Monday, 4 July 2011


On Saturday I ran the longest I've ever run. A long slow 6 miles along the high street, through the retail park dodging afternoon shoppers pulling out of the carpark, down the hill on a lane that runs between fields of oats and cow, over the river and the sportsfield and along a trail through the wood. Then I turned around and came back, I'm not very good at working out circular running routes. I ran later than I usually do, starting at 5pm because it was so warm up here in the usually frozen north. The air smelt of cut grass and the trees were a deep green tinged with blue in the late afternoon haze. I was glad to be outside.

My run wasn't so good. I've been suffering from mildly uncomfortable tummy aches over the last few runs. They're worse when I push myself, but even my long slow run was tough. I had to stop about 6 times in order to alleviate it. I'm not sure what's causing it and the internet is no help. It could be drinking too much water before running, not drinking enough, eating too much or not eating enough to fuel my body, not having enough core strength or straining my core with the pushups and situps I'm doing, etc etc etc. It could also be due to some pills I'm taking which can cause nausea and stomach aches as a side affect. Last week I also did more exercise than I usually do, so it could also be due to that.

It's worrying because it means I couldn't push myself as much as I'd like to, and if it continues it will badly affect my run on 17th July. I just hope that like the and hamstring calf twinges I had a few months back these aches will pass. I got the advise to try to keep my breaths in sync with my feetstrikes, so I'll try this today.

I'm still pleased I ran 6 miles. When I first started going to the gym I could barely run a mile, and when I first started losing weight I couldn't run for the bus.

Distance: 6 miles
Moving Time: 57:06
Elapsed Time: 01:01:44
Avg Pace: 09:39
On Saturday The Guardian had a few articles about fitness and specifically running.
I read the article about tips from Olympic coaches for advice on how to deal with stomach aches, but no love.

One of them had short pieces about why people run. One journalist said they run to look as fit as George Clooney, another said she runs to have some time to herself, and the last said he runs to help his mental health. I'm a mixture of the first two - vanity and space. Running and exercise help me lose weight, and when I reach my goal weight they'll help me maintain it.

I also run to get fitter and improve just like you'd practice an instrument.

Running helps me if I'm in a bad mood or upset. I was in a foul mood on Friday and, frankly, being a right mardy cow for very little reason. I started off angry and running fast before I physically told myself to slow down or I wouldn't finish the run at all. I slowed my pace, got my breathing under control, and I could feel myself calming down. I completed the run despite having to stop frequently to ease my stomach ache and was a much nicer person by the end of it...

The only problem I had with the article was the response of some of the commenters below the line. I know the internet is full of nutters and malcontents and that opinions are like bumholes but some non-runner commenters seemed to feel that they were somehow superior to runners for not doing something they don't enjoy. I may need to be called a wahmbulance but this smug attitude of denigrating someone else's hobby or choice because you don't understand the attraction of it is one I find intensely irritating. I think it comes from insecurity, but also from plain narrow-mindedness and it's something I find baffling. Surely as an adult it should come as no surprise that different people have different hobbies, and that it's pointless to feel smug about not doing other people do enjoy.

Anyway, whinge over. I also discovered parkrun and there are a few nearish to me, so I can use them to work on getting that sub-25 5k without having to pay to enter loads of races, although I'm probably going to enter a race on 20th July.

Another thing - there's a running club that meets within walking distance of where I live. I'd like to join to improve my running with people who know what they're doing as well as to meet new people. , However I've seen them out and they all look impossibly fit and slim.

Should I join now, or wait til I'm a slightly less blobby and slow runner?


  1. I read that article too and found it really interesting - I didn't read the comments though and I'm glad I didn't because they would have made me angry.
    Tummy ache when you're running is horrid - I get it fairly often and usually put it down to not leaving enough time between food and running. All the things that you suggest might be possible reasons, but food is probably the easiest thing to change and experiment with. A few people have said that fat can cause GI issues, so I might try switching to a low fat breakfast befor I run.

  2. Not leaving enough time could be the problem, especially if I've had a large meal beforehand.