One thing that I forgot to mention in my last post about running is the amount of walking that I have been doing since setting off to Europe over a month ago. I have done a lot of walking. For one the built environment makes it easier to just walk where we need to go. Second, I like exploring on foot. I believe that I get to know a place better by pounding the streets.

    So while I might not have kept the running up, I’d like to think that I have been keeping the exercise going. …At least that’s the story that I am telling myself!

    I haven’t written an update on my progress with the Watch to 5K program for over a month now. After being bitten by exhaustion from pushing too hard on Week 4, I had not felt like continuing. Or maybe I should say that I wanted to continue, but the motivation had taken a bruising. Knowing that I was headed back to Britain at the beginning of April for my mother’s 90th birthday, I thought that being abroad might spur enthusiasm, especially as my mother has a huge park on her doorstep.

    No such luck.

    I now find myself in Portugal. My wife was starting with a fitness coach here on Tuesday and I decided to use that happening to put my running shoes back on. I went back to the start of Week 3 of the program. Not a complete restart, but I also did not want to dive back into that difficult Week 4.

    Running felt easier here. I don’t know why? Had I learnt from my earlier lessons? Was it running in less familiar surroundings, and not feeling as though I had to prove anything? Certainly before I had been working on the unstated rule that each run had to be a faster and/or further run. I was racing against myself. This time I did not push myself. I just ran at what felt like a smooth, consistent pace.

    The result of that?

    I felt better at the end. I was not exhausted, but felt as though I had got some running practice in. The distance that I covered was less than when I was running back home, but I was good with that. I am trying to telling myself quality over quantity.

    The challenge now?

    To keep this up with the hay fever season upon us. Time outside can quickly turn difficult at best, managing itchy eyes and tickling nose. If I am running this can be over quickly, or if I’m lucky, little happens.

    I’ll be watching this space!

    Here’s a short update on my running training. I have not completed a run for two weeks now on the Watch to 5K program that I have been following. Initially, as I said in this post, the experience of exhaustion from my last run took the wind out of my sails. Next I found myself getting ready for a trip that I am making back to the England to celebrate my mother’s 90th birthday. Maybe I could have found time within the busyness of getting ready…but the short of it is that I didn’t.

    But I have been missing running, and so today at the airport hotel that I have been staying at I got on the treadmill for 15 minutes. I didn’t race. I set myself a good consistent pace, and came away from the run feeling as though I had exercised, kept the pace up and felt better for it. I hope that I keep up with the running in some shape or form while I am away.

    I have been silent on my running posts for six days now. I haven’t run in that time, though that is not the sole reason for not posting. The last run took the wind out of my sails. More so than I initially thought. I was tired by the time that I finished my last run because of the increased run times that the Watch To 5K had me doing at the Week 4 stage - at least I assumed that that was the reason. However, though those run times played a part I now don’t see them as the sole reason.

    My mind was in comparison mode, comparing my current run’s distance and time with how well I had done on the previous run. In essence I had been competing with myself and telling myself that if I ran further and/or faster, both was a real bonus, I was doing better.

    I was essentially in race mode. Racing with myself, though I did not see this. I need someone else to point out to me that this way of running was simply not sustainable. Rex Barrett kindly reached out to me on Mastodon giving me some perspective. He pointed out that the pace that I was running for my training runs, was a race pace. I needed to slow down and set myself more realistic paces for the training runs, along with the time that I spend running.

    Something else that I am forgetting is my age. I turned sixty last September. I’m in pretty good shape, but whether I like it or not, I’m not where I was forty years ago. I am older, the body is slower, it needs more time to recover. I need to recognize this and proceed with my training accordingly.

    I hope to get back to running today or tomorrow, before I loose the momentum. I don’t think that I will, I want to see myself running a 5K whatever the speed, but the mind can be tricky and as I said at the start of this post, that last run took the wind out of my sails.

    Yesterday I ran the furthest to date. It was only by 0.1km, but at 3.51km this was the further distance that I have covered so far in the Watch to 5K program.

    Last night I was feeling it. The glow of exercise was accompanied by a tiredness in my legs and by the time that I went to bed, I was exhausted.

    I’m in the middle of week four. At the moment the routine is walk, then run, then walk, etc, with the run times increasing and walk times being commensurate recovery periods. However in four runs time, the end of week five, I am going to be running for twenty minutes. Apart from the warm up and cool down walks, there will be no other walking. Just twenty minutes of running. Right now, I don’t know how I will do it? I am wondering whether to repeat week four before moving on?

    I started week four of the Watch to 5K program today and that meant longer run intervals. I can say with a fair degree of certainty that if it wasn’t for the preceding weeks, today would have been impossible…or at least very difficult. I covered a total distance of 3.43km, and within that 2.97km was running. The first five minute run interval I was 0.04km short of running 1km.

    As I ran I was reflecting on how I was running forty years ago. I was a cross country runner when I was in high school, though I didn’t train out of season. I stopped running altogether when I went to college. Since then I have had no formal exercise regime. I had an informal one during my years living in Portland, OR. I bicycled everywhere, and if I didn’t cycle, I would walk.

    Still I can’t be hard on myself. I am pleased that I am sticking with this program and seeing the results of my efforts.

    Well I am finally ready to move onto week four of the Watch to 5K program. Because of illness and various other road blocks, I have been redoing weeks two and three, or parts thereof in order to get back into the program after a period of not running. Yesterday saw me reach the end of week three (again), and so now I can move on.

    Yesterday’s run had the added bonus of having the accompaniment of the sound of bagpipes. Someone was playing them in the park where I ran. However, it was not an easy run (how often have I said that?). With the increase in run times with each progressive week, I look forward to week four with some trepidation. I must remind myself to go steady, that I’m not out to beat any records and that I am the only one setting the standards. If I set them too high, I suffer and the running no longer becomes fun.

    Onwards and upwards…πŸƒβ€β™‚οΈ

    I was back out running today, and I was looking forward to doing so…which I will take as a good sign. I found myself Upcountry here on Maui and so I went to a playing field up there to complete the next run in the Watch to 5K program. The weather was just right - overcast, next to no wind and a comfortable temperature that cooled me down as I did my circuits. The first run felt stiff and then I eased into it, not going too fast so as to exhaust myself, but keeping a steady pace.

    I won’t be running again until Thursday. I have a colonoscopy on Wednesday and so my time will be taken up with other things before then…πŸ’©

    Last Friday, March 8th was meant to be a Watch to 5K today, but I was in Honolulu to celebrate my wife’s birthday and so no running happened. The flip side is that I walked a lot over the day and a half that we were in the city - I was exhausted by the time that we got home and slept for an hour - and so feel that at least I kept some momentum going.

    Today, Sunday, another run day, my excuse thus far is rather more prosaic. I’m just busy with things that need to get done and I don’t feel comfortable taking a break (which might be hard to get going again from). I might get out to run this evening…if not, it is tomorrow.

    I’m sitting in the truck after the first run of week three of the Watch to 5K program. It is my second time going through week three due to various pauses in the program through illness and visitors.

    I’ve moved to a different running venue, a playing field. It is flatter than the park that I have been running in. With the running intervals starting to get longer, I wanted to move to more even ground. The times felt good today, and I tried to throttle back on the tendency to go out of the blocks as though my life depended upon in. I’m trying to tell myself, slow, steady progress.

    While not always easy, I am starting to notice a difference in my comfort with the running. I’ll chalk that up as progress.

    I’m experiencing a lovely after exercise glow. I headed out this morning for another Watch to 5K run after a week off for family visiting. The runs felt strong and consistent despite the strong wind that I was running into at times. I repeated the final run of week two to get myself going again. Back to the first run of week three on Wednesday.

    A quick update on my attempt to get myself to running a 5K, through the Watch to 5K program. My wife and I have had a packed week with family visiting. Fun, but on the go showing them the island. There was no time for running, and today I have decided to take the day off, rest, and catch up things before the week begins.

    Tomorrow I’ll start back up.

    Well I’m having another break/halt on progress with the Watch to 5K program that I am following. The cause this time is a migraine. I have been getting them for many years, forty five to be exact, though of late their frequency has diminished. Still when I do get them they last for three days and doing something strenuous like running is just too uncomfortable. Hoping to be back out there again soon.

    Another Watch to 5K run under my belt, ending my second run through (pun not intended) of the second week. I felt a little stiff to start off, and was careful to pace myself better this time. By the end I had not quite run as far as last time, but felt better in myself.

    I headed out on my Watch to 5K program this morning. With me repeating earlier weeks due to my time off from having a cold, I was running easier, I noticed that. Though if there is something that I learnt today, it is to better pace myself. I think that I went off too fast on the earlier runs and felt it, and ran at a slightly slower pace on the later runs.

    It has been a week and a half since I last completed a run for the Watch to 5K program that I am following. I’ve had a cold that has lingered, has sapped my strength and made me feel like doing anything but run. Although not quite there in terms of healing, I felt that I was well enough today to run and so put on my running shoes and headed out.

    When I last went out I had just finished week 3. However, with the week and a half break behind me I decided to go back to the start of week 2. Maybe the start of week 3 would have been a good place to restart, but I didn’t find that an easy week, and was not comfortable that week 3 would be an easy place to start running again, especially as I am still early on in the program. I want to enjoy this, not make it an endurance test.

    So week 2 it was, and I felt that I handled it well. Despite the gusty wind, the running felt easier and stronger than the first time that I went through that week, and so I am going to chalk that up to progress being made. That has given me encouragement, and I now I am looking forward to getting back into my running routine again.

    Yesterday was meant to be my next run on the Watch to 5K program, but I didn’t go out. I had the feeling of a cold coming on twenty four hours earlier, and yesterday I was not right. Today is also going to be a no show. I’m still not feeling right, and don’t want to do too much and just make myself feel worse. So hopefully tomorrow or Wednesday I’ll be back out there.

    Cartoon drawing of a man in a tracksuit running, a headband on his head, and writing below saying that week 3 of Couch to 5K program has been completed

    Well there’s week 3 of the Watch to 5K program completed. The conditions were perfect today - overcast, barely a breeze, and a comfortable temperature. There was some stiffness, but I was feeling better with the longer runs.

    Yes I keep saying it, but today’s Watch to 5K run felt hard. At one stage I thought that I was going to start walking during a running stage. Admittedly the island is still experiencing strong winds, but my legs felt a stiffness in them today. …Onto the next leg…

    My last run on the Watch to 5K program was last Wednesday, January 31st. The program is structured so that you run every other day. The day in between is for rest and to allow the body to build its strength. However, a cold front moved across the State this last weekend bringing some strong weather with it. Because of that I missed my Friday and Sunday runs.

    Today I got back into running schedule, repeating the run that I did on Wednesday - the first of week three. Although the wind was strong, overall I felt comfortable today. Initially there was some stiffness in my legs. However, as I worked my way through that, I paced myself better than last week, most likely because through repetition I knew what was coming as I worked through today’s program.

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