Thursday, 22 September 2011

And here we are

Having posted precisely sod all for the last month or so this might be the first of several in the next few days.  Typical me: all or nothing.

I haven't really had a huge amount to blog about.  No great initiatives, no big leaps forward but no disasters either.  Equally I've had problems accessing some other blogs that I've found today, can be solved by using Safari rather than Explorer.

For what its worth, by way of an update, here's what's happened on my main blogging themes:

No big changes.  I still get a bit of stiffness each morning, achilles still feels 'odd' at times and the back of my right heel can still get quite tender.  I've been using the podiatrist supplied insoles for 'x' weeks now but there doesn't seem to be any great change.  Mind you, I've not been doing the prescribed exercises for the last 10 days and a little sporadically prior to that so therein may lie the problem.

As the injury hasn't settled down there's been precious little of this.  

I was hoping the insoles would work their magic and decided to more or less write off running for a number of weeks to allow them the time to do so.  After very little running since the middle of May I've become resigned to it (and I will be blogging about this soon) so another few weeks didn't seem much of a hardship.   

All I've been doing is the Couch to 5k programme with the eldest daughter.  This time last year, aged 11, she could (reluctantly) cover 5 miles of trails but she stopped running and this was a way I hoped to get her back into it and provide an accomplishment she could feel proud of.  She's enjoying it and doing really well, and my achilles seems to tolerate tiny bits of jogging.

Marathon Plans
Having cancelled my participation at Chester all my hopes were pinned on Paris next April.  Registration opened last week but a few weeks ago I decided I wouldn't be running.  Due to the date next year the family wouldn't have been able to go and a trip on my own would mean it would have to be a serious PB attempt or I wouldn't bother (as the total cost for registration, gels, accommodation, flights, food while there would have easily been £400), and this wasn't going to be a serious attempt.  

To have had a decent crack at it I'd have needed to start training at 55 miles a week in early December and ramp up quickly from do that I'd have needed to be doing 45 miles a week pain free from mid October...and to get from zero miles and discomfort to 45 miles with none in 6 weeks was just never going to happen.

Bit of a bugger that.

So, my surrogate running is gym based, which works.  Sort of.

A few weeks ago I came up with a plan.  I like plans, maybe I like them a little too much, as the truth is I'm better at planning than doing; so I opted not to herald it to the blogging fraternity. 

However, the idea was to replicate the time and type of exercise that might be used in a middle of the road marathon plan.  In other words train 6 times a week, with some easy days, a couple of days with weights and cardio intervals and a long session on Sundays.

Rationale was that if I had something with a bit of intensity and structure I'd stick to it more,  feel a sense of accomplishment, find weight control/reduction easier and find transitioning to running easier when the achilles settled down.

As I said that sort of works.  For the first 10 days or so I stuck to the plan relentlessly but since then my adherence has been more sporadic.  I think there are three challenges:

  1. If I work away the plan has to give way - the gym can't go with me in the same way a Garmin and trainers could.
  2. There's no end objective so less incentive to stick to the plan.
  3. If I felt lethargic or under the weather running from home and seeing 'how it goes' was almost always the approach but its harder to get the kit, towel, change of clothes, drink etc ready and drive to the gym on that basis.
Beyond that though its worked OK in that I enjoy my time there.  Its not outdoors, its not as social and it doesn't feel as hardcore but I still enjoy it.  Likelihood is that I'll tweak the plan for the next 4 weeks and get going consistently again.

Diet & Weight
Unsurprisingly its chequered news on the diet/eating front too.  Some days I eat extremely well, others I don't.  As per the exercise, with no firm objective in sight its difficult to stick consistently to any sort of 'diet' so I've hardly tried.  Whilst that still leaves me a long way above the sort of weight I'm happy at the good news is that my weight has stayed level for a couple of months now.  At least its stopped going up.

Overall, I've ostensibly become accepting of my current lot and I'm really not sure if that's a good thing or not.  On the one hand I no longer beat myself up for being unable to run or for having some ice cream but on the other not being able to wear quite a few items of clothing and feeling I don't look/feel at my best constantly niggles away at me in the background.

Time will tell I guess?