Week 13, and I am hoping that will not be unlucky for me…
Monday 02 September 2013
This is it. The run up to the Wolf Run. Although I have not been doing much running recently. And now my back aches when I wake up, most likely the result of carrying a 35lb bergen up Snowdon. I was back in the office and following my usual routine, and I went for a light run at lunchtime, just to loosen myself off. I am going to avoid overeating this week before the big day on Sunday, so I ate a pasta, spinach and pine kernals pot for lunch, and had a prawn Thai curry microwave thing for dinner.
- Run (work) – 1.5 miles
Tuesday 03 September 2013
My back still aches and I feel tired. I need to get better sleep this week. I followed my usual morning routine and made sure to drink water ready for a lunchtime run. Of course, I realise that once again a running training plan collapsed about half way through, which was a pity. At least I kept my other training going this time. There are 8 weeks between this Wolf Run and the Winter Wolf Run in November, so I will put together another running training plan similar to the one I should have been following this time. I took another loosening run and ate some couscous for lunch. I ate a banana during the afternoon and drank a lot of water, before eating an apple as I drove down to Welwyn.
Regiment Fitness are running two evening sessions at Welwyn from now on, and the one I will go to has been pushed to 1915. Tonight it was being taken by the two Steves, and the mad one took us through an on the spot warm up, which, of course, ended up with us falling to the ground a lot. Although that was not quite the end of the warm up, because, giving us a taste of what was to come, we ran a lap around the poles. The circuit involved 8 poles and doing 10 repetitions of each exercise at each pole, plus running a lap before and after doing each set. The exercises were press ups, sit ups and squat thrusts, and that was a lot of running, but there was still some more to come. We got into pairs and one of us got into the bridge position while the other ran a lap. I was sweating like a pig by the end of the circuit, and then we were sent off running to the far side of the field and back again. I am beginning to wonder if I should rename sensible Steve… We split into two groups and I started with tyre relays in a group of three. We each ran with the tyre to the other end of the area and back twice (repeating this three times), and while we did this the others did press ups, then sit ups and finally squats. We then finished off with one quick sprint there and back with the tyre each. We moved on to boxing and in pairs did straight arm punching while squatting, doing 150 repetitions twice, and then did incline sit ups into straight arm punching for a minute. The instructor formerly known in my blogs as sensible Steve then sent us off to run to the far end of the grass and back to finish off, which was also made harder because it was so dark by this time. I did make it across to the warm down, and then walked off to my car, soaked in sweat.
I got home and ate a lentil and tomato soup with two boiled eggs and some rude health oaty thins.
- Run (work) – 2 miles
- Training – 1 hour
Wednesday 04 September 2013
I followed my usual morning routine and got myself ready for another lunchtime run. It was hot and sunny when I got out and I just did one lap of the estate. I will have a proper workout this evening with Regiment Fitness at St Albans.
The sun was still shining when I got to the park in St Albans, and as I walked towards the training area I could see it was the two Steves taking the session again. However, the good news was that I could also see it was not the same tough session as the previous evening in Welwyn. Well, I am not sure I could have been more wrong with that assessment. We started off with mad Steve taking us for a different type of warm up, using the same movements as usual but with us running in a circle around him, gradually building up the speed, and finishing off with sprints, and then a fun part where we split into two groups to sprint out to the two Steves and form a letter on the ground with our bodies (as they did in the Halifax adverts) with the losing group getting a burpee forfeit. We did T, S, X and W before taking a quick run over to the bench and back. The sun was still out and it was hot and humid, so any circuit was going to be hard in those conditions, and this evening we got the 300 – running out to the far line, doing 30 repetitions of the exercise, and then running back. Lots of running then, and being pushed to sprint it rather than jog it. We did press ups, sit ups, squat thrusts, sit ups from fully lying back with one leg coming up so we could (try to) touch the toes, from a standing position going down into a press up and then walking our hands back so that we stood up again (I have no idea what that might be called), star jumps, elbows to full-arm extensions (which I described in my holiday training blog here), squats, lunges, and finished on our backs with our legs out straight and crossing them over each other. By this time I was covered in grass cuttings, sweating, and feeling very worked. There was worse to come. We split into our two groups and I started with mad Steve. I expected to be doing boxing, because the other group were over with the jerry cans, but Steve just started walking out to the middle of the field, without telling us what was going to be happening. It is interesting how unsettling it can be to be taken out of your comfort zone, and having expected the boxing and now not knowing what we were heading into, this was one of those moments. Steve pointed out a tree in the far distance, and I still was not sure if he was being serious. He was. He had us running to the tree and then back to him, as he himself walked towards the tree. From time to time he would call out an exercise and we would do six repetitions of that exercise before continuing with the running. We then moved on to another tree and the same sort of thing, just this time we were falling to the ground and getting back up again. We had now reached the far side of the field, where the footpath forks, and this provided a triangle for us to run round, before coming back on to the field. We were then to run back to the van, hitting the ground whenever Steve shouted “Incoming !”. To be honest, judging by the speed with which some people hit the ground, most of our section were lost before we got to the second phase of our fire and manoeuvre. Running is certainly my weakness and that was a very tough session. I did feel good for having done it, though, and it is definitely what I need to be doing. Which is fortunate, because sensible Steve had more running for us to do. We got into pairs with a medicine ball between us, and started with sit ups for a minute with our legs locked together, passing the medicine ball from one to another as we met in the middle. Then one of us ran round a little copse near to the van while the other did sit ups with the medicine ball, taking it to the left, then the right, and finally above the head as we sat up. Then we put our hands on the medicine ball, got into the press up position, then moved our feet to the right, back to the middle, then to the left, and repeated until our partner got back from the run again. We were not quite finished, as we did some jerry can relays to really bring it to an end. Mad Steve managed to carry out most of the warm down with us on the ground in some way, so any grass cuttings I had managed to shift during the course of the session were replaced. It had been a very tough session for me, and a brilliant one. I cannot wait for more of the same.
I got home, had a shower to clean off all the grass cuttings, and then ate a broccoli and stilton soup with two hard boiled eggs and some rude health oaty thins.
- Run (work) – 1.5 miles
- Training – 1 hour
Thursday 05 September 2013
I followed my usual morning routine, and noticed how warm it looked outside. My lunchtime run would be fun then. And it was still hot and sunny when I got out there and took two laps around the estate. My running has come a long way since I started doing it seriously back in November 2012, but I can definitely feel that I need to keep working on it. Hopefully my legs will stand up to my next training programme, and I will get to complete one for the first time ! I ate a Sainsbury’s couscous and feta salad for lunch with an Activia breakfast pot. I need to refuel and water before training this evening, so I drank a lot of water and ate an apple as I drove down to Welwyn.
The sun was going down by the time I arrived in Welwyn and it was certainly less hot and humid than it had been earlier in the day. That is probably where the good points of the evening come to an end. Maybe it is because WAR is approaching, but they do seem to be pushing us a little harder at Regiment Fitness at the moment, and some of the guys who are likely to be up there to win it were definitely being pushed way beyond what the rest of us were doing. This evening the session was taken by Tom and mad Steve, which is an excellent combination. We got into pairs for the warm up which involved lots of high knees, and counting out time and getting burpee forfeits as a result of not counting out loudly enough, before we were sent over to the buildings for a run to finish that off. The circuit was also in our pairs, and I stayed with Ket from the warm up, with one resting while the other did the exercises and everything set up so that we set off in different directions. I am not explaining this very well. What we had set out for us was a row of white cones down the middle of two circles of cones, the first a yellow circle of cones and outside of that an orange circle of cones. In our pairs we lined up either side of the white cones, facing a square of poles which formed a gate to the outside edge of the cone circles. We would do our exercises and then run through the gate, and turn one way or the other as instructed to run round the circle and back to the start. We did 30 press ups and one lap of the cones, 30 sit ups and two laps of the cones, and 30 bastard burpees (the ones which combine a press up with a burpee) and three laps of the cones. We got a rest between each exercise as our partner went off and did theirs. Then we did 30 press ups, immediately followed by 30 sit ups, immediately followed by 30 burpees, and one lap of the cones. And that was where things got interesting for me, because having completed the press ups and the sit ups, I simply could not remember what a burpee was. My mind had gone completely blank and I could not think how the exercise was supposed to begin or what it comprised. I turned around and asked what a burpee was and I think those around me thought I was mad. I saw some others starting to do theirs and it all clicked back into place. That is what fatigue will do to you. We split into our two groups and I started with the boxing, although Tom still made us run over to the other side of the field to do it. We were in pairs again, and Kat and I stayed as a pair, and we did straight punching with incline sit ups coming up the grass slope, doing singles, sets of ten punches and then a set of 100 punches. We came off the slope to do upper cuts while standing, which completely did for my shoulders. Which was unfortunate, because we now moved on to tyre relays with mad Steve, and worse than that, press ups while ‘resting’. We were in teams of three, with one person running shuttles out to each of three poles, while the others did press ups the first time, and then sit ups the second time, and we finished off with one quick sprint with the tyre each. We were still not quite finished (off), as Tom got us into a circle for controlled, timed squats, working through holding them and then bouncing with them for 5, then 10, and finally 30. It felt good to move into the warm down after another excellent session.
I got home and ate a prawn Thai curry microwave thing with two boiled eggs.
- Run (work) – 3 miles
- Training – 1 hour
Friday 06 September 2013
This is going to be a rest day so I just ate an apple for breakfast. I do not feel any aches or stiffness after my training sessions this week, so that is a positive sign going into the weekend. The weather looks less positive. I ate a pesto and parmesan pasta for lunch, with an Activia breakfast pot. I need to get more fruit and vegetables into my diet, and that is something I will address in my next series of training blogs. With that in mind, I also ate a fruit pot from the work canteen containing melon and pineapple. We went to the cinema in the evening so I had popcorn.
Saturday 07 September 2013
I had my session with Christianne this morning and after the warm up on the bike and the cross-trainer, we used kettlebells for a number of different exercises, before moving into the studio to use the Swissball to work on my abs. We spent a lot of the session discussing my nutrition and I will say a lot more about that in my blog next week. We did not measure my body fat this week because I was in a hurry to get away so I could pack up the tent I had left drying in my parents’ garage over the week.
- Training – 1 hour
Sunday 08 September 2013 – Race Day !
So this is it, my second Wolf Run (you can read about my first one here), and, of course, I will write a separate blog about it once all the photographs of me looking a state are available, but I will just say that it was a personal triumph for me, running it all this time around and feeling much better at the end of it.
- The Wolf Run (Leamington Spa) – 10km
Positives from this week – I ran the Wolf Run. That is a positive enough because my performance this time around shows that my training has been working.