I am so tired I can hardly keep my eyes open; partly due to a meeting about a consultancy job this morning (which meant I was dreaming of Facebook pages all last night); being woken (mid dream) by DS1 4 times last night between 12.45 and 2.15 for various loo/water issues; but mostly (at least physically) due to having gone for the Hardest Run Yet this afternoon.
Until my late thirties my default state was as still and sedentary as I could get away with. I then had a year or so living in central London where I walked everywhere and discovered that doing a slow jog round Regents Park helped me lose weight and gave me the occasional options for Deep and Meaningful Looks with sporty groovers (for whom I naturally sped up a bit). Then I got pregnant, and pregnant again, and we moved to the country where contrary to how it should be, everyone drives a car and no one moves at all unless you get in your car to go and do it.
But as I ate my way through about 4 packets of chocolate HobNobs a week after the birth of DS2, just to get the energy to cope with the day, the pounds piled on (nobody really warns you about getting fatter AFTER having the baby) until I reached a teary peak in March where my long-suffering friend said, as I wept over a Bourbon biscuit in the model village cafe, “I don’t know what else I can say RK other than just get off your arse”. I knew then that A Moment had come. Either I was going to get off my arse and start moving, or I was going to stubbornly continue to sit on it, and thus continue weight gain past the Maximum I had Ever Been At. It was one of those weird moments when you’re superconscious that you’re having a moment, but are looking on it so dispassionately you really have no idea which way you’re going to go.
Thankfully, I came home and said to DH that evening that if I didn’t go for a run the next day, he must not let us go into London for dinner in the evening (it was, it turned out, a very Significant evening so it’s a jolly good thing I managed to). I logged on to Google maps and found a route, and read the summarised version of Ruth Field’s Run Fat Bitch Run approach which I’d had cut out from The Times (basically it’s put one foot in front of another, and just don’t stop), and the next morning before breakfast set off. I don’t think I did much running the first day, but 2 days later I probably sped up a bit, and by the third attempt (when I fell over a tree root and injured myself heinously yet Did Not Cry) I think I was probably shuffling more than walking. And now…
- I’ve been out – it seems a slight over-exaggeration to call it running as it is a slow but steady shuffle – every other day for the last 3 months.
- I’ve also been trying to count my calories & limit them to 1800/day (ok, hardly Boot Camp level, but it did require a HobNob reduction).
- I have lost about 5kgs, which is quite exciting (though alarming to see how quickly it goes up after 3 days stuffing one’s face on Danish pastries in Copenhagen).
- My right knee feels swollen when I get back, but not enough to make me return to my previous sedentary ways, so I’m just icing it with peas.
- I have forked out on a new pair of trainers in an effort to provide more cushioning and reduce knee issues (made no difference).
- I am now alternating a Long Run (about 4.5 miles, including a hideous bit over a moor where dogs bark at me and chase me. I’m sorry, but I really Hate Dogs) with a shorter one (about 3.5 miles, where I try to go a bit faster).
- I go before breakfast, which is the only chance I have as DH can look after the boys. I realise though that 4.5 miles is prob the max I can run sans sustenance.
- I have signed up for a half marathon in September. Not quite sure why, apart from the fact it goes down the end of our street so I can duck out if it’s unbearable.
- I have signed up for a half marathon Training Plan (see here), and today got to the stage where the training plan overtook what I was already doing. As I found it impossible to make myself stick to interval training when I was measuring it myself (if I was trying to run fast for 3 minutes, for example, I’d be so busy looking desperately at my watch I’d either crash into a fence, or think I’d achieved it only to realise I was looking at the seconds and nanoseconds, rather than the minutes), I have found an excellent iPhone app which includes a trainer who you can programme to tell you what to do.
- As a consequence, this afternoon (boys at nursery) I ran 6 sessions of 5 minutes ‘fast’ (ie increasingly slow and desperate) with 3 minutes of ‘slow’ (ie a staggered walk by the end). It was along the river bank but to be quite frank it could have been through Mad Max’s Thunderdome as I barely glanced up from the path to ensure I didn’t fall over again, or want to waste energy lifting my head.
- My pelvic floor is still in need of a few more exercises. I do not yet feel ready to endure a Paula Radcliffe moment.
Anyway, in summary, I like running but it is very tiring.