Monday, 13 June 2016

Poor Health

Apologies for not publishing a blog for some time, its not through lack of trying but, I have been suffering from a number of ailments this year (way more than usual) which has stopped me from running for quite a number of weeks now (Mid Apr). I suspect a change in asthma medication (from Seretide to Fostair) last year is partly to blame; something I will be trying to rectify at my next review later this month.

I had hoped last week after a steady commencement of a few short runs that the tide was starting to turn in terms of my health and that I would be able to start gradually improving my fitness and reducing the weight that has piled on.  Frustratingly it wasn't to be as I was struck down with something horrid on Thursday and now any movement causes me a lot of discomfort even with just walking or trying to stand up straight so I think it will be a little while before I can resume running again.

In the mean time and when able I will continue overhauling my Bike as since my last blog (Nov 15), I have moved jobs and location but unfortunately this has reduced the routes that I can run in a lunchtime to about 2. Therefore to try and diversify my exercise and to improve the variety and number of routes I can gain access to at lunchtimes I have been trying to fix my bike.  I say fix as it was pretty much abandoned at my previous work location and has suffered from weathering for a good number of years pretty much outside with zero use as there were plenty of variety in my running routes compared to now.

The overhaul is going pretty well (thanks to YouTube) considering I had virtually zero experience and always gave it to a shop to deal with in the past but I fancied the challenge this time around. It's almost there I feel for a road test once I can get past my current bout of poor health and get around to fixing the gear cable that snapped last week during adjustment.

When I do get back into running (hopefully this year), I will continue to use the subscription of Zombie Run that I started this year; another iphone app to throw into the mix of music to try and help with my motivation.

I have also switched my main running app since my Nov 15 blog to Runkeeper, although I still use endomondo as that has my stats since I started running so I'm reluctant to stop compiling that data.  I'll cover this is a later blog to help me think through what I want out of an app to help me ditch one of them as what with starting Spotify, Zombie Run, then Runkeeper and Endomondo it take more time to start and stop running :).

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Picked up another injury somehow...

After narrowly missing out on a cold at half term I've now succumbed to an injury, barely a year after my last one that is one again preventing me from running without enduring serious pain in my foot.  I have no idea what I did other than it was sometime just over a week ago now.  In fairness I have had a 'good run' this year where I have been able to run consistently and build my mileage base.  Best I can hope for now after is a swift recovery to allow me sufficient time to start running again in preparation for the Yeovil half marathon in March next year.

In terms of the injury itself, I think it's just some inflammation on the bottom of my foot or to a tendon although nothing is showing at present.  Although I ran that day it was pretty uneventful and my new shoes have finally worn in so I don’t think it was running related at this stage.  It is more likely to have occurred during some spring cleaning at home where I probably manipulated my foot into an unnatural position which may have resulting in stretching the foot too far during some protracted cleaning activity.  The pain builds as I walk to the point that I have to take the weight off to relieve the pressure/pain.  It also feels that a hard lump forms under my foot which further adds to the discomfort.  Thankfully walking on the front portion of my foot offers some relief at the moment and driving is relatively painless and unfortunately fortunately as my work is desk based it isn't stopping me from doing that!

I think in the interim I certainly need to be careful in what I eat as I do not want to undo all the good I've done this year in getting my weight down.  This may prove more difficult though what with the silly season coming up as I already have 3 Christmas lunches planned in addition to my leaving meal at the end of this month as I transition to a new job.  At least when I do return to running I will have some new running routes to try out due to my upcoming new job; my first new job in over 11 years!

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Plodding On

After a cracking two runs this week I thought it was high time that I actually get this Blog posted.  It has been in an unfinished state and in constant flux for a few months now in which time I have continued to just plod on running, building my base now to around 3 runs and 15 miles each week.  Since my last post in May I have managed to rack up 310 miles running and 103 miles out and about walking.

The main delay in posting this time around was due to the wait for the London Marathon 2016 ballot results to come out.  I entered it on some kind of whim earlier in the year to hopefully provide me with some direction concerning my next running goal.

Luckily, I was unsuccessful in the ballot, I say luckily because as the weeks came and went, the dread of undertaking months of marathon training and actually running 26.2 miles started to dawn on me.  Nevertheless, it has been a successful process as it has helped me to decide on the future direction of my running in that I will be sticking with distances of 13.1 miles and less that I know I can reasonably achieve and enjoy without the need to massively alter my running schedule.

I still need a goal, something to aim for to help keep me motivated and for the time being that will be my continued weight loss down to my target weight/shape.  I say shape because I'm reasonably happy as to how my weight loss is progressing coupled with a sustained effort of watching my intake but, now I would also like to loose the last of my spare tires.  This is currently being helped by some cross training routines with a Kettle Bell although this has slipped a little in the last couple of weeks.

I’d also like to continue improving my overall fitness and to that end I'm currently considering investing in a Heart Rate Monitor (HRM) of some kind that should help me determine what zone I'm in and/or need to be in depending on what I am trying to achieve in a particular session.
Heart Rate Zones
When I decide on my training plan, probably in the lead up to a Half Marathon next year, I will ensure that it includes a degree of interval training as plodding runs can get a little boring, especially as I seem to be exhausting all available running routes in the vicinity.  Music on tap using Spotify helps as does the local running club although as winter approaches, the club is less appealing as they are confined to the dark streets of Yeovil and I don’t really want to pick up a repeat ankle injury as I did around this time last year.
Bakewell, Peak District, Aug 10
This post also broadly marks the 5 year anniversary since I decided to and actually started running back in August 2010.  I'm certainly fitter and leaner than I was then but there's still more to do as I’d still like to reach my target of comfortably fitting into 34” size trousers; a feat that I have never been able to achieve in my adult years.
Martinstown, Nr Dorchester, May 15
In terms of the future of this Blog, I'd like to continue its development to include insights from my other interests such as walking and photography which I see are complimentary activities to running; all relaxing and enjoyable in different ways. 
Fleet Lagoon, Chesil Beach
Fleet Lagoon, Chesil Beach, Oct 15
In terms of running gear changes since May, I have changed my shoes; moving from the ASICS GT 2000 2 to the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 2013 variant although the jury is still out as to whether the latter are any better.  I still haven't got the fit quite right and at the moment after about 60 miles or so I'm leaning towards a return to ASICS for my next pair although I hope to get at least a few hundred more miles out of these Brooks.  I am currently trying out the Runkeeper app on my runs as opposed to Endomondo as the former seems to provide for free a lot more motivational information, functionality and better end of run summaries.

I'm hoping with the next post, that I would have decided on a HRM and will be in a position to provide some comments based on my experience with it.  I'm also hoping that what ever gadget I buy to fulfil this HRM functionality will also help provide me with some more direction on what I should be focusing on in each run to help me improve my overall performance and personal bests in future races.