If you don’t want to read about one man’s struggle in the face of the insuperable; about sweat, blood, and grit (whilst humming the montage music from Rocky, preferably) look away now.
*tumbleweed blows across blog*
O.K., just me then. Still recording it for posterity.
Before I went for my assessment weekend for the T.A.,in April I’d knocked out a few 1.8 mile runs. This I sporadically doubled up to my last blog entry (June 13th) when I had managed one run of 7.2 miles. That was pretty heroic.
I then started loosely following a training plan to get up to half marathon standard. The plan gave distances, but not speeds. Knowing nothing about it I was basing my time on the one person I knew who ran, a Twitter chum, @Suzywong30 who said a good speed would be about 8 minutes per mile. (To be fair she said that because on my shorter runs I thought I was averaging about 7½ minutes per mile.)
The other snippet I gleaned was from the half marathon website where I read that up to a cut off point of 1 hour 40 minutes, you got an exact ranking and time in the race results. After that just position. The implication being, it seemed, that that was a respectable time, anything over than that was just ‘also ran’.
The maths on that seem to say that if you are running over 7 minute 40 second miles, you are not going to get a time.
So I was aiming for 8 minute miles as I built my stamina.
It said on the plan to up your ‘long’ run by 1 mile a week. I was at 7 miles. I did an 8 miles, again nearly killing me.
Then, fairly soon after I tried for a 9 mile run (that was the 10th July) which I was really pleased to have finished in 1 hour 13 minutes. I was nearly dead by the end of it, but just chuffed to get that far. The more I was running the more daunted I was becoming by the prospect of the full 13 miles.
There’s only one way to get over that kind of apprehension, so on the 13th instead of the planned 4 mile warm up run I went the distance. 13 miles, 1 hour 46 minutes of graft. Go me!
In less than 2 months I’ve gone from a sweaty, wheezing unfit bastard who could barely manage to run 1.8 miles, to a sweaty, wheezing unfit bastard who can barely run 13 miles! Yay!
The twist in the tale came yesterday. Some other newbie runner was asking advice on a training plan. I suggested the plan I’d been loosely following, someone else came back with the BUPA training plan.They said it was better so I took a look.
It says newbies should aim for a run time of about 11-12 minutes per mile, which you can knock down to 10-11 m/m if you want to as you progress, with a half marathon time of 2 hours 20 minutes to 2½ hours!
ARE YOU HAVING A LAUGH?
I’ve been nearly killing myself and thinking I was doing really crap. ( I lose, literally 3 lbs from when I get up in the morning to when I finish a 13 mile run! Just through sweating. Alas it’s not a miracle diet, you put it back on as soon as you’ve drank a gallon to re-hydrate.) I went out again the next week and got it down to 1hr 45mins, thinking I only had to knock a further 5 minutes off my time to begin to be a reasonable runner, then I saw that!
To add further insult to near-death-experience, one of the experienced runners (ran the half marathon last year) was saying on the site he was going for a 2 hour 20 minutes run, following the 11½ minute/ mile pace setter!
I’ll still be trying to get inside the 1 hour 40 minute bracket, but I won’t be overly ashamed if I miss it by a few minutes.
So, that’s my running news. Sorry to have bored any with the stamina to have made it to this point.
My Saxing is coming along apace. I’m still crap, but now I’m crap at stuff I would have wept at attempting 6 months ago.
Work is still crap, but with the Tories in power I suppose I should be grateful I still have a job. They’ve already cut the funding to the Citizens Advice Bureau, and it’s looking like jobs will have to go. I don’t think Wendy will lose her job, but you never know. And that only the first round of cuts.
And they are trying to cancel my work-experience placement in Afghanistan. Bloody Tories.
I have my new dates for my T.A., training. I can’t see me having it done by the end of this year. It’s going to be tight trying to get all the boxes ticked and on a tour for next year. If I can, I will though.
That’s about it. This is why I’ve not been blogging, nothing monumental is happening. The little day to day stuff I report as it happens on Twitter (@thegoodbuck if anyone wants to follow me on there.)