hey, did you know I’m fundraising for sloths?  And pandas?  And panthers?  I’m also fundraising for the humans as well.  Check it out!  Give me a fiver!  Guilt me into continuing this madness!)

Thing is, I’m not letting this get me down.  If I were a few days from the marathon and only up to 4 miles, then I would be down.  I started all this super early because the first thing I want to do is build up the ability to endure.  The majority of doing the training is just building up the tolerance so that you can, come marathon day, willingly endure.

But until then I’ll enjoy the funeral marches being played on the Spotify running app, which is supposed to match your tempo to the music.  All being well in a few months time I’ll be up death metal… and lapping that sloth.

How to plan your marathon training in 6 easy steps.

  1. Grab a handy weekly planner.  You’ll need about 15-17 weeks to properly train for a marathon.
  2. Search the web for training plans that meet your marathon goals.  Though I hasten to add you need to be realistic in your planning.  If you have, for instance, never run a marathon before you may want to consider solidly finishing your first over qualifying for Boston.
  3. Once you’ve found a good plan get your calendar out.  On the days you work, block out work time.
  4. Every other free space you have left write in “running.” You can elaborate to match your plan later, but this is pretty much what you’ll be doing.
  5. Say goodbye to your friends, family, and social life.
  6. Begin marathon training.

Donate now for extra tips on why the above is seemingly a good idea for me for the third time.

On Wussing Out.

So, tomorrow is the Oxford Half Marathon, which I registered for.

I registered right after they released the course information.  For those who had run the earlier courses, which kept you mostly out of the city, I was thrilled.  If you go to the course info right now it pretty much outlines my absolute favourite areas of the city to run.  The whole idea of people blocking off said areas for me to run through excited me.  It would be like the Rome Marathon all over again. (PS – To anyone reading who didn’t get into London – RUN ROME)

I had meant to get around to training for it.  It’s not like I’m just lazying about.  I’m still bike commuting, pole fitnessing (I can do this now!), and eating seasonal like a hippie.

But I wasn’t putting in the distance training.

See, here’s the deal: YOU HAVE TO DO THE TRAINING.  I know this.  I’ve been running for a long time, the mantra is etched into my brain.

But yet, I didn’t.

I wish I could tell you it was because I was sick.  Or I broke something.  Or I was jet setting across the world with all my billionaire friends and the personal trainer was too busy with Beyonce.

But I don’t have a good reason.

I just didn’t do it.

If I go tomorrow I know I’d be fine through the 10k point.  Likely a bit further.  But, just like with a marathon, there is a wall.  For me it’s 9 miles.  I would be 4 stinking miles from the end and my legs would be in this conversation with my brain like so:

Legs: “Hey, um, brain?”

Brain: “Yeah?”

Legs: “Um, we haven’t done this in awhile.  Can we stop?”

Brain: “No.”

Legs: “We disagree with your assessment, we’re going to stop now.”

Brain: “It’s not a good idea, guys.  We’re 4 miles from the end.”

Legs: “Shutting down now.”

Brain: “What? No…”

Legs: “Yeah, here we go… from the knees…”

Brain: “Noooooo!”

(After writing this I’m glad my legs cannot act independently of me.  They would totally do this.  I know it.  Dang you, legs.)

So, long story longer I’ve decided not to run the Oxford Half Marathon.  This, of course, drags up all sorts of emotions.  It’s odd because I go from relief to wanting to cry.  It’s like I’m doing what I know is right for me while disappointing myself at the exact same time.

Instead, I’m going to start my London Marathon distance training.

And, like a good trainee, I’m starting small and building up so I can be strong come April.

I’ll be taking a route away from the fanfare, and I’ll be rocking my jersey from the National Autistic Society, who I will be supporting along with the WWF come April.

But, yeah, I feel like I’m wussing out.