Run Emma Run

How I'm getting my groove back

Emma emerges from hibernation

So, its spring here in Auckland and after a long winter, I’m emerging from my exercise hibernation.  I did have a challenging winter, with a couple of surgeries (minor, but enough to knock me about), and some complications with one of them.  I had to stop swimming for a while to recover, and having already given up running, I didn’t exercise at all for about four months. 

I’ve got back to swimming now though, and have been going regularly for about a month.  The evenings are getting longer and the days are getting warmer, so I’m also walking more.  When I say walking, I really mean dawdling along with the dog, while she investigates every tree, flower and blade of grass, so we’re not talking about raising the heart rate a lot.  

The Garmin has also been hibernating in the side pocket of my gym bag, the battery long since having gone flat.  I need to get it out and while I’m at it, uncover my running mojo and dust it off.  

I’ll get back to you when I’ve hit the pavement.  Maybe this weekend? 

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Running to stand still

I’m thinking about giving up running.  After my week of not running because I was busy, I had a week of not running because I felt like crap.  I had a really sore back, I’d actually had a sore back for about 6 weeks but it suddenly became a lot worse and instead of coming and going, hurt all the time.

I started to feel very paranoid that I was – of course! – experiencing back pain because one of my two cancers had returned and was invading my internal organs Read the rest of this entry »


A week of no runs!

Sometimes you just can’t run.  This week I was travelling for work and when I wasn’t travelling I was recovering and suddenly it was Sunday and I hadn’t run all week.

I did try on Wednesday morning to go for a run, I was in Sydney and it was so humid I gave up after 5 minutes and walked instead.  It was a lovely walk through the Botanic Gardens but even at 7am the air was sticky and heavy.  Other more hardy and acclimatised runners were literally dripping in sweat as they ran past me so although I envied their fitness I didn’t relish the thought of ending up in the same state.  Still, as I entered the front doors of the hotel the smiling doormen welcomed me back by asking if I needed a drink of water, so I guess I didn’t look very fresh anyway.

The next morning I set the alarm in plenty of time to go for a swim before work, but I was so tired I ate my breakfast and went back to sleep.

So, kind of a bummer but I’ll get back in to it this week and try to knock of the last two weeks of the Couch to 5k.

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Run 18 – 20: A new personal best!

Its been over a week since I posted, and yes its because I was having some crap runs.  I did runs 18 and 19 and started to think of throwing in the towel.  Run 18 was 22 minutes, and run 19 was 25.  They both sucked, to be honest.  In both runs there was a point at which I stopped and thought, I just cannot do this.  But both times I staggered on and finished the run, in a slow and painful way.

But today, another 25 minute run, I finally felt the first signs of the breakthrough I’d been hoping for.   Read the rest of this entry »

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Run 17: Speeding up again

This morning’s run was MUCH better, not quite back to Run 8 standards, but really really close.  I felt really energetic, and instead of clumping around the local school and racecourse there were moments when I was positively scampering along.

My goal now is to do a 5k run in early April.  Its a bit of a big ask actually, because on my best day I’m doing just under 2.5k in half an hour.  I need to double that to realistically enter a 5k race, so that I can finish it in 30 minutes rather than 60 – I don’t want to finish my 5k half an hour after everyone else.

Run 18 – the last run of week 6 – is a 22 minute run.  The runs in weeks 7- 9 are a small graduation from the week before – 25 minutes, 28 minutes, then the full 30 minute run in week 9.   Once I’ve finished week 9, I’ll have another month before the 5k race.  So if I can get up to maybe 3k – 3.5k by the time I finish week 9, I should be on course to get to 5k by early April. Maybe.  We’ll see.

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Run 16: Waiting for my breakthrough

When I started swimming last year I was pretty terrible.  Like all Kiwi kids, I had swimming lessons at school, plunging into a freezing cold concrete pool several times a week for the whole summer.  Our school teachers were not really qualified to teach us how to swim, and I don’t remember learning anything except how to float and dog paddle.

About 12 years ago I belonged to a gym that had a pool and a resident swim coach, so I booked a free introductory session, thinking that although I wasn’t a great swimmer, I could sort of swim a bit. The coach was really quick to let me know how wrong I was.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Runs 14 & 15: Longest run yet!

This evening I did a 20 minute run, my longest run yet!  I’m so pleased I don’t even care that it was really slow and that I could have walked faster.  I was determined to run without stopping for a second, no matter how much I wanted to (and I really did want to), just to prove to myself that I could.  And after I had run, I felt really clear headed about a few things that have been weighing on my mind all weekend.  Exercise is such a great way to re-set, clear the mind, and re-focus.

Now that I’ve been running three times a week for five weeks,  its a good time to stop and check what differences I’ve noticed. Read the rest of this entry »


Run 13: A public holiday and a good run

Today was the first run of week 5, and it was also a public holiday with stunning warm weather, a long sleep in, and a good run.  Although I’m still not back at the pace I got to in week 3, it was better than week 4.  At 13:13 min/k, it was still about half the speed I am aiming for, but I am running every second that I should be running, and I’m keeping up with the program.

The next two runs are a step up, so right now I’m just trying to run without clock watching, because waiting for each running section to end is easy when they are only 3 minutes long, but is substantially harder when they are 8 or 20 minutes long!   I did another swim yesterday too, and the results according to the Garmin were, again, a little off.

It found two extra laps, and the mystery backstroke made another appearance.   Read the rest of this entry »

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Runs 11 & 12: Too soon to run uphill?

I did Run 11 of the Couch to 5k last Friday, and Run 12 yesterday.  Did I delay posting about run 11 because it was so terrible?  Yes.

I decided to try running uphill, and it was pretty painful.  Its actually hard to run anywhere around my house without going up hill and down dale,  which is why I keep returning to the playing field at the local school – its nice and flat, and one minute from home.  But its also a little boring, so I headed off in another direction, one that involved hills. Ah well, I tried.   Read the rest of this entry »

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Run 10: If I’m running this slowly, should I just walk?

Last night I did Run 10, which stepped up the running to 16 minutes in all – two five minute runs and two three minute runs.  Thats twice what I was doing in week one, and  my pace was 13:03 min/k. I’m getting back to my best run pace – Run 8 – but I’m not there yet.

As I plodded around the playing field at the local intermediate, watching local kids shooting hoops in the setting sun, I did wonder if there was any benefit in running so slowly.  Without a doubt, most moderately fit people would be able to walk faster than I am currently jogging.  Walking is a hell of a lot more pleasant, when you’re as unfit as I am, so should I persevere? Read the rest of this entry »