Friday, 15 March 2013

Week 7: Avoiding The Zombie Menace (Zombie Run 5k)

Week 7.3

Finally I am up to the last week. The only problem is that I am repeating week 7 and may well be doing it for a third time.  But I am happy with that since, irrespective of anyone else, I think I have done well for me. Which is the fun of running for myself.

Week 1: Introduction To The Apocalypse

Way back on Dec 31st, in the evening as people were just beginning to get ready to party, I went out for my first 'run'.

The mission tasks for this were:

  • 10 min walking
  • 1 min Walking
  • 15 Secs slow run
  • 10 min Free Form Run

The middle bit was repeated 10 times.

The story started introducing to the characters and location in an entertaining manner. As the weeks have progressed that narrative has only got stronger and more interesting.

The first week was horrible for me, with hindsight due at least in part to my very poor trainers, leaving me hobbling after what was in essence a brisk walk. A new, decent, pair of running shoes helped a lot.

Week 1, even at the time, looked like it should have been a walk in the park. I did a fair amount of brisk walking anyway. Sadly though it turned out that I was still plainly hideously unfit.

Week 3 which involved 1 min run / 1 min walk drills almost left me in a position where I thought I was going to have to phone someone to give me a lift home my shins were in so much pain. So I did all of week 3 simply because I could not face admitting to others that I could not run for such a short time. I took a couple of days off and repeated the week, listening to the same story again, with characters telling me how well I was doing. By the end of week 3 redux I felt I was completing it comfortably. Week 4 passed without a hitch. Then week five happened.

Again the drills were the problem. Shorter walks with slightly longer runs. Again the shin pain and another week I had to repeat. Like week 3 repeating it again seemed to do the trick and while I did not quite coast it
I was happy with my progress. I even managed to make 6k in one outing which to me was stunning.

Week 7: Zombies, Traitors and Scary Men

Not wanting to give any spoilers but the story for week 6 and 7 is brilliant.

  • 10 min Fast Walk
  • 5 min Free Form Run
  • 1 min running
  • 15 sec skipping
  • 5 min Free Form Run
  • 3 min Stretches
  • 5 min Free Form Run
(Repeat 5 times, Repeat twice)

Week 7 was like a repeat of weeks 3 and 5, maybe it is something to do with odd numbered weeks? :) I am currently repeating Week 7 - 3 until I can complete everything and run each five minute block without stopping. Not quite there yet but every time I go out I get a little bit closer. For some reason it is the running/ skipping drills I am finding the hardest, not just because of the dangers of skipping through my hometown.

I look at 'proper' runners now that can do 5k in one run, or even 10k, and I am beginning to think I will be able to do that soon enough. I am currently hitting about 5.5k with a degree of regularity which strikes me as a good distance.

Lessons Learned

Giving Up

I should really have given up by now. This running lark is every bit as difficult as giving up smoking was. Many projects I start in good faith have crashed & burned by now. Normally if I get past the 3 month period, soon, I can be fairly confident it is now part of my routine. The things that have kept me going include the following.

  1. Investing money in buying trainers etc. Having invested actual cash I don't want to see it wasted.
  2. Having decent music to listen to. Really I made up a playlist I really like, this helps a little.
  3. Making a huge fuss on facebook, irl and at work. This has helped a lot. I have spouted off so often about running, putting up run logs on the wall and all sorts, that I can not face the humiliation of not keeping it up.
  4. Entering A Fun Run. I have put my name down for a 4k fun run and will be sponsored. The charity I have chosen is well liked by a work colleague. Again I don't want to let them down. This has probably helped more than 3.
  5. Losing weight. Not really a major motivator at the beginning but has helped a little. Especially as when I started my BMI had just introduced me to the world of obesity. Hi fatland!

Running Through The Canyons Of My Mind

This will sound stupid. I have just hit the stage where I am beginning to 'zone out' when I am running, instead of paying attention to breathing, sore legs, distance, speed and so forth; this seems to be helping make a better time and distance. Will need to see whether this is something useful or just that my brain in becoming oxygen starved.

Next Steps

Week eight is the last week of the 5k Zombie Training. After that I will be on to the main app, which is exciting. 

I am planning on signing up for a 5k Zombie Evac run in October which looks like ti should be fun.

After that I should be ready for the apocalypse. As long as I can run faster than you ...

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