Assessing Numbers and a Great, Faithful and Loyal Friend Moves on to her New Home at the Rainbow Bridge

Because I wasn’t blogging at the time I didn’t get a chance to immortalise our little lurcher, Muffington (Muffin), on here when she passed on to the Rainbow Bridge.

We rescued her and she became the most faithful and sweet little lap dog I have ever known. She gave us twelve years of unconditional love and loyalty and lived her life sitting on my knee. That dog hiked all over the Yorkshire Dales and Cumbria with us and loved every minute of it.

Good speed into the void little Muffington. Enjoy your rest. You have certainly earned it.

Pulse Clues

A friend of mine who is a nurse tells me that one’s pulse and blood pressure are important because symptoms of serious illness so often manifest there first. She takes my pulse all the time (don’t ask) and confirms my resting heart rate at 54 bpm. This is apparently very good and the healthy norm for a 6’1 adult male of my height ought to be 60-80. This reading was taken during my recent hiatus with a pinched nerve so I am now on a mission to drive down my heart rate. The lowest I have ever recorded is 44 so I am aiming there first. I already eat a vegan diet designed to facilitate extremely good mental health – of that more anon – and this also keeps my blood pressure healthy. Where I can improve is exercise. I’m going to work hard to push my heart rate very high during runs and swims in particular to produce a positive effect on my resting pulse.

I’m also hoping to get some decent knowledge and understanding of logging this information and what to do with it over time.

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Rebound and Pound the Ground

My pinched nerve has eased so I’m back in the road, pretty much from square one.

Slow, laborious, but ultimately productive. Despite not the day of small beginnings.

In other news I’m considering an upgrade from my Garmin Vivoactive watch to Apple Watch 4 when it arrives. I’ve heard good things about the battery life now so that and the water resistance makes it so much more attractive a prospect than the series 1 I previously owned.

Feed the Machine

Today’s run was shortened to two miles and I have nobody but myself to blame.

Feed the Machine

We all do fat days – occasional days where we eat junk as a treat and last night I did precisely that. Sadly what I ate and drank turn out to be terrible fuel for running but I already knew that. At the two miles mark I felt dreadful and stopped. I simply did not fuel my body properly and I need to do a proper analysis of what I eat.

Still, it’s two more miles in the bank. I’ll move forward positively and improve my diet.

Sweet Cleats, Fail on the Trail

Today’s run was well over ten minute miles because I had a brain fart halfway through and decided to go off road. Sadly I don’t own a pair of cleats so the boggy terrain slowed me right down and turned a planned 3.5 miles into 3.25. Running through mud doesn’t half rev the engine and sap one’s energy.

Details

As well as the trail I ran a slightly adjusted on-road route with an uphill start so that last quarter of a mile hurt. It crushed me to not do 3.5 miles but running through pain causes injuries. It’s never worth it as the losses outweigh the gains by a country mile.

Positives

In addition to an extra quarter of a mile the positives of this run were the lovely warm sun and also the feeling of running in nature, away from people under a tree canopy. I also encountered a heron on the trail.

What a fine, beautiful animal.

Concluding Thoughts

Slower but further. I learned that I need to plan trail runs properly and invest in some cleats for seriously muddy running.

Progress is progress…

Week in Review

Summary

Last week I moved from 600 to 1000 metres in the pool, from 2 to 3 miles running and I completed a rigorous 8.4 miles family hike over Whernside in the Yorkshire Dales. This was a good week with which to start a long summer of outdoor activities.

Coming Next

This year I want to break out of the Dales and conquer more of the Lake District. The big targets are Skiddaw and Blencathra, each of which are approximately 900 metre climbs so they are ones to work up to. I take the kids hiking so it wouldn’t be a problem for adults to climb those two but the sprogs need to work up to climbs like that. Luckily there is the gorgeous Cat Bells fell, around a 500 metre elevation.

I can’t wait to ascend this fell over the weekend and get some photographs of the stunning Lake District views. In addition to that I want to push up to 4 miles running and 1500 metres swimming. That leaves me with one hike to plan for the weekend. Time to research…

Improving Distance, Picking up Pace

After a restful Sunday due to a poorly child – hence no hike – today I broke three miles and at least some of the time I ran consciously to increase speed, thankfully hitting the disgracefully low bar of sub ten minute miles.

Garmin Data

You can see that I’m something of a trudger really. I no doubt have the ability to run a lot faster and I have achieved sub nine minute miles before, however my problem is that simply running regularly is enough of a discipline as it is. I find pointless repetition in any aspect of life to be difficult so maintaining slow, sustained improvement is enough for me. My ideal exercise is outdoors, doing something productive. I love exploring and if I run I like trail running best. My worst nightmare is the gym. Picking up things and putting them down? Snore.

Anyway. Swimming tomorrow and hopefully this week I’ll push to four miles running and 1200 metres in the pool.

Pushing On

I am in the habit of starting small and building quickly. That’s what I have done in the past and I am doing it again now. Yesterday I swam and today I pushed myself further on the road.

Swimming

I started yesterday with what I thought was ten sets of 50 metre intervals. I either miscounted or I forgot to record one of my sets with my swim watch so I’m posting a 450 metre swim rather than 500. Whatever, it’s a start. I’ll soon be pushing up to swimming an hour nonstop as I did previously.

Running

Today I added half a mile to my previous 2 mile run on Monday. My time is abysmal here, over 10 minute miles, but hey, distance is distance and I’ve never been a particular fast runner.

My struggle is often what to do once I get to high distances when it comes to running and swimming. When cycling I would always commute so it was easy to be consistent. I guess we’ll see how I motivate myself with leisure exercise. Stats below.

Weather permitting this weekend will be two mountain hikes in the Yorkshire Dales.

Back on the Trail

It’s nigh on a year since I blogged here. It’s been a long year with a lot of illness and a ton of work that has kept me from training effectively, however I’m now making a push to improve myself again and so today I started with a gentle two miles.

  • 2 miles
  • 335 calories
  • 19:53
  • 24 feet elevation gain

God I’ve missed this. Luckily I’m feeling good, having gotten a serious endorphin hit from today’s run, and it’s hiking season so I’m looking forward to ramping that up. The kids are a year older and thus able to go further for longer. We’ve already covered Malham Cove last weekend and we are aiming to climb Skiddaw very soon, plus covering some of the oldies, starting with a new route over Ingleborough this weekend. I’m going to start swimming again and hopefully push hard to run better and faster.

Night Running: Challenging. Garmin Vivoactive: Enlightening and Superb

Goodbye Apple Watch/Runtastic: hello Garmin Vivoactive and Garmin Connect! The difference in performance and between these two products is staggering. Apple Watch: buggy, annoying to use, crap battery etc. Garmin: solid, dependable, perfect to use. Yesterday I also learned that running in pitch black night slows me down! I was unsure of myself for many stretches of the course so I ran cautiously, clocking in at over nine minute miles, which is annoying, but there we are. Beats an injury from a nasty fall.

Data

  • 3.01 miles
  • 28:18 minutes
  • 9.25 minute miles
  • 502 calories burned