It has been a good week! Having always been a solo runner and not having anything to do but listen to my own (admittedly brilliant taste in) music, running with company is a very nice change. We’re not setting out to break any records but there is something to be said for going out with a friend for a good old gossip (or a bitch jog).
Beryl (Formally known as Gert. Like Prince only taller and less eye make up) and I had another three runs of three miles to complete midweek. The first two we did together and the last one we did separately due to schedules. When we go out, we are just completing a 5k route with whatever energy we have left at the end of the day. The training plan that we are following does not require any specific torturous activities, such as hill running, interval training etc. It just involves a steady increase in mileage.
However, I know that this interval/fartlek/hill sprinting malarkey to be a very popular chat amongst keen runners, I’m also keen to look at ways of improving my fitness so that I find the longer runs easy. If I run a few hill sprints, I’m hoping that running 26 miles will be a complete breeze, right?
In January, after many months of dithering and researching, I decided to treat myself to a treadmill. I rationalised the purchase by saying it was my birthday present to myself. A very early present. As it happens, both children and Guy have their birthdays before mine but as my birthday falls two days after the marathon, there’s no point in waiting.
From what I can gather, in the running world treadmills are like marmite. Some people seem to think they are evil contraptions and to run on one isn’t even proper running at all, and you are a monstrous heathen if you even suggest training on a treadmill. There are some people who don’t have time in their lives for outdoor running and find that a 5am treadmill run while the children are sleeping is all they can fit in. Personally, I feel that doing anything that makes you healthier is good, and why does it matter how you manage it? When Guy has been in hospital in the past and I have been Sole Parenting the only chance I had of running was when my parents had the boys because sadly, the dog is not a responsible child minder.
Anyway, I digress. I have a treadmill. The good thing about the treadmill is that you can adjust your speed/incline more accurately rather than just guessing and so I decided on Wednesday to have a bash at interval training. I’m not very knowledgeable on this because everything I read an article about it, I get bored. But I understand the concept is running really quickly for a bit and then slowing down to recover. Apparently, this is supposed to increase your fitness more effectively than just putting in long miles.
Easy enough, surely? I started with lofty dreams of a two minute sprint followed by a one minute recovery. I did a steady one mile jog as a warm up, and off I went.
F*ck, two minutes is a long time.
Do you know how long two minutes is? Have you actually done something horrible and timed one hundred and twenty seconds? IT IS ENDLESS. Until it ends obvs. And then it starts again.
After a couple of interval sets, I decided that two minutes of 8mph running was too much and so I dropped it to one minute. Then I decided after another couple of sets that one minute of recovery wasn’t quite enough so I changed that to two minutes.
The long and short of it was that interval training is horrible. I did two miles of intervals and then staggered a last mile warm down before staggering off (which in itself is a dangerous feat due to all the Lego surrounding the treadmill. I could maim myself by simply dismounting).
I’m surprised I was able to move later on, but I have discovered a good tip for getting yourself up on your feet fast if you want to test your own reflexes.
Get a large glass full of gin and tonic, with a generous fistful of ice.
Pour the aforementioned G&T into your crotch. You will probably be able to move quite swiftly.
So those were the midweek runs. Our weekend run was due to be a seven mile distance and we were joined yesterday by our friend. It must be noted that she is an ultra marathon enthusiast, who can bash out forty five miles in the time it takes me to read an article about interval training. She is a complete badass. But she was also hanging on Saturday morning and so was happy to run with us (she did have a backpack of bricks or something to make it a little harder on herself). For me, this was a good run. I felt great, I could have gone further, and I really enjoyed myself and the company, and suddenly it was over and we had run seven and half miles without really noticing. I would love to think that every long run will be like this, but I rather suspect it won’t.
On a Crohns related note this week, I thought that a few questions for Guy would be fun. I caught him at a bad time (mid football match, not mid poo) and he wasn’t very eloquent with his answers, so allow me to fill in the blanks (one word answers) for you….
What can’t you eat?
I can’t eat raw onions, spicy or greasy food. If I do, I usually regret it during the night. Sometimes though I will feel bad after not even having anything that usually aggravates the Crohns.
I’m not allowed to eat wholemeal bread, brown rice or wholegrain pasta. Basically all the healthy stuff. I’m also not supposed to eat too much green veg.
When I had a stoma, I had really high potassium levels and I had to avoid potatoes, mushrooms, chocolate and caffeinated drinks. That was really hard.
What food do you miss the most?
Cheese and onion sandwiches, I love them! Occasionally if I know that I don’t have to go anywhere the next day, I might have one and suffer the consequences. (Authors note, I do not miss the raw onion breath)
How many types of medication do you have a day?
Three, plus my injection at the hospital.
Can you actually shit through the eye of a needle?
How would you describe your wife?
She is the best thing that ever happened to me, the light of my life, the silver lining to any cloud, the centre of my universe, OH ALL RIGHT!!!!! I made that up. Guy would probably say I have sparrow legs.
As it is now the end of skint January, I thought that now would be a good time to pop up the sponsorship link. If you are willing and able to donate anything to help to mentally overcome interval training and run this marathon for Crohns and Colitis UK, Guy and I would really appreciate it. The link is below!