The Bristol Half Marathon had helped me get out there and start training again but in the end I didn’t get a chance to run. My daughter became ill and we spent five hours, the night before the race, in hospital. She was fine in the end but I couldn’t leave her on the day so my plans to mostly run, but walk if I needed to, kind of drifted away.
There was a lot less reason to run after that and my training has drifted down to one day a week on a Friday. The good thing about it is that my runs have become consistent and longer. They tend to last around 45 minutes. The last one was 25 because I had to get back but it was still better than I was used to.
My main challenge with my running has been my diaphragm and getting a side stitch. The pain is so impractical that on one of my runs I ended up running for four minutes, and walking for one, for the whole session.
I do my training on a treadmill while watching either Deal or No Deal and / or Beverly Hills 90210. At the start I was happy to train with watching or listening to anything. I used the time to track my progress. For the first kilometer I would feel whether all was ok with my ankles, knees, hips, hamstrings etc. At about 2.5km I would start to falter a bit because the stitch would appear. From that point on I would mostly be running consistently if I was running slowly but when I ran at a normal pace I would be hurting. I would start at around 7.5km /hour and increase my speed steadily.
When I ran for 9kms I managed to do the last couple of minutes at 10km/h and the last few seconds at 11km/h. My best time for a 10km was about an hour and that was when I was really pushing myself. I did the 9km while training for the Bristol Half though and now the next major race is the Bath Half in March. That’s too far away to motivate me to get out there for more than once or twice a week but I do want to get out there.
There’s no other way to improve than by training but usually it’s the training for something that has helped. I’m going to have to find some smaller goals and see how that goes.