Life is skittles, life is beer

Now that Spring is most definitely here, I’ve abandoned the gym and have been running outside for a few weeks.

It’s nice, especially first thing in the morning. Love that smell of musty, misty air half an hour after sunrise. Shame you have to get up so bloody early to experience it.

Life, in short, feels fairly good – especially now that I’m harvesting fresh asparagus almost every night.

Just a few worries, though. Perhaps somebody out there fitter than me can help answer them:

  • I can now run comfortably for 2.5 miles, but anything above 3m still hurts like hell. Oddly, some days it’s more painful than others. I ran 5.5m once and it felt OK. Other times, it’s crucifying to reach even the 4m mark. Why on earth is this? I watched people running the London Marathon on Saturday and wondered how the hell anyone can ever do it. I mean, I reckon I could run non-stop for 10km if there were a crash cart waiting at the finish line… but 26 miles? Huh?
  • I’m not really speeding up. OK, a bit – I’m up to about 5.5mph from 5.2mph… but that’s hardly significant. I thought after three months of running regularly I’d see a bigger improvement. Or am I being too impatient?

14 Responses to “Life is skittles, life is beer”

  1. Clare Says:

    …and so when does the pigeon poisoning begin?

  2. Soilman Says:

    Well, as you know, it just takes a smidgen. I may do in a squirrel or two.

  3. Tanya Walton Says:

    hey…you’re getting out there so I would leave it at that…plus you have to remember that up until recently you were running indoors in controlled environment and atmosphere…it’s a whole different ball game when you go outside and have to factor in gradient, running surface, atmosphere, wind speed and air quality…Give yourself a break and enjoy what you can!!

  4. Rham Says:

    You should try to monitor your heartbeat: it will tell you if you are really making any progress with your running. And of course, you’ve got to be patient.

  5. Mike Says:

    How often are you running? I find that an intense run every third day works best for us, it gives our muscles time to recoup. We have been doing between 5.5 – 10 miles as my wife is getting in shape for a half marathon. If have her run more often it really slows her down as she has not fully recovered from the last run.

  6. Rachael Says:

    So, are you planning to run a marathon then?

  7. Soilman Says:

    Rachael: Gawd, no. How ghastly. All I know about marathon running is that the first guy who ran one died on arrival. So.

    Mike: I’m doing anything between 3 and 6 miles every other day. Perhaps I should try to go further less often…

  8. Damo Says:

    Sorry I’m not a runner. I did pump up my bike tyres tonight for the first time in years, if they are still inflated tomorrow I may venture out. A guy at work in his early 40s did the London marathon in 3hrs 12mins, amazing.

  9. Amy Says:

    Try adding some short sprints into your runs, it should help you to increase your stamina. Otherwise I think just keep going, you’ll find you’re fitness increases and you’ll find it easier to go further.

  10. Frank Says:

    Don’t worry about ‘slow’ progress. Running is much like gardening: patience is the key word. The golden rule is to slowly increase your weekly mileage.
    (gardening newby, ran my 7th marathon last year)

  11. Soilman Says:

    Wow: Totally impressed, Frank. If I ever complete even a half-marathon I’ll be utterly chuffed.

    I’ll try to gradually increase the distances. I’ve noticed that my biggest enemy is my mind; at about a mile from the finish line – however long my route – the pain doubles… because I’m starting to think about the end. Whereas if I can keep concentrating on just putting one foot in front of the other without thinking about anything, that doesn’t happen.

  12. altadenahiker Says:

    Frank obviously knows what he’s talking about. I can’t imagine running a marathon, but I do run every day, from 3 to 5 miles. Some days it’s so easy and others I feel like my legs are blocks of wood and my feet stuck in drying cement.

    To increase my speed, I just run faster for maybe the first quarter and the last quarter. Then when that’s comfortable, I increase for the entire run.

  13. Steel Says:

    When i used to run, i figured out that for every five runs I would have one that was fab and I could have run forever, one would be good-ish, two would be average to below average and one would be utter rubbish.

  14. Soilman Says:

    That’s what I’m finding Steel: it’s amazingly variable