Week Seven, Run Three: No Laura for Me!

Greetings of the morn, my dearest fellow C25Kers. And what a nice, bright sunny morn it is too. :-)

Well, this morning's run was quite interesting. I ran without Laura today; I figured she deserved a day off, so I'll leave her sleeping. I don't really like to disturb her, you know. I think that's what all the vanishing and hiding is about; she just needs a break now and again; she is, after all, only human. I decided last night, after the preparation of the CRM (of course, Chocolate Recovery Milk) that I'd run without Laura today, and use my own music. Well, that was the plan, anyway. Turns out I'd be running, mostly in silence, but more on that very shortly.

So, to add a slight bit of variation I set this morning's alarm for 0353 and I do feel really tired when waking up; it's been a really long, tiring week at work. There's no argument with myself though; I get straight up. I do wonder how today will go though as my stomach still feels 'heavy' from my tea last night. Eating a bit later (though not as late as Wednesday night!) than normal, and for the third night running, eating cheese, I just feel like it hasn't settled properly. I hope that doesn't cause problems later; last thing I, or anyone, for that matter, want is to to suffer an RVI. (Random Vomiting Incident.)

I have my usual pre-run breakfast of two figs, three Brazil buts and a peanut butter-topped rice cake, get changed, and off I go out the door. It's quite chilly at 0430 but much lighter today. I set the music going; hitting shuffle presents me with Selfie by the Chainsmokers. (What's not to like?) Put the phone away, set my stopwatch for five minutes and I start a-brisk walking. Immediately the sound starts to cut, as it likes to do; up until now it's been largely tolerable but even when just walking it's unlistenable, unless I physically hold the headphone jack and I can't really run like that; people will wonder what the hell is wrong with me!

Then, three minutes into the walk, nothing. Has it paused? I retrieve the phone to find it's restarting. Bloody thing! Why?! Well, at least it didn't do it halfway through when Endomondo was running. After it finishes its restart procedure I go to reinstate the music but it's so slow as it boots back up. Cutting through a small park with a wooded path, a man emerges with, in the tight confines and close proximity of the trees, what appears to be fifty wolves. There's probably only about four or five, big white, beautiful-looking wolfie things, but he, and they, take up the entire path. I'm still faffing with my phone and there's nowhere to step aside to. I about-turn and walk back down the path and find another route.

That done I finally get the music running again and as five minutes is very nearly up, I set Endomondo, as Velvet Elvis by Alex Winston comes on, then promptly stutters out between headphones and then goes quiet, cutting in occasionally or when I hold the headphone jack. I reset my stopwatch and start running. Right, that is it. There does come a point when even the most reasonable, calm of people says: "enough". I've had enough; I can't do this any more. Not the running, that's not the issue, but this sound problem. It needs sorting and it needs sorting before next week. I'm off to buy an MP3 player tomorrow, ready for W8R1 on Monday. Nothing expensive or fancy, just something that will actually bloody work.

On we go then, I'm running one of my usual routes, but with a slight difference; I do like to vary things a bit. There is one steepish hill midway through anyway but I include another about a quarter of the way in. I start to tackle it and wonder, immediately, if I should turn around and descend, as I wonder with every hill I ascend, it seems. There's no shame in it! But I continue. It gets steeper and steeper and I wonder why I chose the thing. Nearly at the top now and I push on; TA-DAAAAA, I'm up it, turning the corner and descending. I'm quite glad I tackled that. I should add that I got the usual five-minutes-in thoughts of "can I do this today? I don't think I can......" but I ignored them. Always ignore them. Half way through the run now, well, a bit after that actually; the detour has added more time than I expected, but that's okay, I start to ascend the other hill. This will require some effort. I play with the headphone jack again to see what's going on and I hear the warblings of Party Rock Anthem by LMFAO. 'Every day I'm shuffling.....' how very apt. It spurs me on and soon enough I'm up that hill. Woop!

I always am glad when I get to about the twenty-minute mark. It's the first ten or so when I wonder if I should stop but I've learnt that's normal. In my early days here, I think it was the very good, fine JuJu, and Mr Dan, who I saw say "never, ever stop, unless you're injured...". I'm paraphrasing but that was the gist. Am I injured? no. Then continue! The point of this is, to any of the newer members still reading (thank you, by the way; I realise I ramble, thank you for sticking with it!) this, wondering if those of us in the latter stages of the programme just sail through with it being easy peasy with no thoughts of doubt, I assure you, that is not the case - it's still hard work, but very rewarding, but push on! :-)

23 minutes now. Nearly there! I'm glad I didn't stop! I'm glad I added that extra hill! Woop! I go into my own little world again, bemoaning the lack of music to myself, and then wonder when the twenty-five minutes will be up, as it seems like an age has gone by. I check my watch: 26.33. What?! I know I went off into daydream land, but still. Ah, sod it, carry on to twenty-seven minutes and then go to walking for five. Twenty-seven minutes arrives and I slow to a brisk walk. I've done it! And I feel great! Truly exhausted, but great! Yay!

In a way, running without music today helped me focus more on my breathing, concentrating on it to get it right. It was quite laboured through most of the run but levelled up toward the end quite nicely. To be honest, by the 27 minute mark I felt I was in my stride (took bloody long enough) and wanted to carry on, but I was good and slowed to my cool-down walk.

So that's week seven complete. I cannot believe how fast the weeks are flying by! I hope everyone else has brilliant runs today, or has a very pleasant rest day. Come on, my fellow seveners, week eight awaits!

All in all, apart from technological issues and the Wolfman, it was incident-free, which was nice. Onward, to week eight! :-)

45 Replies

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  • Lovely post MilesY! Its good to run without music sometimes I find, although it makes me realise how much puffing and panting I do! But, I do like to listen to the birdsong on occasion. Well done you for not giving in to those gremlins up the hill. You will be graduating before you know it. x

  • Thank you, no-excuse! :-) Yeah, I found I quite enjoyed the lack of music actually. Every now and again I might do a silent run as it really does help with breathing concentration. I know, I can't believe, truly, that it's almost week eight already! :-)

  • I'm amazed you ever see anyone at all on your runs you're out so early let alone wolf trainers. Sounds like you had a good positive run even without the technology. Have a lovely weekend !

  • Thank you, Henpen! :-) Yes, technology aside it was a good run, despite the doubts. The watch/stopwatch is invaluable for occasions where technology can't be relied upon! I'm amazed too I encounter others at that time in a morning; I didn't at first but over the weeks it seems to have got busier, for some reason. And thank you; have a grand weekend too! :-)

  • Ta daaaaaa!!!

    How far were you supposed to run? I mean, how many mins? 25? You have done more it seems, again, due to confusions with earphones and techie blips .... maybe, after all, that is Laura's plan! To keep us all moving unknowingly as we struggle with our gadgets!

    Well done tho ... really, well done. The wolves sound both beautiful and calm .... and bizarrely out of place in PDRS :-)

  • Thank you, BoPeep! :-) Yes, 25 minutes each run in week seven. It's not so bad to monitor without Laura, unlike intervals. Until you go off into a dreamworld and forget to look at your watch! I didn't mean to go over, I just, finally, settled nicely and lost track of time.

    It was a bizarre scene. Tiny path between the trees and round the corner came one man and his wolves. I've learnt to expect the unexpected with running! I hope your runs are coming on nicely? :-)

  • It's a good job you had a watch ON! I don't even own a watch! Still you lot in the latter stages leave me humbled and impressed by your achievements .... zoned out, one foot in front of the other ....

    Yeah, you certainly see the sights out and about don't you!

    My W3R2 last night, thanks for asking, was just a pleasure. Does that sound weird?

    W3R1 on Tuesday i had to do in a different location to my usual spot for unavoidable reasons .... i ended up on a main kind of promenading area, very very flat by the sea and lots of person-dodging. It was fine though, just felt a bit of a fish out of water (literally). I'll have to do W4R1 down there too .... it's on my mind!

    Last night tho, on home ground, my super-encouraging son, plus Beagle, came out with me again (son's been ill and i'd been missing his support) ... one is 14 and the other 1 and a half ... i'll let you decide which is which (!) ... so they bombed off like bombing-offie things over the horizon and i was left to stumble along. They kept on popping back and checking up on me but it was really really really nice to come up over the little hill (the GPS/mapmyrun thing says its a 51m rise - does that count as a little hill?) and find them cheering me on (if said Beagle was truly cheering) as i finished the second 3 mins run! These are "moments" for me ... i'm storing them away for reflection later in life ....

    Anyway sorry now i'm rambling on .... just wanted to say that i cannot wait to get myself through this so i can actually run a steady half hour in the company of the prodigal child and bonkers Beagle!

    See you soon M_Y Cool Runnings! :-)

  • LOL! Well, BP, (my apologies to abbreviating you to the name of a fuel supplier/petrol station!) I wasn't one for watches either. I didn't own a digital one but after the first couple of C25K weeks I realised I'd quite like to know the passage of time and was getting frustrated I couldn't keep track of it. I bought a £20 digital watch from Amazon; only a basic waterproof one which has a stopwatch feature, what I really needed) it's become one of my most important running items. I'd have been lost without it on recent runs with my technological issues! I only wear it while running.

    You're not rambling; it's nice to hear about your run! :-) No, that doesn't sound weird at all; with the odd exception, I find most of my runs a pleasure too. Even 'bad' or 'off' runs tend to have their good, fun moments and I tend to learn something with each run: every run's a lesson, as I have started saying. Ah, by the sea! How lucky! I'm miles from the nearest coastline; bet it's lovely and cooling on a breezy day! Sounds like your runs are fun, and you have company too; your son runs really well for one and a half; I'm thoroughly impressed! ;-)

    Anything with an incline is a hill as far as I'm concerned! I grade them in four ways: incline, hillock, hill and Seemingly Insurmountable Gradient. (SIG.) Round here SIGs are everywhere.

    All the best for W4R1; you'll soon be into the longer running times. They take some getting used to but are fun. Hard work, but fun. Cool runnings to you too, BoPeep; I shall pinch that phrase to use myself!

  • Helloooo M-Y

    BP's fine, i like it!

    I think i'm going to take you up on the watch advice .... as a graduation present ... a watch and some proper shoes! I'm trying to resist the chocolate milk and chocolate peanut butter stuff as long as poss!

    I know i'm only on Wk 4 but Laura just gets on with it chatting away off her podcast --- shame about your techie problems which i hope are now all solved with your new mp3 device!

    I was back down at the promenade last night for W4R1 and monitoring busily for a slight incline - found one - ran down AND back up it - tick! I'm going to call my home slope a SIG and be proud every time i get to the other side, thank you! Sheffield is ALL hills --- your lungs must be WAY ahead of mine on capacity (what's a SIG to me is more than likely an incline to you!)

    Anyway, cool runnings for your W8 :-)

  • Helloooo, BP! :-) Yes, definitely some running shoes as a graduation present! The MP3 player was my early graduation prezzie to myself! The CRM is heartily recommended; after a tough run it's delicious! The choccie peanut butter is very much down to personal taste though!

    Well done on last night's W4R1! :-) At risk of sounding like Laura: you're doing great, and we'll done for tackling the incline! And yes, always be proud, of any hill, be it incline or SIG! There are so many hills here, yes, and they are mighty hard work!

    Good luck for run two and, always, cool runnings! :-)

  • Hey M_Y!

    Honestly, you totally deserved your mp3 and now i'm happy cos you're not blaming Laura for dipping out on you! I'm very attached to her already and don't like to hear she's unwittingly upsetting folk!!!

    I'm so sure that CRM is a winner but i'll stick with PORW (plain old recovery water?) (SOBOW - sips of boring old water?) and save my milk ration for my big delicious frothy morning coffee ... thanks tho :-)

    Thank you, have to say it was a mental battle which i'm happy to report i conquered!

    Well done to you too, streaking ahead, you're almost done ... time is flying by .... as fast as you're flying up your hilly streets (and wolfie by-ways!)

    Okay, end of thread you think?

    Again i wish you ... Cool Runnings!

  • Brilliant story - thanks for sharing. The part where you talk wondering whether you should stop is such an important running lesson, I think. Once I learned that it was normal to have that naughty saboteur niggling away in your head, and the best thing to do is to tell it to do one, it improved my stamina no end. Happy running! :)

  • Thank you, Drummond! :-) Yes, I completely agree. I thought it was just me, that in week seven I should be able to run without those doubts, but then I realised it's normal. It takes a while to settle into a run and that little niggling voice is normal and to be expected, it's just learning how to deal with it and knowing how to mentally overcome it. Telling it to do one is the best, and only, option!

  • Good evening Miles - Wow, youre really storming ahead , brilliant stuff ! I do love your posts, they've got everything, action , drama, cuisine all that's missing is a pack of wolves - oh , wait , haha :-) Have you seen the TV ad for a well known sports drink ? It shows someone running and the voice over says " When that voice in your head is screaming at you to stop, YOU tell it where to go " Very apt, I think :-) Anyway, me old china, all the very best for your next run, youre getting soooooooooooo close now. Shine bright like a diamond :-) xxx

  • Thank you very, very kindly, my dear Poppy! :-) The pack of wolves was most unexpected, I must say. It was like something from a horror film the way they just emerged in the way they did. I just saw wolves. wolves everywhere; it seemed like there was about fifty of the things and a tall man amongst them.

    I haven't seen that advert, no, but I will keep an eye out for it; it sounds very apt indeed. I'm sick of that little voice but from now on I'll be telling it to sod off!

    And thank you; all the best for your next run too! I like the Rihanna lyrics but prefer Disturbia myself; that summed up the encounter with the wolves, I feel! xxx

  • Well Done Miles, another great post.

    After the euphoria of my best run ever, today was a let down. 1 o clock this morning still awake wondering if I would sleep through my alarm and have to run this afternoon in front of everybody but I did awake about 5 and then out by 25 past.

    Struggled today, legs felt heavy (Still felt heavy when walking to work) perhaps the change of route and introduction of slight hills is taking its toll. Once or twice felt like walking but kept going but suffered at the end, thought I was going to be sick and pass out. Perhaps trying to get 4k in 25 min was pushing it as well but it was achieved.

    Onward and upwards now, the end is in sight, just 6 runs till graduation!!

  • Thanks, Redskins! :-) Sorry to hear you had a mare of a run today. :-( It's impossible to predict how they're going to go, isn't it? I think, more than anything, it was the tiredness that affected your performance. I've struggled this week and while longer distances will have contributed, so will tiredness as it's been a manic week. You've done great and yes, just six more runs now to graduation! Rest easy and you'll be fine for Monday's run! :-)

  • MP3 player definitely required for next week, you don't want to miss out on the song :)

    I think you did well to avoid the wolves, tricky things they are, though not as dangerous as angry ankle biters.

    Well done on the completion of week 7.

  • Thanks, Spoonie. :-) I've reserved an MP3 player from Argos; I shall pick it up tomorrow. I don't want to miss out on this Julie song I've heard so much about; it seems to be C25K legend now!

    The angry ankle biters are what cause me the most worry. They can be most vicious. Today I was wearing socks with the London Underground map on them; I'd have been most upset if those had been bitten by a small yappy canine.

  • You will love the Julie song.

    It would have been most upsetting if those socks had been eaten they sound fab

  • Great post, Miles. I'm still awestruck by how early you get up, though summer dawns are very beautiful.

  • Cheers, Becca. :-) Summer dawns are lovely; the last few mornings have been so nice, really a "it's great to be alive" kinda feeling, but I find running provides that and then some. For me, it's early mornings every time.

  • A wonderful post, as usual Miles - I really look forward to them. No need to apologise for what you refer to as 'rambling' - it's really enjoyable to read these anecdotes. Really well done for finishing week 7 - not very long to go now and the time will start to fly by as you embark on week 8, it did for me! Good idea though to get an MP3 player. I've tried an app for time, distance, etc, but find them all far from reliable so have never felt the need to use anything other than an MP3 player for the podcasts. I am going to get a stopwatch though - could be useful now I'm doing the Sam Murphy podcasts, although I heard her okay this morning. Good luck with your first run of week 8, don't forget to put another brilliant post about your running adventures and my best wishes to you.

  • Thank you, Fitmo! :-) You won't regret buying a stopwatch. If you want just a basic one, I can recommend the one I have. I bought it specifically for running and it's been a godsend in recent runs, with technological issues. It, obviously, has the time, but also, on a press of a button, has another time which you can set to a different time zone. Then an alarm, then a stopwatch. It's pretty basic but it's all I need really. amazon.co.uk/Timex-Marathon...

    Yes, I've pre-ordered an MP3 player and will pick it up tomorrow. I've seen a few people say that Sam is a bit quiet; I'll have no chance at all if using my phone! Today really was the final straw; I can put up with that no longer!

    Thank you; time has flown by already, startlingly so in fact, so I can imagine these next two weeks will go even quicker. Onward to week eight; thanks again and have a great weekend! :-)

  • Your posts are so entertaining and well-written - love the acronyms. Just six more runs now - you are on the home straight, how time flies.

    Re the beautiful wolfie things, wasn't it full moon last night? Just a thought...

  • Thank you, Turbo! Time has seriously flown by so fast it's staggering; it really only seems like a few hours ago that I tentatively started C25K. Oh those breathless, agonising stumbling steps around a pitch black local park!

    Yes, you're right, it was; I never considered that! Thankfully they weren't howling; that would have put me about!

  • Well done Miles! Fantastic work! I love reading your posts, they always put a smile on my face!

    I know what you mean about dodgy technology- I sacked my app after week 2 and got a second hand iPod off eBay for £15- much better!

  • Thank you, Debs! :-) If I can make someone smile at least once a day, I'm a happy fellow. Getting an MP3 player tomorrow; I'll just use my phone to track my progress via Endomondo. The sound on the phone has been getting progressively worse for days and today really was the ultimate as far as I was concerned!

  • Well done MY and Redskin on your week 7 completion. I really need to get back in sync with you guys instead of dragging my sorry self 1 day behind.

    Cant have you graduating before me now :-)

    I remember on one of my early runs, think it was week 3, possibly 4 - the weeks have nust flown by. Anyhoo, one of those weeks, I was out running and the dog crossed my path, just the dog, not a pack of wolves, and I kinda jump/shuffle/hopped to avoid him and continued to run. When doing my jump/shuffle/hop I pulled the ear buds out and was presented with this incredible hollywood b movie monster type sound which really had me freaked.

    A few paces on I realised it was the sound of me breathing like a snorting rhino in its death throes.

    Quite glad I am up and out at 5am. If I was out later I have no doubt some hunters would be tracking me through the countryside.

  • I'm sorry I had to laugh at the incredible Hollywood b movie monster sound and the realisation it was your breathing :D

  • Ah but Runner, even if we do graduate a day before you, you're still invited to the graduation party, of course! :-)

    Oh I fully understand! When my phone paused itself last week, I think it was, I heard the same and it was downright alarming. I had no idea it sounded quite like that. A musicless run occasionally is necessary I think just to make sure the breathing is going okay!

    I've said it before, countless times, and I shall say it again: early mornings are the best: more entertaining, calmer and no-one hunting us, mistaking us for some wild beast or other!

  • Thank you, Graduate Kitty! :-) I like the Mr Reason idea! I've started asking myself what I'd be doing instead: nothing of note, so running it is! Glad to know other people have these thoughts as well; as a newbie you think it's just you being a rubbish runner, but I've learnt that such thoughts are natural and that most people have them.

    Thank you; getting closer to graduating now! When are you commencing B210K?

  • Nice abbreviation! Yes, I'm glad we touched on it, so people new to running know that it's not just them who think that and that those of us a good way through the plan and beyond get those thoughts.

    I'm a bit concerned now. I'm getting people addicted to things here, so I need to make sure I don't expand the list, but I have found a good alternative to chocolate spread. Behold, chocolate peanut butter! tesco.com/groceries/Product...

    Chocolate! Peanut butter! CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER!

    And yes, it's delicious!

    Good luck for Monday. I'm not through C25K yet but am already worried about going back to intervals for B210K!

  • Wait while you try it! It's difficult to explain; it doesn't taste like chocolate spread (but is very chocolatey) and it doesn't taste like peanut butter (but is very peanutty) but it is so tasty!

  • Yes, sort of: it's unique! I might be a devil and have a spoonful before bed....!

    Yes, it will be both good and bad, I agree. I'll have to get up even earlier for it. About midway through B210K I'll start run-commuting to work, which means I won't need to be up as early, but I still will once a week as I enjoy it. And I definitely will when I go beyond 10K in the future.

  • It is, I agree: greedy and naughty!

    Yes, me too although thankfully I'm by myself most of the day! Hopefully they get showers installed soonest though. Although I will have a flannel down in the area where I get changed from my bike gear, if I have to!

  • No need to worry about the intervals on these. Week 1 is 4 x 10 mins running with 1 minute walk break between each run - you can just ignore those walk breaks if you want. And, of course, the 5 minutes warm up and warm down walks at each end. I have found it easier than week 6 of C25K! - that's saying something! I've really enjoyed the first podcast - done it three times now so will try week two on Monday. Music is good though. Enjoy rest of weekend - I'm having 2 day break from running and staying off the forum except for a short time once a day as I've been a bit burnt out. Am cycling this weekend, plus sailing club next door has open weekend so been for a little sail in a dinghy today and have windsurfing session booked for tomorrow morning - might have a go at canoeing as well although I have my British Canoe Union Star 1 (basic) Certificate anyway. It's like being on hols!

  • Thank you, Fitmo; put like that it doesn't sound quite so daunting! I'm looking forward to it; I have a 10K race at the end of September so B210K should get me nicely prepared for it. And there should be no sound issues now either as I have a new MP3 player now, with week 8 loaded on to it, as well as a load of music. I got one with an FM tuner on it, to give further listening options.

    Have a great weekend; a break from running is good if it's been sole focus for a while! Enjoy tomorrow's windsurfing; that sounds so much fun! A friend of mine on a hen weekend in London went jet boating today and she said it was amazing. Seems watersports are the thing this weekend. Enjoy cycling as well! :-)

  • Really glad you didn't suffer an RVI... Glad you didn't get eaton by Wolves... If you want to try my mantra... PTB PTB that might help when it's hard? ( push that body punish that body) ... Really well done on your progress... You need to do Parkrun I think you'd love it, and we'd so enjoy your story after :)

  • Ah yes, JuJu, PTBPTB; I never thought of that! How kind, thank you; I will certainly use that on Monday. :-) You know, I considered doing a Parkrun this morning. Well, last night I thought about it. I decided to see how I felt when I woke up. Set my alarm for just before seven, acknowledged it..... then promptly slept through until gone 0930! I think I needed the sleep. I'm seriously considering one for next Saturday though. Hmmmm, I think I might if I feel up to it. They sound like fun. I've been thinking about it for ages so it's about time I actually went ahead and did it! :-)

  • Chocolate peanut butter and RVIs? Are they connected?? Great post, as ever M_Y x

  • Thanks, AM! :-) And no, the two weren't connected! :-P x

  • Week 7 completed yesterday here too. Stuck with Laura though. It was much warmer than of late. Too warm for tracksuit top, put the pocket holds MP3 player. First run with GPS watch too. Just loaded up the week 8 file.

  • Well done on getting through week seven. Graduation not too far off now! :-) Yes, it's waaaayyyyy too warm now for tracksuits! If you've got no other pockets, have you considered a running belt? I've got one for my phone as I had the same problem when I went to shorts: no pockets. I've just uploaded the week eight file to the new MP3 player too; hopefully it will play just fine. How's the GPS watch?

  • Good idea - running belt / bum bag. GPS watch is really good - it keeps a much more accurate track than App on Android phone.

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