I ran a mile!

Well actually more than that of course, as I had 1 hour to slowly run around. However, since the tide is in at the moment, I can’t go to the beach and explore hidden caves, therefore I went to the local park.

While the grass was mowed recently it was still a bit too wet before 6 in the morning, but the sun was shining and the track looked astonishingly quite pleasant! Now I usually avoid the track and rather run around the grass fields, but not today!

I’m doing recovery week this week and therefore have too much energy and just knew I couldn’t keep myself slow enough if I take to the fields (so the wetness would not matter). The track is just some dirt, but it is nicer to run on than on the park roads. I also sometimes really like switching my brain off, which indeed happened and I breezed around the track for quite a bit until I realized I only had one hour and went on my way back.

When I came home I realized via Strava, I had run a mile! Strava records the weirdest things, especially segments others frequently run. I usually run kilometers, as I am a metric person, but there is a 1 mile segment for this track. Now I have a mile time for my (nearly) MAF pace which is 14:33. It was at an average heart-rate of 145. I just have to be more consistent … I also have a new MAF PR for 5k which is 43:58.

Oh somehow I start to love recovery week!

Btw. if anyone is curious, I also created a page for my general formula/plan and it includes an excel file for download that I used to calculate/structure my training.

P.S.: Gareth I hope this displays now fully on the reader.

Recovery week here I come

Tide is in and that means it’s perfect to kick off my recovery week. Which I did or tried. Average heart rate was too high, but I enjoyed my too short 26 minute run.

Tomorrow I must not allow my feet to carry me to the beach, but up the hill to the park. It is impossible to keep the heart rate low, when the tide is that high!

Oh and I moved my blog around, so I hope it is not too annoying for you guys! This should still appear in the WordPress reader, only the commenting seems to only be possible via the full website. Let me know if you notice anything else that is weird!

Today’s Run and the 5 Stages of Grief

My process in getting used to slow running reminds of the 5 stages of grief:

Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.

On today’s run I saw a lot of runners that are still in denial, running around with red faces, clearly hating every second – this was me years ago.
The weekend warriors that crossed my path, appeared to be in the anger phase. They only have TODAY to get ALL the exercise in for the whole week. I think what they do is speed work … to me it looks like they try to get a heart attack (this was me before moving to Ireland). I think I did spot a bargaining runner, while I was slowly running down the seafront. The runner overtook me, ran 100 meters ahead and then stopped suddenly to do some stretches. Quite clever actually … I never came up with that idea.

Then comes depression. Sometimes this is still me now. Not in a literal sense, but there are moments when I just feel so stupid if I have a bad day and a walking person overtakes me … and I feel bad for a bit. I do bounce back quickly though.

Despite this, I feel I’ve reached the acceptance stage or am there most of the time. In the end it is about me and that I can continue to run and have amazing experiences. That I have to run slow to be able to run for 2 hours is something I have gotten used to and accepted. I noticed this, when at the end of my run, another runner clearly tried to “race” me on MY beach. This would usually have been an unacceptable situation, but I just let him go, enjoying the soft sand and looking forward to cooling down in the sea after I was done. It was even kind of amusing to see that he looked over his shoulder multiple times. Maybe I even made his day, since he was so fast!?

I suppose this is mostly because of summer and more people exercising outdoors or get started new? Usually I only meet iron man like athletes that breeze up those hills – no sweat visible.

Easy 40 minutes

Another 40 minutes easy done. It is still harder to run at 144 than previously. I think I read in some book that this is supposed to happen. Need to find that spot/book – then it might make more sense to me. The pattern also continues and I wonder what it will look like next week … though I might not get to run on the beach because of the tide!

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I didn’t make it into the cave I had discovered yesterday. The entry was blocked by a human practising yoga and guarded by a dog! I will try again another day – stay tuned!

Rest then Run

I didn’t go for a run yesterday. My resting heart rate was higher than normal and I didn’t feel like it. So I checked my TSB (Training Stress Balance) and surely it wasn’t just my demon of laziness talking. I had increased over the past two weeks and probably my body needed a bit of time to repair and build. Anyhow … I paid for it later in the day, when I had way too much energy … well at least the laundry got done and all my old – way too big – clothes are gone!

Today my resting heart rate was good again and despite the sun not making an appearance it was a pleasant run. I did only 40 minutes, don’t want to risk anything lol.

I did notice a couple of things:

  • it took me much longer than usual to get warmed up – not sure how much time, but I had to walk probably at least 500 meters more
  • there is funny pattern emerging on my strava segments, it looks like every week I get faster by the end of the week (it is quite consistent over 107 runs I did on this segment). The blue dots are the duration it takes me to run the segment and each dot is a different day:

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  • I also discovered the entry to a cave

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Where do you think it leads to? The door was open today … (Googling the answer does not count, I have no clue myself yet).

Daily Sunrise Fix

It wasn’t the easiest to get out for a run in the morning. I suppose that is the consequence of my recent increase in duration. However it has become a reflex by now and so there is no question if I do or not. Unless I am feeling tired or something is hurting I put on my clothes and go run.

I’m starting to notice, especially in the beginning of my runs, it is much harder to reach the 144 heartrate, at least on the beach. I feel super comfy for at least the first 5-15 minutes to just run around 139.

Of course it was a perfect start … to the end of the beach with the sunrise and spectacular clouds and I had planned to take it super easy today …

… then at the end of the beach there are the stairs of hell and I found myself climbing up and to the top of the hill …

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Halfway point

Well that’s that for the low heartrate … so the story of today’s run ends with me running around the hill, catching breath to check that Dublin is still there in the far distance and running downhill (my favourite part). Only down-hills I run like a Kenyan – 180 step rate, lightning fast (in my head). (Don’t try this if you haven’t trained this for a long time, it will trash your quads, ankles and whatever else you’ve never used before).

After 70 minutes I was back to where I started and since I had completely messed up the heartrate I decided it was enough and headed home. Still I did average an HR of 144 … I did walk the hills and stairs … oh and I didn’t reach the “red zone of death” on my Garmin … that should all count for something.