Er, so it’s been two weeks. Oops. With quite a bit to update you on, I guess I’d better get on with it!
This week’s mantra: keep it short!
30/1 Went to what has become my usual spin class. Sweated buckets, as usual. Came home and raided the fridge like a ravenous beast, as usual!
31/1 I had 5 miles on the plan for today, with the idea being to do an easy-steady-fast-steady-easy pyramid. So off I went at lunchtime, trying to focus on keeping easy easy and with the goal of not quitting on the fast mile! I managed an 8:45, which included a Big. Damn. Hill so I was absolutely chuffed! Had a sports massage in the evening and got a bit of bonus K-tape to help my slightly sore ankles.
1/2 Today marked 4 weeks since I started overhauling my eating and so I did a weigh-in to check on my progress. I was quite stunned to find that I’d lost 10 lbs! I can also see quite a big difference in my waist and hips, and I feel a whole lot better too, so all-in-all this is a big win!
2/2 – 5/2 Matt and I headed to Center Parcs for the weekend to celebrate the end of the longest month of the year and just to spend some time just the two of us. It was a weird and wonderful weekend full of moments of powerful nostalgia (I went to Center Parcs quite a few times as a child!) and lots of new memory making with my Fiance. We went climbing on the Saturday morning, and it was really hard work (which I was expecting) and also pretty scary (which I was not). The climbing walls had these counterweight things at the top and you had to trust that they’d catch you and help you descend gently. For some reason I really struggled with it, and it took a lot of cajoling from Matt and the instructor to get me to keep trying!
On Sunday we had our 10 mile long run in the schedule so we valiantly set out to tackle the hills and get the miles in. One thing you don’t appreciate when you stick to the main parts of the village is that Longleat forest is hilly. Every direction we could have chosen to run was either up or down a steep hill, and so we had to suck it up! Honestly it was one of my toughest runs in recent memory, especially at the start. I hated everything for those first few miles. Everything hurt, I grumbled and whined and swore under my breath. But we stuck it out (well, I stuck out the run from hell, and Matt stuck out my bad mood – sorry honey!) and somehow, the second half sucked a whole lot less. In fact we finished on a 9:30 ish mile because I wanted to squeak in under the 2 hour mark.
In what has to be the ultimate run recovery method we spent the afternoon in the spa enjoying the steam rooms and sauna and the big cosy armchairs in front of the fire. If you’ve never tried a spa (and it could just be a sauna and swimming pool, it doesn’t have to be as fancy as Aqua Sana) can I take a moment to say DO IT! I would never have thought it would be my kind of thing, but the intense heat of the sauna relaxes me in a way nothing else does, and being in a place dedicated to relaxation really does prompt me to let go of a lot of my tension and go with the flow (literally).
All in all the weekend was absolutely brilliant, and we really, really didn’t want it to be over!
6/2 Tuesday spin class again, although this time with a different instructor because my usual one was on holiday. This instructor had a completely different style, with a lot more focus on strength and pushing through the higher gears rather than aiming for lots of speedwork. I couldn’t choose which was my favourite and I honestly think both are important parts of cross-training, so next week I’ve signed up for both! An hour of spin – yikes!
7/2 I had hill repeats on the schedule today, but the weather was so horrible I decided to use the treadmill to get it done. Work got on top of me a bit and I didn’t have as much time as I’d have liked, but I managed 30 minutes of running at a minimum of 2% incline, with some faster intervals at 4 or 5% incline. I worked up a good sweat and had to focus on pushing my legs “up the hills” with decent form. After the run I finished off the evening with a stretching-focused yogalates class, which felt soooooo good. I’m sure I was a few inches taller after it!
11/2 We did 12 sunny miles today, and although we were expecting it my mile 2 mood didn’t happen! Somehow we found that often illusive conversational pace and I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed those miles jogging happily through the countryside playing “spot the red kite” (final count: at least 10) and chatting about nothing in particular. The only rough patch came at around mile 10 when a wrong turn took us down a rough, muddy farm track that was terrifyingly slippery and energy draining. That made miles 11 and 12 a lot harder than they would have otherwise been. But it was probably what I deserved, having piped up earlier how much I liked runs that included “mixed terrain”!!
I read a discussion on Reddit the other day about what moment led people to feel like “real runners”, and I think I’ve got one to contribute today! I feel like a real runner because I can say honestly and without irony that I am really looking forward to running 14 miles next weekend!