This May Be the Beginning of a Week Off

20100228-20100228-IMG_0654 2.jpgAs you know, I’ve been having problems with my hip — well, in fact my hip and the top bit of my left-hand gluteal muscle, or “upper arse”, as I believe it’s technically known. I reckon it may be down to shoes, so yesterday I went shopping.

In Moti, the advice was basically, “well, if you’ve done fine in those shoes for the last six months, probably best just to get this year’s version of the same shoes.” Which seems sensible. Unfortunately, they didn’t have my size in stock, so they’re having them sent along from another branch, and they won’t be around until Friday.

Which I don’t think is terrible news — John Bingham’s advice is to give aches a rest before they become actual pain and debilitation, so I may simply skip my midweek run(s) this week, and go out in my nice news shoes on Saturday, assuming everything goes to plan.

As I’ve noticed that my weekend runs don’t seem to give me anything like as much gyp — probably because they’re over more varied, and sometimes softer, surfaces — I went out today for my normal weekend run, and did 7K, which at least didn’t feel like it was making me ache me any more than I already ache, and certainly felt a lot better than Wednesday’s 5K.

Today’s picture is from the work being done to fit new lock gates at the Cumberland Basin end of the Floating Harbour. This is pretty important, as if the lock gates fail, the whole floating harbour could empty pretty suddenly. With some interesting implications for Bristol, bearing in mind it’s mostly the weight of the water that holds a lot of the harbour walls up…

Hard Work

That was really hard work. All I did was my normal weekday 5K, but I just felt completely energyless. Hmph. And my hip’s aching again.

I’m starting to wonder if I might need to replace my running shoes. I bought them pretty much exactly six months ago, so they must have travelled a fair distance. And of course, they’ve had seventeen stone of Matt pounding into them for all those kilometres…

Also, looking back, I said “my left hip is sore” in my final entry of the C25K — just three days before I bought my trusty Mizunos, and I don’t remember my hip troubling me again much after that until now.

I’m sure it’s not all to do with the shoes. I’m a bit knackered anyway, I’ve not been going to bed early enough. But I think there may be some link. So, on Saturday, I think I might pop along to Moti and buy myself a pair of new running shoes…

Simple Seven

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I went to a cocktail party last night. Even though I don’t drink, it meant I was up until about 2am, so I didn’t drag myself out for a jog until about half past one today. Bit of a contrast from last week’s 7am enthusiasm!

Anyway, to get myself going, I downloaded Lady Gaga’s album The Fame Monster — currently on Amazon UK at the bargain price of £3 — and got out into the spring sunshine.

As I was tired and a bit headachey — must have been the guava juice — I kept it slow and steady and didn’t go too far. It felt pretty good, though, once I’d got up Bridge Valley Road and got going, and I decided to do a bit more than I’d planned, looping around Durdham Down to finish at just a smidge over 7km.

This makes up a bit for not running on Friday, I suppose. Looking at my stats over the last six months, Friday is the day of the week on which I tend to run least, coming in just below Monday. I think I should therefore be a bit more realistic about planning to run on Fridays, and maybe try heading out on Tuesday and Thursday if I want to go out twice during the week…

Anyway. Finished my 7K, went and got some lunch from Boston Tea Party, who are always lovely and friendly and do great coffee, and then wandered home along Royal York Crescent, which is today’s picture. This came straight from the iPhone, put together in camera from three shots, using Debacle Software’s Pano App.

Running off the Pancakes

I’m not entirely convinced that a mere 5K tonight balances out yesterday’s pancakes. And it’s possible that yesterday’s stodge was what made tonight’s run feel like such hard, slow work.

Still, this is the closest I’ve come to running in actual daylight on a weekday for a long time. It won’t be long before I’m not running in the dark, which will make a pleasant change. Maybe that’ll speed me up a bit. There’s a lot to be said for light and warmth when you’re outside…

Anyway. Just checking in. Will probably do another 5K on Friday, then get back out on Sunday at the weekend…

I Love the Taste of Croissant in the Morning

IMG_0609 2.jpgI don’t exercise in the morning. I’m just not a morning person. Virtually all my running is done in the evening, or, at the very earliest, lunchtime, at the weekends.

So. A bit odd, then, that this morning I woke up just before the alarm clock did that quiet little *clonk* it does when the alarm’s not actually switched on, and thought, “Hmm. I fancy a jog.”

Even more odd, I actually went and did it. None of the stats look unusual on the RunKeeper log. 7K in 56 minutes, a little under 8 minutes per kilometre — slow, but not unusual when Bridge Valley Road is involved. What’s unusual is that the run started at just past 7am on a Sunday morning.

It made a nice change, actually. I think I suffered a bit more towards the end than usual — there’s a final little incline I have to get up, and it seemed harder today. Maybe I was lacking blood sugar.

But on the whole, it was a pretty nice experience. I was out early enough to disturb some wildlife I don’t normally see — a cormorant, for example, flapping away to the other side of the river as I bounded past, and the crows, yet to be relegated to the sidelines by the Sunday football leagues, pulling their stringy breakfast from the Downs.

And I finished on an unexpected bonus, too: I’d expected a pitfall of the early start to be a lack of coffee at the finish line, but once I’d passed my three usual suspects for a post-run drink — Coffee #1, Chandos Deli, and Boston Tea Party — I stumbled across Caffe Nero, who open at 8am every Sunday. Not only were they open, they wished me a happy Valentine’s Day as soon as I walked in, which was a nice touch.

So, in the absence of any decent photos — it was a dull, grey dawn this morning — here’s some product placement. I think they deserve it 🙂

PS: I went out for a simple 5K on Wednesday, but didn’t have time to blog about it. But I’m keeping up the momentum, honest!

10K. Again.

PerchYup, went out and did another 10K today. Wasn’t entirely sure I was going to — if I’d not felt good I’d have cut it short — but it was fine. Nice and slow, up Bridge Valley Road, around the edge of Clifton Down to the Water Tower, a loop around Durdham Down, then back the way I came, in a kind of lasso-shape. As you can see on the RunKeeper map, if you want 🙂

About the only bad thing was that I finished off at my normal lamp post in Clifton Village at 9.85K, so I had to run a bit extra. I ended up on Royal York Crescent, which at least has a nice view!

On the way I passed this crow, hanging out by Sea Wall, who looked vaguely photogenic. Looks better bigger.

Anyway, that’s all for today! It’ll probably be another fairly quiet week, this week, as I’m sure I’ll need a few days to recover!

Recovery Run

I think it’s quite fortuitous that this is the week I’ve been reading the chapter on avoiding injuries in John Bingham’s No Need for Speed.

One of the things he talks about is how to pay attention to your body; how to listen to those early, gentle aches and pains that mean you should back off for a day or so, instead of pressing on and turning the ache into a pain and then into something more serious.

So, seeing as my thighs have been aching quite a lot since Sunday’s run — not surprising, as it’s the most hill I’ve ever climbed — I left an extra day, and tried to do a pretty minimal run tonight.

And I’m glad I did, because even the slow 4K was quite a slog, and my right hamstring did whinge a bit at me. Nothing serious, but I’m going to take the advice in the book — otherwise there wasn’t much point in me buying it! — and take another couple of days off, and then go out for something on Saturday and see how I feel.

If I feel good, I’ll do the normal weekend around-the-Downs run. If I don’t, I’ll cut it shorter.

Still, really enjoyed the 8K in the woods on Sunday, and it’s good to open up another longer, hilly route that goes through greenery and ends up at a café!