Coming to the end of my first week writing as The Purple Blogger and I have been overwhelmed by the response to my new Facebook page. Determination to ensure I am on the road to improvement has well and truly taken hold and I find myself remembering a slogan that I saw on the back of a fellow Cardiff Half runner’s top… strive for progress, not perfection; I think this needs to be my new motto because, as many of my friends will tell you, I am my own worst critic.
This week has seen the start of my 16 week programme to try and improve my 5km time – this is something I have asked my coach to help me achieve. At the moment, the areas I most need to improve are my core strength, hip flexors and running arms I think arms are going to be the running focus but I figured I could work on the other two in other ways…
I wasn’t overly delighted with my own performance at Wednesday’s club run owing to the need to walk at various points on the route – I can run 5km what the beep was the matter with me?! Then I remembered the fact I had also been out for a bike ride that day and that may be, just may be I should give myself a break. (I am also *trying* not to be so hard on myself with this sort of thing – I still did the route for goodness sake!)
Fast forward to the weekend and after a pretty lazy day on Friday I took myself off to the Fat Burn and Core classes that Chris had suggested attending. From next week, I’ll go on Tuesdays in Llanfairpwlll but on this occasion I went up to Llangefni for a little try. The classes are run by Oz Personal Fitness and were definitely pretty hardcore sessions for little old me. I thought at one point I may vomit during the twenty-minute fat burn session but tried my best (leg swings need more work!) and then on to the more gentle core session. This didn’t feel super gentle at the time as my muscles were already shouting at me but I gave it a go and realised that I definitely need to make sure that core work becomes a staple in my exercise repertoire!
Saturday morning, up before the alarm and off to Penrhyn Castle for park run. As I am now on this training plan, I did check with the boss what she wanted me to work on and the response came back have a steady run with a 15 sec burst at 8/10 effort every 5 minutes but return to steady pace and not recovery. Game on. Or not… I started off really well and even managed to push my first burst on one of the inclines of the course. After my second burst though, this became way more difficult and I found myself needing to walk on the second loop. My legs by this point were burning after the night before and I just couldn’t give it any more. I did complete the course and I did try a strong finish but in no way was this my best park run session. The rest of Saturday was spent discovering muscle groups I didn’t realise existed as the DOMS well and truly kicked in!
On to this morning and I currently should be getting ready to meet some of my fellow Betsis at Treborth track for a coaching session; however, Owen and I need to head off fairly soon for a long over due catch up with his clan. So, because I couldn’t see when else I could fit it in, I set the alarm for 7am (!) with the intention of getting to the track and doing my own session. The challenge: 12 mins easy, 2.5 mins hard, 5 mins walk, (x2) 12 mins easy to finish. I knew I could do the 2.5 hard, I have done beastly hill reps sessions that have lasted longer than that and nailed it, I just needed to make sure my head and my limbs were in sync for this session as I have been a bit miffed with myself for the lack of staying power I have showed in the earlier runs this week.
Inevitably wide awake before said early alarm (that’s twice this weekend), I decided against driving to Bangor and instead used the cycle path as my training route. I had the whole stretch I needed to myself (which is just as well given the fact I kept changing direction and occasionally muttering words of encouragement to myself) and off I went. I have to say, I really enjoyed the workout! The 2.5 minutes going hard was exactly that and I was so grateful that my recovery time was walking not jogging but I did it and I even managed to crack parts of the cycle path that I have had a bit of a mental block on. I’m not going to lie, I am feeling a tad smug with myself now. It’s not event 9am, I have walked the dog, been for a run and I can now enjoy the rest of the day without worrying about fitting everything in; proof that the early bird does indeed catch the worm!