Week One – Progress

What a week. Even with hiccups, it’s gone pretty well. I’ve been out for 4 runs; all varying levels of success.

It’s not about the numbers, but I’m keen to track my progress somewhere so I can look back at where I started, what changed, and (hopefully) just how much I’ve improved. Weekly summaries feel right.

It is, after all, a (half) marathon and not a sprint. Sorry, not sorry.

The Stats:

Sun 25 Oct 2020AMTreadmill2.2km9’47” pace
Tues 27 Oct 2020AMOutdoor2.7km8’22” pace
Thu 29 Oct 2020PMOutdoor3.3km8’48” pace
Sat 31 Oct 2020AMOutdoor5.1km7’23” pace
Total distance13.3km
All runs in the week were interval run / walks. No specific training plan followed.

Heart health –

  • Resting heart rate – 70 bpm (started at 71 bpm on Sun 25 Oct)
  • Fitbit ‘cardio fitness’ rating – 32 point something (average)

Observations:

There are a few things that haven’t been measured for me, so while they may not be wildly accurate, I think they’re still important to recognise and note.

  • Nutrition – I haven’t really done anything differently this week. I’ve limited my alcohol intake, but no food has been off limits. Based on Tuesday’s run, this is gonna need to change, but I’m only prepared to shock my body so much…
  • Weather – I’ve been lucky that the weather hasn’t really prevented me from getting out (though, it has made it harder to get out of bed…). As we head into November, I don’t expect the weather to cooperate much longer, so I’ve ordered more water-resistant clothing and a second pair of runners – heading off the excuses now while I’m still motivated!
  • TIme of day – this week was a mix of fasted morning runs and evening runs straight after work. I’m not sure which I prefer just yet, so I’m going to keep mixing it up. But I definitely do prepare running outdoors to inside on the treadmill.
  • Music – I’ve been plodding along to a random rock workout playlist on Spotify, then cooling down with an audiobook on the walk home. I do not recommend listening to ‘Know my Name’ by Chanel Miller when walking home in the dark (however, I do recommend it literally any other time of day, because it’s powerful and an important perspective to hear. Get uncomfortable.)

So yeah, it’s been… a week.
Here’s to the next one!

Just Start

I have every intention of following a training plan in the lead up to this half marathon. I can make progress without one, but I’d really just be making it up as I go along. Not ideal.

The day I signed up, I got on the treadmill to see what I was working with. It wasn’t great, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought. I’m an intervals girl, so if I find a comfortable ‘jog’ pace, things should get a lot easier.

This weekend, I’m away and went for a run down along the beach. I wasn’t expecting brilliance, but I wasn’t expecting it to be as hard as it was.

I knew in my head that running on the treadmill is not the same as getting out and hitting the pavement. Now, I know it in my knees.

I kept to the concrete path between the cliff and the sand. I may be a rookie, but I know that running on sand is an entirely different experience.

It was a short run, but I got out there and did it. And I actually ran more than I thought I would.

Definitely a combination of running and walking, looking at my fitbit stats afterward – I ran more distance than I walked. It didn’t feel that way at the time, but it gives me hope!

I won’t be sharing my stats just yet – that will come with the training plan, I suspect.

It felt good today. But that’s just one day, and there are a lot more to come. One day at a time.

Context might help…

So, here we are. Right at the start of this journey (and it is a journey). Context as to why this is a mammoth undertaking is probably useful.

I know why this is one of the hardest challenges I’ve set for myself, but you’re not mind-readers, are you? To expect you to just know is unfair. So, dear lurker reader, let me paint you a picture.

I’m 32 next week. And this birthday has been my hardest one yet.
I was excited for 30. And 31 was a birthday of exploration and beauty.
32 is already… not what I expected.

We are in the middle of a global pandemic. For anyone reading this years from now, COVID-19 reared it’s ugly head at the start of the year, we went into lockdown from late March to May / June. Summer has been spent socially distanced (the most 2020 phrase that I look forward to never using again), and now we’re looking into the face of the ‘second wave’. It’s likely we’ll be in lockdown again – in some form or another – until Christmas.

Social contact is limited. We’ve been working from home. For much of the year, gyms were closed, and I didn’t rush back when they reopened.

I am unfit.
In fact, I don’t know if I would ever have described myself as fit.
At my fittest I’ve run 5km fun runs. I’ve lifted heavy things. I’ve preferred HIIT and ‘short and sweaty’ workouts.

I exercise for the endorphins, not because I particularly enjoy it.
Not for vanity. Not for skill.

For me, exercise and my mental health are those high school lovers who have been on-again-off-again since graduation. Decades of crossed paths, but never really sharing the same goals, and ultimately breaking away thinking they just weren’t good for each other, regardless of what fate says.

I am a person who starts things but does not finish them.
I own this. I see where it comes from, and accept that it’s a challenge I face. But that doesn’t make it right; it makes it something identifiable to manage. The fact that I can see it – recognise it – means I can work on it. It won’t define me, and I need to show myself as much.

I need a challenge.
And I need to commit to finishing that challenge.

Physically, I’m not fit enough. But I will be.
My diet is not healthy. I need to fuel my food, not feed the void.
Mentally, I don’t know if I can do this.

…but I owe it to myself to find out.

Well, shit.

What the fuck have I done?

I’m sitting here, in the middle of a work day, bored shitless.

… and I’ve signed up for a half marathon.

My first half marathon.

Which may not sound outrageous, but I promise you: it is.

Shit.