Week in review 13/04

Bit of a lengthy post this time, as I didn’t have a chance to post anything earlier in the week!

To start off with, I had a standard check-up at the doctors a few days ago. The result was a very healthy blood pressure – something that hadn’t been discussed with me before. Usually, they take my blood pressure, nod, and move on. When I think about it, I’ve never really considered how healthy I am (or not)  – my blood pressure and other things haven’t really crossed my mind before. I guess when you’re young. you just assume you’re healthy, unless you feel otherwise!

I’ve checked my resting heart rate a few times, having briefly researched the idea of training according to heart rate rather than perceived effort (given that my sports band doesn’t have a heart-rate monitor, this didn’t really catch on), and I found that my resting heart rate is particularly low. Now I don’t feel suuuper healthy – I’ve never had any real health problems, sure, but I didn’t think I was in a particularly good shape (especially as I feel like keeling over at the end of any big hill)!

My resting heart rate came out at 56 bpm. Taking a look at the table below, this puts me in the ‘athlete’ category:

bpmThe thing is, that table only goes down to 54bpm? How can I be that healthy!? I’ve checked this out on a few different sites, and they seem to offer the same categories. I’m still not convinced.

As far as my blood pressure goes, I was told mine is 107/70. I had a look around, and it seems that the healthy range for blood pressure is 90/60 to 140/90 – which means that mine is comfortably on the low side. Whilst I’m not a great runner by any means, it seems that running has really done me some good over the last year. My body is stronger, and of course my heart and lungs have benefitted! (Also, legging it through Waterloo to get the fast train home works a lot better now that my legs aren’t fundamentally opposed to going faster than a brisk walk).

Talking of running, today’s parkrun was a VERY muddy one – and I nearly fell on my face a number of times! But despite the treacherous conditions, I knocked 1:55 off last week’s PB, coming in at 33:54. Woo!

I awarded myself accordingly:

parkrun

A very muddy pair of trainers, and the world’s tastiest dark chocolate EVER!

Whilst I might have fallen off of the healthy eating wagon this afternoon (by eating half of the aforementioned chocolate in one sitting), my week on the whole has been pretty healthy. I made a lovely batch of strawberry and banana smoothies last week! It almost feels like spring! (Until you look out of the window at the torrential rain).

strawberries

I’m quite disappointed that I won’t be running Brighton tomorrow. Then again, I think it’s for the best, as my knees are still niggling. I managed to defer my place to next year, which means that I’m definitely in, and I’m glad that I have a whole year to build up the mileage slowly.

In the meantime, I’ve signed up for a couple of half marathons, to motivate me to keep the miles up; the first will be the Thames Meander half marathon, in August. It’s meant to be a beautiful (and mostly flat) course – fingers crossed for some sunshine! It’s a ‘moderately undulating’ trail run, so I’m going to be putting in some hill work over the next couple of months in preparation. It’s going to be painful.

Two weeks after the Thames Meander is the Bacchus half marathon. Now, this one looks particularly good, and I’ve managed to rope in a few workmates to run it with me! It’s hosted by the Denbies Wine Estate, which means that we get to taste test different wines all the way round the course. Instant win! I would say I’m running it for the challenge of an off-road race (given that I suck at running on anything that isn’t flat!) and the gorgeous views:

The route is undulating and multi-terrain with a bias towards off road.  Using footpaths along the North Downs Way, you will be guaranteed breathtaking views over the Mole Valley, Ranmore Common and the North Downs.

But if I’m completely honest, what stood out to me most was this:

‘.. in addition to the expected, you will also find a perfect opportunity to sample some of the best wines that local vineyard Denbies have to offer.  Fancy dress, although not compulsory, is strongly encouraged.’

All I need to do now is get back to running! To be fair, cycling 12 miles a day, 5 days a week is definitely good cross training – but my weekly running has now gone down to 2 40-minute treadmill sessions, and a parkrun. At least this time I’m only (!) building up to 13.1!

.. Until the full marathon training starts, of course.

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