Wednesday, 17 January 2018

2018 Challenge No. 1 - 2nd Update & hurty days!

Halfway through the month already? This one is flying by! I  meant to do this second update at the 15 day point but somewhere along the line time slipped by me!

So - 17 days in and I'm impressed to say I'm still sticking with my #EED0118 challenge. So far this month I've done a lot of walking, quite a bit of running, 3 visits to the gym, 4 x HIIT sessions. Plus of course as I mentioned in my last post I've completed the C25K programme and run a parkrun as well - that seems like quite a bit of "achieving" for one month already! My step count is easily topping 100,000 a week and I increased my walk/run mileage last week to 50 miles from the previous week's 47. I'm also starting to enjoy exercising each day - I'm mostly looking forward to my runs and loving the fact that I can now "just go and do a mile run" - the very thing I wanted to be able to do when I challenged myself to learn to run originally. I love that I can think in terms of doing that and know that yes, I can do it - that feels like a real win. Having said that though it's still not always easy. My legs ache/hurt pretty much daily at the moment - sometimes simply as a result of muscles tightening up from being used in a way that they've not been used in for a lot of years. My joints are complaining a fair bit - today is one of those days that everything seems to hurt - my knees and hip are stiffening up every time I sit for any length of time and when I get up I feel like I'm hobbling around like a little old lady! More stretching will help - I know that much - and to an extent I figure that at the moment I'm also asking quite a lot of my legs, I have after all taken them from being lucky if they did 5,000 steps some days 18 months ago to averaging 14 - 15k a day now, quite an achievement in its own right! I'm guessing that they will gradually get used to me having higher expectations of them!

I've got some challenging days coming up with a trip to Manchester including two nights in a hotel. The friday will easily be covered by doing a LOT of walking I suspect - we rarely use public transport around the city when we're up there, preferring to walk from place to place, the Saturday will be a hotel-room HIIT session - relatively easily done with the aid of a folded towel as a mat and a focus on upper-body & core work. The Sunday will be the biggest challenge with the likelihood of a bit of a hungover state - at a pinch I'll pin my hopes on a brisk walk home from the station when we get back, but may be able to cram something else in earlier in the day depending on how I feel. We'll see!

On the running front I've decided for now to not particularly look at increasing distance, but instead to focus on some speed work to try to build my pace up a bit. I'm also starting to incorporate inclines on the treadmill with a particularly nasty little intervals run involving short bursts of running up a gradually decreasing incline but as the incline drops, the pace increases. On paper it appears simple but you definitely know you've done a workout afterwards! My plan for the next few weeks is to do at most a couple of 5k runs a week (the second one will be parkrun the weeks I can get there I think) and an intervals session, along with probably just a mile or so here and there when I need to shake my legs out a bit after a longer one. For the gym I'm looking to increase the weights I'm doing, and my HIIT stuff will start to incorporate more of a focus on leg strength which will hopefully help with supporting my knees in particular. I'll continue to squeeze in walks whenever and wherever I can and work on making sure that my lunchtime miles are done at a brisk pace too. I'd love to be able to increase my mileage week on week through the month but suspect that might be a slightly tall order!


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