A couple of days ago I looked at what was in store for week four and did not like what I found! Running for five minutes at a time and much more running altogether looked like a real challenge. I decided I would run somewhere different for this. We live high on a hillside and there are limited opportunities to run on the flat. Weighting the scales in my favour by running on flat ground seemed like a good idea! So this morning I drove down to the bottom of our valley and parked the car so that I could run by the river. I felt a bit guilty driving down rather than walking, but I was pretty sure that if I added the steep haul back home to my run I would be overwhelmed by the jump up in physical demand and might just have to sit in a corner and cry!
So down I went, parked by the little river, where the water was rushing and leaping over the stones and set off, Jo Whiley encouraging me from my phone on the couch to 5k app. The first run was for three minutes which is what I had been doing last week. That felt fine and I actually enjoyed running along admiring some very beautiful horses in the field by the track. The livestock down there is generally Highland cows, which I also like to watch, but these ten horses are a new sight. Then it was time to run for five minutes. It seems amazing because I know that only four weeks ago if you had asked me to run for five minutes I simply could not have done it, but somehow, and thank you to the devisers of the couch to 5K plan, simply by running slowly, by following the programme and taking the rest days I have arrived at the possibility of running for five minutes without stopping. I did it. It didn't feel too bad. By the end of the second five minute run I was beginning to feel tired in my legs but I was very pleased with myself!
It was good to give myself an easier surface to run on and to run on the flat. I am very glad I did that. It was also good to have something new to look at to distract myself. I am glad I did not ask myself to walk back up the hill, which is about twenty minutes walk and a steep haul, but maybe in one of these runs this week I will add the walk to the run, and maybe I won't!
Well, run 2 was a bit disappointing. I suppose I had been so delighted to find that I could do run 1 that I must have somehow thought that run 2 would be easier. It wasn't. It was very cold this morning and I had promised to walk younger daughter's dog on the basis that my fitness campaign may as well make someone's life easier and it is harder for Maddy to fit the dog walk in now that the three year old is in nursery for really quite a short morning session and the baby still needs a morning sleep. And I enjoy walking a dog. I enjoy any kind of walking but walking with a dog has an extra energy and delight as long as the dog is pretty well behaved so that you don't find yourself fretting about livestock or escape attempts. Maddy's dog is very pleased to be out and very easy company. When I got to Nercwys forest which is a favourite place for dog walks I was surprised to find that it was snowing. The snow fell gently enough for walking still to be a pleasure and the dog and I enjoyed striding about.
You can just see her, the only colour in a black and white world.
I had decided to stop on the way home and run by the river again. I was layered up with all my thermal gear and had my running shoes and fleece in the land rover to change into. I had pretty much decided that if it was snowy nearer home I would not run today because it was so slippery underfoot, but as I drove home it was clear that the snow was on the higher ground, up on our hill, and the fields by the river were still green.
I must have been a bit overoptimistic about this run. It took me ages to get into my stride and most of the time I just felt I was pushing on out of sheer pig headedness. I don't like giving up on things so I was determined that I was going to do it but it was only in the last five minutes of running that it felt anything other than a hard slog. Perhaps it was because it was cold, perhaps I had not got the balance of what to eat and when right. I am finding that I run better on an empty stomach or after a light protein based breakfast. When I got in I phoned older daughter who is a much more serious and experienced runner and it seems that she finds the same so I shall perhaps try to factor that in. Another thing to think about! But nevertheless, I have done it, I am pleased to have done it. Let us see how run number 3 goes on Thursday!
And run number three was yesterday. The snow was still lying up by our house but down by the river it was wet rather than slippery.
Run three was ok. The three minute runs felt quite easy although once again by the time I had finished the second five minute run my legs were tired. I had been to Pilates beforehand and again I found the run more comfortable after the long warm up of a Pilates or a yoga class than it is running from cold. That is interesting. I might have guessed that it would be better to spread out the exercise and to run on days when I don't go to yoga or Pilates but now I am not so sure. I wish it were drier and warmer though! I am hoping that running outside will let me look at the slow coming of spring, when it does come. So that is week four done. As I said to a friend the other day, I can't yet say that I am enjoying the running but I am enjoying the fact that I am still going and I have to admit that every time I go I feel better afterwards than I did beforehand. Now I am having a couple of days off while I go down to see my brother. Just had a look at the programme for next week! That was a mistake...