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The park in bloom, and some ramblings on running

park in bloom

These pictures were taken last weekend in the local park where I go running. I don’t think I’ve mentioned me running adventures yet here, have I? Probably because they’re not hugely adventurous! Anyway, when I was diagnosed with RSI in my wrist I was also told not to do yoga until it was fully healed. And its still not, though much better. I went back to the Iyengar yoga (I used to do both the more technical Iyengar, and the more exercisey Ashtanga) pretty soon, as I can handle downward dogs, but chaturangas and upward dogs still hurt, and without those two, it’s pretty much impossible to do Ashtanga yoga, so I haven’t been back there. I had to fight with the Ashtanga people to get my classes deferred (you would not believe, you’d think yoga was about spreading good karma, but apparently its a cut throat businness!) and they eventually gave me til the middle of March, but since that has been and gone and I’m still not better I think I will just not go back. Their loss. Now that Dave is unemployed, its a good idea to save money where we can anyway. Though I do miss it!

So anyway, since the Ashtanga was my main form of cardio, I needed to find something else, and on the example of Sandra at madamowl, I decided to give running another go. I started doing the Couch to 5K, which is a running programme designed to take you from nothing to doing 30 minutes of continuous running in 9 weeks, running three times a week. You start of with just 60 seconds of running at a time and build to continuous runs. That’s obviously a fairly leisurely pace of development, but it turns out that was exactly what I needed. I probably could have run 5k cold without any building up, but then my legs would have killed for several days and I would not have done it again for weeks. The NHS does a series of podcasts to accompagny the C25K, with a lovely lady telling you when to run and walk and encouraging you. I would definitely recommend it!

I’m now at the end of the programme and my next challenge is to run on hilly terrain. My C25K training was all done on pretty much flat surfaces, but for my final run I went for a run in Holyrood Park by Arthur’s Seat. I had made the mistake of having some yoghurt about half an hour before going out and it was not good. The road around the hill is about 5km long, they use it for Race for Life’s a lot and all organised runs in Edinburgh go along that route for a bit. And it’s not an easy one. One way round there’s a massive, very steep incline. The other direction it’s not quite as steep but it is continuously upwards for 2kms. It’s hard! So what I’m building up to now is to get all the way round. Once I can do that and not have jelly legs the next day I might even consider entering some organised runs.

I do really enjoy running and love how after a while I just get into this rhythm where I’m not even thinking. Though I can’t really see myself becoming one of those serious runners. And while I do feel fitter in my legs than when I started, I also feel less flexible and I miss doing upper body stuff. And I haven’t lost any weight (the runs make me ravenous, so I’ve mainly just made up for any burnt calories by eating more) and I don’t see any difference in my body shape either. Whereas when I started doing yoga three times a week, the difference was visible within three weeks. But I would definitely like to keep running in my exercise mix!

Are you a runner? If not, what exercise do you prefer?

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • SACRAMENTO 18 April 2011, 7:47 am

    Funny. I also gave up yoga for my knee operation; althoug I keep in touch with a few good friends I made, I am not going back aither. Yoga has taken me up another step towards myself.
    I never liked running, but love walking for miles. I love walking, and so does the rest of the family . We never use the car, we always walk everywhere.
    Much love dear Franca.

  • poet 18 April 2011, 8:02 am

    Mhm, running isn't my thing but if it works for you, great! I have replaced yoga with swimming, it's cheaper 🙂 but I miss yoga a little. Those pictures look great, very spring-y lighting!

  • oranges_and_apples 18 April 2011, 8:37 am

    I know, yoga is so expensive! I don't really like swimming, I enjoy going in
    the sea or messing about in a pool on holiday, but I don't like swimming for
    exercise. When I was young, my school was being rebuilt, so they put prefab
    containers on the playing fields, so we constantly went swimming since that
    was all we could do, and the pool was always freezing. Ithink that's where
    my aversion comes from.

  • SACRAMENTO 18 April 2011, 9:09 am

    Missing your, Franca!!!

  • Stef 18 April 2011, 11:30 am

    I am a terror when it comes to exercise. I cycle and walk a lot and that's pretty much all. Swimming is my favourite but chlorine ruins my skin and airways so I don't do that very often either. I take my hat off to your regular sporting.

    Hope your wrist recovery continues smoothly

  • Amy 18 April 2011, 2:39 pm

    If it was up to me I'd horse ride 7 times a week but since I have no money or horse (le sigh) I run when I can. I'm currently attempting to build up to some kind of organised run, I'm thinking of starting out with a 5km and maybe one day a half marathon, but at the moment I'm just trying to build up slowly!
    If you fancy both signing up for an organised run together, we wouldn't have to run together necessarily but it might be nice to have someone to share training stories with!

  • oranges_and_apples 18 April 2011, 2:43 pm

    I'm not planning on doing any this summer, I've got my hands full with so
    many things, but after that, definitely! and by then I should be able to
    make it round arthur's seat without too much embarrassment (I was overtaken
    by four fit looking ladies going down the hill, that's how slow I go).

  • Cloud of Secrets 18 April 2011, 2:54 pm

    I hear such good things about yoga, and so often. I can't imagine making the time for regular classes out of the house, though, and there are things I'd rather spend the money on — both "wants" and "needs." My main exercise comes from running up and down stairs as I take care of chores and kids, but in warmer weather we also get in plenty of walks around the neighborhood.

    I *was* a runner for a couple of years, and I enjoyed it, and worked my way bit by bit up to six miles — a distance I'd never have imagined! I was always one of those who'd only run when chased, to borrow a line from the nerd's delight movie Real Genius A bit of caffeine helped, and great music on my MP3 player.

    I enjoyed running, once I'd get past that wall when I thought my lungs were going to collapse — then it was like I was running on a springy cloud of endless energy and air.

    It's just hard to get up the will to do that again, though — and like you, I know I'd eat more because of the ravenousness. I don't know if I have the discipline right now to get out to run after the kids go to bed, to build up comfortable distance, and to keep the calories down.

  • Fashionpearlsofwisdom 18 April 2011, 3:38 pm

    Ive never tried yoga, I have rhumatoid arthritis which means I cant run at the moment but I hape with the new meds I might be able to again, there is nothing better than a nice run with your dog. At the moment I just do walking and on a good day a little bit on my rowing maching (against better advice but I feel awful if I cant do some form of exercise). I used to love doing step and areobics classes too.

  • MrsBossa 18 April 2011, 4:23 pm

    I wanted to try running, but it scares me a little. This week I'm booked in for Zumba, yoga and body combat! Dancing would have to be my favourite form of exercise.

  • Alexa Wasielewski 18 April 2011, 4:23 pm

    I used to run cross country a lot, and in the past 2 months have really got back into it again. Although I don't enjoy it as much as team sports – I've been playing field hockey, tennis, netball since I was very young – I mainly run now to make sure that when I get to uni im not gonna develop an asthma attack or something. Its also been a good replacement for competitive swimming, which I stopped after around 8 years. I think its awesome that you've managed to stick to a running plan; I could never achieve that amount of dedication & organisation for any type of exercise.

  • frumpfactor 18 April 2011, 4:26 pm

    I run — though I am tempted to say that I "run," because I am quite slow. I've been doing it since my early 30s. At my best, I could chug up and down the VERY hilly terrain near my house. Now, hubs and I usually run on a converted rail trail, which is fairly level with no traffic and beautiful scenery. As I get older (I'm 45), it becomes even less about speed and more about enjoying the outdoors. (And I've started walking more). But I still do a 10K race every October. I hope you'll continue enjoying it for as many years as I have!

  • Ceri 18 April 2011, 4:54 pm

    Yes I love running although only when the weather is good. I also love Body pump which a sort of weight lifting to music class and and body combat a class based on martial arts and boxing. I do go to the gym if the weather is bad but that does my head in a bit.

  • Elly 18 April 2011, 5:04 pm

    I'm finally really trying to get into running this year… I've had periods on and off where I'd do some jogging, but had not had a real regular routine until this year. I ran my first 5K road race last month, and am training to run a 10K in the fall (though I've been thrown off for the last few weeks by knee/foot pain mostly unrelated to the running).

    Also, your photos are lovely! So glad it's finally spring and decent weather for running/being outside!

  • Kirstin Marie 19 April 2011, 12:46 pm

    I love the second photo, but all of these pictures are gorgeous!! I am not a runner, but I love walking!!! Jogging is fun too. 🙂

  • oranges_and_apples 19 April 2011, 12:49 pm

    whern i say running, i mean jogging! I go sloooowly!

  • Helen Sheridan 19 April 2011, 2:58 pm

    I have been loving running! I might even cancel my gym membership to save money and concentrate on running – it's great because you can go whenever you want and benefit from fresh air too. I am excited for my 10k run in May too. I'm already looking for a half marathon to enter!

  • WendyBrandes 19 April 2011, 10:13 pm

    Hmmm. I always think I should try yoga, but yoga enthusiasts in NYC scare me with their intensity!

  • Ladyofashion 20 April 2011, 12:34 am

    I enjoy running but can not do as much since I hurt my back, so I love yoga, yet have found that Pilates was a better choice for me. I used to do reg. classes, but now do it on my own. I go dancing (salsa) sometimes, which can also be pretty intense & fun! Lovely post! -xo

  • madam0wl a.k.a Sandra 20 April 2011, 11:00 am

    I just did my first 5K this past Sunday. It was a challenge. First I was used to running in the darkness of early AM, so bright sun at 2 pm was weird! But also it was my first time off my little "track" (circle drive in front of house) so the slight hills and visual distance were new. My sister (who was running with me) says I was probably going at a faster pace than normal, even though we were trying to go slow. So my breathing got all out of whack and I had to walk a few times. We did it in 38 min. Going forward I'm not too concerned about speeding up, I'm okay with being slow! But I do want to be able to go a full 40 min non-stop and yes I hope to be able to cope better on hills at some point too.

    I enjoy the zen of running also and may start running without my iPod. We weren't supposed to run with headphones in during the 5K (we did see some rule breakers, grrr) and that was something of a challenge also. However I think I'd like to trying running without music/podcast at least once a week, to get back to my own thoughts and rhythm.

    I do yoga in my home and have no idea what kind it is, just various poses I've learned from books and a couple semesters of group sessions I attended in university. I really like it. I hope your wrist lets you get back to it eventually.

  • Aviewintomyworld 20 April 2011, 10:04 pm

    i call it running but i'm not sure observers would always agree!!! was just recently discussing this with a friend, she doesn't enjoy running – all that runs through her mind is this is painful whereas i like to just clear my mind, its a really great feeling when you stretch out into your stride – i love it, but definitely don't do it enough. i've signed up for regular events to motivate training this summer, culminating in triathlon – eek!!!

    p.s. i spent a summer living in edinburgh, love seeing your out & about pics 🙂

  • For Those About To Shop 24 April 2011, 1:13 am

    I am an avid runner and I've run two marathons in the past. I plan to run a half-marathon this year because my knee has been bothering me from the constant pounding but I've been running since age 8. I also love Iyengar yoga; it is my favourite and it seems to suit my personality. I dont' like anything too vigorous and would rather get cardio from running.

  • Heidiluxe 25 April 2011, 1:30 pm

    i LOVE running. and i am not in the least bit athletic. but after a lot of work and patience, running comes more naturally for me. if anything i've gained a little weight from running because my muscles are definitely bigger. plus, it's so easy to justify a box of cookies after you've spent the last hour running.
    and yoghurt before a run? oh, my. i hope you were okay. i have a few horror stories from not eating the right thing pre-run.

  • Amy 10 October 2011, 7:26 am

    If it was up to me I'd horse ride 7 times a week but since I have no money or horse (le sigh) I run when I can. I'm currently attempting to build up to some kind of organised run, I'm thinking of starting out with a 5km and maybe one day a half marathon, but at the moment I'm just trying to build up slowly!
    If you fancy both signing up for an organised run together, we wouldn't have to run together necessarily but it might be nice to have someone to share training stories with!