Monday, December 09, 2013

First week of Advent Streak

Alf Tupper: my running inspiration
Well, this has been interesting. As detailed in my last post, I'm doing an advent streak this year, which is committing to running every day up to Christmas. I'm not sure whether this includes Christmas Day, or is that a day off for good behaviour?
My goals, such as they are, are very low. As long as I run a mile a day, then I'm ticking off the runs. However I've actually done a bit better than that. Two miles is my low benchmark and I haven't failed to hit it yet. Some days I've done a bit better. Overall I'm gradually increasing the distance, but slowly so I don't put myself off.
The first week wasn't as bad as I thought as I seem to have a better underlying level of fitness than I thought. The cycling I have been doing over the past year or so has obviously helped, as does the overall body workout of having two young sons.
I've been progressively less out of breath as the week has gone on, and less stiff. Days three and four were a bit hard as I was seizing up a bit, but I think I've got through it. My right knee remains slightly sore, but once I get going it's okay.
Even though it's only been a relatively short period of time, I've been really surprised what's happened to my body. With just a small amount of exercise and no real change to my diet, it's been very noticeable to me that everything has tightened up quite quickly. I feel quite toned - like!
I have even invested in my first ever pair of running tights and high vis top for night runs. I'm used to running in any old gear I have around, so for me this marks quite a commitment to professionalism. I'm sure Alf Tupper will never forgive me though and I might have to trade in my Green Flash next.
Apart from that it's just one man in tights plodding round the park - no Nike+, no GPS apps, no split times. I don't know how fast I'm running - not very is my guess, but probably getting a little bit faster each time. I was set to do a Parkrun last Saturday, but bottled it at the thought of running with people who were a bit more race ready than me. I did my own 5.5K later that day just to see that I could, but don't think I'll be in a state to go against the clock in the next couple of weeks - see below.
Will I keep going? I don't see why not. Apart from the very windy day last week, I've been lucky with the weather, which can be off putting. A big challenge will be running through a hangover. I haven't had one of those yet, but there are a couple of Christmas bashes coming up which I can't see being lemonade shandy affairs, and I'm not a shandy kind of guy.
There are some limits to the pursuit of fitness.

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