The Bristol half marathon is getting close (yet is also far away since it comes after my psychology exam and there’s still plenty of time to revise for that, right?) and I still have no idea what time I want to aim for. I am not feeling as strong as I was before running Bath, but feel like I should be able to run faster than last year now that I have been running more regularly. Instead of a nice easy pace I ran today’s long run just below the uncomfortable boundary to try and give myself an idea of what I might be able to do come race day. Apart from having to stop a couple of times for road crossings (and once to say hello to a cat) I mostly kept between 05:15min/km and 05:30min/km (but mostly towards the 05:30 end). Extrapolating that for another 4.5km and I get about 1hr 55min. I went round in 1hr 53min 55sec last year, so I’m going to aim to match that again this year and push on if I am feeling good with 5km to go (though it gets a bit twisty and cobbly at this stage).
I did come up with a new mantra on the return part of my run (after I had seen the TARDIS toilet), but if you are prone to earworms then look away now. It fits nicely into four steps/1 breath cycle (1 breath in, 1 breath out) and goes “mind strong, body strong”, but can get stuck in your head very easily, so you have been warned.
A wet Monday morning run today, but if I only ran on sunny days I wouldn’t run nearly as much. All of the technology was hidden under a rain jacket, so I just ran at a speed I felt like running at (including having to stop to recover my sock which was working its way under my foot). Only one other runner out today and a couple of dogs. I finished at the local park and since I was already as wet as I was going to get I had a play on the swings.
I’ve Got A Theory
It was a lovely day for a run and after traipsing around Bristol with a Kiwi friend the previous day I was back at Ashton Court to go up the hill a little quicker. I was determined not to let Geoff catch me today (though he got another pb and was also sub 24 minutes) and made it back home sub 24 minutes again.
I finished 78th out of 234 parkrunners, was 8th lady and 1st in my age category. I am holding steady at 4th in the points table.
Today was supposed to be an 80 minute run at “easy” pace which would normally be 6min/km for me, but I decided to push it a little faster now that the Bristol half marathon is only a few weeks away. I averaged 5:35min/km which still isn’t my half marathon pace, but is closer to it and probably what I need to be running my easy runs at if I want to get faster overall (as well as speeding up my fast runs, which at the moment is just parkrun).
A lot of grumpy runners out today, only one pair of runners acknowledged my wave of hello. Maybe they were all hoping to get out and back before the rain came.
Carry Me Home
I didn’t feel great about the last assignment, a qualitative project using thematic analysis, but told myself that as long as I got over 70% that I would be happy. My tutor marked and got it back to me last night and I checked the score online: 72%. A little disappointed, but it keeps me well within my current grade boundaries (there’s no way I could score high enough to move up a boundary and it would need to be a total disaster to fall down a boundary – I have already got a passing grade for the assignment portion of my grade and still have one assignment to go).
The comments about the content of the assignment were good, but it seems I’m still not referencing correctly even though I am following the examples given by the OU exactly and the feedback from prior assignments, which is frustrating but at least there is only one more assignment involving referencing to go, I’d just rather not lose easy marks that way.
This week’s topic was sex and gender, looking at the psychology of same through different perspectives: biology, evolution, social constructionism and psychoanalysis (hello again Freud). As with everything in this course there is no one answer, it’s all probably a combination of lots of different theories. Interesting to view all of the different arguments though.
That’s the last of the material for the course. One final TMA and then exam time in just over four weeks.
It has been hard getting myself out on my runs recently, I think because my schedule got disrupted, but I always enjoy myself once I am out. The usual Monday run along the river and back. I thought there was going to be a bit more to the Zombies, Run! mission this morning so was talking an alternate route back, but it ended rather abruptly so I got to cut across the park.
The last few weeks have all been looking at thematic analysis, leading up to the completion of the qualitative project using, yes you guessed it, thematic analysis. Once that assignment was submitted on Wednesday it was time to use this “break week” to catch up with studying after my break in Ireland. The topic for this week was language and meaning. It looked at whether language is uniquely human (maybe), different viewpoints as to how it came about (evolutionary advantage, social advantage, evolution of thought, all of the above), the processes involved in establishing meaning from identification of letters words and sentences all at the same time, and what it all means for psychology if language creates reality rather than describe it (some form of Cornish knot of reality and language). I’m still not sure if Kanzi understood language or not, but then no-one else seems to be sure either, and there seems to be a lot going on with excitation and inhibition at all levels of recognition. I’m not going to get involved with the tangle of language creating and describing and creating and describing and creating and describing reality, at least not whilst using language to do so.
Only one week of study material to go, then it’s a final assignment and working towards the exam in a month’s time.
After a couple of Saturday 10km races on the trot it was finally back to the Ashton Court hill. I last ran it on 19th July and wasn’t looking forward to it, particularly after my first full week of training (all classes and all runs) without interruptions for trips to Heathrow, microwave repairs, etc. I saw I did the first km in 5:10 so knew I wouldn’t be getting under 24 minutes and settled for staying under 25 minutes. This running everyday malarkey seems to have significant benefits as Geoff (our fearless leader) was only just behind me at the turn and passed me in the last 200m still going strong, only just missing out on going sub 24 minutes, but making a new pb (congrats Geoff). I followed 10 or so seconds behind. I should be faster next week though once my body has got used to a full training regime again (though this close to the Bristol half I don’t want to injure something).
I finished 76th out of 233 parkrunners, was 8th lady and 1st in my age category. I’m now up to 4th in the points table, but need some people to go on holiday now that I’m back.
I really wasn’t feeling like a long run today, but it’s just over 5 weeks until the Bristol half marathon and my longest run to date has been around the 10km/60 minutes mark, so it was out along the railway path for a 75 minute/12km run. A few more runners and a few more dogs this week, but also a bit more drizzle. Since I was out for so long I decided I had better take a gel just in case so that meant taking the lumber water belt which wobbled around a bit and felt quite heavy, but that just means that I’ll feel lighter when I race without it.