Slow and steady

Moving slowly through the UK countryside


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New Year’s baseline and floods

Back again after the Christmas break. Quite a few stair circuits done over the last couple of weeks, but barely any running, until today.

I got out and did a mile at a very gentle jog (15 min 36 s) and about a mile walking. Then I redid the 3-minute step test, but got a much less impressive recovery rate than last time – 102 instead of the seventies. But when I looked at the graph, I realised that I’d started at a much higher heart-rate rate (not long after I’d finished the mile run) so hardly surprising it was a slower recovery. Anyway, that’s my baseline for this year. It shouldn’t be too hard to improve on this.  And, just for the record, my resting heart-rate is about 68 first thing in the morning.

Step test

3 minute step test and one minute recovery

A quick edit (after reading this blog by fitfor365 ) – my Garmin-recorded runs for 2013 came to 68 runs, 116 miles in 28 hr 48 min, average speed 4 mph, average heart rate 147.  Which isn’t much by most runners standards, but is probably a lot more than most mid-50s women’s standards, so it’ll do me fine.  I wonder if I’ll manage more this year?  Plus, no injuries beyond occasional aches.  It would be good to do a Parkrun or two, but I’ll see how I go.  For now, improving my mile run pace will do, with the intention of upping my exercise time towards 30 minutes per day by the time the 5×50 challenge begins at the end of March.

Everywhere in England has had a lot of rain recently – here’s what our nearest stream looks like at the moment.  It’s usually only a metre or two wide.  Fortunately it hasn’t got high enough to get into anyone’s house this time.

Flooding under the bridge

Flooding under the bridge

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Thinking about Juneathon 2013

dsc03933-me-in-disguise-from-the-wind.jpg IMG-20130521-00055 rape field beyond parkrun route c

I’ve just completed the 5×50 challenge and want to keep up doing exercise every day, although not necessarily for 5k/30 minutes.  So the Juneathon seems like a good idea.  Keeping a record of the exercise I do every day does help to motivate me to do something, and it would be good to have some photos with it too.

So I think I’ll do it.

Background: I was pretty much PE-phobic at school, always very slow and lacking coordination, except for swimming.  I don’t think I’d run for longer than a minute or so since I was at primary school (where I was the slowest in my class).  I do enjoy walking in the countryside, though only fairly short distances in more recent years.  A long time ago I did a bit of yoga, and I used to enjoy cycling, but I hadn’t done either of those for ten or twenty years.

For some reason, that I can’t remember, I started the NHS Couch to 5k (c25k) programme on 15th December 2012, with eight lots of 1 minute runs, with walks in between.  I commented:

…even if I don’t get to 5k running, it has got me outside and exercising again, so that’s good – and this seems a very friendly and supportive community too.

The community is here – brilliant support for anyone new to running.

I completed the programme on 13th February 2013, and found this quote that sums up running for me:

 Being allowed to do something really badly without anybody being upset is a joy.

I ran just over 3k in 30 minutes in my final week (4.1k in 40 minutes on my final run) – so I am seriously a tortoise runner, as this is slower than my brisk walk.  I was overtaken by a man walking his dog on my ‘graduation’ run.  🙂  I have since run 5k and I have once run 10k (in 100 minutes).

In most weeks recently I’ve done two or three runs, and from 31st March to 19th May I did the 5×50 challenge, as mentioned above, which got me starting to doing yoga again, and cycling – including several 10k+ cycle rides, and one of 26km, on the final day of the challenge.  In total, over the 50 days, I ran 54k, walked 95k, cycled 92k and did 75 hours of yoga or other exercise.  So it would be  a pity to lose that fitness.

I’ve also challenged myself to do a little bit of faster running – I’ve once run a mile in ten and a half minutes, and today I ran for a minute and a half at average speed of 11kph (5:26 min/km).  Maybe one day I’ll be able to keep that up for 30 minutes for a parkrun.  Hmmm.

And sometimes I take myself a bit too seriously.  🙂