Activation Energy

IMG_0521 2.jpgBuilding up momentum again after you’ve taken time off is best done as soon as possible. Given that, I decided to follow through on yesterday’s decision and get out of the door despite the wet weather, and the fact I’m not feeling well.

My concession to illness and the rain was to run only a short 3km, just far enough, really, to say, “yes, I went for a run.” I figure I can build the distance back up easily enough; the difficult bit is getting out of the door in the first place.

So, whatever I feel like, as long as it’s not actually icy and dangerous, and as long as my cold/flu/whatever it is doesn’t get too much worse, I plan to get back out there a few times this week, even if it’s only for short little runs, so that I can build some momentum to start the new year with…

Wee Cough

So, first it was icy on the pavements. Then it was Christmas. And then I was ill. As a result, it’s now been eight days since I last went for a run. Plus, with the amount I’ve eaten, I’ve probably just about doubled my body weight in the last week…

Bleurgh.

So, is there any good news?

Well, yes. For a start, I’ve got this week off work, so I’ve got a lot of daylight hours I can use to get back into the swing of things. Plus, I finally bought some jogging bottoms today, so I can wear something warmer than my shorts when I finally get back out there!

I don’t know much about running when you’re ill. But I figure after a week off, and not feeling on top form, the best thing is to start off with something easy, to rebuild the momentum. So, I may go out and do a really short run tomorrow — maybe just three or four kilometres, nice and easy.

And that — apart from getting a good night’s sleep tonight, and laying out all my running gear ready for whenever I want to get out of the door — is as far as my cold-addled brain has got so far. More tomorrow. Hopefully.

Odd Clothing Combination

Blue-Sky WinterThis morning, I put on my wooly hat before heading outside, on the grounds that it was ‑1ºC. Then I got out into the street, turned around, and went back for my sunglasses. I definitely needed both, which is a combination I’ve not found necessary since the last time I went snowboarding…

As the rest of the UK gets blanketed with lovely snow, Bristol was being its usual recalcitrant self by having such a lovely clear day that if there were leaves on the trees, you’d have thought it was July. Until your nadgers dropped to the ground with a clang, anyway. I even jogged past a highly-optimistic ice cream van.

Because I did 10K last weekend, I figured I’d just do a simple, short run in the sun today, so I did my shortest Downs-based run, a smidge over 5K, and then went and got an amaretto latte from Coffee #1. Nice and simple.

This week, I’m going to do at least one run before Christmas, and I might make it a harbourside run, just to mix things up a bit. Until then, enjoy the snow, if you’ve got it!

Frosty!

IMG_0508 2.JPGWow. That was cold! According to my weather widget, it was 0ºC outside when I started this evening’s run. And I can definitely believe it.

I added gloves and a hat to my usual outfit on the way out. And it wasn’t too bad once I’d warmed up. And at least it wasn’t raining. But I’m going to have to get some jogging bottoms, or leggings‑y things (the latter, I would wear under my shorts, not wishing to inflict on anyone the sight of my arse in something that’s effectively a pair of tights.)

I’m heading into town tomorrow, so maybe I’ll see what TK Maxx have. As I’ve observed before, actual running shops are useless for this sort of thing, as they assume runners are all fit and shapely. So if a running shop stocked anything that would fit at the waist, the legs would be about a metre too long for me…

Anyway. I did another nice, simple 5K today, and it was better than last time, back to my usual pace, and the only problem I had apart from the wind-chill was the occasional patch of ice to avoid. Luckily the pavement was never more than half-covered over, so there was plenty of room to run around the frozen puddles.

Not sure what I’m going to do, next week — it will be Christmas, after all! — but assuming I do get out, I think I’ll try making one of my runs a twice-around-the-harbourside affair. I’m getting a bit bored with the Portway, especially in the dark…

Today’s picture is one of the cute mini mince pies a colleague at work brought in for us all 🙂

Soggy Slog

Today was a bit crap. It was cold, wet, and I wasn’t in the mood. But I got out and did a desultory 5K anyway, which I guess counts for something.

The first run after a long run is definitely hard work. Certainly I’ve not noticed an exception to that rule yet. I left it an extra day, after Sunday’s 10K, and set out just to do 5K fairly steadily, as I figured it might be bad.

But hey, it wasn’t awful. I just slogged my way through it, and 5K doesn’t seem like a long way, as it used to. Knowing I could do it twice over on a good day makes it easier to get through on a bad one…

Anyway. This post is more for the purposes of record, rather than entertainment, so I’ll leave it here.

Another 10K

Durdham Down Trees
Definite rule of running: once you’ve done a distance once, it’s a lot easier, psychologically, to do it again. Today I was feeling pretty good, and I’d had a decent night’s sleep, and the weather looked okay, so I decided to do 10K again.

And here it is on RunKeeper.com. It was actually 10.42km, about the same as my previous long run, and in about the same time. In fact, due to a nice bit of synchronicity, the last every-5-minute reminder I heard from RunKeeper was “Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes. Distance: Ten point zero zero kilometres”. So now know I can do 10K in exactly an hour and a quarter, even starting with a big hill. Yay!

Also, that time includes a few seconds stopping to take a picture. Today’s pic is the rather lovely collection of trees in the middle of Durdham Down, it looks to me as if it’s three separate trees, and also one single tree, all at the same time. A kind of distributed tree 🙂

Bad 5

IMG_0489 2.JPGDespite today’s picture, it wasn’t actually a bad 5K. This is just something written on the Portway pavement that I’ve been meaning to take a photo of for months. Today I did simple 5K, with no glamour and nothing to talk about of note.

So, bearing in mind I’m crazy busy and a bit tired, I’m going to leave this right here…

[EDIT: Ooops! I forgot to post this on Thursday, too, so it’s late as well as short!]

Deep Six

Looking Up...…well, deep puddles, anyway. I want to push my weekday runs out a bit further, so I figured I’d do 6K this evening. It varied between drizzle and outright rain, but it was still good. I felt fine, and kept up a nice pace. About the only thing that wasn’t great were my calves/ankles, and I think that’s probably because I forgot to stretch after Sunday’s run. D’oh.

So, a nice, simple 6K, in just a smidge under 40 minutes, at an average pace that’s faster than I was doing 5Ks in the dry a month ago. Cool.

Didn’t take any photos tonight — my camera lens would’ve been covered in rain in seconds — so here’s one from Friday, where similar, if slightly less rainy conditions prevailed 🙂 As usual, click through it for Flickry goodness.

Back to Basics

Empty Winter TreesBearing in mind all the rain we’ve had recently, I’ve been pretty lucky with the running. It was gorgeous this morning, brilliant sunshine and not even that cold.

As well as this one of the winter trees, there’s a couple on Flickr taken from the same point on the Portway, one looking out of town, and one looking back toward the suspension bridge.

After last weekend’s 10K extreme, I stuck to a simple five-and-a-bit K, averaging a nice 7‑and-a-half minutes per kilometre, including the slow struggle up Bridge Valley Road.

I went into Coffee #1 in Clifton Village for my now-traditional vanilla latte. But they apologised before I’d even said “hi”, as they were out of vanilla syrup. And they gave me amaretto for free instead, which was lovely of them.

And that was my morning jog.

5K, with occasional stops

Tonight I realised I was tired of jogging without photos, so I grabbed my camera and a mini-tripod on the way out. I took a nice steady jog, starting a little further out on the Portway than normal, and made my “halfway” point a little further on, too.

Then on the way back, especially toward the end of the run, after 4+ km, I stopped every now and again to take a photo. I got two or three good ones (it’s tough to get good night photography with a compact camera and a tiny tripod in the rain!)

All in all, I did a rather raggedy 5K. But hey, it was late, and I was tired.

I don’t have time to process all the photos, so for now, here’s one that caught my eye as I was grabbing them from the memory card. This is a view from the footbridge I use to get to the Portway, looking back towards Bristol over Cumberland Basin.

Urban Sprawl