Sunday, 31 July 2011

More Bike + Injury update

Two more runs out on the bike, using the same route as previous (the 5k route I used for running). I spent over an hour trying to set the gears up so they don't skip and jump so much. It was mostly successful and the rear derailleur works quite nice. The front derailleur clatters a bit and I'm still struggling to shift if properly.
I am gaining a bit of confidence and technique although going downhill over our potholed cycle lanes at speed sets the pulse racing still!
My bum hurt too much to make it to my parents and back today so I had to give it a rest.

My leg is absolutely no better :-(

My two cyles are:
Here and Here

Thursday, 28 July 2011

2nd trip out on Bike.

I decided to ignore my bum pain and just get on with it. I picked my 5k running course as my route as I know the hills and where it's flat.

Things to fix / work out.

  • When I have the rear gear set to say 4 (out of 6), the chain is on the third cog, so it's one out I believe. I've found a site that tells you how to adjust the rear dérailleur so I can have a go at that one myself
  • The front gear really struggles to go from 2 down to 1. It doesn't engage most of the time so I am left stalled out on a hill with the chain rattling around.
  • The chain has slipped of the front gear on both bike rides now (usually when I shift to 1st).
  • Peddling is MUCH too easy when I am on even the slightest of down gradients. In most cases I end up in a freefall and the pedals do nothing. I've switched to the highest gear 3/6 but it makes no difference. So I freefall to the bottom of the hill. As I am getting to the bottom (ready for a steep climb), I can't pedal in anticipation for the hill because they just spin and I can't change to a lower gear for the climb because the derailleur won't work without me pedalling. I have to wait until I'm on the ascent and slowed right down before slogging away in a high gear to the top!
  • My newly installed Cadence sensor stopped working half way round.
So all in all, the technology is hindering me from just going out to increase my fitness!
I'm still working out how to keep in a straight line but I guess it's just a matter of practice!

I'm up to 14.9km/h now :-) My Ride

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

I've got a bike, and my bum hurts.

Resigned to several weeks non running and recovery, I'm determined to keep a measure of fitness going. I've made the brave / stupid decision of purchasing a wheeled beast to aid me in this. I had not ridden a bicycle since I was 8. 23 years have since passed.

Why a bike? I've been really struggling to find an enjoyable alternative to running on my days off (and obviously now, through injury). Weight's really do suck and I can't do step aerobics / shred / fitness DVDs because the all want me to do some form of weight bearing activities like jumping jacks. Biking will hopefully give me a similar buzz to running when I beat speed and distance PRs as well as being fun outside, which I prefer.

So there's my new steed. I picked it up, already assembled from Halfords which is quite near where my parent live, so it equates to about a 5k ride home. I was extremely nervous about falling off of it. My wife dropped me off and waited to make sure I was OK. It took me about 3 attempts to fight the instinct to put my foot down straight away. I was wobbly and struggled with cornering and particularly downhill sections but I made it home without falling off!

I need to work out how to shift gear properly. I could not get the front low gear to engage at all and near the end of my ride, the chain actually came off altogether needing an emergency repair.

All in all, I actually rode about 6k, adding on the distance that my garmin wasn't on. I'm pleased with my first run and will just spend the next couple of weeks learning to to ride correctly and safely now. I've added some smallish bike targets to the blog to challenge myself.

I also purchased the cadence sensor for the bike because as you know I am a stats freak!

My first bike run home is HERE

Monday, 25 July 2011

Another kick in the teeth (or shins)

A summary of my runs this week would reveal that I didn't hit ANY of my targets in the three runs I've done. I could cope with that (albeit frustrating) if it wasn't for the fact that I am now sidelined yet again with pain that makes walking difficult.

I've already Blogged on Tuesday's run, how I pushed myself and had to give up, only then jogging to the end of 5k. Thursday came around and the run was a very strange one. I ran down to the local lakes only to enter in the middle of a 3k relay race. It made the run difficult because I was wary of getting in the way of everyone. I changed my route a bit to get around the crowds, marshals etc but it was just a bit off-putting. It was also eye opening to see how fast some of these guys and girls (young and old) easily outpaced me. I managed just 4.74km that day. 250 metres short of my 5k target. My legs were so heavy I couldn't resume in a reasonable time.

Since that run and over the weekend, I had nagging twinges in both legs and I thought many times about not running at all (I should have listened to this voice of doubt). I rang regardless, a new and unknown route from my parents house. My legs were dead before I had run just 1km. I carried on going (perhaps through pride more than anything) and about 15 minutes in I took a couple of minutes walk break. I ran for around 5 minutes longer before admitting to myself that my twinge had become pain. I hobbled back.

Last night and this morning, the damage is clear and I fear that I face another lengthy spell on the sidelines. I don't know what more I can do to rectify this situation and prevent reoccurance, I'm lost for ideas.

Thursday and Sunday stats

Friday, 22 July 2011

Weight loss progress

Five months into my running program and time to check on progress.

My targets from the start have been to get fitter but most importantly to shift some of the fat and become leaner with it. This table speaks volumes to my success so far

DateWeight (lbs)Fat %Fat (lbs)Non Fat (lbs)

I've lost 21.6lbs (1 stone 8lbs) BUT, over 18 of those lbs have been pure fat with only 3.2 lbs making up the rest. I've only made small changes to my diet and have enjoyed many unhealthy meals, chocolate etc during these months. I'm not a big believer in crazy diets and my stats prove what can be done with sensible exercise and sensible eating.

For now, what started as a way to improve fitness has become a way of life. I hope I have found something that I can continue with long into the future (body willing) and that my competitive thirst can be quenched with.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Help me Hal!

Possibly (read probably), I'm mad.

I've gone from wanting to try a 5k-8k plan to trying my hand at Hal Higdon's Half Marathon 10 week schedule.

Hal's advice is that people who start this plan should be able to run 3 miles (just short of 5k) 3-4 times a week. That's about where I'm at right now, looking for a new challenge.

The reason's I've plumped for this plan, scary as it seems are:

  • Increasing mileage, especially the "Long Run days" at the weekend should improve my overall pace for 5k (and eventually 10k).
  • The plan is really focused on running. I'll be doing weight's twice a week, but low weight / high reps. I find pumping iron boring and dangerous at the moment so hopefully this will be better for me.
  • I get to run 4 days a week. The run on Wednesday being an "Easy / Short Run".
  • Mondays are focussed on Strength and stretching, something I sorely need.
So the new plan is

Monday: Stretching + Light Weights
Tuesday: Running
Wednesday: Easy Run
Thursday:Running + Light Weights
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Exercise Bike
Sunday: Long Run

To War...

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Another 5k (just) in the bag

Having enjoyed my longer runs to my parents, partly because the route takes me past the local park and lakes, I decided to map out a return route that covers the lakes. The problem is that the lakes are the home territory of the local running club.

I past them going the other way when I was going round one of the lakes - no problem. About 4km in, I was tiring a fair bit. I came round the corner and there they are, all on a walking break or rest. I ran passed them up the hill.

20 seconds or so passed when I could here the pounding of feet behind me. Sure enough, a couple of their leaders (each about 10 foot tall with legs as long as my whole body) drifted past like I wasn't even there. About 5 of them went through inclusive of a girly. "Run your own race" went straight out of the window! I upped my pace significantly to stop any more getting past. My Garmin was bleeping "Slow Down" about every 5 seconds. When I came out of the park, I stopped the watch at 4.72km because I had killed myself! I walked a short way and resumed the rest of the run.

Pride is a dangerous thing I guess

The run:

Sunday, 17 July 2011

I ran 6,000 metres!

Yesterday was run to parents day again. I struggled with this last week having to have two brief walking breaks.

This run didn't have positive signs at the beginning. My legs were stiff, sore and grumpy. I seriously didn't expect to make it 1/3rd of the way. What's worse is a torrential downpour (it lasted the entire run in fact).

I set off confidently. I set my Garmin to warn me if I dropped below a 6:10/km which I did on about 4 occasions. The run was BRILLIANT. Running in the rain was awesome. It wasn't cold at all and it only added to my determination. It felt great passing people scurrying under cover when there I was enjoying a run. They probably thought I was insane, but what the hell. I just think I am a winner.

I felt really strong and powerful. Reaching near my folks home @5k I wanted to push it and felt I really could make it to 6k. I did it.

Awesome run - perhaps my best ever yet!

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Wot no weights?

No, I felt tired OK? In all honesty, I still find psyching myself up for pumping Iron impossible. I am struggling with my runs with Heavy legs and just general tiredness. I'm really considering the bridge to 8k program to get some focus back into my running.

I didn't reach 5 k today but I got most of the way there.

Long time no see

Well be fair, I've been on Holiday!
My last run before my trip had killed my legs a fair amount. I had planned to keep up training efforts whilst on Holiday, but my legs as they were, I decided that it really wasn't any point dragging my running gear out with me. As it happens, this was a wise choice as our days were packed and the kids played up most nights meaning we were all knackered!

Anyway, we ate out - lots. I had chocolate and/or ice cream pretty much every day and I didn't exercise (unless you count pushing a fully laden buggy with two kids and a whole load of bags for most of the time).

I thought my legs would take much longer to recover, but they didn't. In fact they feel pretty good right now - No pain!

I resumed my running two days ago with another ambitious 5k+ run to my parents at the weekend. It went pretty well, especially at first with a good amount of cloud cover. When the sun came out it was pretty oppressive. I had to take a couple of 2 minute walk breaks but my pace overall was still excellent!

I had a second run around my usual route a couple of days ago but I just was not motivated for it. I was tired and exhausted and it showed. I gave up before I hit 4km and walked home. It's the worst an most demotivated I have been on a run in some time.

Still - again I need to remind myself of when I was desperate to make 3km not so long ago!

Another 5k calls tonight after a BBQ at work. I'm off work tomorrow for Hannah's first ever sports day. Hope there isn't a Dad's race with my poor body!!

My two runs: