Blue Runnings

Race Reviews, GPX files and more from North-East England

Missing: Mojo Jojo

on 12 May 2015


You may have noticed a lack of posts lately…this is because I only post something when I’ve done some form of exercise or have some nuggets of gear-related information I want to bore the internet with. Ergo…I haven’t been doing much the last few weeks. At the tail end of April, I started really feeling just generally sapped in terms of my exercise levels and wasn’t finding it easy to motivate myself to go out, particularly for the longer distances I wanted to hit for my half marathon build-ups. It’s now under 5 weeks until I head to Liverpool, and I really need to find my stride again. Literally.

For most of this year I’ve found running to be a welcome break from, well, everything really. It’s been my me-time when work’s been busy and very changeable, my self-esteem booster as I feel fitter and a great way to meet new people after moving to a new area. Lately however I’ve only found it to be a chore. I don’t want to go out, and when I do push myself to I feel like I’ve got lead in my trainers and just want to get it over with more because I need to go than because I want to.

The biggest difference over the last month has probably been P going onto shift – and more so, the shift pattern hitting the holiday period – I can pretty much date my lagging to when the shift pattern went from 4 on – 6 off to 4 on – 4 off exactly. The significance of this? The start date of the on cycle only moves forward one day a week – and as P’s started on a Friday, for the last three weeks he’s been working the weekends, and into the early part of the week. This means I haven’t seen him as much – as he’s been off while I’ve been at work and vice-versa, and it also means that he’s needed picking up and dropping off at work at 7am and 7pm when he’s working – which clashes perfectly with both Run England on a Tuesday and the Bounders training session on a Wednesday. Combine this with iffy weather at the weekends not exactly incentivising me to head to the ParkRun on a Saturday and that’s my running fixers pretty much screwed over. The weather in the evenings hasn’t exactly been great either – windy squalls and getting grey and dark earlier. The first crew off on their holidays was J’s – so as well as missing the timetabled runs, I’ve not been doing the top-up runs with her which were an extra few miles a week, not the same as hitting the long distances but it helps keep my hand in and my lungs sorted, and with everything else I wasn’t going out on my own while she was away – and no J, that’s not a guilt-trip on you – just an observation on myself of how bad I’ve been at giving myself a kick up the pants.

It’s like instead of the gap between exercise sessions that I have to motivate myself to go out for being only about 4 days – and therefore filled with only 1-2 sessions – it’s now a full week, and it’s only a week because of the number of races I booked this month – so it’s 3-4 sessions I need to push myself out for without the pull of other people dragging me round the route. When I’m running with RE or the Bounders, I tend to go further and faster than I would on my own because I want to keep up with them and tend to go out with the group that’s slightly outside my comfort zone.

Even the races aren’t helping; I’m going but it’s more because I feel I should than because I want to – I’m afraid I didn’t miss you at the Great Manchester Run J, but it’s because I really didn’t want to be there in the first place rather than because I would have rather been there with company. Gelt Gladiator is this Saturday – and I’ve gone from feeling very nervous about it, to not really caring at all about doing it – no nervousness, no anticipation, no excitement, no nothing. Just another soggy muddy sore hurdle to get round. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to shake my antipathy before it comes round and actually enjoy it. P’s starting to look for it and is actually wanting to go shopping for some long sleeved and long legged fitted-ish clothes for it on Friday as he doesn’t really have anything suitable. He’s already decided it’s going to be the last hurrah for his old badminton trainers.

Having to be completely self-motivated to go out is something that at the moment I’m finding really really difficult, I just don’t want to go. I didn’t beat myself up about it at first, knowing my energy levels were low I let myself have a week off and concentrated on getting to bed early (rather than blogging until later than I should!) and just resting. All well in theory – rest is important, except it didn’t work, and three weeks on I’m still sluggish and lethargic and really not feeling it. Even if I do get a burst of energy or feel better, it’s rarely lasting very long before I’m back to being tired again – and when a morning person like me is yawning widely by 11am there’s something up.

I know I’ve been eating badly – lots of junk splurging and carb food without all the fruit and veg, so at the moment I’m concentrating on eating better and still getting some rest – but not over-sleeping. I’m also pushing myself to go out, even if I only do a few km at a time. Trying to get the balance between looking after myself and giving myself a kick out the door when needed. Before the holiday shift pattern started, I was going for a run down by the river at Prudhoe where it’s nice and flat with decent paths, either with J or on my own, after dropping P off at work or before picking him up depending on whether he was coming off days or going onto nights, I’m trying to get back onto that even if I only do half an hour.

I went out last night and even having had a decent day at work for the first time in ages and driven there an hour before I needed to pick P up, I still had to push myself out the car rather than just parking up in the car park and sitting staring into space for an hour, which felt like the preferred option! I knew I’d be able to get to the next bridge down, or do two loops around the Spetchell’s in that time but in the end I only did the one loop and then headed back to the car – 22 minutes after I’d left and 3.5km down. I’d left at a very sharp pace for me – less than 05:30 mins/km as though my legs were just desperate to get it over with after they’d been pushed out the car.

Going to log my workout and being faced with the following screen wasn’t exactly a morale booster.


And my trend for distance which has been climbing or steadying nicely has taken a nosedive.


Even facebook’s been trying to guilt-trip me!


I know already!!!

Seeing all the charity runners at Manchester reminded me how much raising money for charity helped push me to go out when I was booked in for my first race at Glasgow about this time last year. I was toying with whether or not to raise money for charity for my first half marathon, and if so who to raise it for, but (somewhat selfishly!) looking for any edge to help get my butt out the door, I’ve decided I’m definitely going to give myself every push I can and try and raise some money while I’m doing it. I decided as I was trotting around Manchester that I wanted to raise money for a charity that works with those suffering from depression and mental illness – I know several people fighting depression in its various forms now, and lost a good friend two years ago to mental illness. I’m going to be running for Mind. I contacted them through their website today to get my race pack through before the event, if I’ve not got anything through by the start of next week I’ll just make up my own sponsorship forms until it gets here. I’ll be setting up a JustGiving page and posting a link on the blog so watch this space.

J’s also been trying to get me on a bike for ages – since before she started running. She denies it but I think she’s secretly hoping I’ll fall off and she can laugh at me. She’s recently managed to source me a bike (there goes that excuse) – though I’ve yet to buy a helmet – and I was intending to go for a pootle down the river and back with the guys after work – some of them having recently taken up going out twice a week in the name of fitness (though it must be said they haven’t been out much either in the muggy weather!). Regardless of whether I actually like it or not – it’s been about 10 years since I last got on a bike for a reason – I’m actually looking forward to having an alternative mode of transport. It means that when P passes his driving test, he can take the car when he’s going in for night shift and I can cycle to Run England or the Bounders sessions, and to and from work if needed rather than spending an hour driving to and from work when he finishes night shift on a weekday to drop him off home again and head in again myself. I’m spending so much time driving backwards and forwards at the moment. I’m also hoping that I do find I enjoy the cycling, so I know I’m still doing some form of exercise which will be contributing in some way to my running even if I’m struggling to go out as often as I’ve decided I should be.

Hopefully you can see, I’m trying to get myself back on track again. Apparently there’s an unofficial Run England session on Thursdays I didn’t know about, so with P coming off night shift Thursday morning I’m going to try and go to that one I think. It’s windy outside now, but the sky’s blue and the sun’s still out, so if I can persuade myself to shift the cat from my lap (she knows when I’m thinking about getting up and likes to see whether I’ll choose staying with her or doing whatever I was going to) I may try a loop of the village as I’ve finished this entry before 10pm. Maybe take the ipod for some distraction and let Annie Lennox lead me round.

Moping Minnie signing out here I hope.

Also – just realised, this is my 50th post! What a depressing note to hit that milestone on! Ah well, soldier on!



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