Stupid o'clock running

Remember how I did a couple of evening runs and was all "Yeah! That's the time to run in hot weather!" about it?

Well, no. No it is not.

I did one more evening hot weather run after that post and I had to cut it short as it felt like my heart was going to explode.

Halfway through the "Shit, my heart" run

Obviously my heart didn't explode, and it probably wasn't going to, but as I've mentioned before I have awful heart paranoia owing to the fact my mum died of a massive heart attack. That paranoia teamed with fancy heart rate zone alerts on my new watch set me on a path of overly-cautious running for a couple of weeks. My Garmin was preset to think that anything over a brisk walking pace was heart rate zone four business for me, which was making the easiest and most gentle of runs a nightmare with it flashing up 'HIGH' every few seconds. Deep down I knew this was utter bulltwaddle and after chatting with my Instabuddy, Shona, we decided I should change the Garmin's heart rate zone brackets, up my max heart rate setting a tad, and switch off the heart rate zone alerts. I did this and since then my runs have been much less anxiety-ridden. Hurrah!

I've been getting up at stupid o'clock to run in the cool of the early mornings. I'm a mid-morning runner - that's when my body, legs and brain are at their best for running - so at 6am it takes a good couple of miles for my legs to wake up. I've been doing the shorter early morning runs fasted (no food beforehand) and for the longer ones I've been getting up at about 4:30am so I can eat something and wait for it to go down before running. It's a ballache but early morning running is better than no running. Right now the hot weather seems to be on pause, thankfuckfully, but they reckon it's coming back. OH JOY.

Bewildered by my own sweat

On non-running days I've been doing resistance band workouts in an attempt to strengthen and tone my thighs. I'm not overweight - I have a healthy BMI and all that - but my thighs are definitely in the thunder category and I can't help but feel that running would be slightly easier if I shifted a bit of their weight. Obviously you can't target weight loss to particular areas, more's the pity, so I'm cutting down on the cake, chocolate and crisps and upping the amount I move in an attempt to smallen my jambons (my thighs look like big hams) so that the resistance band toning thing will actually work.

Jambons. I will smallen them.

I'm also doing a Yogalates DVD a couple of times a week. This is lovely for the stretches and the core work, and there's also a cardio section which involves lots of downward dogging, lunging, sweating like an absolute bastard, and me shouting "Namaste, bitches!" at the graceful non-fally-over women on the DVD. I've lost a few pounds in the last fortnight so I'll get there. Eventually.

Eager blackberries. It's only July.

I've just set myself the goal of doing a 12 mile run before the end of August. I have my half marathon in September and I want that day to be the first time I run 13.1 miles but I also need to know in my head that I can actually do it. Having a twelve mile run on the Runs Done Shelf in my brain will be psychological confirmation that 13.1 is doable. So much of running is shutting your brain up and convincing it that stuff is possible, from tricking it via heart rate zone watch tomfoolery to proving to it that you're capable of certain distances. The rest of it is just keeping your legs moving.

Speaking of my half, I'm still raising money for Make-A-Wish and the link to my fundraising page is here.

Running Tune of The Week
Use the Force by Jamiroquai