Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Life Lessons from Running 2

There's sometimes an awful randomness about life. Yesterday morning I was up really early and went for a run. Almost home, I tripped over something and fell. I didn't really hurt myself, just grazed a knee. When I looked, I found that I'd tripped on a circular piece of wire about 18" in diameter. I must have trodden on it with my right foot and tripped on it with my left as I strode forwards. What was it in the fates that ordained that I should trip on something so randomly placed on a paved footpath over 3 miles into my 4 mile route? Had my pace been different or had I been a foot either side of the path I was taking I'd have missed it. So first of all there does seem to be an odd randomness about some of the things that come along.

Second, it was dark and maybe that's why I didn't see the wire. Or maybe it was because I'd decided to carry my spectacles in my jacket pocket rather than wear them. As I wasn't using my heart rate monitor I didn't have anything to look at (except my phone if I'd wanted to) so I'd decided not to wear them. Maybe that's why I didn't see the wire. Lesson number two from yesterday is that sometimes we make life difficult for ourselves. Running in the daylight wearing my specs would help me avoid such incidents.

Oddly though, after I'd fallen I found myself running better. I think that's because I was focussing more on my running form. Maybe sometimes it needs us to fall (or fail) and get up (and start again) before things improve.

Here's where I ran:

Monday, 21 October 2013

Getting Lost - Achieving More

I got lost yesterday and ended up running further again than I've done for years. 6.08 miles to be precise. Almost 10k.

I decided to run out into a bit of more local countryside adjacent to home, figuring it would be easy to get back onto one of my usual routes around Crooke. It would have been, had my map reading skills not deteriorated in the 50 years since I last used them. And I really ought NOT to trust my own in built sense of direction, because I have none. When I got lost, having followed my own in built sense of direction, I suddenly remembered that my run was being tracked by GPS. So looked at where I was on the map on my phone and in less than a couple of minutes I was back on the right road. We didn't have GPS 50 years ago when I learned to read a map.

The upshot of getting lost, as I said, was a greatly increased mileage. I was rather at my limit when I got back but I had no ill effects. My hip was quite ok, probably due to the increased range of motion climbing styles and running over rough ground in the wood and on the trails.

I'll do it again soon and clock what I'd wanted to do the first time. I ran in my road shoes but the paths I ran on were mainly dirt trails except for the beginning and very end so next time I'll try my trail shoes on it.

I really surprised myself that I was able to run that far without injury or lasting effect. I must be fitter than I think! :)

Saturday, 19 October 2013

It's Wonderful To Be Back

I was driving down one of my running routes only a couple of months ago thinking about how I used to run that way and that I'd probably not be able to do that ever again. So to be able to be out running again and now running without walk breaks too is simply wonderful. I ran to the point where I was thinking that, last Thursday morning and then all in all ran 4.5 miles. It was the longest continual run I'd done in about 8 years.

Not only am I running but I feel fitter than when I used to run before. Studying and trying to put into practice the chi-running form has meant that I'm running without injury. No more shin splints and rice(ing)! I've just got to build up the distance. Having walked for months with an injured foot has meant that my left hip sometimes hurts. But I'm doing exercises to sort that out. And running in a more relaxed way is helping too.

Being able to run again I'm able too to enjoy the scenery especially out in the countryside. But a glorious sunrise can add even to an industrial or residential landscape. Below are a couple of photos I took with my phone last Thursday. Unfortunately my phone crashed after I'd taken one of them. By the time it booted up again Endomondo had recorded a 40 second kilometer. Can't even do that in the car!

Here's where I ran and the photos:

Sunrise over the Leeds/Liverpool Canal

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Autumn's Here

This morning dawned sunny and clear and COLD compared with recent days. It was time for a thicker top. A degree or two colder or a bit of a breeze and it would have been tights, gloves and hat too I think. Look's like autumn has finally arrived. I think, though, that it will be a warmer winter this time around, than it was last year.

Whether it's cold or warm it's always good running into the rising sun. I think I've commented on it before. Nothing better as far as I'm concerned - darkness to light. It's a sort of parable of how we'd all like life to be. And it's certainly what the gospel is about.

It was day two of my Endomondo training plan. However, there's no voice over telling you what your pace is for the various intervals so the app's deficient in that respect. Apparently there's an update coming at the end of this month. Here's where I ran:

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Night Run

I did a night run tonight. And it was the first of a training plan to take me to 5 miles in quite a few weeks time i.e. by next March I think. Anyway, the run went well. I tried Chi running form focuses on my lower body and relaxing my hips and shoulders. My left hip still hurts a bit after about 25 minutes. I realised the other day that this probably stems from when I injured my foot and was limping for months. So I'll have to build up and straighten out my hip. My foot is now fine and in fact hurts less when I'm running than when I'm walking.

I enjoyed the run. It's here. Endomondo GPS is a bit short on the mileage calculation, about .2 or .3 of a mile so I have to edit it after each run. What I've recorded is more accurate and is measured on the Runkeeper and Daily Mile maps.

Friday, 4 October 2013

Birthday Run

Today was my birthday so I treated myself to running the route I did last Saturday but clockwise this time. It took me a few minutes longer and with less stops. That was because the hills were longer though not as steep. I'm learning about these things as I go along. I just thought it would take me less time because I knew the route and didn't stop to take photographs. How wrong I was! But I must be getting fitter because now, just 12 hours later I feel very much recovered.

Here's the run:

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Too many cars. Too many people. Too Late

I decided to do my half hour training run this morning. I wanted to do the run when it had come light so it was almost 7.30 when I turned out. that time, people had got going and there were too many cars and too many people for my liking. I saw 4 other runners. I'm maybe used to seeing 1 other or none at all. So the streets felt crowded.

So it looks like I'm going to be running with the Pre-dawn Runners again until at least the end of April. I don't mind because I'm used to it from when I was running before. And I really enjoy watching it come light if I'm that bit later. Of course, when I'm out in the countryside on the trails it will be in full daylight. And there's no noise and car fumes there!

That' where I'll be tomorrow. Bring it on!!!

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Darker Mornings

On Monday last I did what I call a training run, something straightforward, straight up, straight down. It's the first one detailed below. It was a dry morning, just come light. The longer nights now mean that if you have to be running before or after work, lots of your running is in the dark, which is an experience in itself.

This morning I ran to Crooke by the the canal and then back along the road. It's detailed second below. It was just hinting at coming light as I set out and it had been raining quite hard just before I started but had slackened off quite a lot. But it was very wet underfoot, nice for splashing in the puddles!

It was very gloomy by the canal, the water black and forbidding. Although I ran on the grassy parts of the towpath on the paved parts I tried to run at least a body length away from the canal. I didn't fancy swimming on such a morning! It was nice to follow the towpath trail when it became earth rather than block paving. Canal boats were moored at the side as I approached Crooke and a light on in one said at least that one was inhabited. I saw nobody at all on this length of the run.

I ran back through Crooke village and along the road. My left hip started to complain a bit on the uphill sections which it doesn't seem to do out on the countryside trails. Must try and discern what's going on there and give it a bit of exercise between runs to strengthen it.

It was nice and always is nice to run 'into the light'. Being rainy though, it was still a bit gloomy when I got back home. Endomondo GPS said I'd done 3.76 miles but plotting it on the map turns out to be 3.91. Nearly 4 anyway which in 49 minutes was a PB. Not that I'm that much bothered about PBs except they give me an idea that I'm getting fitter.

Here's the details of both of the runs:

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