Sunday, 27 January 2013

The Lazy Bike

Over the last few days I have been forced to make friends with a piece of gym equipment that I would usually turn my nose up at... the recumbent bike. It seems to be the only thing I can do to supplement my swimming in an attempt to keep some level of fitness whilst my back is preventing me from running. 
Yesterday I discovered that listening to podcasts is one way to while away the time on these machines usually favoured by the old, injured or the strangely numerous contingent of 14 years olds that attend my gym one afternoon a week. 
But a strange thing is happening, I am beginning to make friends with this bit of kit, as I work out it supports my back, it gives me a handy place to store my bottle, due to the angle I can happily keep in a comfortable position, and the time just drifts away. 
This said, the sooner I am able to get back to running the better but for now at least I am just grateful not to be completely out of action.

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Whiplash Away.... Please

So once again I am forced to makes puns on my injury and as ever Doris Day's ever so cheery voice comes crashing into my unconsciousness mind. 
Last week somebody drove into the back of my car, sending the car to the garage and me to the docs, diagnosed with whiplash I was advised against running for up to 6 weeks until my back has fully recovered. Although if I was lucky I may recover sooner as she said I was pretty fit.... ha, me fit! Who knew that one day a medical professional would describe me as such. 
So now 11 days later, a couple of swims and two sessions on the recumbent bike I am still in discomfort and unable to run but at least I am able to maintain some semblance of fitness. The loss of training time in December (SeeRib Crack Away ) and now this means I will be perhaps 2 months behind training by the time my forthcoming races arrive but what more can I do?
I won't push it too hard, I won't set myself back but I will strive to maintain my fitness and I will continue with my challenges.
As a tip to others using the recumbent bike for extended periods, a great way to pass the time is listening to podcasts, this morning I listened to Richard Herring and Tim Minchin and although I may have generated interest in the gym with my sudden outbursts of laughter it certainly passed the time much quicker. 

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Training Curse

What is happening of late? I am convinced for the past two months I have been suffering a training curse. It began back in December with a torrent of illness one after the other.

So with this in mind I was about a month behind plan but staying positive I put my trainers back on and got back out as soon as I could and started building the miles back up. This has lasted a couple of weeks and to be honest not that great managing only a couple of runs a week for fear of overtraining but with some cross-training thrown in for good measure.

So Tuesday I was all prepared to get back on track and get my number of runs and miles back up my gym bag was in the car and as I left work it was freezing cold so I decided that the gym was a better idea than running out and about in the wintery cold streets. Off I went, traffic was not too heavy and then SMASH some silly woman was skitting about in the street distracted the driver behind me who then proceeded straight into my car. As if that wasn't bad enough that my car now needed to go to the garage for another new bumper but I seemed to have whiplash.

Doctor’s diagnosis was that I shouldn't be running as it will hurt my back further, and that it could take up to 6 weeks before I am running again but I can cross train... just non-impact, bloody marvellous.

My training goals are slipping further and further from my grasp but I must stay positive, I will get there.

Now the roads are covered in snow so at the very least my desperation to be back out and running is slightly sated and the fact that I don’t have to be seen in public in the boy racer style monstrosity that was delivered under the guise of a courtesy car!

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Row your boat

After my lovely long run yesterday I had my concerns about another long run today and my knees were enhancing this feeling with a dull ache. I was definitely up for something but wasn't sure that running was the answer.

Aha, it was time to hit the rowing machine for a cardio, interval workout. Much easier on the knees and still beneficial to my training plan. 

What a bonus it is to have this extra bit of kit now (thanks again Steve & Jo).

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Support act for todays' run...Bon Jovi

Usually on a weekend I still wake up early and head out for my long run, today was a little different, I had had a long week and I was fairly blooming shattered. I awake at about 12 noon... the most amazing lay in ever and obviously very much needed. I ummed and ahhed about where and when to run and decided to get going in daylight hours.

Once again following the new long run technique of 25 minute running with 5 minute walk breaks was in action once again today with the target being to go for a little longer than last week (in terms of time). 
Last week even though I knew this was the plan I still had my distance visible on my watch at all times. This week I decided rather than going for a set distance I would just think about time on my feet and this is key to include in my ultra distance training plan. 

Setting my Garmin for these intervals I was good to go, although a little later than my usual weekend runs! With my belt around my waist, water bottles filled, breakfast biscuits in my pocket I was ready to run. the route was not planned in anyway I just ran where I felt like and marginally tried to ensure my walk breaks were away from main roads. About half way through I was feeling a little bored, tired and pondered cutting short and going home, then Living on a Prayer came on .... "oooohh we're half way there....." it must have been a sign from Bon Jovi so I just kept going. On my arrival home I was shattered but I had almost 3 hours on my feet and was more than pleased with this, as was Jon Bon Jovi I am sure!

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Failure to cooperate

My mind was on my side as I went to PT tonight but sadly my body was not willing to cooperate, this makes me sad but I guess we all have good days and bad days. This was a bad day when my body just wasn't up to scratch however I urged myself on.

Soon enough my inability to match previous performances started to get me down and while I tried to stay positive I was frustrated as I look forward to this most of all my exercise each week. Especially as we were focussing on arms - as mentioned in previous posts this is an area that certainly needs work for me. Alas, all being well they will get there and I will feel the benefits tomorrow despite reduced weights for some exercises.

Grumble grump over!

Monday, 7 January 2013

Weak Arms

Getting back on track with training I had decided to get to the gym early and squeeze in a treadmill run prior to pump class. On arrival I discovered the Pump instructor was injured but a sub was on her way and it would be a condensed session.
However, the sub in question was Jackie so I had my suspicions that a 30minutes class would be as tough as a full hour with anyone else! That and being the first class for some time I was probably quite relieved.
I headed directly to the gym and got on a treadmill to knock out a 4 miles run before going to set up and boy was it tough.. my arms really do need the work post Christmas but sure I will be back on form soon enough with a little help from my PT and pump friends!

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Safety Dance (Run)

We can dance if we want to
We can leave your friends behind

'Cause your friends don't dance and if they don't dance
Well they're no friends of mine
I say, we can go where we want to
A place where they will never find
And we can act like we come from out of this world
Leave the real one far behind
And we can dance

I woke up with the song safety dance circling my brain and before long as I prepared for my run I was singing along to myself....   

So following my preparations I headed out the door and as I was running solo this morning I thought I'd take out the ipod for a change. It was already half way through a song in shuffle mode and then the first full track to come on was... you guessed it..... Safety Dance! This had to be a sign, a sign that I should not overdo things and trial the recommended ultra marathon training technique of running and walking. making this a long but safety run.

My legs were screaming as I starting out but as the end of my first 25 minutes running they had eased up and I was happily trotting along wishing good morning to fellow runners and dog walkers along my way. Then came the 5 minute walk, it seemed off at first but I was sticking with this, I had some water, blew my nose and kept on until the time was up and entered my next 25 minutes of running. It felt great, my legs felt pretty fresh but nicely warm and I noticed my speed edging up a little, I made a conscious effort to ease down a gear and kept going. The next 3 walk breaks included a breakfast biscuit along with my water, happily munching away and washing it down. I was still a little coughy due to the lingering effects of my chest infection but other than that things were going well. 

Nearing the end of my run I saw Anne and the PWR Beginners Refreshers Group running through Petts Wood so I joined them and had a nice little catch up and some company after 2 hours of my own!

Very aware that I am behind schedule with my plan thanks to the December of Doom I was keen to get the miles in but not willing to overdo it I opted for 2hours 20mins and I will up this again next week following the same run/walk pattern for my long run. There is still some weeks to go before my first ultra as a solo runner and I am sure I will be ready.

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Be a Plank

Despite the promising start back to running and fitness last week with 4 runs and a PT session this week had not been so successful... was it fear of over training, post Christmas lethargy or just plain laziness? Not sure I would like to comment as honesty may not be the answer I really want to see. 
So my last activity being Saturday's muddy run with Jerry I went out to meet Emma for my PT session tonight with slight fear in my belly and lead in my legs. I arrived early and did a good 20min warm-up on the exercise bike and a 5 min slog on the stepper before Emma arrived and set me straight into a 10 minute hill run on the treadmill. It hurt but then straight to the rower for a 1000m hard effort... as ever my hands were shaking afterwards but I had managed not to lose much speed since my previous attempts. The session continued with Emma once again throwing in Sammi's evil crazy blaster thing which makes my legs want to cry but I made it through. 
My back is still week and I must practise my plank... it it my homework but this week I must actually do it! I promised Emma so I will get an ass-kicking if I don't next week when I cannot hold for any longer than usual!