Running Again (Again)

Bloody hamstrings.  I was up to running 5km at least three times a week by this time 2013, and 3km on the other days (but weekends off – I’m not a masochist!).  Since then I’ve had to stop running altogether for weeks at a time , sometimes months, because my hamstrings were killing me and I could hardly walk sometimes.

I’m back running again:  I ran twice in the week and felt a slight pulling in the hamstrings, but nothing too drastic. And I felt a lot better for it.  I’m hoping to run 2 to 3 km every weekday next week. I would have started maybe a week or two earlier, but my usual jogging route was under a metre of water, the river Severn had burst its banks.

I really miss not running, plus I was turning into a human-sized lump of lard, which is not a good thing.

Running Shoes

Running Shoes

(You might have noticed that this blog post does not mention cameras at all. This does happen fairly frequently, but I’m going through a film phase right now, hence lots of camera-related postings.)

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(not) Running

Flooded Park

The Quarry Park in Shrewsbury

I have been trying to get back into running this year, after buggering up my hamstrings. Days like this don’t help: I usually run 3 to 5km along the river, and two lines of trees here next to the flooding River Severn are where my usual running route is.  It’ll be days before this goes down enough to run.

It floods a little most years, not usually this much. I’ll just sit here and get fat, then.

6km here I come

I’m thinking of extending my jogging route, to bring it up to 6km. At the moment it’s just under 5km, but on Friday I just kept going and ended up doing 5.31km. I felt like I could have gone on more, so next time, I will.

I am definitely feeling the benefits of two years of running, plus eating fairly healthy stuff (Christmas didn’t exactly help with the healthy eating, I felt terrible for a week after). I wish I’d started doing this years ago.

On the downside, my legs don’t look my own, I now have thigh muscles the size of armadillos, I hardly recognise them.

Replace this route with longer one? erm... ok

Replace this route with longer one? erm… ok

Today’s run: Possibly a bit damp

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I love living in Shrewsbury, but it does have its downside. Every time it rains in wales, we flood. This buggers up my running route, as it mostly goes along the river.

This week I have mostly been running circles around the park. It’s not quite as much fun.

New Running Shoes

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It’s come to the stage where the midsoles of my running shoes have had it, although the shoes look fine they are becoming uncomfortable to run in and aren’t shock-absorbing like they are meant to (If I start to get aches in my shins, then it generally means my midsoles are on the way out). This means a 4 miles round trip – on foot – to the nearest shop selling running shoes that I can afford. I’m sure the £200 running shoes sold in the ‘proper’ running shops are fantastic, but I’m not in that league financially.

Of course, once I get to the shop I have to find the actual running gear hidden amongst the replica football tops and leisure wear. I had to ask an assistant where the running shorts were, once. I couldn’t find them.

Luckily they had something in my price range, that was more-or-less what I got last time, except this time the luminous bits were orange instead of yellow. And reduced to £31, which was well within budget.  I tried half a size down this time, just to see, and it seems that 8.5 fits me better than 9, and certainly feels better to run in, although my feet look really small to me now.

Lycra!

Apologies, this blog post concerns my underwear, so if you are of a delicate disposition you might wish to close your browser now. ( I’m not going to post photos, that would be going too far)

I’ve finally gone and got some Lycra running shorts. Don’t worry, they’re undershorts, I’m not going out running with everything on display like some exhibitionist runners you see about wearing tights and so on. I was getting fed up with the built-in briefs, so I cut them out, and am now wearing these under my shorts.

I hadn’t realised just how stretchy Lycra is – I’ve had a sheltered life, it seems – the shorts are really small, but they stretch loads when I put them on, so that’s ok.

They are much more comfortable than regular briefs because of where the seams are, and they are snug without being constrictive. I can also wear these under my tracksters when the weather turns colder (although I was running shorts when it was minus 3° last winter).  Most importantly, they only cost me £10.

lycra shorts next to my running shorts

my lycra under-shorts next to my running shorts- they stretch

 

Bad Form

I seem to have acquired some bad running habits, but I think I’m getting my form back now. Instead of landing just ahead of the heel and pushing off with my calves, I was… I don’t know quite what I was doing, slapping my feet down like a duck and pushing off with my knees or something. Whatever it was wasn’t doing me any good.

The other bad habit was getting into the mindset of having to run without stopping, which was preventing me advancing much. I have started with the run/walk/run/walk thing, which has enabled me to expand my route and get a lot more exercise.

Plus I have bought some nice new shorts. 🙂

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Crunch!

I decided about a week ago so supplement my running/jogging exercise with some stomach crunches. I know what you are thinking – ‘crazy man! why not just sit at home in front of a DVD with a few beers?‘, and I’ll be honest sometimes I’d agree with you.

It has been so wet recently that running, even wrapped up warm and dry, would be so miserable as to be counter-productive. So I rooted around in the cupboard and found my old roller-exerciser, that works on the abdominals. I might not have been running, but at least I did something to get the heart-rate going and get a good sweat going.

I am averaging 200-250 a day so far, on top of the daily run. I feel good, although probably not as good as James Brown.

Abdominals

 

Running in the Sunshine

It shouldn’t be this sunny in March, but it is pleasant to run in. (see picture below).

I am trying to get back into the swing of things after my routine sort-of fell apart when I had a week off work (I didn’t stop running, but my stamina just died), so I’m back to running every day again until I can do my new route (as featured in the short film a few posts ago) without feeling like my calf muscles have turned into concrete.

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New Route

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I’ve changed my routine. I have been running 4 or 5 days a week for some time now, and I think it’s time for a change.

I’ve extended my route by about 2 minutes, and since the route is there-and-back, I’m running an extra 4 minutes, give or take. I’m going to do this 3 days a week, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. This should build my stamina a bit more, and challenge me a bit: it had been getting a bit easy.

I tried it for the first time this afternoon,  and I hadn’t decided where I would turn around until I got there. I could have gone an extra couple of minutes, but that would have added a total of 8 minutes to the total – an increase of 50% which would have been too much of a strain. As it was, my calf muscles were complaining as I got past the three-quarters stage.