Slowly, Slowly

Metatarsalgia is a bitch so I’ve been resting my foot and swimming last week, slowly getting back into a routine whilst being careful to avoid pushing myself to the point of injury. Two swims last week and a gentle jog this morning have left me feeling a whole lot better, particularly as I’ve slept well.

The data aren’t very interesting as these aren’t workouts that have pushed me into the stratosphere but at least I’m getting back on the move.

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Intervals: Splits and Bits

My first recorded run this week and I’ve started doing intervals again, albeit gently starting off. As you can see below I did a 1.5 mile run and then 0.25 miles divided into three sets of intervals, 30 second jogs followed by 10 second sprints. I walked the final mile home as a warm down. I have done interval running before, however I was never much of a sprinter even as a nipper, thus at the age of 41 you will not see me pulling up many trees here. As ever this is not about being the best, it is about being better than I was yesterday.

Limitations of a Garmin Watch

Since this was pretty much a brain fart this morning I don’t yet know if it is possible to programme and record interval workouts on my ancient Garmin Vivoactive watch. I am going to see if I can do so but if not I’ll just record it all in one session as I did here and then do a better job when I upgrade to Apple Watch 4 in the autumn.

I feel I could have gone further with the sprints but as always I start slowly and work up quickly. Better that than to hurt oneself pushing too hard too quickly – I know this from bitter experience.

Surviving and Thriving

I find myself yet again at the beginning. A combination of yet again getting ill and then another exhausting half term with my little poo flingers means I’m starting my regimen again. Time to push on and push hard.

This time rather than running a circular and arriving back at home I ran out 1.5 miles and then walked back. Not only the perfect warm down but also a way to keep the metabolism raised. Aside from that I love it because wherever you walk in my town you end up in the countryside within ten minutes or so. That’s just brilliant for one’s mental wellbeing.

This is why I prefer to be outside rather than simply at a gym. I hate gyms. Why pay to use a machine when nature, the best therapy, is free?

A horrible month survived. Time to thrive.

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.

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…