Project Half Marathon – The Knee Says No

Oye Plage, France

Yeah. The original idea was to run a half marathon by the end of the month May. Didn’t happen. Let’s not talk about Waffle who did it with a wide smile and no sweat! I ended up moving the target date till the end of September. Just couldn’t get there in May. Unfair.

In the meanwhile, the target has been postponed even more. My knee has started to budge. It has gotten worse now, after we returned from Finland. There was not much running involved during the 3 weeks of holiday. At home I tried to get back to the normal running routine;  The same speeds, the same distances, since they felt rather easy back then before the holiday.

That was a mistake. The first run stopped at 5 km, my right knee could not go any longer. A sharp pain on the outer side forced me to end the wobbling short. It was irritating, everything else felt so good, except for the knee. Apparently I had made my way quickly to the ever so common too fast, too soon -situation and caused myself a runner’s knee. (Insert large pot of ice cream here, to kill the frustration.) Actually, this should not have come as a surprise, the same knee has been angry at me while hiking, too. And it has always been a bit loose and wobbly.

So, time for a roll back. Whoa, I was hardly able to push through a loop of 10 km, and now I am rolling back, starting from the bottom and doing it all by the book. I have to admit, before my runs, I was neglecting the warm-ups rather badly. I have to put some extra focus on those, to get the tendons and joints warm before putting too much strain on them. I also have to put some effort into regulating the speed. That is going to be a challenge now, that I could do faster runs physically, apart from the knee. I think, settling down to 6:45 min – 7:15 min per kilometer should do.

On top of moderating the running speeds and focusing on the warm-up, there needs to be some muscle maintenance happening too; stretching and strengthening, some extra focus on the muscles supporting the knee. I have acquired a torturing devise, also known as foam roller, to help me deal with the  jamming thigh and butt muscles. Thankfully, the internet is full of all sorts of instructions on how to deal with a runner’s knee!

So, so far I have missed all the targets I have set. Just have to swallow the disappointment and wobble on! I might not get to my goal of running the half marathon as fast as some others, but I am not going to stop trying either!

 

 

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Will I Ever Get There? Project Half Marathon

Jogger, Runner, Mist

There was meant to be a half marathon by the end of the month May. In my case, there was not. You remember how I thought I was doing fine, with the old sports tracker, which lied? The depression of realizing how slow I actually have been is till looming over me. At this point I am barely managing to do 12 km runs at speeds of 7:30 minutes a kilometer. After which I am practically dead.

I have now launched a new training programme for the half marathon in Polar. With it I should be able to do it by the midway of September, if I remember correctly. I am pretty blue about it.

Otherwise things are great. I like the new watch, my shoes are causing no harm – even my knees let me be at peace, they only hurt a little every now and then after longer runs.  So I’ll be wobbling on, powering my jogs with frustration and hatred towards my pathetic physical abilities.

And Waffle?

Mrrpph!

He did it already. Right in schedule, like a machine. The last week of May he just took off after work and ran a 20 km loop, barely breaking a sweat (Ok, ok, there I lied, he did sweat quite a bit). And did it at a massive speed of 5:53 minutes per kilometer, it took him less than two hours.

Unfair! But in the same go, amazing!

Waffle seems to be hooked to the sport and is creating new goals for himself. Eventually maybe even going for a full marathon, but time will tell.

 

Project Half Marathon – More Gadgets and the Ugly Face of Truth

Polar, smart watch

Remember the activity tracker I bought for this project of running? The Polar A360? Mother on my wrist, commanding and nagging me to move etc.?

It is gone now, I assume it is leading an underground criminal organisation somewhere in the metro tunnels of Brussels. It slipped from my wrist one afternoon when I left work and has never been seen since. Polar might want to develop the wristband into something little sturdier.

After a brief grieving period, I bought a new gadget. I am still staying faithful to Polar, but upgrading the level of gadget. We are going smart with the M600, a smart watch. Blimey.

The watch has its own Android operating system, it is synced with my phone, Strava, Google Fit and of course Polar Flow. it also gives out more data and more accurate data. The basic things of course; activity levels, heart rate, distances etc. This thing also counts my steps per minute while running and it has built-in GPS, so my distances and speeds are recorded by a floating thing in space.

With the accurate data came the horrible truth with its ugly face.

Previously I had tracked my runs with the A360 and the crappy GPS of my old phone, which is on the same level of high-tech as a Russian potato. They gave positively satisfying info of me, running like a dream at 10 km/h for kilometres and kilometres on end.

Mwhahaha, said the new smart watch as it crumbled my sweet, sweet dreams. I barely can do 6 minutes 40 on a kilometre, which is 9 km/h. Ok, ok, now that I say it, it is not that bad at all, but it does dampen the moral a bit.

Polar training data
Gotta be rather happy with the steady heart rate though!

On top of the discovery of my real slowness, there has been some illness, some knee-related trouble and so forth, so I can tell you, there is no half marathon happening here in the end of May.

Waffle on the other hand is doing great. The damned miracle of a runner. He is almost there, running at around 11 km/h for distances of over 18 km. Just a little extra squeeze and he is done with the challenge.

He is not stopping there though. He wants to continue, until he breaks the limit of 25 km, then 30 km, and if that doesn’t hurt too bad, he’ll go on until a complete marathon. I’ll just keep on sacrificing things to the sacred spirits of running, so that my knees won’t let me down. If you have good tips on what those spirits like, I am eager to hear!

So here we have it. Is there anybody else running?