Friday, 20 January 2012

A Finely Tuned Sleep Deprived Eating Machine

So here we are again.  Another week has flown by and not surprisingly I sit down to start writing as the clock on the laptop says 23.15.  I’d like to ‘blog’ as quickly as possible and be in bed by midnight just one night this week, but I’m preparing for the fact that it won’t happen.  I already know that to fit a run in around tomorrows other commitments means it has to happen early doors or not at all. I will get up when the alarm goes off!  Also, at the minute my fingers won’t move as quickly as I’m willing them forward – they are freezing as I’ve just been semi walking, semi running but mostly talking on the beach for 2 1 / 2 hours, and it’s cold!

Presently in my time poor life it’s not ideal that at least 3 or 4 nights a week I seem to spend 2 - 2 1/ 2 hours speed walking the beach.  But I have the most awkward personal training client anyone could ever meet.  He comes back to me now, injured, having been off living the highlife for over a year because I am the only person who has ever been able to put up with or stick with him.  He’ll be reading this, and laughing and agreeing.  He demands that I give him two hours of my time, and he only pays me for 1.  This makes me crazy, but it is a relationship we have had on and off when he is in the country for years, and he usually pays me back dividends, in the end.  So I make the choice to give a little now and help him return to his pre ‘too much of the highlife’ svelte self.  Furthermore I heard the best, most amazing story I think I have ever heard tonight.  It made my toes curl up and my stomach hurts from laughing.  So, as much as he takes up too much of my time, it’s sort of a fair deal. I complained about not having enough time to run and so we made another deal that I’d be able to do some Fartlek or Interval training, whilst we semi walk /  semi run together.  He will love barking orders at me and seeing me sweat for once.  It should be interesting on a sandy, uneven, dark beach promenade!    I told Mr C. that I had to blog tonight when I got home so he had to let me leave at 9.30pm.  This is why we went even further tonight and were still semi walking / semi running at 10.30pm!  He thinks he did me a favour by giving me an opening topic. 

Before my late night stroll, I hit the treadmill pretty hard for 20 minutes.  I was blog planning whilst on the treadmill and even tried to save what came into my head on my phone whilst running.  This is not good treadmill practise, but I think I gave everyone behind and beside me a laugh at my careless treadmill driving attempt.  My thought was that I have ‘Runners blog’ and  ‘Writers fog’.  These are not phrases which I picked up whilst reading the urban dictionary but my reference to the fact that it kind of feels at the minute as though I have blogged more about running, than actually running, therefore ‘Runners blog’ and whilst on the treadmill I felt unsure as to how I’d write tonight’s blog, therefore ‘Writers fog’. Luckily Mr C. helped with the writer’s fog!  My blogs take up at least two hours a week and this week I spent at least 2 hours writing programs for others joining me at some point in the run.  This is about the same amount of time that I have managed to run this week.  However, it’s all a learning curve, and making better use of time, is part of that curve.  After tonight I’m guaranteed an hour of speed training at least 3 times a week – where before the time would have been lost to another one of Mr Cs jaw dropping life stories! This makes me feel better about the task of finding time as I enter week 3.

So what other challenges have I faced throughout this week? Time and sleep  or lack  of have been the greatest challenges.  My work is never 9 – 5, which is in itself a challenge but until at least the end of February, the stakes have been raised somewhat at work!  Projects which were started a year ago, are now suddenly ready to move to the next level, and time isn’t waiting for me and some running!

 Motivation is on the rise, and although my own personal programme is still a work in progress, those I’ve written for others have framed the time for me.  15 weeks, now almost 14 sounded like plenty of time to me Ms  However, I want to do myself proud.  Once you take out the weekends at work, the weekends cramming before a big job, the weekend in London, the likelihood of the weekend away, Easter, the ‘ooh another weekend slipped by weekend’, the bank holiday weekend,  pancake day, Paddy’s day, evening meetings and the very time demanding Mr C, that leaves me about 2 weeks....not much time eh?  That’s why it’s important to set times and time frames and plan short medium and long term goals.  All of which I have done this week.  On Saturday morning it will all go on paper, into my 14 week count down, accounting for the time I’ll have off so that the enormity of the challenge will smack me in the face!  I have a local 10Km race in February an 8.2mile and a 20 mile race in March and the usual Bournemouth Bay ½ Marathon in April, all planned in to help me towards my goal and give me milestones along the way.  I will also plan in a few trips to the New Forest or Purbecks on weekends in between (if there are any left) so that I can get used to some hilly undulating runs.  Uneven ground is hard on the hips, knees and ankles and I want to get my body used to it.  So they must be planned. This is the key.  If they are not planned and set on paper as goals, they won’t get achieved.  I learned this, this week, when in true Helen style I had booked in 4 different things for one evening – 3 of which had to go.  I did write them down at the time – 1 on a scrap of paper, 1 in a note on my phone and the other 2 in 2 different diaries! This was poor planning. Buying a work diary and a personal diary it turns out was a bad idea though with good intention. I was going to make a better note of what I plan and do and achieve every day in my personal diary so that I could keep these things on target.  I fell down at the first hurdle which should have been ensuring that I made enough time to actually write these things down!

A brief synopsis of how things have gone this week.  I almost achieved my goal of being on the seafront every day.  Tuesday got the better of me with a busy day, a lack of sleep on Monday night and dinner plans.  However, if I can overcome at least one of my challenges of time and sleep this week, I know that I’ll manage to see the sea every day in week 3.  Earlier to bed, early to rise and a little 6.30 am run before work. Perfect. Then a lack of time throughout the rest of my day, won’t be an issue because the run is already complete. I know that the trick is to get to the point where running doesn’t feel like another thing that I have to squeeze in, but rather the thing which must happen because I love it, and here too there is progress this week. 

On Saturday I did 20 – 30 minutes of speed training followed by one of those 2 hour beach front sessions.  It took me a while to throw myself out of the door on Sunday, but when I did I covered about 10 miles 1/ 2 of which was facing into a bitter, driving wind and to add to the lunacy, I finished it off with a swim in the sea!  I was determined to get enough fresh air and exercise on Sunday that I’d fall fast asleep that night, and I did!  Monday night was a bit of cross training with some Spinning and 20 lengths of the pool. Well maybe 10 and a bit of steam room.  I always find that the steam room is a great place to stretch, though I get some pretty strange looks. I have very tight hamstrings and hipflexors and need to work hard to keep flexible if I’m going to achieve my running goals.  Tuesday, as I said was a fail on the training front but that was partly due to writing a program, which I suppose is all a necessary part of the training.  Wednesday’s run was fast and strong, and not very long, but I was reminded that I must find the time because it’s slowly becoming something I love again.  Tonight I hit the gym.  I did intervals on the treadmill with a go hard or go home attitude followed by some lateral squats and lunges.  I’m glad I did.  I’ve done very little strength training lately, and it shows.  I learned tonight that I lunge perfectly on my left leg, and am very wobbly on my right.  As soon as I start to bump up the mileage, this imbalance will start to show, undoubtedly for me in the form of knee or ankle pain.  I will be back in the gym this week, working on plenty of closed Kinetic chain exercises like squats and lunges on one leg and with added rotation, to help replicate the movements I will make whilst running.  Running involves a constant, consistent propelling forward, whilst on one leg and rotating through the core to prevent us from falling over whilst doing it.  Better start working on the Core and Balance and Co ordination and Flexibility and Strength in that case!  If I prepare for running, simply by running, I prepare to fail.  I need to cross train, build strength and endurance through my quads and glutes, ensure that my whole Kinetic chain is working together as one, and I guess I need to do some work on my arms as well.  They tend to get quite tired after about 3 hours of running!

So, as I enter week 3, there is progress.  I can safely say, that whilst I’ve certainly not fallen head over heels in love again, I am on my way back to making running my acquaintance, almost friend, maybe soon to be lover!  I have mostly eaten healthily this week, but all that sea air has meant that I’ve eaten far too much of everything.  Whoever said they run to lose weight, this has never worked for me and my ability to eat has been a point of laughter among friends for years. I have slipped up a lot on the chocolate front this week also.  My hand slipped and picked up 3 Yorkie bars- cause they’re not for girls.  I felt the need to hide, I mean eat the evidence as quickly as possible.  Tonight, at 11pm whilst getting milk, who knew they’d have a whole selection of Kit Kat Chunkys to help me through the blog and make me Chunky.  They had white chocolate, dark chocolate, chocolate orange, mint, caramel and peanut butter. I chose Peanut butter.  Definitely to be recommended, especially dipped in tea!

This week  I will be more innovative with my time. It’s not just Mr C’s session now, it’s mine too.  This is the price he pays for not paying enough!  I will somehow get to bed earlier, and I will remember that the odd run is not the right of passage to chocolate land.  I’ll make more time for some MSE training too and next week I’ll fess up about my actual running mileage total for the week, which means wearing the GPS.
I’ll check in and upload my program on Saturday so that you can keep an eye on my behaviour this week as well.  That’ll make me more accountable and much less likely to misbehave.  Yeah right!

Have a great week, and if you’d like to sponsor me, join me or ask any questions about Running, Nutrition, Program Writing or anything else, fire away!

And the final word. This week’s quote is very simple, but seems appropriate, when I weigh up my reasons, or excuses this week;
Someone who is busier than you is running right now!

H x X x

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