Slow and steady

Moving slowly through the UK countryside

The inner gazelle


Now I do realise that these aren’t gazelles, but it’s the nearest photo I’ve got – taken on holiday in Norfolk last week.

Fallow deer

Fallow deer at Holkham Hall, Norfolk

Well, yesterday on the NHS Couch to 5k site there was a brief discussion about running like gazelles or hippos. And on Red Hen’s blog she was debating whether she felt like a supermodel when she was running – and on how long it takes before a run stops feeling ghastly.

So, in the interests of research, I went out BEFORE BREAKFAST to run. Partly because I’d told three people online that I was going to run today, and I wanted to make sure I actually did it. I think I’ve only once gone out before breakfast to run before – my hubby was a bit worried about me.

I ran 5k – woo hoo! My last 5k was way back at the end of June (Race for Life), and I’ve only run more than a mile a couple of times since then, so I wasn’t sure I’d manage to keep going. But I did, and at not too bad a time either, for me, 43 min 20 s. I nearly stopped after 30 minutes, but it was a downhill bit then, so decided to keep going and imagine my inner gazelle/supermodel. Nice feeling, going faster and with heart rate a bit lower, sailing along. Mmmmmmm!

It then goes up a steep bit of hill, which felt much more hippoish, but I managed to speed up again for the last kilometer, which is flat. I wore my heart-rate monitor, just to see what it was like after several weeks of not much running, and that last bit was pushing it a bit. Anything over 160 tends to feel a bit uncomfortable. I don’t need a HRM to tell me when it’s got that high, as I can feel it – it’s just interesting to look at the record afterwards.

Heart rate graph

5k run heart rate

I was also keeping an eye on the time, to see how things were feeling as I went along, following up the discussion on Red Hen’s blog. At 2 minutes in, it was horrible (though surprising to see that I was actually going at my fastest then, as I thought I’d started off slowly). Still horrible at 5 and 7 minutes. A bit better by 10, but, ugh, 11 minutes and I wanted to stop – but probably that’s because it was a bit uphill then and in full sun, and the slight breeze had dropped. It’s also where my heart-rate jumped up from 140 to 160 in less than a minute – maybe it was an adrenalin surge at the thought of keeping going! After that it was pretty much ok, other than feeling pretty drained for that last km.

Maybe one day I’ll find out if it gets even easier after the first 5 miles? 😀


Author: Hedwigia

Gardener, wildlife geek, and very slow runner.

12 thoughts on “The inner gazelle

  1. Well done Greenlegs that was a wonderful run you had, you did say you would go out but 5K too was brilliant. Early mornings are my best times to run, you’ll have to do it more often, that was a PB for you wasn’t it? Your photograph of the fallow deer is stunning, just wonderful, they have such beautiful faces, truely one of our worlds pettiest animals.

    • Thanks! Not quite a PB, but not far off – and the PB was when it was much cooler anyway.

      Yes, the deer were lovely – quite a long way off, but my camera has such a good lens they seem much closer.

  2. That sounds challenging. The heart rate monitor is really cool!

  3. Holkham, I love Holkham the only beach I know that has pine trees, love Norfolk too (grew up there) but its always so darn windy!

    • We were lucky then – not too windy at all while we were there, though it did rain pretty hard the day we walked round Holkham Hall. Plus a thunderstorm while walking on the marshes at Cley – scary!

  4. I think that this is where we (older females) have the advantage. It definately gets easier after the first mile! No idea about after 5 from personal experience but the area that women give the men a run for their money is at the ultra distance.
    I like ‘ think like a gazelle’ Ill try to remember it when I’m breathless and sweaty!

    • When the weather cools down a bit I think I’ll go back to running more than a mile – each time I do it, I realise I’m stopping just at the point where it’s supposed to be getting easier!

  5. that is such an awesome picture

  6. Oh, good for you! I walk and do the elliptical – so important for us to keep in shape!

    • I’ve never tried an elliptical (not even sure what they look like – they sound like torture instruments!) but know others who do – supposed to be better for the knees, I think.

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