I’ve not updated my blog in some time and feel like the time is right to get back on it. It is spring in name only as the temperature outside is below freezing for at least the fourth night in a row, if not longer. It sure has been chilly. However, over the last three months, I have managed to get back in the gym and out on the road. Find out how I’ve been getting on…
The first few weeks of training after Christmas saw me spend a record amount of time in the gym. Or so I thought. I missed out on Xercise4Less’ monthly bonus scheme by one check-in, gutted! I’m convinced that I went more than 12 times in January but not according to the all-important app. The perks will have to wait.
The training, however, was worth it.
In the gym, I did a lot of high-intensity interval training which gave me the edge when I decided to start pounding the pavements again. The photo above is a fairly low res photo (blame my phone!) of what I’ve been getting up to: Prowler Pushes, Push Ups, Farmers Walks, Lunges, Sprints, Squats and a bit of boxing. Not forgetting my favourite of them all, the stair-climber, which has turned my legs to jelly on more than a handful of occasions.
The obvious benefit of working out in the gym is that you don’t feel the cold. It’s also a chance to build up fitness for the spring which has been a great springboard for my training so far this year.
The Burrs County Park Mudfest
No, that’s not a new mud-crazed event. After a few solid weeks building our fitness in the gym, me and a friend decided to go for a run around Burrs. Whilst it had been raining, I didn’t imagine it would be too bad. This is the scene that greeted us…
For a few careful steps after getting out of the car my new shoes were clean. After taking the path under the railway line I was soaked up to the ankles. After that, a satisfyingly steep climb greeted us and after a hard slog we stopped at the top to look back. It was steeper than I thought. Picking our way down the hill was great fun and allowed us to accelerate, splashing through puddles and mud to the level ground below. Crossing the park we then started on a quick lap of the field. If the hill was muddy and wet, this was much worse. We slogged our way through the mud and standing water for 30 minutes before calling it a day and making the sensible choice of returning to the car. All in an afternoon’s work.
Piling on the Distance
I haven’t really increased my weekly mileage that much, truth be told. However, I have taken the opportunity to run two long-distance routes so far this year. By long distance I mean over 10k. The first was my first and only 10 mile run so far this year. As ever, I never set out to run over 10 miles. Who even does that? Those people are insanely committed. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to feel that again this summer but I’m not ready quite yet. I suppose trying is a good place to start though…
Enough mumbling. I headed out of the door telling myself I was going to do four miles and call it quits. Deep down I knew I wanted to run 10k. Deep down rarely loses. Feeling a little bit nostalglic I decided to run around the estate where I grew up, down the streets which were so familiar as a child that I could name the residents of every house.
After running over the local industrial estate and taking a trip down memory lane I decided to do some exploring. I turned right where I’ve never been before and ran hard past a B&Q, some more industrial units (there are so many round here it’s hard to know where to start!) and finally a residential area I never knew existed. I stopped momentarily to shake a few stones out of my shoe which caused my foot to blister quite dramatically by the time I reached home.
Turning back I still had work to do. This time I climbed hard up the main road with fields, rather than an industrial estate, to my left. I resumed the route I’d left behind once I rejoined the industrial estate. The best thing about the industrial estate is that it’s one big hill with the peak almost exactly in the middle. Once I’d crossed over, I still had time for a quick lap of a local street before heading home. If there’s one thing that I can’t stand it’s not rounding up my mileage. I reached my estate with just less than 10 miles showing on my Garmin. To finish then would be sacrilege.
My foot now uncomfortable and swelling with fluid, I picked off a local estate. When running consistently, I often use the circular route to round off a longer run so knew it was the perfect distance. I finished with my Garmin showing 10.07 miles. A job well done.