IT'S not just friends and family helping me out this week, although I have been really lucky to have lots of support from the new Team CB gang - Jessie, Ros, Gill and Robin.
Robin has only just been allowed to join my training team - to be honest I am totally and utterly in awe of him and was too embarrassed to let him see how slow and huff puffy I am.
He ran a marathon himself last year... AFTER he had swum 2.4 miles and ridden a bike for 112 miles on the same day! He claims to be unfit at the moment - I aspire to be one tenth as fit as his current level of unfitness!
So, as well as my Team CB fellow runners I've got a whole arsenal of gadgetry, pills and potions involved.
My Garmin GPS watch was one of the very first things I bought when I came down with this running affliction, and it remains my trusty ally - by analyzing my stats closely I can always find a glimmer of hope.
Perhaps my third split this week was two seconds faster than my second split last week, maybe I ran half a mile further than I planned, there is always something I can take away and feel good about.
That's vital for me, because I don't feel like any of this has become easier, but I know the hard facts show otherwise. I'm not necessarily running faster, but I can do longer distances and that's really what it's all about.
The Polarbeat app on my phone is my 2iC - this monitors my workout effort - I can easily kid myself and those running with me that I am putting in 100 per cent effort, but if my HR monitor drops below 140 beats per minute then I am lying! My body has a tendency to lie to my brain on every single run, so this is the only way of beating it into submission.
I want to patent an add-on to the app - an automatic electric shock if my exertion drops below a certain level.
I think I am on to a sure-fire winner. My aunt has offered to run behind me with a taser, but I don't believe she would only use it if I slowed down.
I need my iPhone for the running playlist - and whilst I haven't yet felt I deserve the ‘Eye of the Tiger’, or ‘Chariots of Fire’, I do enjoy a rousing chorus of ‘Fat Bottomed Girls’ when my energy starts flagging.
Iron Maiden ‘Run to the Hills’ is also a motivator and, believe it or not Paolo Nutini, works quite well.
I tried salsa for a while, but my hips wanted to join in the party and it looked plain weird. Who am I kidding - I always look plain weird when I run.
Joe, my dog, takes glucosamine supplements for his old bones, and he got a new bounce in his step after he started with them, so I figured what works for him might also work for me!
I've not yet taken to chobbling down dentisticks, nor chasing yellow tennis balls like a lunatic, but I do pop a max-strength glucosamine pill every morning now with my bowl of fruit porridge.
I have no idea if they are the reason I have no more knee pain, or if it was the physio's ultrasound that fixed it, but I am a superstitious old witch and I daren't stop taking them just in case.
Then there is the foam roller too - brilliant for smoothing out sore, knotted muscles but crikey, I look a total prat trying to balance my weight on a little tube whilst slowly rolling myself back and forth! Elegant it's not!
It's funny how much nylon is in my life now too, having always avoided man-made fibres like they were the devil's own work! I have to warn friends not to stand near me if there is a storm brewing - and the static lightening flashes when I unrobe is better than the Tower's annual firework display!
Garish neon yellow jacket to reflect in the dark, jet black leggings and top to make me look slimmer, and a fantastic purple upper layer for the cold nights from Shoredump Hoodies who sponsored me with a couple of tops. I certainly look like a seasoned runner.
With the help of all of the above I managed to run a Personal Best this week. It was a 5km, and I completed it in 36 minutes 17 seconds, which is around five minutes faster than usual.
I must confess it was all downhill though on the Tissington trail! But hey, a PB is a PB. I'll take that, thank you.
I also got a new PB on my Parkrun (shaved a whole seven seconds off that time AND it has two uphill sections).
I've been chatting to my chums on Runner's World Beginners Forum - I wanted to know how long it took them to actually run continuously, as I am getting a bit fed up with taking walking breaks, but it seems I am pretty average, lots of them said it took three months or so to feel like they could keep going and drop the walking.
So I am not going to get down about it, but my challenge for the next week is to try and get a rhythm going, run one mile, walk two minutes, run second mile, walk two minutes and see how it goes!
I was also given an interesting suggestion - to use to treadmill once a week with my set pace, as I will be less inclined to keep stopping and starting in a gym. Anyone taking bets??
25 Oct 1pm 5 miles 1 hour 8 minutes 29 Pace 13.40 min/mile Windy and sunny Ave HR 137 (found this hard, couldn't get breathing right or find happy pace) I think I had increased the mileage too much last week to be honest.
26 Oct 9am 3.1 miles 41 minutes 08 Pace 13.12 min/mile Wet but warm Ave HR 147 * Park run timed 5k on wet grass and mud WITH hills!! PB FOR PARKRUN 5K
27 Oct 10 am 3.27 miles 39 minutes 07 Pace 11.57 min/mile Wet and rainy Ave HR 147 PB FOR 5K – but it was cheating somewhat as it was all downhill!
30 Oct 8am 3.2 miles 41 minutes 36 Pace 13 min/mile Frosty Ave HR 130