Running – Day Zero

I am not continuing with the programme. Once I stopped, to go on holiday, I felt some pain in my right knee which took a whole week to go, along with a slightly ‘out’ ankle. Enough to make me listen to all those who told me running can be quite harmful, and too much impact on the joints.  Also the crampy tight feeling in my lower calves still hasn’t left, two weeks later. Copping out? Maybe, but I don’t want to risk long term damage; I’d rather keep fit other ways.

I am going to swim, jump on my trampoline, surf, walk, and stretch to keep well physically from now on. 

By the way, the 30 min prog doesn’t end with 30 mins running, but 6 lots of five minutes, with one min walk after each as usual.

So… gotta find something else to blog about now. I suspect it will be the meditation I intend to begin regularly.


Running – Day 12 and 13

Day 12 was 8 lots of 2 minutes. My calves were crampy and heavy, so it wasn’t so much fun. Day 13 (today) is a rest day.

I am halting the programme for a while, taking what would be Day 14 and 15 off before the trip to Portugal, 19th. I may do a little running there, or continue the prog if I can get email and if there are no waves. Otherwise I will continue all this when I get back – the running and the blogging.

Sorry to leave it in suspense like that. Happy running!

Take it easy now… Duncan

Running – Day 11

Today is 3 minute runs, five of them, with the usual 1 min walks in between.

I am getting into the flow of it. I feel I could easily carry on beyond the three minute beeps of my watch, but of course I am glad of the chance for my breath to slow down again. The main thing is that my pace feels sustainable, breath-wise.

It was hot today and at midday instead of evening. I like to get good and sweaty.

I am surprised how running is toning my whole body, not just the obvious places. I also feel stronger and more powerful and confident these days.

The obstacle is still the starting off, i.e. getting out of my usual activities and onto the road.


I just read that the camber of the road can cause injury, with feet having to compensate for the tilt in the road. I’m running in the middle of the lane from now on! I do feel more strain in the right ankle, and the roads I use to taper off quite strong to the right. Good tip!

Running – Day 9

Today was slacker – 6 x 2 minute runs with 1 min walks after each. The usual warm up and cool down – I take 5 mins for those.

Just as well it was easier – I had very little energy. It would ‘usually’ be a rest day today. That comes tomorrow, the email says. My running was slow; I felt like one of those guys you see at the end of the London Marathon TV coverage, the ones who are still running hours later. At times it felt like I wasn’t going anywhere but kind of running on the spot. At times my shoes squeaked on the road as I dragged the landings and take offs.

That’s OK, I’m not really judging this, just doing what it says fairly casually. Certainly not pushing it at all. The only push is the effort to go out there when my tendancy and habit and inclination is to lie down or sit down and do some browsing or reading or watching, or whatever.

Running – Day 8

This is Brockwood Bottom, where the warm up ends and the cool down walk starts.

Today’s looked like this:

5    Walk
3    Run
1    Walk
3    Run
1    Walk
3    Run
1    Walk
3    Run
1    Walk
1    Run
1    Walk
1    Run
1    Walk
1    Run
1    Walk
1    Run
1    Walk
5    Walk

Minutes on the left.

I liked it. It wasn’t too tough. The sun was out; good sweat. My ankles are rather sore. No, not sore, but I feel them on each landing and take off, but it’s just muscle stiffness that is quite familiar with exercise. Today I really got the feeling of running, setting the timer on the watch for three mins each time and just forgetting about the time and getting into it. I chose the flat lane again, the branch on the right of this pic.

If you are doing this yourself, turn back after the third run session, to get back to exactly the cool down walk point.

This morning on waking I was so  tired, just wanting to be still in bed some more.  I looked forward  to the  email at work, to see what today’s run would be like. So, she doesn’t stick to the same routines two days in a row, necessarily.

I realised today I’ll have to suspend the programme this time next week, while I’m surfing in Portugal.


Running – Day 7

The email woman is so keen to be enthusiastic and encouraging she congratulated on one week finished, with the last day of the week still to do! And with two rest days, that means 1/5 left to do!

It was different again, programme wise and out on the lanes. This time it was 6x 2 min run/1 min walk, so all over in half an hour, and easier than the previous two running days. I chose a different route, and immediately regretted it, the start being uphill for the whole two mins. Not too steep but making me breath much harder. Then the road levels out and I enjoyed coasting along in the sunshine, crops swaying in the wind, blue sky dotted with magnificent white clouds overhead, feed pounding on the tarmac, road in better shape than the lower road, recovering nicely in the minute walks.

My legs felt heavy but I felt I could continue beyond the 2 min runs and wouldn’t get too puffed. Just holding it steady. Started racing ahead in my thoughts to the possibility of a marathon. Obviously that is way ahead, but why not?  Let’s see how it progresses. Some new sensation in my left shin, a kind of tingle, slightly painful. it soon passed. The crampy feeling in my right thigh, at the back, high up, is still there. I am giving myself a rub now and then during the day, and stretching after the run, and yoga every other morning as usual.

The anger I mentioned I wanted to release is really near the surface, like something is going to burst. Good, it is definitely on the move. Stay stationary physically and I think you get stuck emotionally and mentally too.

I have to eat more – I am loosing weight. Not that I have any scales but my face is looking thin.

So, I imagine same again tomorrow but she’s probably surprise me. Of course it’s just a pre-written auto email, but I like to imagine she’s making it up daily.

Running – Day 5

Today the schedule was the same as yesterday.

Harder, much harder today. I had less energy, my body was heavy and I felt like skipping it. It’s always after about four days that I give up on things. This time I want to continue. My body needs it, even though it is protesting at the moment. I feel like I’ve been on a surf trip, with various aches and stiffness. No pain at all. I am not pushing anything here.

It was a showery eve so I took a light fleece. Of course, once I got into it I had to take that off, leaving it on a fench to pick up on the way back. I look nerdy running, in surf shorts and some old t-shirt and bad socks, topped off with the flashy new shoes. Like a running geek. Which is kind of what I am.

My mind is definitely clearer and I feel… different. "I’m feeling unusual" but in a good way. My face looks different to. Hard to explain how.

Somehow my neck is feeling it. At the start of the run I feel the tension in the neck and shoulders, which fades. A lot goes on in 35 minutes alone on the lanes. Whatever you are feeling feels more, then releases. So it is not easy in that sense – mentally and physically intense.

Tomorrow must be the second rest day…. please!

Running – Day 4

Today was different: Run 2 mins/Walk 1 min five times, then Run 1 min/Walk 1 min five times, with the usual 5-10 min warm up and warm down walks.

No rain this time, bright sunshine and gorgeous solitary clouds hovering above me as I ran along the evening lanes. Some discomfort in my right thigh, like a slight cramp, was there form the start, along with the stiff front ankles.

Two minutes of running was fine but I slowed down in the second minute, with heavier legs and feet. The minute was fine for recovery. A good sweat by the end of it, then it was back to the old 1 min/1 min combos.

It got a bit tricky to judge when to turn back, so I chose after the 4th run, which was as far down the lane as I got on Day 1. This turned out to be perfect, arriving back at Brockwood Bottom at the end of the last running section, for the five min walk home.

Felt great this evening, very energetic. Generally I am feeling the benefits of clearer thinking and more enthusiasm. My body is tired though. That’s a good feeling too – so few times am I physically tired, just mentally. The situation seems to have switched.

I suspect it will be the same schedule tomorrow.

Running – Day 3

The answer is: yes! Today is a ‘rest day’. I am kinda disappointed but it is probably for the best, long term. It’s easy to push it, so I intend to follow the programme to the word.

My legs are a little tired, with the muscles on the outside of each shin very tender. Stiff in front of ankles.

So instead of the post-work run/walk I wandered in the woods and took some pics.

Until Day 4, ciao.

Running – Day 2

Achy of shin and ankle, I didn’t much feel like going out today. It was quite a stressful day and all I wanted to do was veg out after work. But that’s what I always do! So I went out into the misty rain, squalling about across the fields in the big winds, pretty wild for July. My feet were wet right away from the grass outside the house. Running shoes ain’t waterproof. I did just the five mins walk to start then went back and forth along the lane nearby, under the relative shelter of the trees. This time the running minutes flew by so quick. I wanted to extend it a bit, but stuck to the programme. By the end I was out of breath again, which felt good – really using the lungs.

My thoughts were unusual on going to bed, end of Day 1. How so, I can’t really say, but I felt different, like something had shifted. I felt more tired today than usual, with heavier limbs. After the stretching and after supper today I felt so very tired, and got angry very easily. One of the reasons to jog is to see if some of the ground-in anger can move at all. Move where I don’t know. Hell, I don’t know what I’m doing, but let’s give this a go! At the very least it is good to move the body in a quicker way…

I wonder how day three will be different, schedule-wise. Also: do we get a day off?

Running – Day 1

I decided I’d like to do a bit more exercise than the odd surf trip, and gentle yoga every other day. The surf trips are intense exercise but then they are over and so the workouts stop. I bought a pair of running shoes a couple of weeks back and they waited for me to stop making excuses to start running: it’s too wet, I’d like to do other stuff (like not write the blog), etc. Today during work I really felt I needed it, so that was it: today.

I’d read up a bit about starting gently and doing a walk/run combo, and settled on the 3 weeks to a 30 minute running habit daily email. That advises 10 min walk warm-up then 20 mins running 1 min, walking 1 min alternately.

I set off quite excited, then disappointed that the Asics seemed to have a lump in the right insole, pressing into the ball of my right foot. I thought it might be my sock but it wasn’t. I think it had gone by the end of the session as it didn’t trouble me later. The 10 min walk at the beginning felt too long, walking along the nearby lanes under the trees – I was itching to run. At the 10 min mark off I went, easily, for a minute. It was fun to fly the lanes I usually walk, feet pounding on the tarmac, avoiding the odd pothole or stinger that stretched out from the hedge. The shoes rolled along nicely.

After a few repetitions of the running then walking minutes, a few aches came, but nothing too achatious – tops of feet, shins a bit, and then my gum, back lower, where my teeth still haven’t fully made it out. Some stiffness in the shoulders after a day at the desk. It got progressively harder as the minutes walking became not quite enough for the breathing to get back to normal. I settled into a nice rhythm of minutes.

I travelled far in the 20 minutes out, past the cottages on the Hinton Ampner lane, then turned back for the next 5 combos. Again, the walk was too long for the warm down (cool down?) at the end. Tomorrow I’ll do 5 mins walking start and finish.

I found a video on youtube for warm down stretches and followed those, then a good shower.

I’ll write about my experiences each day. Feel pretty energised now.