Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Sleep Running Through my Mind

Wow, look at me super early this week!  Hum, unfortunately I haven’t managed to turn over the habit of my adult life in little over a week.  Strangely, as a child at primary school and early Grammar school I was always very early and very organised.  I might have to analyse what changed and how to change it back, or forward! The astute among you (or rather those who have little better to do than read this!) will notice, that I am in fact not early but very late, and writing again very late at night.  I have become nocturnal, and I figure that rather than lie in bed, running over all the things that are keeping me awake, or daydreaming about hot holidays with hot boys in faraway lands it would be best to use the fact that I am at least 1 / 4 awake to try to catch up on the easiest thing – my weekly therapy,  I mean running blog!

 Last Thursday, when I last wrote seems like an eternity ago, and if I hadn’t noted down at least a few of the exercise related events that have occurred, I would have no idea what to write, no memory of what I have or haven’t achieved, and the likelihood is that the reality would be that I have achieved very little!

  I promised to write a program on the Saturday so that my planning would become a reality. I wrote it. It’s called H’s superduperwinning program! I haven’t looked at it much since last Saturday though, so I guess that’s the first thing that needs to change.  Presently I have a ‘When the exhibition is over I will’, ‘When I’ve prepped for the teaching course I will’, ‘When I’ve prepped for the motivational interviewing I will’, ‘When I’ve prepped for the lecturing job I will’, ‘When I’ve copywrited the website etc etc  there will be time attitude, but you can already see that very easily there is always something else.  Until the last few days where utter exhaustion has invaded me, I have been managing enough short bursts of high intensity training throughout the week, but I lost this weekend for my long run, so feel that I am a week behind on this.  The goal now is to finish early on Friday and have long run number 1 then, and long run number 2 on Sunday.  Fingers crossed. It’ll take more than that though.  The preparing for an early finish on Friday starts now.  We are working on Sunday morning, so the preparing to get out of work on time starts now. I also haven’t uploaded the program because, well it’s mine, and despite the fact that I said I’d share it, I changed my mind, because it’s mine and I get to keep at least some of this personal!   I have a great 16 week sample program though, so let me know if you’d like some help with your running.

With program advice in mind,  the following have been amongst the questions I have been asked this week!  1) “Should I try cross fit?” I needed a little more information – what do you want to achieve, what are your fitness levels now etc. Cross fit is tough and intense and a great workout, as long as you can complete the exercises correctly with good form.  2) Why does my second toe hurt when I run? Em..well now I’ve got a bit more information on this, and I’ve just found myself in the shower for at least an extra ten minutes staring at my toes, moving my feet to remind myself where I’ll feel it, I’m pretty sure I’ve cracked it.  It’s all about the core, believe it or not.  I have also been asked if boxing would give someone better or bigger breasts, or even worse make them hurt – well it would if you were boxing with them! Breasts are made mostly of fat. When you work out, you may lose some of this fatty tissue and at the same time work on the pectoral muscles beneath the breasts, improving their shape.  But I would try not to make that the main focus of your daily exercise – you might be disappointed in the short term!

What can I tell you about last week?  There were some funny episodes as usual, and I saw the beach every day.  Twice on one of the days actually. Where I am in danger of thinking, how can I achieve this with the time and sleep problem I have, I have also been reminded today on a few counts how lucky I am.  I can put on my trainers and run out the door knowing that if it is dark I have almost constant access to footpaths yet also be on a beautiful, calming beach within 5 minutes. When I visit my parents, trainers in tow, I always notice a little more planning is required – there are no footpaths in rural Ireland, and there aren’t too many road rules either. Running in the dark without the appropriate lights and gear is definitely at your own peril. My virtual running partner falls down rabbit holes, has to wear headlights, reflective gear, and by the sounds of it an unsavoury character alarm is necessary from now on too!

 I have been preparing among other things, a teaching course in pregnancy today.  I have no ties, like children to prevent me from running, even at 1am when I can’t sleep, if that’s what I want to do (this may be next week’s edition) This little video also came to mind http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUaInS6HIGo&feature=share.  If you can find a spare ten minutes you should watch it.  24 hours in one day – can we do all our other ‘stuff’ in 23 ½ and make at least ½ hour for exercise.  Guaranteed we can.  What are the priorities?  I bet I was on Skype or facebook, or the phone or drinking tea for at least ½ an unnecessary hour today.  I was even thinking about my weekend in London.  On Saturday I left a show we were exhibiting at, ate, went to bed and didn’t sleep.  I bet if I’d gone for some polluted London air, the sleep would have come a little easier, and then tonight one of the things on my list wouldn’t have been ooh no it’s been 3 days since I trained!

So... last week.
Friday morning was an early start.  I was out the door for a run at 6.30am.  That wasn’t easy, but I was so happy that I achieved it.  It meant that I could go straight from work, meet my friend for a drink and a chat and fall into bed, and sleep.  Perfect.  On Saturday I wrote my own program, this got me excited and fired up for a run – so off I went on the first of my long weekend runs.   I completed 10 miles and added another 6 mile walk / run / fartlek with Mr C.  Not too shabby.  My long run, became a little longer due to 5 minutes spent splayed across the pavement feeling sorry for myself as I’d fallen on the uneven ground in the dark.  Cut hand, cut knee, hole in running pants, hurt pride – and now I have a super duper new nerdy head lamp, can’t wait to go on my next run in the dark and actually be able to see where I am putting my feet!  Later that same evening when out with Mr C another person, Irish as well was out rollerblading on the beach, in the dark.  They also fell, really hard and I had a fit of laughter which I know they saw.  We stopped to see if he was okay, he wasn’t, but he was young and Irish and was definitely not going to let us help or believe he wasn’t okay.  I’m sorry I laughed.  Mr C shouted at me for laughing, but he was airborne by at least 2 feet before falling and it was very funny to watch.  

On Sunday I cycled for about 1 ½ hours, played planking games and had a little 20 minute bare foot run. When unprotected by trainers you use your lower limbs a lot more than normal, especially if not using your Transversus Abdominus (deep stomach muscles off which lots of other movement muscles attach)  enough.  Sure enough, on Monday, my heels wouldn’t touch the ground when I got out of bed, so I limped everywhere on Monday. I ran 4.5 miles in trainers again on Monday evening and it felt good.   I love getting fresh air just before bed. 

Throughout Tuesday and Wednesday I was time poor so did short intense bare foot runs on both days, and as I’m sure you have predicted, could barely walk on Thursday so instead did Spin and lots of stretching in the gym and the sauna.

  Friday night was a beautiful London run.  We ran over Tower Bridge where all I could think about was the fact that I was in so much pain at this point when I did the London Marathon that I was crying.  I very stupidly did the London marathon in 2008 with a very badly sprained ankle, having fallen off a pavement about a week before.  I began the run on Friday without having consumed any food or water, after a pretty hectic day, so we stopped off for sandwiches on the way!  Not great planning again, but a good story and I was pleased that we went running, because I just wanted to climb into bed!

So I’ve reached the end of last week’s blog, 2 days away from writing this week’s blog.  I am also writing it in my sleep now. There is still time, but lots has to change.  The planning and the nutrition and the sleep must improve.  My running needs to become a priority over other things and the sleep bank needs to be reloaded. On that note 1, 700 words serve as the best sheep counting I’ve ever known.  So off I go. I’m worried that I’ll look at this with fresh eyes tomorrow and be horrified at what I’ve written!

First though the quote. While I’m feeling a little upset with myself and the world about the level of achievement and the things that keep getting in the way, or I keep putting in the way, I thought of this:

I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life.  And that is why I succeed. 
Michael Jordan

I’ll be back – in three days time!

H x

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