Running, lately


One of the downsides of having a running blog is that sometimes, your running is totally ordinary and non spectacular and so there’s nothing to write about which is why I haven’t blogged for a week or so. But I miss blogging so I thought I’d try and pull something together.

I’ve basically been trying to shake it up a little over the past few weeks.

I tried running on a track

I’ve never run on a proper running track before. My school track was a lush green field with chalk lanes painted on. Not complaining, I like lush green fields, but whenever I hear  Americans reminiscing about their high-school track-running exploits, I have no idea what that was like. I’ve also never really fancied running on tracks. Why would you run in circles like a hamster where you could run on trails or run through streets smelling the early morning jasmine? But the other week, I headed out for an easy 4 miler, somehow found myself diverting onto the track at my nearby park and decided to play.

Because this was unplanned, I had no idea quite what I should do on a track. There were several elderly people walking around it so I couldn’t do entire laps. So I did this very strange, ad-hoc session when I sprinted up one straight side of the track, jogged to the next side, waited for the oldies to move along and sprinted down there. It was very disorganised, but actually quite fun.

Three things I noticed. 1) If you run on a track, you automatically feel like an Olympian.   2) You can also pretend to be an Olympian. 3) If you sprint, you see 6s on your watch (my 0.7 mile sprints were between 6.00 and 6.45 pace) and I have never seen 6s on my watch before. Bearing in mind  some of my online buddies had just run Boston with several/many miles in the 6s, my jubilation was a little excessive.

The time I won an Olympic medal
The time I won an Olympic medal

I’ve upped the pace on my tempo runs

After ‘winning the silver medal’ in Livermore, I’m determined to PR at the 5k and the 10k and this basically means holding an 8.00 pace for a long time, so I’ve started blitzing my tempo miles, aiming for 8.00 instead of 8.15 – 8.25 where they usually are. So far, when I’ve run single tempo miles, I’m pulling it off…they’re in the late 7s or very early 8s. But when I tried to link two blitzing miles together, they were a disappointing 8.25 and 8.17.  But I shall carry on regardless.

I did some hill repeats

I live in the flattest town in California (probably) but managed to get some hill repeats in by running repeatedly up and down the footbridge near the Dude’s school. It was a blisteringly hot day and I was running at midday so not the wisest but in the end it was quite fun. 10 repeats of about 0.6 miles up and then back down. My legs felt it the next day.

I gave up on a long run

The day after Hill Repeat Day, I went out for my long run. I was aiming for 10 miles. It was hot, the route was hilly, my legs still ached from the hills. At 7 miles, I decided I wasn’t having any fun and I had a load of studying to do, so I went home and only ran 9 miles. I felt slightly guilty but it didn’t last that long.

I did some intervals. They were fine.

I did a swim workout. In fact, I did two. 

For a while now, I’ve been meaning to swim. One of my New Year Resolutions was to learn to swim properly and the time is coming when I’ll need to actually do it. So I decided I needed to get my swim fitness up a little beforehand so that I’m not dying on each lap during my lesson.

In addition, it hasn’t escaped my notice that when some of my runner friends venture into the dark world of triathlon, their running improves dramatically. Aleks and Amanda are literally flying at the moment, and they both swear that triathlon training has been influential. I want their speed. So I thought I’d suck up my hate of the swim and try it.

Therefore, TWICE this week, I have got myself into the pool in our apartment complex and swum some laps. The pool is about 15 metros long (it’s 0.01 of a mile) which isn’t ideal but it does the job. The first time, I swam 22 laps. The second time, I swam 26 laps – that’s about 450 yards. That’s basically nothing, but I’m proud of myself anyway. I do feel like an elderly lady at  country club pool as I breast-stroke along with my head poked high above the water. I have a lot to do.

Basically, me


This is a very unimpressive blog post. I’m sorry. But basically, I’m still running, I’m rather enjoying it but it’s not very exciting for you guys! Hopefully things will perk up soon!!

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Grace says:

    Sometimes a little boredom is good*! Tracks are best for interval workouts because you always know exactly how far you’re running; I barely even look at my Garmin at the track. And swimming is always great cross-training. Have you got outdoor pools where you are?

    *I am hoping that labour is exactly as boring as my entire pregnancy so far.

    1. Cathryn says:

      I was actually Twitter stalking you yesterday to see if Mini-Grace had arrived!

      Yes, we have an outdoor pool in our apartment complex. It’s not very long (we think about 15 mtrs) but it does the job. I just need to build up my swimming stamina. It wasn’t quite as boring as I remember from my gym pool in the UK.

      Hope all is well with you x

  2. Sherry says:

    For boring running lately, you’ve done a lot of interesting things! It’s great to mix it up occasionally. I was thinking how I missed my speedwork sessions during marathon training, and can’t wait to get back into some faster stuff.
    We had a grass track at school too, and only got to run on a sealed track at provincial level, which wasn’t very often for me!
    Good on you for swimming, you’re lucky to have a pool handy! I’ve been thinking about doing some sort of cross training but need to find a pool, and a swimsuit…

    1. Cathryn says:

      Swimsuits…UGH!! I need a proper one when we have lessons, and a nose clip so I don’t take water up my nose and choke elegantly! Yes, I think mixing it up is good for you too.

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