Well as the title says, I’ve finally had a good run! On Friday night I put a call out on Facebook asking for someone to complete parkrun with me. My lovely friend Mike responded saying it was his 100th parkrun if I wanted to run with him. Naturally I said yes! Running with Mike has really worked for me in the past. He has a slow yet steady pace which has helped me achieve running for a mile without stopping, then it was a mile and a half, and then two miles. I’m truly grateful to him.
Mike’s wife Marie ran behind us the whole way and captured the occasion on camera.
We were also joined by Janet who is part of the wonderful volunteering duo Cliff and Janet.
We set off at a comfortable 15 minute mile pace. We were chatting, saying well done to friends and before I knew it mile 1 clicked up on my watch. I felt comfortable both in my legs and with my breathing and I hadn’t felt the need to walk.
We were chatted about Mike visiting a North London parkrun, about Janet’s half marathon last week in Southampton and my return to Scotland in September. The time just passed by so easily and we reached the turn around point (just over 2 miles) without me even really thinking about it. I didn’t hurt and I didn’t have those little voices in my head.
We were soon at the end and Mike suggested a sprint finish. Janet told me it was too early for a sprint so we let Mike go off.
I love how happy everyone is for him. Note Cliff on the right with his arm in the air (Janet’s husband).
Janet and I finished in a time of 46.12. Not my fastest but I was so so pleased as I’d managed to run it all and more importantly it had been comfortable.
I needed this run. I needed a run to finally feel manageable and comfortable. I was beginning to think I’d never have a run like it again. I’m relieved and pleased…and eager to get out there again!
I’m really struggling with my running at the minute. I seemed to come on in leaps and bounds and now it just feels really difficult all of the time and with that my motivation is waning.
Since my last post I’ve run 3 times. 3 times in 13 days. Not good. One of those runs was only because I realised it’s 6 weeks until my first 5 mile race and I’ve yet to run 5 miles! I need a good kick up the butt. I need to work on my nutrition too as this will make running a bit easier too.
So, since the 9th April when I ran my new 5k PB I’ve run one parkrun, it was horrendous. I set off too quick which meant after mile 1 I felt dire, it hurt and I couldn’t even keep up with the run 1 minute/walk 1 minute pacer. This didn’t help my motivation.
I then ran at club. I did the three mile slow and steady run. I tried to learn from my mistake at parkrun and stuck to the back with a lady I know runs around 15 minute miles. This then felt too slow, it was painful. I can’t win!
I then ran yesterday. I said I would as I thought I’d feel pumped. As it happens I had a stomach like a washing machine all day. Nothing came of it though so I forced myself out for two miles. It was crap, it hurt and I got lost. Google maps saved the day though.
I’ve also had to miss spin classes due to going to Wales and work commitments.
It’s not all doom and gloom though. In none running related news I went to Wales. After only recently discovering Gavin & Stacey, the TV show, we went to Barry Island and went to some of the locations from the show.
I’ve also been out for dinner with the legend that is Anna and her friend Mike to Casa Brasil. Anna was still on a high from running a PB at Brighton which I loved hearing about. I’ve also been to Sprinkles with my spin partner/colleague Maria after a night out turned disastrous. That brings us up to last night.
Today I didn’t have my day off as usual but I did manage to get to a spin class and bashed out a new PB on distance of 14.4 miles. Before my PB was 13.3 miles so that’s made me feel good. The class was so quiet too, only 6 of us. I guess the New Year resolutions are well out of the window now.
Tomorrow we’re going out for dinner for a friend’s Birthday which is great but it means I miss another run at club *sigh* I am, however, off work on Thursday morning so will try and squeeze in a run in the morning.
It feels like way more than a week since I did my catch up post! But I already feel like it’s time for another.
Last week after parkrun I bought the kit home as I was to be the RD the following week.
On Easter Sunday I went to spin class with Maria, my spin partner in crime, and work colleague. We go to Virtual spin and it was my favourite one, RPM 75. There’s one section of it that I absolutely love. So much so that I’ve downloaded the track that goes with that section.
As this week was Easter I got another day off in the week as my usual day off is a Monday but obviously it was the Bank Holiday so I was given a Wednesday as my day off. This was great as it meant I could prep the kit for parkrun mid week and get it all done in the day rather than charging it over 3 or 4 evenings. However I had to go in to work for a meeting at 6pm and I always feel like I’m clock watching when that’s the case.
I also wanted to get a run in on Wednesday but it threw it down. It looked like it was stopping so I quickly went and put on my running kit only to come back downstairs and find it had started throwing it down again so I, begrudgingly, did a run on the treadmill. I did a 2 mile run and it was just awful. Running on a treadmill is now so hard! Before it was my comfort blanket. Now I literally hate it. I’m definitely converted to an outdoor runner. Just not in heavy rain!
Thursday was spin class again. Unfortunately the bike I used seemed to have a faulty speedometer and it only recorded 10 miles. I always do around 13! Frustrating but nothing I can really do.
On Saturday I was RD at parkrun. I had all the kit prepared and got there nice and early to set up. I was about to announce the new runners briefing and asked someone to turn the PA system on. They tried but it wasn’t working. It’d switch on for a second then fade out. We’ve had a couple of problems with the PA system and it looked like today was going to be another problem. Well, good job I’m loud! I shouted that the new runners brief was starting and when that was over I shouted the whole run brief to 350 people and was heard! Yep, I’m that loud. Thankfully the rest of the run and the uploading of the results went off without a hitch.
Hollering the Run Brief
Sunday I was tail walker at junior parkrun. As I’ve completely lost my mojo I thought this would be a way to get me out and running. As it happens I ended up walking the whole thing! It was actually really nice though as I walked with a fellow RD’s daughter who I presented with her half marathon wristband in this post. She was just so sweet chatting away. We talked about her pets, her running, her dad’s running, her school friend, foxes honestly the list goes on.
Sunday afternoon I was back at spin class and somehow I managed to get on the same faulty bike again! What a nightmare. It recorded only 8 miles this time despite my watch telling me I’d actually burnt more calories than usual. I felt like I’d worked really hard too so it’s a shame I don’t know how far I really went. A lot of the time the speedometer was telling me I was doing 1mph when I obviously wasn’t so I let the receptionist know that the bike is faulty.
That brings us to Monday. I finally got outside and went for a run. The weather was so rainy but I waited it out and managed to get out when it was just spitting/drizzling. I ran part of the parkrun course and then ran from there to Hillhead beach. It was really quiet out because of the weather. Although I did see some people and it’s funny what people say. I passed a lady for the second time and she said “Ooo you’ve gone far” I didn’t really know what to say so I just did an awkward laugh. I then passed two elderly gentlemen and one said “You go for it girl” ha I said thanks and jogged on. Bless them, they did make me smile though. Somehow I managed to get a new 5K PB! Amazing what being well rested and well hydrated can do! I’m now at 42:13. Ever closer to 40 minutes! Now I just need to try and replicate it at parkrun!
As we’re now a quarter of the way through 2018 (wait what?! How did that happen?!) I thought it was time to update my running goals. I’m going to be honest. I’ve forgotten what some of them are so this will be interesting!
My current parkrun PB is 43:27, which I set in February. I’ve lost my running mojo a bit since then and I’m not really sure why! I think the holiday to Scotland and not running that week bar the parkrun knocked me off schedule a bit and I’ve just found it hard to get back on track. I’m hoping a 40 minute 5K is still something that is achievable in 2018.
I’m now an outside runner. I prefer running outside. I never thought I’d see the day to be honest. I always thought running outside was so much harder than running on the treadmill. Now I’m completely the other way. I hate running on a treadmill and have to make it bearable by watching YouTube videos. The last few weeks it feels like all it’s done is rain so I have done a couple of runs on the treadmill. This is definitely contributing to my lack of mojo but I’m just not a rain runner!
OK so obviously I can’t complete this goal until October but I can definitely tell you how my training is going. If I had have done this update at the beginning of March I’d have said my training is going really well. I was up to 4 miles and running well and without injury. However, I haven’t done a run longer than a parkrun since 4th March. I really need to get on this and find my mojo or else the Great South Run is going to be a very painful 10 miles.
I haven’t completed any other races yet in 2018 but I certainly have a busy race calendar coming up. If you want to read my post about what races I’m taking part in, it can be found HERE I’ve also added one more race since that post which is the Southampton Airport Runway Run.
So all in all how are my running goals going? Well so so. I just hope I can find my mojo again and pronto!
Since getting back from Scotland in mid-March I’ve not blogged much. I thought I’d do a bit of a catch up instead of lots of posts that I feel behind with! This way I can get caught up in on fell swoop and I’ll be back on track.
Since getting back from Scotland I’ve both lost and found my running mojo. When we were in Scotland I only ran once at Aviemore parkrun. We did lots of walking though which I thought would make up for it. My first parkrun back was horrendous. I put it down to all the good eating in Scotland and potentially being a bit dehydrated from the long car journey the day before. My friend Lorna, who is funnily enough Scottish, came and ran with me. I met Lorna at junior parkrun but this is the first time we’ve managed to do a full parkrun together. parkrun were running a competition to win a mattress for anyone that ran in their pyjamas, so in our pyjamas we ran! I ran all the way bar the shingle section but my time was absolutely terrible. I wore my “Let it Snow” pyjamas which was a bit tongue in cheek as we were due to get the Beast from the East 2.0 that afternoon…and we did!
There were talks of maybe having to cancel junior parkrun the next day. However, unlike the adult parkrun, the junior parkrun has a field beside it and we were able to offer a 2km run on the field. It was covered in snow but was safe for a run as it wasn’t becoming compact ice like the prom was. We only had 20 children turn up but they had so much fun. They were making snow angels and throwing snow balls whilst completing the course. Hopefully they made some memories that day that’ll last a long time.
Finish funnel set up in the snow
The following Saturday I ran/walked parkrun with the run 1 minute/walk 1 minute pacer Sam. He was brilliant at spurring me on and when I started to slow he asked me what I was feeling. When I told him he told me I was dehydrated and he was probably right. I must learn to drink more.
I went to see the physio again. I told him I get the niggly Achilles that’s plagued me since last September. He told me it’s because I have high arches on my feet and recommended I buy a pedi roller to roll out my feet after running. He also suggested getting some heel lifts for my running shoes. Afterwards he gave me a massage to help the Achilles and oh my word it was so nice! I honestly could have fallen asleep laid on the table. Afterwards he said not to see him again unless I am injured which was good.
After my physio session I went to the printing shop where my running club use as their stockist for the t-shirts and hoodies etc. that they offer. I ordered my t-shirt that you get for free upon joining. Since I joined way back in October or November they had no record of my ticket but luckily I was able to get the membership secretary to email them and confirm I was indeed entitled to the t-shirt.
On Good Friday, as I was off work I made a conscious effort to ensure I was well hydrated ready for parkrun on Saturday. My plan was to join Sam again and run/walk as I hadn’t run since the Saturday before (Uh oh!) but when I got there my friend Claire said she wanted to run with me. I explained my plan of run/walking and she firmly told me we’d be running it and all I had to do was set the pace. Not going to lie I felt a bit worried as I hadn’t run all week again but we set off and actually I felt good. I ran the whole of it bar the ramp as the wind was making it hard to catch my breathe. Now, usually when I run the whole of it I’m a good couple of minutes slower than my PB but we finished within a minute of my PB! I couldn’t believe it. I felt really pleased and it’s actually made me feel like I want to run more whereas before I’d been struggling to find the motivation.
Claire and I in the cafe after parkrun
Spin Classes/Strength and Conditioning
My attendance at spin class has been somewhat erratic but since getting back from Scotland I’ve been on every Thursday and Sunday since so that’d good and I’m wondering if that’s helped my running on the Saturday after Good Friday. I got within 0.2 miles of my PB distance on Thursday. If I’d have known I was that close I’d have pedalled like mad to try and make it up!
I’ve also been attending a Strength and Conditioning class with my physio. It’s on Monday nights and costs £5. This has proven to be really good value as, so far, there’s only ever been 4 of us in the class. I’ve been going Paul, the ED of junior parkrun and my good friend Maggie’s husband. I went in to that first class a bit clueless I have to admit. I thought it might be yoga based, whereas Paul suggested it might be circuits. Paul was right! I didn’t expect to really sweat in the class but my word I was pouring with it. My legs ached as soon as we left the class but it only got worse and it was Friday before I could walk upstairs without really feeling it! After the 2nd class my legs weren’t too bad at all which was a relief. However, my physio is now going for an operation so won’t be holding the class for the next 3 weeks. I didn’t want to undo all my hard work so after last weeks class I wrote down all the exercises we’d done whilst it was fresh in my mind and then did my own version of the class last night. I hope the strength and conditioning pays off and helps with my running.
Bits and Bobs
And just to finish off. I thought I’d just include some pretty pictures I’ve taken over the last couple of weeks.
A sure sign of Spring is daffodils. On the sea front is a large grassy area where all these daffodils have popped up.
Shortly after taking the picture of the daffodils the sun began to set so I snapped a picture of that too.
Last week I spent the week in Scotland. We stayed on the South side of Loch Ness, or the quiet side as some people call it.
We stayed in a lodge/log cabin in a tiny village called Whitebridge. The lodge was spacious and decorated beautifully. We had a log burner and hot tub. The location was really remote and there was no mobile signal!
Our lodge had a view of a mountain called Bienn Sgurrach. When we arrived at the lodge the staff provided us with walks around the area and a route for hiking up Bienn Sgurrach.
We arrived on a Friday afternoon and went for tea at The Whitebridge Hotel which was a 5 minute walk from the lodge. The food there was delicious and just what we needed after a long car journey. I had the special of Chicken Curry and Rice whilst my Husband ordered Chilli Con Carne from the menu.
On the Saturday morning we went to Aviemore parkrun which I blogged about HERE.
On the Sunday we went for a drive over to Ballater which is a small village in Royal Deeside. We’ve visited Ballater many times before but wanted to see how the village is doing after struggles with severe flooding and fires. I took this photo of a snowy banked River Dee.
Not far from where we were staying was Loch Tarff and on the bank of Loch Tarff was a fallen tree. It had pulled some of the land up with it and revealed it’d roots hidden underneath. I was just amazed by this. Sometimes nature shows itself in strange ways. The roots underneath reminded me of a spiders web
The following day we returned to Aviemore with the sole purpose of visiting Roo’s Leap restaurant. The restaurant has a somewhat Australian theme and the food is always scrummy. It’s in Aviemore train station so if you choose correctly, you can have a table overlooking the platform there and if you’re lucky, the steam train will pass through.
To start, we shared the Awesome Onion Blossom which is very similiar to Outback’s Bloomin’ Onion (If you know, you know). This was followed by the Monster Bob Burger. The description of this burger is:
“Specifically designed to satisfy the needs of a very, very, very hungry person. This is our double meat, double cheddar topped with mushrooms, onions, bacon and chilli”
It was incredible.
From there we went to Loch Morlich which is just outside Aviemore. It is so pretty there. I’ve been at various times of the year and it never fails to amaze me.
I’ve track of what days we did what now so I’ll just tell you where else we went. We visited Inverness centre. I have to say I’m a sucker for a gift shop and I think we went in every single gift shop in Inverness and along the side of Loch Ness! Whilst in Inverness we went for a walk alongside the River Ness near Bught Park.
We also hiked up Bienn Sgurrach. We followed the map the lodge owners had given us.
We climbed up a steep path, in to a field and continued upwards. It was very muddy in places and also waterlogged in places too. We had to go through a field of sheep who didn’t seem too impressed with us! We’d read the views from the top were magnificent but to be honest there wasn’t much to see! So we had a drink and came back down a bit disappointed.
We also walked to Fort Augustus, which is a small village at the end of Loch Ness. As we were quite high we got some good views over Loch Ness.
On our last day we discovered a great little tea rooms close to the lodge. So annoyed we discovered it on the last day as I’d have loved to have gone back to try some other offerings from their menu. All the food was home made and absolutely delicious. The staff were also really friendly and were keen to hear about where we’d been so far and where we planned on going next time we stop in September. After leaving we saw a deer sat down. I wanted to snap a picture but thought I’d spook it as I got closer. Turns out it wasn’t spooked at all and just sat chilling out, until she walked right by us I hardly dared breathe!
I absolutely loved Scotland. It really does hold a special place in my heart. I’m really looking forward to going back in September and having another crack of the whip at the River Ness 10K. If you want to read about my disastrous trip there last time, then be sure to read this blog post.