I moved to London and now I never run

Standard

It’s pretty different to Leeds here. Until last night I hadn’t been for a single run here. I had many excuses. It’s always dark when I get home, I don’t know my area beyond the 10 minute walk to the tube.   
Last night I had finally had enough. It was Monday, I was bored and I’m sick of the cold I picked up last week. So I googled routes and set off on a shortish run. 
Halfway through my phone died which pissed me off beyond belief as I had no music or Nike+ record or Nike fuel. 
My nose also ran a lot. And without my phone map I was slightly lost for a few mins. 
I couldn’t run the whole way. The first half of my run was uphill and my lungs were burning.
  
It took me 30 mins to go about 4K. I am pretty annoyed that I’ve let myself get this out of shape. 
That all said, I felt good afterward. I am going to keep at this blog and maybe even start an Instagram to record my running adventures! 

January gymers

Standard

It’s that dreaded time of year again for all of us who hold the gym sacred. It’s the time of year when everyone has embraced the ‘New Year, New Me’ mantra and gone and got themselves a shiny new gym membership, or, polished that old one and vowed to actually make use of it. Thus, every evening, the gym is full of those people, who you know the majority of will have forgotten what a cross trainer is in 3 weeks.

I’m not saying people trying to take on a healthier life style is a bad thing, far from it. It’s just the fact that for one month the gym is over crowded. And I don’t like it.

For example, today I was doing my stretches, ab exercises and weights in the studio. I wasn’t in the middle of the room or anything like that, or even in the space usually occupied by the aerobic/Zumba/weird exercise dance classes that go on in the evening. And yet the class was so full that me and about 7-8 others doing similar things were asked to move out the way. We ended up squashed in a row at the side of the studio with barely room to swing our arms around our bodies. Not cool. And I couldn’t help but notice that the class was populated by unfit looking people in non-gym clothing. Which annoyed me. Don’t come and steal the space of the people who put in the effort all year round. Silly gyms and their desire to make money from these poor fools who half heartedly commit to a year contract in hope of forcing themselves to be fit.

To those of you who do stick it out, I salute you, and in a years time you too will have every right to complain about these new short-lived invaders. Happy gyming, and may the odds be ever in your favour when you want to use an unnecessarily busy piece of equipment!

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/b56/72139967/files/2015/01/img_4609.png

Hungover running

Standard

Ok so last night escalated quickly. I was at work until close, one of the locals bought us a drink, and then we headed off to one of the other staff girls birthday party. She had a marquee in her garden which was really cool. I was offered wine on arrival, most of the alcohol had gone by this point, so I took it even though I don’t usually drink wine other than with food at my parents. I then proceeded (thanks to some peer pressure) to drink the entire bottle. Needless to say this morning I felt as though The battle of helms deep was happening in my head. I managed to struggle through my 5 hour lunch shift at work. On coming home my father suggested we go out for dinner. I was at the hungry stage of my hangover, so I was all for this. However, my tendency to eat loads when I go out for food meant that running was unlikely to occur after eating. I had to go before. The hangover was still going fairly strong. It’s only a mile I told myself. You can do this.

Usually if I am hungover, I won’t go for a run or to the gym. Usually I will only get out of bed for important plans, work, or hungover discussions of the previous nights events over some form of food. And maybe more alcohol. I did however have to make an exception to this general no running attitude at the 2013 Leeds abbey dash last November. I hadn’t trained for the race as I was meant to go away for the weekend, but ended up having to stay for work. I decided to run it anyway, just for the experience. It was my first race and I was excited. Meanwhile, it was one of my best friend’s birthday on the Saturday, and I made the foolish decision to go to the German market beer tent in millennium square. Little did I know the consequences of that fateful evening would be far more complex than a hungover 10K… I digress. I don’t know what they put in that beer but it gets you smashed very quickly. One led to another (we queued for 3 hours we had to make the most of it) and the next day I woke up with the urge to vomit. Not from nerves, I knew I wasn’t taking the race too seriously, I was using it as a chance to ease myself into racing: pressure free. I felt pretty rough. The entire run all I could think about was how much I wanted water. Well, that and how to handle the previous night’s complications. I do usually enjoy thinking things through on a run but not this time. I had to walk for a bit between 4-5K because of the killer stitch I got, which I suspect was connected to the amount of alcohol in my system. My time in the end was 1hr 1min. Which was annoying. Under an hour would have been nice. So after that experience, hungover running hasn’t really been something I have been up for.

However, mile a day challenge, the name speaks for itself. I had to run a mile at some point today, and this was the best opportunity. So I geared up and went outside. I told myself to go at a comfortable pace, aiming for a 9-9:30min mile. The mile was 9:08 pace in the end. And you know what, I actually quite enjoyed the run. The fresh air was nice, and the comfortable pace wasn’t pushing my body to a place it was unhappy at. I felt capable, despite my state, which was a nice feeling. Much better than I had done at work.

So there we go. Moral of the story: Hungover running is not that bad, and I think I will be forcing it upon myself more in future. Any longer than a mile though and I think water will be a necessity!

IMG_3318.JPG

Drivers and urban running

Standard

Does anybody else find that some drivers are really unnecessarily difficult when they are out running in a city/urban environment.

I live on the edge of a town, and so a lot of my running involved running loops through various housing developments and busy main roads. And I have to say, some drivers I encounter must either be inconsiderate to all pedestrians, or just have something against runners.

The most annoying of these are those who reverse up their drive and wait there adamantly, even though they saw you coming and know they are making you wait. I’m not saying it’s always wrong, sometimes there is a break in the traffic and they should be entitled to take that opportunity to escape their driveway! It’s the people who just sit there whilst there is a constant flow of traffic and they clearly are not getting out in the next 30 seconds… Would it kill you to move forward for a few seconds so I can safely pass?

Another annoyance of mine is people who don’t bother to indicate, and then look at you like it’s your fault when they nearly run you over… We cross roads and junctions based on your signalling, and your cars are much bigger and usually faster than us, so please indicate. Even if there are no other motorists around, runners and other pedestrians cannot be treated as if we don’t exist!

Of course, these rants apply to the minority of drivers. Many people have moved forward or waited to let me pass on my running excursions, and I appreciate their gesture. But for those few, we are out there challenging ourselves, trying to improve, and they can hinder our progress (slower time, unplanned rest, knocked confidence). I’m sure this doesn’t apply to any of my readers, since I presume you are fellow runners and approach these situations to allow the runners to continue their run. But to anyone who is guilty of non-indication because there are no other cars around, please think of the pedestrians and runners next time you are out.

Treadmills

Standard

Ahhh treadmills. On the one hand a wonderful, magical invention that let’s us runners work out inside when the weather is bad, or if you are in the gym anyway, or want to do a planned and controlled workout without access to a coach. On the other, PURE TEDIOM. Yes. We have all been there, staring at the mileage/minutes wondering why it is taking so long to reach your target. Why treadmill, why must you be so boring. Today I was happily watching the Big Bang theory on the inbuilt tv of my treadmill in the gym on my post-work visit. Disaster struck, my earphones broke. I was left to run my last 10 minutes of my 4 mile run in silence. And when I say silence I mean the adverts of the local radio station being played and the repetitive sound of the track going round the treadmill over and over. It was not enjoyable, to say the least.

Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful for the existence of treadmills. I just wish they were a little more exciting. Nothing, for a runner, can compare to running through different landscapes free as a bird. Running in different environments is far more stimulating, and prevents running becoming dull.

Gyms should really invest in some kind of simulation, like a projection on the wall, so us treadmill users can feel like we are running outside, and allow us to embrace our love for running inside! Might even encourage those people who spend a very forced looking 10 minutes on the treadmill to venture outside and become passionate about running!

Just a thought. 20140806-220632-79592313.jpg