Tahini, tahini, all the way…

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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.

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