I'VE developed a rather worrying addiction since starting this marathon lark – sadly though it’s not yet an addiction to running!
You see, I’ve always been a reader – I can happily read two or three books a week on holiday, and I devour magazines on an hourly basis at times! Marie Claire, Red, NatGeo, Conde Naste, Elle, Derbyshire Life, Grazia, Playgirl, Goatherder Today, the usual monthly roundup – but I have now started to sneak in weird, foreign titles such as Runner’s World, Women’s Running, Running UK... For goodness sake I even found myself contemplating Triathlon News today because it had a photo of a runner on the front.
My world has completely shifted on its axis and I’m not entirely comfortable with the change. It seems slightly underhand and devious to buy such titles when I am still struggling to actually run the whole two miles of my training plan.
I feel like I should carry a plain brown envelope to slip the illicit goods into when I have paid. Hide the evidence in case anyone should question my right to own such material. Wear dark shades and a hat when I’m in WH Smith, perhaps only go out after dark, whatever it takes, but I’ve certainly been acting incredibly furtively in the newsagents recently!
Anyway, I discovered a fantastic resource on line though Runner’s World – a beginner’s forum, where complete anonymity was guaranteed and where no one would laugh at my innocent, novice like questions. You see for me it seems perfectly normal to worry about the little things;
1. When does it get easier? (General consensus was it doesn’t – great, well that’s reassuring! Most forumites agreed that whilst running still remains hard for them they get such a good feeling afterwards that they want to keep going. Yeah, right. I believe them. Honest!)
2. Should I be carbo loading for my two mile run? (Apparently no, I can’t use this meagre effort as an excuse to eat a full pack of jelly babies and a huge plate of spaghetti carbonara afterwards. Damn.)
3. What happens if I need a pee break on the marathon? (Who’d have thought it; there are loos along the route for the runners.)
4. How can I stop my muscles screaming in pain on a run? (Answer, listen to your body, if it hurts stop a while and walk.)
Well, you see, that last question embodies all of the problems I have with running really. I do listen to my body. What’s that you just said body? Oh, ok, my body would quite like to stop now please and go to the pub for a pint and a chip butty.
My body never tells me to just push on a little further so it can really feel it’s worked hard. My body doesn’t do hard work. It’s quite happy to do a little lounging around, to maybe take a short walk to the fridge, or for the TV remote.
It can even make a little effort if it must in the bedroom on a Saturday night, but it’s never, ever asked me to do what it’s doing now.
Never begged me to take it out way past its comfort zone, get it red and sweaty, make it chafe and rub, and then to lull it into a false sense of security by giving a day off before I make it do it all again the next day – only harder, faster, further.
Nope. My body and I don’t see eye to eye about this running malarkey at all!
I’ve been a bought a new toy – I’ve read a lot on line about the benefits of training with a heart rate monitor – especially given the advice to ‘listen to your body’ and knowing that my body will simply con me into thinking it’s working hard when in fact it's flat on its back on the sofa watching trashy TV somewhere!
So, I am now the proud owner of a Polar H7, which is linked into an app on my iPhone.
Not only does it show me how hard my heart is working but I have the run route, miles, pace and weather on there too.
I get a kick from comparing the stats with my Garmin and choose the more flattering of the two to put in my runner’s log. (We are talking 0.01m difference and around the 0.01 second difference in time but hey.)
8 Sept 2pm 1.82 miles 23 minutes 03. Pace 12.42 min/mile Cool 59*
10 Sept 6pm 2.01 miles 26 minutes 16. Pace 12.43 min/mile Cool 57*
11 Sept 5pm 2.01 miles 26 minutes 16. Pace 13.04 min/mile Heavy rain 55*
13 Sept 6pm 2.47 miles 32 minutes 50. Pace 13.16 min/mile Heavy rain 55* Average HR 141 (1st time out with new toy!)
And now, the usual bleat about money – if you are enjoying the blog please don’t forget I still need to raise funds too! Even just a couple of pounds donated will soon add up and get me to my target of £2,000 for the British Heart Foundation.
I’ve made it really easy to do:
Text CAZS47 and amount to 70070 eg CAZS47 £5
Donate on line at http://www.justgiving.com/cascita
NEXT WEEK’S BLOG – When injury strikes...