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Grey skies give way to......

  • 18-08-2016 9:22am
    Registered Users Posts: 5,243 ✭✭✭

    Some basic info first:
    Female, early 30's, married, one child, work full time.

    Started C25k about 3 years ago.
    Fastest 5k : 29:59 in March 2016
    Fastest 10k : 1:04:15 in Sept 2015
    Use Strava on my phone to record my runs.

    It had been suggested to me a couple of times to do a log on here but I brushed it off - I figured most of the logs here were for marathon runners, people with fast speeds, high mileage who knew what they were doing.

    I'm the opposite, I'm not competitive, it's exercise, it's a hobby, it's something we can all do as a family, it's good for your health, I'm by no means fast and I run when I can, not following a particular training plan or schedule.

    I started running about 3 years ago. I was approaching my 30's, my son was getting older and I realised that age was catching up and I wasn't as fit as I used to be. I started with the C25K app on my phone. It wasn't easy! But I completed it and then joined the C25K group at my local GAA club. We meet on Tues and Fri evenings, do a warm up, go our own pace and then cool down stretches and chats after. I still go every week when I can.

    I joined the local parkrun about a year ago. I find the course challenging, it's a change of terrain with grass and trail. There's every type of runner and walker and the people are very friendly and I enjoy volunteering and being more involved in it.

    Since I started running I've done a few 5k races, usually local ones. There's not much point in driving over an hour to Dublin, leaving early in the morn for a 5k! I've also done the women's mini-marathon a few times and the Northwest 10K twice and the Athlone flatline 10k. Most recently was a 10k in Lilliput near Mullingar.

    But I've hit a bit of a slump. I've been struggling with my running lately. It seems to be both physical and mental. I'm full of I can't and I'm not able to and my body seems to agree with my head! I keep stopping for walking breaks, I'm finding it difficult to lift my legs and move my body, I'm trying to move and find I'm getting nowhere slowly. I find myself out of breath, dry mouth, dependant on having water with me. I've been close to tears on a few occasions. I'm lucky I'm not injured or unwell but I just haven't been on running form and I feel I'm letting myself down, I know I can run better than this. So I really am starting this log at the bottom!

    I'm hoping this log will help me to focus my thoughts on running. I've come to learn that running is just as mental as it is physical. While I do log all my runs on strava, I think by putting a little narrative here on reflection, I might be able to get back on form and improve my running. Lastly, the running forum on Boards is full of great people and a wealth of knowledge and I enjoy reading it and other people's logs. Feel free to leave your input, suggestions and constructive comments.



  • Registered Users Posts: 5,243 ✭✭✭Sunny Dayz

    So my first logged run....

    Tues 16/08/2016 - evening.

    5km time 38:33
    Splits: 6:22, 7:56, 8:11, 8:00, 7:33

    Was a fairly warm evening out and I didn't drink enough water during the day. Tues evening run with the local gaa club group. I like this route as it's an out and back down a quiet country road. Started off my run with one of the girls I usually run with but after 1km I had to tell her to carry on at her own pace. So without company I went between a bit of running and walking and sipping water. Not able to lift the legs at all. I was tempted to turn back at the 2km mark but stubbornness kept me going! I was close to tears a couple of time when I slowed into a walk.

    It felt like a sh!te run if I'm honest, the last few runs have felt like this and really knocked me back mentally. I was half thinking of doing a 10k race which coincidentally is near relations I'm visiting on Saturday. But after the last few runs I've had, I'll knock this on the head. There'll be other races.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,044 ✭✭✭chickey2

    Always great to see new logs!
    Have you any long term goals? I find I run so much better when I have a goal and a plan for achieving that goal. It really focuses the mind. I know you're not in it competitively but sometimes it's good to compete with yourself!
    Best of luck.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,883 ✭✭✭Younganne

    Best of luck with the log and the running.

    Would you try just going for a shorter run and not recording splits.

    Just do a short run at whatever pace is comfortable but make it shorter. try make it a distance you know you will run without stopping and then gradually add to it, but take the pressure off yourself regarding paces.

    There's no problem with walking but ask yourself do you really need to walk or can you go a little further and see how it goes.

    Also look back on why you started running and try get back the enjoyment, as at the moment it sounds like you are not enjoying it and this is the most important part of running.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,317 ✭✭✭HigginsJ

    Putting your thoughts and feelings out there is no harm, might help you hit on something. I have seen some of the replies you got in the random running questions thread so great to see you starting your own log.

    I agree with Younganne that it sounds like you are not enjoying it. Are you possibly overthinking it, focusing on times etc. How would you feel about downloading the c25k app and using it as a kick-start (no tracking of distance/speed). Just run/walk, take in the scenery and see how it goes.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 5,009 ✭✭✭Firedance

    Welcome to the logs SD :) some good advice there from Anne and J. Bring it back to basics and maybe go out without your watch for a few runs and just jog along nice and easy enjoying being out.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,129 ✭✭✭mel.b

    Have you got someone you can run with, maybe someone else from the c25k group at the gaa club? having someone else with you helps pass the time and keeps you motivated. Maybe head down to your local parkrun on a saturday morning as well.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,272 ✭✭✭Dubgal72

    Hi and welcome! +1 to all the advice above, especially the 'ditch the watch' advice. Too often that little bit of data strapped to your wrist becomes a not-so-benign dictator and kills the joy. Go and leave the watch at home, run, listen to what your body wants to do and enjoy your surroundings!

    As an aside, are you getting enough sleep? And don't forget, pressure at work - or anywhere else - can impact your running life, hence the sleep question. Lack of sleep makes everything so much harder. Best of luck with it all!

  • Registered Users Posts: 437 ✭✭FIFA2004

    So glad to see your log starting, uve given me so much help and encouragement in the past, I've always wondered how your running is going. Try some of the suggestions above, start enjoying things again and the mojo will be back soon!

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,243 ✭✭✭Sunny Dayz

    Well thank you all for your responses. Thanks for taking the time to read my ramblings and giving me some advice.

    Down to the GAA club this evening. I said I would just do easy laps around the pitch. I know a few people suggested running without technology but as a few had said I may be running my easy runs too fast, I would try and run easy and see do the times correspond. Well it's not easy to run easy!! I thought I was running easy but going by km splits I wasn't!! But I have to say I was pleased enough after that run, I didn't feel like I wanted to cry this time! Ok laps can be boring but I didn't put any pressure on myself to keep running or to keep up with others.
    4.7km 32:44mins

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,243 ✭✭✭Sunny Dayz

    5km 35:28
    Splits: 6:40, 6:38, 7:22, 7:10, 6:48

    This was supposed to be an easy run but as you can see from the times above I haven't quite mastered my easy pace yet! 3km in and my right calf started at me so stopped for a little stretch and was grand after that. But other than that it was a grand run, quite close weather out but the evenings are closing in.

    Went for a cycle with the youngster yesterday, 12.5km in about 50mins. We live near a cycleway and it was busy with the fine evening, good to see so many about.

    Plan for the rest of the week: meeting a friend for a walk on Thurs, then Great Pink Run 5km on Saturday.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,883 ✭✭✭Younganne

    Best of luck Saturday, enjoy every step!

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,243 ✭✭✭Sunny Dayz

    Saturday - Great Pink Run
    5.1km - 32:39 (strava) 32:03 official chip time
    6:26, 5:59, 6:12, 6:46, 6:09, 5:21 (0.1km)

    Was really looking forward to this run, and happy that I was excited for it, not dreading it or putting pressure on myself. Wasn't really treating this as a race, it was a run for a very good cause. Met with all the gang who were also taking part (a relative of mine is a recent survivor). They know I run and kept saying are you going to run, are you starting at the front?! Even though they were all walking it, I said I wanted to start with them I wanted to cross the start line with them.

    First km was fairly congested, I just jogged quite slowly, no point wasting energy trying to pass people. One we turned down OS road, it thinned out a bit.

    2nd km a lot more people were jogging so I would tip in behind someone else jogging and let them lead the way through the crowds.

    3rd km is was a bit more sheltered along knockmarron & lower glen.

    However 4km was another matter. Now I did this route a few years ago, I know there is a climb to the hairpin at upper glen. But I was completely parched by the time I got to the hill, mouth was bone dry! Struggled on this km.

    The last km onto Furze road was also tougher than I was expecting, it felt long and never ending. I just wanted a drink! That was a long stretch to the finish, that would really test your mental and physical strength, both of which need some work!! Was glad on water at the finish! Waited for the rest of them to cross the finish, was very proud of them all for what they did xx Enjoyed chatting with them and catching up.

    It was a well organised event, nice spread of water and bananas after, a medal, tea, coffee, snacks, photo ops, plenty of loos. Great effort by participants to dress in pink, some did a fantastic job!

    Also have to mention little sunny dayz, he was in the top 10 under18 finishers for the 5km, very proud of him!

    I'm so jealous of those living in Dublin getting to run in the Phoenix Park, it's just beautiful. So many people about on Saturday running, cycling and strolling in the park. We actually made a family day out and went to the zoo after. Checked the phone that evening, we covered about 18km on Saturday!!

  • Registered Users Posts: 746 ✭✭✭gypsylee

    Well done Sunny Dayz. Well done to your son too. A great achievement.

    It was a great event and very well organised. Really enjoyed it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,317 ✭✭✭HigginsJ

    Congrats Sunny Dayz (& also little Sunny Dayz). Hope you are feeling a bit better about your running as that was a very good run.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,243 ✭✭✭Sunny Dayz

    Out to the GAA club yesterday evening.
    Trying to make to the most of the road runs with the club before the evenings get too dark as there is no footpath, no hard shoulder and no street lights along the country roads we use. So we will be confined to laps around the pitch and if we're lucky the floodlights might be on!

    5 km 34:48
    Splits 6:15, 6:59, 6:47, 7:43, 6:33

    Have had better runs but not an all out disaster! I don't know if it was just me but it felt like there was no air out, it was really heavy and muggy weather. I feel like such a country person here, always mentioning the weather in my logs! My 4th km was a bit of a struggle to be honest, it just felt like it was a longer run than it normally is! Slightly annoyed at myself for taking so many walking breaks as my last 5km was pretty good so I definitely had the energy there.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 5,009 ✭✭✭Firedance

    Was that an 'easy' run Sunny Dayz? Isn't your easy pace 7:56-8.20ish or there abouts ;) if you slow down you won't need to take walk breaks at all :) Well done on the Great Pink run too!!

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,420 ✭✭✭Ososlo

    Firedance wrote: »
    Was that an 'easy' run Sunny Dayz? Isn't your easy pace 7:56-8.20ish or there abouts ;) if you slow down you won't need to take walk breaks at all :) Well done on the Great Pink run too!!

    +1. The first 5k of my easy run today wasn't much faster than that. You are running your easy, every day runs way too fast. You shouldn't need to walk on an easy 5k at your level.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,243 ✭✭✭Sunny Dayz

    Thanks for the replies. Having a bit a trouble trying to find my easy pace if I'm honest. I'm going to have to try and have some easy runs on my own to nail down this "easy" pace and what it should feel like. I felt a bit of pressure yesterday evening (only put on by myself btw) to not keep everyone waiting for me to get back to do cool down.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,317 ✭✭✭HigginsJ

    Sunny Dayz wrote: »
    Thanks for the replies. Having a bit a trouble trying to find my easy pace if I'm honest. I'm going to have to try and have some easy runs on my own to nail down this "easy" pace and what it should feel like. I felt a bit of pressure yesterday evening (only put on by myself btw) to not keep everyone waiting for me to get back to do cool down.

    Yea might not be a bad idea to just run on your own a bit for these easy runs. Do you typically run just 5km or do you try to throw in longer runs? For instance if you know that you are aiming to do 8 or 10km then you will automatically slow yourself down as you know you will be running longer.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,243 ✭✭✭Sunny Dayz

    HigginsJ wrote: »
    Yea might not be a bad idea to just run on your own a bit for these easy runs. Do you typically run just 5km or do you try to throw in longer runs? For instance if you know that you are aiming to do 8 or 10km then you will automatically slow yourself down as you know you will be running longer.

    Agreed, I should be on my own trying the easy runs. The running on Tues & Fri at the GAA club, the last while has just been me and one other doing the road (it's a 5km route), the numbers are way down and the few others just lap the pitch. And I don't want to ignore the other girl, I enjoy chatting with her but she's just able to run faster than me! So I'm caught between trying to be social and trying to concentrate on my running! But the numbers are increasing a little again with people back to school, work and routines.

    I would often try to get in a longer run at the weekend (sunday). But my weekends have had other commitments this past month and looking like it for the next month also. Also because I haven't a race lined up it's easier to not bother with a longer run

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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,243 ✭✭✭Sunny Dayz

    Friday evening 02 Sept 4.1km 28:19
    6:32, 6:38, 6:57, 7:00, 6:42 (0.1)

    At the GAA club, very low numbers and no other roadrunners so I decided to try slow running again and not have to be thinking about anyone else.
    Feels like I did better than previous attempts. It is still difficult to make sure you are going slowly and could kinda feel it in the calves as I was trying to stop myself going faster.
    I hadn't felt I needed to take walking breaks, just when I went to take water as I hadn't drank enough during the day. It was nice to see the line pace analysis on strava less erratic looking.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,243 ✭✭✭Sunny Dayz

    Sunday morning 10k race 1:04:47 (per strava, still waiting on official result)
    Splits: 5:45, 6:00, 6:20, 6:25, 6:11, 7:31, 6:57, 6:45, 6:53, 6:06

    Had seen a 10k race advertised for Mullingar but wasn't going to commit myself to it as we had a few things on this weekend and I wasn't sure if I was going to be free to do it. So on Saturday night I set out my running gear and said I would go if the weather wasn't to bad in the morning (Saturday evening with us was pretty bad for a time).

    Got up about 8:30am, bowl of cereal and some tea and drove to Mullingar which is just over half an hour away. Part of my drive into Mullingar was actually along the race route so I tried to recce as best I could from the driving seat! Few people already out running, getting their miles in before the race! Got there about 10am as I had to register on the day, I missed the online reg. Sorted in a few mins, got my tshirt and went back to the car for a bit to get myself pinned up and sorted out. I had a banana then. About 10:30 I got out, did a few stretches, a little warm up jog around the carpark and a few more stretches. Little bit unnerving to hear people chatting, oh I just did 12 miles before this! But they are well capable of it. Quick toilet break and off to the start line. Bumped into a fellow school mammy at the start. I positioned myself near the back of the pack.
    • 1km - Chatted with school mum as we started for the first few hundred metres then I slotted behind a round of ladies who were doing a nice pace. Sun came out and it was pleasant. Was enjoying the pace. However when my strava kicked in at 1km I realised my first km was too quick. I always do this!
    • 2km - tried to slow up on this km. Sun getting warmer now. Still keeping up with the ladies in front of me but school mum had dropped back a bit. Still was feeling comfortable though but when strava kicked in I knew I was still going too fast and wouldn't be able to keep that up for a 10k.
    • 3km - Did better at slowing up on this km. I was still behind the group of ladies and they seemed to have eased up a bit too. Still feeling ok though, just a bit more conscious of my speed. It was strange, every race I've ever ran before I was always trying to speed up, run as fast as I could. This time I was trying to slow myself down!
    • 4km - Turn off the main road. By now it was starting to get quite warm so I slowed up a bit to take some water. Starting to struggle a bit and the group of ladies in front of me were beginning to put a little distance between us.
    • 5km - school mum had caught up with me at the start of this km so we had a chat and I was hoping it would take my mind off things. A little breeze was about and that cooled things down a bit. A nice chat and jog but then we reached the turning point and the time signalled for my last km at 6:11 which we both agreed was too fast for us.
    • 6km - I really fell apart on this one. I knew up to now I was doing my run too fast and I kept trying to slow down. The sun came out and was beating down. Turns out there was a slight uphill here but I didn't even notice - and I do notice hills and climbs, I really don't like them. There was a water table here and I took a little cup. It was nice and cool as the water I was carrying was warm by now. I slowed to a brisk walk and had my water. Started back to run again and all I could feel was the water sloshing about inside me. Felt uncomfortable.
    • 7km - when I heard the time for my 6km I had to give myself a mental kick in the bum. Started picking out things in the distance - road sign, side road, anything - just to run towards.
    • 8km - back out on the main road now. Kept up my "running towards things" strategy. I think I caught up with school mum towards the end of this km but I ended up slowing down to brisk walk to have some more water and she carried on ahead.
    • 9km - Kept school mum in my sights. There was a slight climb over a bridge over the canal but it was actually fine. Still moving, just slower. Still maintaining my "run toward things" strategy.
    • 10km - Was happy to pass the 9km sign and knew it wasn't long now. I heard my cumulative time on my strava when I completed 9km and realised that I could be close to my pb time!Tried to pick up the pace a bit and close in on school mum. I could see the hotel in the distance so knew I was getting near. Met a fella jogging back the road and he said it's just around the corner. Once I turned the corner I could see the finish line and tried to give it all I had, it was difficult as I could feel myself running out of steam before the line but just kept pushing.

    Clock at the finish said 1:05:xx but I'm delighted with that. I was hoping to get around 1:10 so quite pleased with that. I was only a couple of seconds off my 10km pb.

    Few things I've learned from the run. Start off slow, yeah still haven't mastered that yet! Perhaps look about getting a running watch. I didn't really know that I wasn't going slow enough until each km was done and I hear strava in my ear. Slightly kicking myself about my 6th km but overall I'm very happy with how it went.

    Thanks to everyone since I started my log telling me to slow down. Yes ye were right!! I've never ran a race where I spent so much time telling myself to slow down, it was novel!

    Edit: to add that I had passed the 600km mark for this year!

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,883 ✭✭✭Younganne

    well done on another 10k race. and a great time too. It was very hot yesterday.

    you mentioned a few post back that you feel uncomfortable always mentioning the weather. I make a point of putting the weather into my post so that when i read back over them its nice to know if it was hot & sunny or cool and wet etc. To me it builds a picture, especially if I've had a particularly good run or a particularly bad run and not just an average run. Im in the country too and the evening runs will soon be coming to an end!! I haven't quite got to the stage of running with a head torch yet, even though i bought one a few years back!! ;)

    Well done yesterday, every race you will learn something new to work on in the next race.

  • Registered Users Posts: 746 ✭✭✭gypsylee

    Well done Sunny Dayz. Great report and excellent time.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,420 ✭✭✭Ososlo

    Great time ! Well done!

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,243 ✭✭✭Sunny Dayz

    Tues evening 4.1km 29:33
    Splits 6:42, 7:41, 7:18, 6:54, 6:47 (0.1)

    Legs were still pretty tired after the 10k on Sunday. Wearing heels in work everyday probably wasn't helping either. Was feeling pretty tired and I think it was weather related (as you can guess I blame everything on the weather!).

    Tues eve meeting at the GAA club as usual. Not too many for the road and I walked for a little bit getting my headphones sorted so the others carried on ahead. That way I didn't feel like I was going to hold anyone up or try to keep up with them, I knew this had to be a slow run.

    2nd km was a bit slower than the rest, left calf was feel a bit tight so I stopped to stretch it out a little. Turned after 2km and headed back the road (We normally go to the end of the cul de sac and back to make up 5km). The heat was unreal - it was overcast but at 7pm my phone was telling me it was 23c! And it was, my top was stuck to me with sweat! It was a sluggish enough run, shuffling along with a few walking breaks. Legs were tired and heavy, whole body was tired. But I got out and about, that's the main thing.

  • Registered Users Posts: 746 ✭✭✭gypsylee

    Glad to see it was not only me that found last night's run hard. Very warm. Looking forward to cooler weather but just for running!

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,243 ✭✭✭Sunny Dayz

    5km Parkrun 32:42
    Splits: 5:48, 7:13, 6:40, 7:31, 6:23

    It's been well over a month since I did my local parkrun. I actually missed it. I was expecting it to go better than it did. I wasn't out for my usual run after work yesterday evening due to the rain so I expected to be pretty fresh for this morning. Started my first km too fast as usual. Then it got warm. It wasn't easy the rest of it, legs felt tired even though I hadn't done much running this week.

    So after a quick breakfast after I headed over to the Athlone Flatline half marathon to help out. Really enjoyed seeing all the runners finishing, they were all pretty happy and in good spirits.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,243 ✭✭✭Sunny Dayz

    5km 36:51
    Splits 6:58, 7:32, 7:35, 7:19, 6:50

    This wasn't planned as being a slow run. It was hoping for a more brisk pace today seeing as it was a few days since I ran and probably won't get out again til Friday. Plus there was going to be company on the road so I wanted to try keep up. Epic fail!
    1st km was at a nice pace, manageable. Then the mind took over on the second km, I just wasn't in the running humour! By the 3rd km my legs felt heavy and I was feeling fed up. The other girls were well ahead of me. At the turning point I decided to put in the ear phones and listen to some music to distract both the body and mind. I know it is recommended to run by feel, listen to your body etc etc but I didn't care, I just wanted to finish the bloody run! Music and stubbornness helped get back to the clubhouse with a few walking breaks in between where I gave out to myself!
    I suppose they can't all be good runs.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 746 ✭✭✭gypsylee

    Your times for last night seem fine considering you did some walking too. Sometimes a run is more of an ordeal than an enjoyable event!! Put it behind you now and look forward to the next one.