Making progress

On my longer runs I go past the back of what used to be the Chivers jam factory. It's no longer Chivers but they still make jam there and as I ran past the place on Monday all I could smell was marmalade, and the zesty jammy whiffs were so flipping lovely to breathe in. I set out on Monday with the intention of doing a 7.5 or 8km run but it was feeling good so I did some maths in my head as I ran (quite the feat, let me tell you) and calculated that 8.5km would fall within the recommended 10 percent weekly distance increase thing, and 8.5km is what I ran. Hurrah! Jammy run = jammy feeling.

I took two rest days after my long run, as I intended to, and I didn't cycle on those days but I did go out for walks, partly for exercise and partly to get away from some intensely yawnsome reading concerning archaeological theory. I had planned for my subsequent run to be a short intervals session but instead I opted for a 5km run.

Green street art lady. Urban.

It went well. I didn't have that sluggish feeling I had on my last couple of 5km runs, so I reckon that the double rest day idea was a good one. I also think not looking at my Garmin helped. On all of my runs this week I made a conscious decision to not look at my watch at all until I knew I was nearing the end of my run. I love my Garmin, I do, but I don't want it to encroach on the enjoyment of my runs. I do this running thing because I love the feeling it gives me. I don't want to run like lightning or to become obsessed with pace and times, on a continual quest to better my running speed, because for me, that is not what I'm doing it for. I'm not saying I don't care about times – I do; everyone likes to improve at things – but I don't want times to become the be-all and end-all of my running. Like most things in life, it's all about finding that happy medium, innit?

Saturday mornings are parkrun mornings and yesterday I marshalled again. It was absolutely bloody freezing! The course set-up volunteers had to break the ice on puddles and then cone them off as they were just too treacherous for people to run through. The frozen ground did mean it wasn't the mudfest of last week, though, so I guess that was a good thing. I went prepared for the chillycoldness and took my new USB hand warmer with me.

What a fab little thing it is. While the run was happening I kept the warmer in my pocket on its low setting. This provided me with a gently-warmed thigh and also stopped my iPhone, which was also in my pocket, from switching itself off, which it likes to do if it's feeling a bit chilly. I need to have a working phone in case of a parkrunner emergency, you see, so it's important that it's on. (Apple: get your battery shit together!) After almost an hour of continuous cheering, hand-clapping and ba-dingling of my cowbell, I was very pleased to whack the hand warmer up to full so I could defrost my fingers on my walk home. I know I said I was going to cycle to and from parkrun this week, but I just didn't feel like it.

I did my little intervals session this morning. It was lovely and sunny out and I saw many other runners going about their running business. It was one of those mornings that would have been perfect for a longer run but my stupid womb decided to do its crampy pain thing. Normally I can run through its tedious ladybusiness shit but it's being particulary twatsome today, so switching the intervals for the 5km on Thursday worked out well in the end. I mean, even the BBC Weather app predicted it:

I've been using the C25K+ Speed podcast for my intervals but I'm going to have to find a new programme as I don't think this one pushes me enough anymore. It feels too easy now (it didn't used to) and I always feel a bit meh afterwards, like I didn't do enough. That's not totally a bad thing, though; it shows I've made progress. I've found a couple of potential intervals podcasts so I'll give one of those a bash soon.

Running Tune of the Week
Magic by B.o.B feat. Rivers Cuomo 
(Yes, I'm fully aware that B.o.B is a Flat Earther knobhead, but Rivers has had my heart since I was seventeen, OK?)