The last couple of weeks have seen some real ups and downs, but mostly ups. We had a long spell of calm, dry weather here in Wellington which was perfect for the Christmas holidays (and getting a trampoline up in the back garden), but I found it a bit too hot at times for running. Night shifts and the Christmas blowout also took their toll. But the good news – I managed my first 7km as planned and that was no problem. I also shaved some time off my regular 5km Johnsonville loop run, improving my pace to just under 5 minutes per kilometre.
The downs were a couple of runs where I had to give up and walk because I was too tired and hot, or just feeling too fat from overindulging on the Christmas pud. I don’t like having to admit defeat but I guess I didn’t think through those particular training sessions very well. Between night shifts is not really a good time to attempt your first 8km, and neither is Boxing Day morning, especially when it’s blisteringly hot! There was also an attempt at a run around Churton Park, but the hills killed me. Churton Park is like an endless Escher staircase with hills that only go up! I wanted to reach my 8km milestone by Christmas but didn’t quite make it in time.
I still wasn’t feeling the best when I set off to do 8km on the waterfront on Tuesday. It was the day after my Boxing Day debacle, and my third attempt at 8km. As soon as I got underway I realised I was still tired and stiff and wondered if I was going to make it. However, it was a cool morning and that helped a lot. I think a lot of people must have got running shoes for Christmas because there were loads of people out on the waterfront. I ran from Te Papa to the Niwa offices on Evans Bay Parade (4km) then back again, feeling stiff the whole time but absolutely determined not to give up. I finished on the bridge at Waitangi Park, red-faced, sweaty but very happy; my 8km milestone reached.
My shins hurt quite a bit when I finally made it back, although that eased after about 30 minutes. The shin pain has come and gone over the last couple of weeks. Mostly there’s been very little pain, but sometimes the shooting pains of shin splints have come back. I make a big effort to stay well hydrated so I don’t think dehydration is the issue. I also do stretches before every run. I think it’s to do with not getting enough rest (like after night shifts). I strain my muscles after a run, then don’t rest, then strain them some more the next time I run and then they hurt. I don’t so much need a training programme as a sleep programme.
So, only two months to go now! What next? I feel like I’ve reached a stage where it would be easy to cruise – to keep doing 5km or 7km runs and feel rather pleased with myself, but not progress much. If I’m ever going to be able to run 21km I need to keep pushing myself, and to be honest that’s the exciting bit anyway. It feels real good to do my 5km in a new best time, or to stretch out my long run by another kilometre. Over the next few weeks I aim to run 5 times a week, and the next milestone that presents itself is obviously 10km. I feel like I’m ready for it, but finding the opportunity to do it with the weather recently turning to crap is a different matter! The other limiting factor is getting enough sleep. But anyway, my next goal is to run 10km by the end of next week, 7th Jan.
Haven’t really been listening to much music while running, but I thought I’d mention this LWE podcast by Legowelt. It’s one of the best things I’ve heard lately. Legowelt aka Danny Wolfers is a Dutch producer of electronic music (techno, house, electro, ambient, soundtracks, you name it) associated with the Bunker/Clone/Creme Organisation crew. His recent Poverties Paradise EP on Echovolt records is among one of his best, although his endlessly creative musical odyssey stretches all the way back to the 90s. This podcast is a fantastic window onto an alternative universe of soulful, Chi-style house and techno.
Merry seasons greetings and a happy new year to all. See you in 2012 :)
Legowelt – LWE Podcast 106
Recorded December 2011
Music by Trackman, Omar S, Hieroglyphic Being, Legowelt, Jon DaSilva, Bnjmn, Armando. Full info/tracklist here, including an interview with Danny Wolfers himself.