I have failed … and that is OK

It has been some time since I posted to this blog. You will recall that the original premise for this blog was to map my training for a half marathon which I was to run, well, today.

Obviously, I have not run a half marathon today. Equally obviously, I have failed in my goal of doing this.

The fact is that whilst I loved the running I was doing my left knee, which has been a problem for me for two decades, just could not stand up to the rigours of the training. Any time I tried to increase my training load over running 20kms a week my knee would “blow up”.

Pain is not something I am adverse to but doing damage to something I am going to need for anther 50 years (I hope) for a moderate short term gain was, in the end, just stupid.

I also have to confess that not being the best mental state at times over the last 6 months also did not assist in this project. Originally I loved the running I was doing giving me time to clear my head. But as my fitness improved and my brain focused less on the pain I found myself thinking more and, indeed, overthinking. That is never a good thing!

I still enjoy going for a run: I just can’t train as intensely as is necessary to do a good job of running a half marathon.

Whilst I am sad I have failed here I am OK with the failure because my health is more important.

Time to put my shoes on and go for a run: for my own enjoyment. While I am out there I will come up with a new challenge!

Hydrate you fool … Hydrate!

So I woke up this morning feeling dehydrated and, as a result, headachy. Obviously this caused me to reflect on my post run routine and tweak me approach a bit.

First a confession: I am a sweater. Now to be clear about this: as I write this on the train, in air conditioning, I am sweating. So when I run I sweat a lot.

My previous routine when I got home from a run went something like this:

1. Drink about 500mls of water and mix a litre of Gatorade (from powder).
2. Have shower.
3. Drink Gatorade mix.
4. Drink another 500mls of water.

What I had not countenanced in my calculations on fluids was how much I sweat in the aftermath of a run. Even after showering I still have a sweat up for a while and am still loosing fluid.

So am going to make two changes:

1. I am going to hold off on showering until I have cooled down fully and my sweat loss has returned to normal.

2. I am going to drink a second litre of Gatorade before I go to bed.

Hopefully this strategy will fore stall my feeling of flatness and headache today tomorrow.

Phase 2 Day 1: first run back

Just completed my first serious run towards running 21.1kms in 13 weeks time. Whilst I can feel I have lost a touch of condition I am still very happy with how I went. Only particular bother was one point when my heart rate went up a bit high but in time that will improve.

Distance: 5.22kms
Time: 33:58 mins

Looking forward to going again tomorrow but equally not looking forward to how my knee will feel in the morning!

Time to start all over again: Phase 2 begins here

I have been out of action training wise for a number of weeks. Motivation completely lost plus a massive month of work and some niggling injuries has caused me to both stop running and to start to get back into old habits diet wise. I have put on weight and have lost some condition.

To say I am disappointed in myself would be an understatement. The start of a new month and the acknolwedgement that the half marathon I set the goal of running is only 13 weeks away have led me to have a serious think about whether this goal is realistic or just a charade. After a lot of thought I have come to the conclusion that I still really want to have a crack at running the half marathon in July.

That being the case I really need to get my “skates” on a get serious about training and diet again. The excuses stop here.

I know I have maid such grandious statements before here and have then gone missing but that will not happen this time: I will not let it because I want to achieve the goal I set at the start of the year.

The task of starting all over again with the training is a little bit daunting as well as being exciting.

It has been far too long …

I apologise for not posting on this blog for a while. The fact is that I have not been running. I am not injured but I have found my motivation completely sapped by some mental challenges that I have had going on.

Historically I have used running to help with the mental stuff but that has not worked of late. I feel myself coming out of the darkness, to be colloquial, and have set aside some time to go running again tomorrow.

Hopefully normal service on this blog and toward my goal of running a half marathon will resume tomorrow too.

Watch this space.

Last night’s run … Another 30 minutes

I know for the runners out there you are probably tiring of hearing me wax lyrical about running 30 minutes but to say that I am happy that I am hitting my target for this week still would be understatement.

Last night I put in another 30 minute run and whilst my kilometre rate was a touch slower than my last time out, was again happy with the evenness of my stride rate and the fact that my heart rate did not get up in the “danger zone” for the first time since I have tracking it.

This is a week that is all about small victories and I feel like I am having them at the moment. Tonight will see another 30 minute run in the bag to keep the momentum going.

Training Fuel: Southern Chicken pizza

I have been looking for some recipes to try to help with my training and energy levels and thought I would post some of what I find here.

Here is a recipe for a Southern Chicken pizza that, if it is half as good as it reads, I expect to be excellent.

Cook Time: 17 minutes
Serves: 6
Nutrition Stats: 480 calories, 50 g protein, 24 g carbohydrates, 20 g fat, 8 g saturated fat, 9 g fiber

6 multigrain flatbread wraps (Flatout Multigrain w/ Flax preferred)
2 ¼ lb chicken breast
2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend
1 medium red onion
1 cup corn
2 cups black beans
1 medium avocado
1 cup jalapeno peppers
1 cup green chili peppers
1 cup cilantro

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Lay flatbread wraps on a baking sheet.
Pour drained black beans into a bowl and mash with a fork.
Spread mashed beans on the flatouts. Leave a ¾-inch border around the edges of the flatbread.
Divide shredded Mexican cheese, corn, cilantro, sliced jalapeno peppers, sliced red onion, and chopped green chili peppers between the flatbreads.
Bake pizzas for about 13 minutes or until crust is crisp and toppings are heated through.
Top with diced avocado.
Slice and serve.

I will be having a crack at this one over the weekend and will report further as how it goes.

First published by Debbie Martell, Athletes’ Performance on the Adidas miCoach blog

Another day … Another 30 minutes

This is a week of simple goals and simplicity: I am going to exercise for 30 minutes every day this week as a means of getting this challenge back on track.

So there are no targets other than to just get out there and run.

Tonight I ran 30 minutes again along the same track as I ran last night and was surprised to run 150 metres further than yesterday. I was also a bit more cognisant tonight of my heart rate and my time per kilometre as I have been a bit all over the place pace wise and was please to just keep things at an even pace throughout.

Bring on tomorrow and another 30 minutes of work.

1st run back after 11 days off … hurts so good!

It has been a pretty busy weekend, particularly today. 2 coats of paint on the ceiling of a room I am renovating, mowing the lawn, hanging a painting and generally cleaning the house had left me pretty knackered.

That said, I promised on this blog yesterday that I would run for 30 minutes today and, as I post this in the aftermath of that run, I am pleased to say that I did.

30 minutes of running around the hills of my home at a moderate pace was just what the doctor ordered. It hurt: actually it hurt a lot. Equally, if only for 30 minutes, my mind was clear and that was exactly what I needed at the start of what is likely to be another very busy week.

Bring on tomorrow and another 30 minute run. The distances run this week are not as important as the process.

Depression v training: unfortunately the wrong one won this week

I have not trained in 10 days: simply I have been lost in a sea of negativity and lost motivation.

I wrote on my other blog (shumpty77.com) of my attempts to lift myself out of this current dark period and, particularly, a need to not dwell on past failures.

That being the case: whilst I let my depression defeat me of late, I am going to look forward rather than back and set myself a simple goal to get this project back on track. Starting tomorrow (Sunday) I am going to run or walk every day for the next seven (7) days for at least 30 minutes a time.

This coming week is not about exercise or getting kilometres back in my legs. I just want to feel the positive energy I get from exercising again and want to start again without a goal other than the goal of just doing.

Once I get through this coming week I will get the training program back going again: I remain committed to getting to the start line of the Gold Coast half marathon on 6 July 2014 and will do everything in my power to do so.