The running Fields

The running Fields
Escaped Horses (Chris Tancock)

Monday, 1 August 2011

A gentle start to the day

A 7.30 am run along the cliff path to the next beach in soft grey weather. Hardly a soul in sight. The tide was right up against the rocks so a run along the beach barefoot wasn't possible today as yesterday but stopped on a large rock to do two Qi Gong exercises before running back and again stopping half way for 5 minutes to do 3 more. Did a quick sprint on the last bit of path down into the village and disturbed a heron in the stream on the beach which was deserted - just how I like it. As the dog and I walked along the tide I looked at the still water and reflected on how lovely a cooling swim would be. (I haven't been in the sea for years although it's on my doorstep.) 

As I've been looking at Shifu Yan Lei's "Ten Tips from a Shaolin Monk on How to stay Young" - number 2) came to mind ......."Don't talk too much. Most people either talk or do. Better to do." and number 1) Don't think too much. Thinking takes energy. Thinking can make you look old."

Therefore, I decided to just take off my top and jogging bottoms and go in my running top and underwear which was fine. So the dog and I had a nice little swim together and I didn't have to think about how nice it WOULD have been but I did it instead.

I have also been thinking about doing more drawing and intermittently talking about it for a good number of years and today was also the day I sat outside with my sketchbook - albeit a quick, small sketch.

Thursday, 30 June 2011

Floppy left foot. :-S

I took the dog up the field this morning as I haven't been there for a few days.  The grass and bracken is so tall that the path is practically obliterated, hence my not going as it makes running slightly tricky. Found my hidden corner where I practice Qi Gong which I also haven't done for a while what with running and so on. Dog had a good jump about in the tall grass (she's a Springer) and sniffed about patiently waiting for me so thought I'd carry on into the next field afterwards but because I had to be back in time to take the teen to a hospital appointment thought I'd do it in a run - so I did - in my split Joules dog wellies. (I had to wear wellies even though it was hot to protect me from the nettles and brambles - or 'random shizzle' as my teen would say.) I don't know how far it was so didn't log it. I've come to dislike logging distances and especially timing during June.

Got back in time to have a coffee and watch other half open some birthday presents from us -  numerous pots for planting to add to the ones we already have on the go. So far we have parsley, rocket, perpetual spinach,  six tomato plants of various types, Nero Kale (delicious), radishes, a few strawberry plants, basil for indoors and more to come for the new pots. It's great to be growing our own again as we have been too busy with work for the last few years to garden any veg. but having pots makes it more manageable.

We got back quite late from the hospital and so had lunch about 3. 30 which is fairly common and by the time I'd digested and hung out a wash and done the breakfast and lunch pots it was getting on for 5.10 pm. Yikes! I'd been hoping for a nice long leisurely run to round off Juneathon but as I had to be back for 6.00 pm to take the Tai Chi class at 6.15 it would have to be a quick one so I thought up a new route along the road and down a lane and over fields. Everything was going great until after about 3 miles in, as I joined the road, I could feel my left foot not responding properly. It was flopping and dragging and when I slowed down it seemed worse but while running I was in danger of tripping up. I carried on until I came to the very steep hill which I would have walked anyway and tried desperately to control it but to no avail. I tried leading with the left leg and telling my brain to consciously move the foot how I wanted but nothing seemed to work. All quite worrying. It must be like this for someone who has had a stroke, I thought. To make it worse a car came past and I quickly stood still in the side of the road so I didn't look stupid. In fact every time the odd car came past I had to wait. Well, thank god it's the last day of Juneathon went through my mind.

I got home a bit later than I had anticipated and couldn't really take the class very well as in the eight step form I was teaching you extend each leg at one point while balancing on the other one but it just wasn't do-able after the run so I had to modify that move myself which I tell the older members they can do if necessary.

So, there we are. The end of Juneathon. I've had some chips and a glass of wine. I've blogged every day. I've logged every day and I've done some exercise every day. I've stretched myself (in terms of fitting everything in and in pushing myself). I've commented on other blogs and on Running Free although not as much as I would have liked but I may have a little read over the next few days at my leisure.

I've loved it and I've been annoyed by it but most of all I did what I set out to do. :)) So for me that's my first 'athon' completed and with the injury to show for it.

Three cheers to all you lovely people out there who have been pushing yourselves at the same time as me, I'm pretty sure that I may have just said, "Oh not today"  if it wasn't for all of you and I appreciated those who left me comments.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

After Juneathon ...

My last night of Lau Gar Kung Fu while doing Juneathon and I trained with this in mind. However, my knees felt as though they were buckling under me when I walked back to the car after all the low stance work and last night was quite uncomfortable as my knees were so achy after a short but steep run.  I sometimes wonder what my performance is like as I train alone and have no proper equipment to check against age, terrain etc. etc. I feel as though I'm training hard but when I look at other people it seems a bit pathetic.  Always room for improvement though. I do find that it's my body that isn't up to it rather than my mind because mentally I could keep going when I run but usually my ankles seem to lose elasticity and my feet start to trail. 

I also moved about four wheelbarrow loads of garden rubbish which I had pulled up and I think that counts as physical exercise even if it's not running.

We bought a new power cable for my lap top and it's working again so I don't have to borrow one to blog.

Maybe after Juneathon I'll make time (I don't know from where though) to sit down and work out how to make my blog more attractive and get some photos up. It's been just about all I can manage to fit the exercise in and do the logging and blogging let alone suss out aesthetically pleasing designs. 

After Juneathon I'm going to get some earlier nights. After Juneathon I'm going to do more cycling in the sunny weather. After Juneathon I will try the Audio Fuel long run downloads. After Juneathon I will sit and watch some films. After Juneathon I will download some new music to run to. After Juneathon I will try to improve my time on a run. After Juneathon .... I will miss knowing there are all the other Juneathoners out there doing Juneathon.

The day after we finish I have a 2 hour Kung Fu session and a four hour one on Sunday :) and I may go for a run or cycle on Saturday or I may laze in the garden and carry on reading, "Born to Run".... I'll just wait and see what I feel like and I may not blog about it.


Tuesday, 28 June 2011

A half hearted blog.

I'm looking forward to not blogging. My running Meditations title has taken on a different meaning during Juneathon but I'm not sure what it is yet.

Did a run along the coast path so the dog could get a walk as well. The GPS reading was 2.09 whereas Maps said 2.94. My knee's a bit sore tonight so I hope a rest will help. I haven't been running up the very steep hill but a walk/slow jog, even so I think it could be a bit punishing on my knees.

I don't feel like writing any more so I have chance to relax and read a bit so that's all for today.

Other half has been in an ill zone all day but it's not going to get me - at least not until after Thursday.

Monday, 27 June 2011

Machinations of a Juneathon Mind with 3 days to go

Driving to kung fu tonight I drafted a blog in my head and felt quite pleased with it ...... unfortunately, I can't remember much of it, just that it was to do with my psychologies.

It was a struggle to get the impetus to go training tonight and I would have gladly stayed at home. Fortunately, I had written my Juneathon programme in my diary during May and Monday night is Kung Fu night so off I went to Kung Fu. I'd already shirked out of going along an hour earlier to help out at the kid's class which I normally do so there was no more procrastinating to be done.

I remember thinking how strange it is that I seem to have a pattern of losing momentum towards the end of a goal. I start off enthusiastically and continue with a very determined dedication towards the middle and even two thirds in but then right at the eleventh hour I have a habit of giving up  - or at least contemplating it - and losing the fire that started me on the journey initially. It's as though I just say, 'right, that's it then'! and switch off the light. I was reflecting on this in the car and wondering what it is all about and why on earth I have a tendency to do it.

Realising the thinking patterns emerging I thought over the remainder of Juneathon. It's only three days to go and Wednesday is Kung Fu so that makes Tuesday and Thursday a run or cycle day so that's easy really. Blogging and logging won't take too long and I can still have access to the work computer so it may be a complete one this time, albeit a measly mileage but it's been continuous exercise  never-the-less.

I've been very impressed by the amount of running some of my fellow Juneathoners have done and Aus Womble (right on mate *said with ozzy accent*) is in a completely different league to the likes of my running performance.

But I also appreciate and feel like encouraging those with a smaller mileage who are undoubtedly  improving their abilities and overall fitness and have made the effort. My comments on their blogs will have to wait until tomorrow though.

Three cheers to ALL of you (including myself)...... Tuesday, Wednesday, THURSDAY (also my partner's birthday!) 

Sunday, 26 June 2011

A run with mosquito netting.

What a scorcher today! Left my run until 8.30 pm as couldn't bare the thought of going out in the heat of the day. Even so it was still pretty hot for the time. Wisely took my mosquito netting to fit over the running cap and glad I did because as the sun was going down on the top of the cliffs I could see clouds of little midges caught in the sunlight. It was so much easier running in the evening without having to grit my teeth or keep spitting gnats out of my mouth. I'm sure I must have looked quite silly but fortunately there was no one there to see.

I estimated the distance on Running Free maps again as I am still without equipment.  It said 1.31 miles one way so I guess that should be 2.62 miles for the full distance but that seems further than I expected.

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Beetroot blogging and windy running

You may be forgiven for thinking this blog is going to be about the dietary benefits of beetroot and the digestive system but you would be mistaken.

Chose a 175 bpm interval training session with Martin Yelling again along the coast path and did a double run along the beach. I set up the GPS but the mileage stayed at 1.4 which was the reading when I reached the beach before I'd run along it twice and returned on the same route, so I don't know exactly how far I ran today. Not only has the GPS stopped working properly but my old Apple has died for good, which means I shall have to borrow 'the work' Apple to finish off blogging Juneathon as I can't afford the money for a new one just yet.

But set backs haven't deterred me before (injuries maybe) and I still did the exercise even if the statistics are a bit vague. I walked up the steep steps again as I can't run up at 160 bpm let alone the 170 interval that Martin was telling me to do. I attempted to pick up the beat on the slope but could feel my face getting redder and redder (hence the beetroot reference)and decided to slow it down for a while to recover as I don't have any heart rate monitoring equipment other than myself. Fortunately, the fresh winds revived me and I got ready for another burst just as the dog turned up from her own private 'interval' training a little short of breath.

I really must get her to co ordinate with my runs a bit more but in the true willing nature of dogs she did put another effort in.

I arrived back hot and sticky and needing to wash my hair yet again. I think all Juneathon participants should get a shampoo allowance.