Now, I promised that these would go up every Sunday at the end of the week and if you’re reading this the day it goes up, it is Monday. I’ve been debating all week whether to actually post this but to be transparent and helpful to as many people as I can I thought I should. In all honesty I haven’t done much training this week or at least no where near the amount I wanted to be doing. However I think having this little week off (well two weeks if you include last week’s poor motivation too), has taught/reminded me of a couple of things about myself and my running.
This was the run that kind of made me lose any kind of motivation that I had recouped from last weeks dwindling flame. It was a speed session and whilst moving time will tell you I did pretty well (7.2km in 41 minutes), elapsed time tells a completely different story (50 minutes in total). During the run I felt alright, it was pyramid session which I actually filmed for my YouTube channel (video can be found here). I took on a 5 step pyramid and I remember thinking that I’ve done a little too much here and should have only done a 4 minute max effort before going back down the pyramid, but I struggled on and got the session done before looking at the stats in their entirety. Here is where my disappointment started to overwhelm me, most of my efforts weren’t even close to my 5km PB times which I had set in February of 2020. This just seemed crazy to me and just set me down this path of realising how much my fitness has dropped off since lockdown. Despite still running and being active, it seems that overall most of fitness and health is linked inextricably with my job as a Dance Teacher (who always commutes by bike). I did manage to get myself out for a walk in the afternoon too, although that was mainly to listen to a podcast.
The heat stated to come out today just making it really humid and stuffy everywhere. Meaning the last thing I wanted to do was go and be active.
WEDNESDAY: 27.7km (cycled)
I was still moping about the heat on Wednesday but I thought I might as well doing something productive so I stuck Netflix on my tablet and joined in on a gentle Zwift ride. I actually had a really lovely time during this ride, it was a SUB2 ride with a group called PACK and the group leader was really attentive meaning I knew exactly what to do at all times to keep up with the group. The group was also really large (I think about 400 people) which made it so easy to stick with them.
The heat turned itself back on and there went my motivation once again. I think I say this every time it’s hot but I’m just not a summer runner. I hate the idea of going to a hot country just to laze around at the pool, I’d much rather go somewhere mild so I could be out all day exploring.
As soon as I had breakfast I decided that today would be a day I would do something. So I got on my leggings and tech tee and proceeded to film myself teaching some choreography. Following this I decided I was pretty warmed up so I might as well do a run so I jumped on the treadmill and did a group 5km run. I thought that maybe having a little more of a social aspect would just give me a bit more motivation. It certainly did however I was struggling with temperature control so kept having to stop to move the fan in an attempt to get cool air on myself. The time for this was just under 30 minutes once you take into account paused time which isn’t that bad.
The heat just got to me once again and I spent to day not wanting to run. But this to me was the turning point where I decided it couldn’t go on like this and something had to change. Roll on a new plan. It occurred to me that I always knew I hate running in the summer, yet my new ‘summer plan’ had me running 5 times and week doing 2 harder sessions every week. I’d be all up for it had the weather been milder and my work schedule more regimented (it currently stands at 0 hours a week due to COVID). Most of the information I’ve ever found about running in the heat is to slow down and hydrate. Yet here I was planning new sessions and trying to beat certain times, when in actuality I needed to be a little more grateful in my approach. I needed to be grateful I was going out to fun, proud that I had done in, but overall enjoying myself whilst I was out there. Which moves me on to the new plan, there is a little bit of speed work in it but overall it’s on a timed basis. So I’ll go out for 30 minutes and just see how far I get. Obviously that’s quite easy to do on out and back courses but I don’t have too many of those around here so I’ll be trying to work out how far I can get and then maybe doing laps of the block if I underestimate. The best thing at the moment is that I’ve no preconceived notions of how far I need to go and how quickly, which I’m hoping will lift up some of the pressure. I’m also taking on #missionpossible with my partners mum, a self-proclaimed plodder so I know that time and speed pressure is well and truly off.
SUNDAY: 75 minutes (11km)
This was the first run of the no pressure plan and I had hoped to go about 12km but I got a little lost. Well not lost per say just in a field that didn’t seem too run-able so at the turn around mark (37 minutes) I was walking around the edge of a crop field trying not to fall through the cracks in the dried mud. I took is off-road for this run mainly as I had no idea how long it would take me. I’ve only ever walked the route and even then hadn’t continued beyond about 3km. It was honestly really nice, any other pedestrians/runners I passed smiled and said good morning and I explored a little bit more around the area I live. There were parts where I walked, opened a cattle gate, or stopped to take photos but I hope that it has spurred me on with the new mission.
Those who are reading may have noticed I haven’t actually said what the goal is, and right now that’s exactly how it’s going to stay. I’m keeping it a little bit under wraps as I think it’s important sometimes not to have something broadcast with the whole world. Especially after a week of realising I’m affected quite a lot by seeing other people’s amazing runs and times on social media. I want to just create a little place of calms where I’m just running because I want to, not because I want to world to give me likes. Although I will still be sharing my progress! Instagram will be completely free from times (maybe even distances – but I may forget from time to time), for that you can go to Strava but I’m going to be trying to limit the amount of Strava stalking I do so don’t be disappointed if I don’t return kudos or follow back.