Monthly Archives: June 2015

Tahini, tahini, all the way…


Okay, so last week I graduated from the Couch to 5K program. In the second half of the week, I tried to do one of the Couch to 5K+ podcasts. One question I have to ask is –

Does it ever get easier?

This new podcast is intended to get you running with a bit more rhythm, a bit more speed. I just thought I’d try it out to see how I got on. I knew after that, I would probably go back to Week Nine of the original program and stick at that for a little while – just to get my strength and stamina up.

It was tough, I will admit that. But… That doesn’t mean I didn’t do it! Yes, I did it. Again, I did have the old ‘life flashing in front of the eyes‘ thing a little bit but it didn’t actually stop me. What it did make me realise was that I am taking an unfair view of my own progress. I’ve heard it said that in order to be constantly at the cutting edge of one’s own progress, it will always seem hard. So with that in mind, I decided to go back to the drawing board just a little bit.

Today I decided to give myself a pat on the back and go back to one of the earlier podcasts so I could see just how far I have actually come. So I went back to Week Four which is the first week that features longer blocks of running, and by that I mean blocks of five minutes and three minutes.
I knew if I went back to Week One it would be a bit too simple. And I didn’t feel like I wanted to waste half an hour. Does that sound bad?!

The results? Better pace, better speed, plus I found myself really looking forward to the running segments. So much so, in fact, that I (on the spur of the moment) decided to change the half hour programme slightly and add a HIIT component to it. That is High Intensity Interval Training. Now people who are good at this stuff and do it all the time Will know exactly what HIIT is but I didn’t when I first came across it hence why I’ve explained it out.

As Week Four alternates sections of walking and running I upped the intensity slightly by sprinting (or at least trying to!) for the last 30 seconds of each running block. This was quite easy to do, timing-wise: I just waited for Laura to say “You’ve got one minute left” then I waited a little bit and I went for it!

Oh, and why the tahini?

So glad you asked! Tahini is a great source of magnesium, and boy do my muscles need it afterwards! I’ve put a good dollop of this in my pre-running “Milkshake” and I find it really helps to stop my calves from disowning me.
My conclusions? I am a really happy bunny! It’s proved to me today how far I have come as a runner. Laura said last week that apparently I can actually call myself a runner now.   I’m quite pleased with that, especially as I have never been able to give myself any label that had anything to do with any sport!

Another thing I’ve learned this week when sprinting make sure you are wearing the correct, er, underwear. Yes, I’m talking the over-the-shoulder-boulder-holder! I’m no skinny Minnie (and never will be) so Newton’s laws have a few things to say about my running. And while I didn’t exactly give myself a blackeye today, I realise that (as a goth) that to be truly effective, running bras need to be a bit like a corset: you need to be able to pack it all in! I mean, you don’t buy them just to be comfy, you buy them to keep those puppies battened down!

As I’m now on alternate days doses of 10mg Citalopram, and my oh my, is it helping…
Anyway, I now look forward to being a “runner”!

So for any new runners out there, just remember this: it’s not about how far you’ve run, it’s about how far you’ve come.

A light at the end of the tunnel…


…and it’s not the 7:42 to Reading.

Great news. I’m on the last week of the Couch to 5K program.

This week I will be running for 30 minutes without stopping. Admittedly, I’m not doing 5K yet but that will come!

Another good thing is that I’ve now started working two days a week at my favourite place and I love it.

I’m really getting back into studying my nutrition course and that’s going well.  It’s getting to the fun part where I actually have to start doing advisory type assignments – doing meal plans etc…

As for the running I will be dropping down to twice a week but running for longer hopefully further. I will crack this 5K.  I will however be supplementing all this busy-ness with a good long bike ride at the weekend. I’m at the stage now where I can’t not be active…

At least today I did break through that elusive 4km mark – even though it did involve 30 minutes of running + 10 minutes of walking.  Still, considering 8 weeks ago I was struggling to run for 1 minute without my life flashing in front of my eyes, I think I’ve done quite well!  And if I can do it, anyone can.  I mean, seriously, anyone can!

I went to the doctors today… I can now drop down to 10 mg Citalopram every other day, which is wonderful. The biggest surprise was when she asked me if I minded there being another doctor in there. It was a doctor that was just coming back from maternity leave and was finding her feet again. Lo and behold it was the very same doctor that saw me when I had my breakdown last year. So we greeted each other, I asked her about the baby and my doctor commented that obviously when we knew each other.

Only the last time the newly returned doctor saw me, I was a crumbling scrap of barely-there humanity; less than half a knock away from ending it all. My doctor complimented me on my progress, saying that the reason I have made such a good recovery is that I’ve been proactive. I’ve sought help; I’ve had counselling; I’m doing the exercise.

I’m fighting back.

So to speak.

Apparently there is a trend among some people to be quite submissive (that’s not quite the word I want) to depression and that they do seek help but they take the tablets and accept that this is their fate. They are still feeling powerless and continue to take medication because they feel there is no other way out.

Actually that kind of sounds like depression itself to me but…

There is always a choice.

It can be done!