Monthly Archives: June 2018

Women Only Gyms

Recently at work we were talking about the different gyms we’d been a member of. Through work we get a deal at the local gym. We only pay £20 a month and most people at work are members. However, before this, we’ve all been members of other gyms from the expensive types right through to the budget gyms.

We were talking about the different pieces of equipment when someone said a gym they were a member of only had dumbbells of 2-3kg in a Women’s Only section!! Now is it just me or does that give you the impression that they think women should only lift light weights? Women are far too dainty to lift anything bigger. Naturally I shared this rant with my colleagues.

This then led another colleague to tell us about a gym she’d been a member of. In their Women’s Only section all of the equipment was pink!! I don’t even know where to start with this. I thought in these modern times we were above all of this?! I guess not.

Now don’t get me wrong I understand that the Women’s Only section has it’s purpose in a gym. I used to use the Women’s Only section of a gym I was a member of a long time ago. It gave me the confidence to work out without feeling too inferior or intimidated. I think if it’s going to build someone’s confidence then that’s great. I also used to find the equipment in the main gym was busy so if I couldn’t get on a treadmill for example, I’d go and look if there was one free in the Women Only section. It did tend to be quieter in there.

I know companies like Curves, the gym chain for women only, are making a fortune and if people are working out then that’s great too but I just don’t like the fact that as women we seem moulded, thou shalt not lift heavy weights, thou shalt use cardio machines and pink ones at that! It just makes me groan and wonder if we’ve transported back in time.

Coincidentally, whilst looking for pictures to accompany this post I found lots of pictures of women like this:

Pretty and slim with small weights and not a bead of sweat on her. Whereas the pictures of men are very much like this:

Have you ever used a women’s only gym/section?

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Introducing a Friend to parkrun

As you probably know if you’re a regular reader, parkrun means a lot to me. Obviously I talk about it to others as I’m there every weekend. If someone asks me what I’ve done at the weekend, the answer is always parkrun. To date I’ve volunteered 159 times and run 33. I always tell people they should try it if they’ve never been and someone finally agreed!

On Saturday, Maria, my spin partner, came to join me at parkrun! We arranged to meet at 8.40 so we could walk down and take her to the New Runners Briefing. However I was quite glad to attend it to as there was a change of route due to there being some works on the beach.

We got ourselves in to the starting pen and were soon setting off. I’d told Maria I’m a slow runner and if she wanted to stick with me we could walk whenever she needed to. We soon caught up with my lovely friend Mike and I was pleased Maria got to meet him as I’ve told her about him before. Maria didn’t need a walk break until after we hit the first turn around point! We had a quick walk and then were soon off running again.

As we continued to the next turnaround point (about a half mile earlier than the normal one) it was very warm and muggy. I struggle so bad in this weather. I’m definitely ready for colder weather again when it comes to running.

Because of the works on the beach we had to go past where the finish funnel would normally be. This definitely messed with my head despite the fact we’d turned around early. As we were running towards the new turnaround point I developed a pain in my groin every time my left leg went down. It wasn’t so bad that I couldn’t complete the run but it was definitely uncomfortable.

Maria did so well. She only walked 3 times and a fourth because I asked her too as I was struggling with the heat. I finished with a time of 45:18.

Finish

Afterwards we went to the café for breakfast and Maria got to meet the core team as we were all there. She commented on how friendly and encouraging everyone had been which made me feel proud. Even better though, she said she’d like to come again! Hurrah, I have made a parkrun convert.

Have you introduced anyone to parkrun?

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A Workout At The Gym

I haven’t been to Spin for a couple of weeks. Sometimes life gets in the way and with my spin partner busily finishing her dissertation for uni, I’ve taken advantage of some Thursday’s at my running club. However on Thursday we made the pledge to return to spin. Sometimes though your day doesn’t go as you expected and my spin partner had a bad day and no longer felt committed to spin. I suggested we go to the gym and do a workout instead.

My spin partner, Maria, goes to the gym before work some mornings so I suggested she take me through the workout she would normally do. We did a 10 minute warm up on the treadmill. Then she would normally go on the step machine but this was busy so we headed over to the floor area to do an abs workout but the floor area was busy too so instead we did 5 minutes on the elliptical whilst we waited. I quite like the elliptical machine, it feels like I’m running but low impact.

The floor area became free quickly, hence only 5 minutes, and we got started on the ab routine Maria has been following. She was good at the exercises, whereas I had to do modified versions for some of them. I can’t remember everything we did but a lot of them were your standard floor ab exercises.

Maria has quite a few workouts saved on her phone so when we finished I asked what she had on there for legs. We then did a quick leg workout. I am weak, I definitely need to focus more on strength and conditioning. I know this, but putting that plan in to action is another thing!

At the end Maria asked if I knew any stretches so I took her through a few I’ve learnt from practising Yoga. We then agreed that we’d come to the gym every Wednesday and do some similar workouts to what we’d just done. To make it more interesting we’re going to take it in turns to provide the workout. Hopefully that’ll keep it interesting. If you have any suggestions let me know!

Can We Talk About Poo?

Poo, it’s a bit of a taboo subject isn’t it?! But the fact is, we all do it! On Wednesday morning I woke up with the lark and decided to go for a run before work. I got up, went to the loo…but didn’t y’know, didn’t go and got ready. I headed out of the door at 5.35am.

I love that it’s light at that time. I bet the gent I passed in just his underpants in the street grabbing something out of his car boot wasn’t glad of the light! There was a cool breeze as I set out and I was grateful of it after the heat of running on Sunday. I had a 1 mile loop planned out in my mind so that if I wasn’t feeling the run I could stop after a mile. As I ran along though I felt pretty good so decided to stretch the route out a bit. I was only planning on doing 2 miles anyway. I dropped down to the beach and ran along the prom. The only other people I passed were runners and one dog walker. It was lovely and quiet.

But then there was a rumble at 1.5 miles and it was my stomach. It was definitely letting me know I needed the toilet. The public toilets along the beach aren’t open that early so I turned to head for home. I had to walk at one point as the urge was getting worse and then I had to full on stop. I pretended to stretch whilst I took a minute. Then I thought I’m going to have to run, I wasn’t going to have an accident but I needed to go. That last half a mile or so was probably the fastest I’ve ever run!

I made it home and the urge had actually settled so I stretched out a bit on the drive whilst I cooled down. I had a lovely run but oh I could have done without the panic!

Have you ever been caught short?

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A Walk With Wilson

One of my favourite bloggers, Instagrammers and Tweeters is WoofsWithWilson. I can’t even remember how I discovered Wilson and his devoted Mum, but I did. They live close by and over time I’ve got to know them through the power of social media.

Wilson is simply beautiful. He is such a handsome prince right from his floppy ear to his floofy tail!

So imagine my delight when Wilson’s mum invited me to go on a walk with them! We met at Browndown, a quiet part of beach on MOD land. Thankfully there was no red flag flying so we were free to roam around.

Wilson

The first thing I noticed about Wilson is, he’s bigger than he looks in Instastories! Not loads bigger, but bigger than I thought. The second thing I noticed is he’s such a happy dog. What’s not to be happy about when you’ve got your favourite toy and the sea to paddle in?!

We walked in to Browndown and Wilson’s Mum and I were soon chatting away. I love to meet new people but I particularly like meeting new people who are so easy to chat to. We talked about our jobs, blogging, Instagram etc. The time passed by so quickly.

I loved watching Wilson scurrying after his ball (He’s fast) and finding the perfect stone to carry. I’d love a dog but working 11 hours a day with no one in the house just wouldn’t work.

Wilson

Just look at that floppy ear! Wilson and his Mum showed me some different routes around Browndown which I’d never seen before. I’m still discovering so many new parts of this area. We talked lots about running too and there were some parts of Browndown that definitely felt like they could make part of a running route! I’m always looking for new routes, particularly off road routes.

 

Wilson and I

Taken from WoofsWithWilson’s Instagram

We’d planned to be out for an hour but actually walked for 90 minutes. A nice bit of recovery after my 5 mile run the day before! Honestly time passes so easily when you’re in good company. And you know the greatest thing? I’ve been invited to join them again!

Do you own a dog?

Where’s your favourite place to walk?

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Mystery Blogger Award

Mystery Blogger Award

Thank you CeeJay for nominating me for the Mystery Blogger Award. I adore CeeJay’s blog because it was her blog that allowed me to run again. I was googling my injury symptoms and a blog post of CeeJay’s came up in that search. I read that she’d used compression socks to help with leg pain so I bought myself a pair and the rest is history.

So now a bit about “The Mystery Blogger Award”. It was created by Okoto Enigma’s Blog…in her words…”The Mystery Blogger Award is an award for amazing bloggers and their ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. they are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging, and they do it with so much love and passion.”

Rules:

1. Put the award logo/image on your blog.

2. List the rules.

3. Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.

4. Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well.

5. Tell your readers 3 things about yourself.

6. You have to nominate 10 – 20 people

7.  Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog.

8. Ask you nominees any 5 questions of your choice; with one weird or funny question (specify).

9. Share a link to your best post(s).

Here are the 5 questions CeeJay asked me:

  1. Where are you from and what is the one thing you love about living there?

Originally I’m from Sheffield in the North of England. I lived there for 32 years. Someone once said to me “When you’re bored of Sheffield, you’re bored of life” It’s true. There’s always something to do in Sheffield. It’s a huge city with plenty of shopping, museums, nightlife, gardens, parks etc.

Now I live in Lee-on-the-Solent on the South Coast of England. The one thing I love about living here? The beach. Being so close to the sea is a dream come true.

2. What do you strive for within yourself?

I try to be the best version of myself. I try to be kind and considerate of others.

3. If you were given an air ticket to anywhere in the world, where would it be to and why?

This is a tricky one because I’m not a traveller. Some people have dreams of seeing the world but I just don’t. I guess I’d maybe say Australia. No idea why, it just looks like a nice place to visit.

4. Who or what is the biggest influence in your life.

I think I’ll credit my parkrun friends with this. Not only did they welcome me in to the community when I moved here 3 years ago but they’ve also supported my return to running. They inspire me to try harder and keep going when it comes to running. They answer my annoying questions about running and never laugh at me for being a rookie.

5. What words do you live by or try to live by?

Stay close to people that feel like sunshine

A link to my best post:

I don’t know if this is my best post but this is definitely milestone post. My post about running The Whole 5K

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Romsey 5 Mile Beer Race

On Sunday I completed the Romsey 5 Mile Beer Race hosted by Romsey Road Runners. I’d had this race recommended to me by Anna. Anna, why didn’t we get a selfie?!

Anyway I’d been keeping an eye on the weather all week and was worried as I saw it was meant to be 23c. The race didn’t start until 10am either so the heat was already ramping up. We got there about 9.05 and went to collect our bibs. We barely even queued as they seemed to have the process refined. I applied suncream and went for two nervous wees.

I met up with my fellow club members. This photo tells me I need to work on my bib pinning skills.

Gosport Road Runners Group Photo

We stood in the shade as much as possible before the horn hooted, signalling the start of the race. The race begins with a lap of the cricket field and then out on to the roads.

Hayley took lots of pictures of the day so most of these are credited to her

Running

I really struggled to breathe because of the heat. It was like I couldn’t get a full breath. The heat was crazy hot. I’m not made for heat and definitely not made for running in heat. Despite originally not planning to (before I knew how hot it was going to be) I took quite a few walk breaks.

The route takes you around the village of Braishfield. We were soon climbing hills. I was ill prepared for hills, because I didn’t know there were any but we ran as much as we could and walked when we needed to. We took in some of the houses we passed by. They were huge and beautiful in that quintessentially British way.

As we headed up another hill we passed by a field of cows. Two calves were stood by the gate loudly mooing. It was as though they were cheering the runners on.

I hadn’t studied the route (rookie error) and so we were very surprised when we joined up with the faster runners and saw the 4 mile sign before we’d seen the 3 mile sign. We wondered if the marshal had directed us the wrong way. It was around here that the tail runner caught up with us having had a few people drop out. She explained that we’d soon see people peeling off to the finish but we still had an extra lap to go. It was then that we saw the 3 mile sign and it all made sense. At this point we saw Hayley cheering us on.

Hill Climbing

This picture makes the hill look slightly steeper than it actually was! It was a little disheartening seeing the others getting to finish but I’d been cross when I thought we’d been mis-directed so I kept in mind that I was going to complete the full 5 miles. Hayley later told me she thought some of the runners hadn’t been completely honest about how many laps they’d completed. I imagine they just wanted to get out of that heat.

The second lap actually passed by really quickly with a mix of run walking and throwing water over myself. Then, finally it was our turn to peel off to the recreation ground where the race ended. I was really pleased to see my team mates had waited for me to cheer me in.

Finisihing

The lovely tail runner stuck with me the whole way. She was so lovely. I gave her a big hug afterwards to thank her.

We had to run a lap of the recreation ground and then it was down to the finish line.

Finish Line

When I crossed the line I was given tokens to collect my beer and cake and then I was handed a prize! I asked why I’d won a prize and she said “Because you did an awesome job” I think that was probably code for “Because you came last” but hey I’ll take it! I won a Hilly waist pack and it actually looks like a pretty good one. It probably cost more than what I’d have spent on it so I’m pretty pleased with that.

After this we went and collected our beer provided by Flack Manor Brewery of Romsey. We had Flack’s Double Drop and it was absolutely delicious. After the run it was the perfect thirst quencher. We then went through and got our cake. I had a beetroot brownie which was wonderful and my husband had the chocolate cake.

Whilst we ate them we watched Anna collect her tankard for being 2nd female. I’m totally in awe of Anna’s running. I still feel like I’m at the very beginning of my running journey but watching where Anna is, is just thoroughly inspiring.

We went and had a chat with my fellow Gosport Road Runners and Hayley snapped this picture of me with my beer and prize.

Beer and Prize

We then watched Hayley and Chris’ daughter Faye participate in the fun run. Usually I’d be cheering Faye on at junior parkrun on a Sunday morning so it felt apt to cheer her on here. Afterwards we walked back to the car park with them and Faye chatted away to us all. She’s so funny.

That afternoon the results were online and my chip time was 1:19:31. I’m quite pleased with that. I’d wanted 1:15 so given the hills and heat I don’t think 4 minutes outside it is too bad. Already I’m thinking of next years! How can I get better so I can tackle those hills? Can I find better ways to deal with the heat? So many thoughts!

Have you ever won a prize at a race?

How do you tackle hills?

 

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Mrs B’s Intervals

I was told a while ago I need to incorporate intervals in to my runs. Mrs B, one of the coaches at Gosport Road Runners told me to come and try hers. She said it was friendly, inclusive and at your own pace.

I set off on Thursday night and it was still incredibly warm, around 24c! Gosport Road Runners meet at Gosport and Fareham Rugby Club. We did a warm up and then headed over to the Rugby pitch. We run around the top of the pitch. It’s affectionately called “The Dell of Doom” We started with 5 minutes of running before getting a rest break. Luckily for me Mike and Marie were there so I had a little chat with them. Mike peeled off to have a wee though so I soon lost him. He said he’d tried to stay hydrated all day but had probably over done it. Oh we’ve all been there. I then spotted two of the three ladies I ran with the other week (In my post New Running Friends) I got chatting to them and managed to stick with Cari for the whole session.

Running on grass is really hard, especially when the grass is longer in places. Even though the run portions got less and less with each one it still felt incredibly hard because of the grass and heat. I kept going through the session and managed to clock up 2.6 miles of running in a circle and also got a pretty funky Strava map.

Intervals Map

I was shattered afterwards but I do secretly enjoy intervals. I think because you get rest portions 😉

As this was the end of the month I tallied up my running totals and realised this was my highest mileage month to date.

Monthly Miles

Are you a member of a running club?

Do you incorporate intervals in to your running?

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I Was Interviewed About My Running Journey

I’ve spoken about local legend Nick before. He runs a sports shop in Gosport, is a core member of Gosport Road Runners and brings the running community on a Wednesday evening with 545 club and every Sunday morning with the Breakfast Club. He also does “Red Sofa Interviews” where he interviews people from our local running community who he feels have a story that will resonate with others.

About a week ago Nick asked me if I’d give an interview. I was flattered and surprised all at the same time. I wasn’t sure I had a story to tell but he assured that I did. So, without further ado. Here is the interview:

 

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A Long Weekend With No Running

I’ve had a little break from running. Sadly this wasn’t quite my own choice but more health and heat related. On Friday before the long weekend my heel started to hurt. At work we have a hard tiled floor in the kitchen and I think walking on that in slippers (the one disadvantage to wearing slippers all day) has hurt my heel. I was going to get up to run on Saturday morning before my stint as RD at parkrun but my heel still hurt so I thought it best to wait.

Saturday morning as RD was very stressful. There are  knee high bollards on our course, the marshal that stands down there takes with them bollard covers. These make the bollards much higher and therefore easier to see. However on Saturday morning he rang me to say he’d forgot them. At the same time this happened I was chatting to another marshal who had failed to bring their mobile phone. Marshals are asked to bring their phone in case they need to get in contact with the RD for whatever reason. This particular marshal was meant to be at the defibrillator but can’t do that marshal point without a phone. By now most of the other marshals had left  to reach their own marshalling position. I sent him down to the bollard marshal with the bollards. Then the phone rang again. This time it was the slipway marshal telling me the slipway was closed because of the impending hovercraft landing. I asked them to speak to the health and safety guy there we have as a contact. I now had no marshal for the defibrillator but luckily, like a gift from above, my friend Claire came and asked if there were any roles spare. I sent her running to the defib! Then, luckily again, the slipway marshal called back to say it was open. Phew! Somewhere amidst all of this I saw Anna and garbled my stresses at her. She very kindly said I was managing to look calm on the outside. I didn’t feel it! Once the run got underway and I made it down to the finish funnel everything seemed to be going smoothly. That is until the timekeeper told me the timer wasn’t functioning correctly! It had missed some of the runners she had clicked. No pressure to the one remaining timekeeper still working! Thankfully everything else went ok and I had a very quiet results processing as no one else came back to the café! We’re usually a table of ten, but this day was just my husband and I.

I can definitely see the panic in this photo!

parkrun RD

Photo courtesy of Peter Stoddard

Afterwards we went back home to wait for our friends to arrive from Sheffield. They were meant to arrive at 3 but didn’t make it down here until 5.30 because of traffic.  We went to Miller and Carter for dinner which was lovely. It was a very warm evening and we were grateful to be sat by an open window, unfortunately though this did mean we could smell cigarettes almost constantly as this seemed to be where people went to smoke.

On Sunday, I woke up with a bite just above my knee but didn’t think anything of it. I went to volunteer at junior parkrun. I was timekeeper and despite doing it 37 times before, on my 38th time I was that person that messed it up. I don’t know why but I pressed A to stop/start the watch for the first 5 runners instead of B to click the runners *facepalm* Afterwards I went home and we took our friends to the Tenth Hole. It was lunch time by now so I ordered mac and cheese with bacon which was so nice and a slice of peanut butter drizzle cake.

Cake

Afterwards we went for a walk along Southsea beach. We collected pebbles/shells and had a paddle in the sea.

Southsea

It was such a hot day. We headed back to Lee-on-the-Solent and went to the beach where we chatted and cooled off in the sea.

Paddling in the sea

That evening we went for dinner at a Chinese restaurant in Chichester.

On Bank Holiday Monday I opted not to run. My heel felt much better but the heat was unbearable. We went up the Spinnaker Tower for our friends last day. For those not in the know, the Spinnaker Tower is 170 metres tall with three viewing platforms around the 100 metre mark. There were amazing views from the top. I won’t bore you with lots of pictures but here is Gosport, the Marina and views over to the Isle of Wight.

Views from Spinnaker Tower

We had pre booked afternoon tea up there too.

Afternoon Tea

The bread on the sandwiches was so soft and the scones, which aren’t pictured very well were as big as your face. It was really yummy and all washed down with unlimited tea and coffee.

That afternoon we had a walk around Gunwharf Quays afterwards. We were all so hot by this point. The temperature was 27c and unbroken sunshine. The bite on my leg that I had woken up with on Sunday morning was really starting to hurt too. We went for a coffee before bidding farewell to our friends. We popped to Tesco to pick up some bits. I nipped to the toilet and noticed the bite on my leg was very red and swollen.

I messaged a couple of friends that evening  about my bite. One works as a community nurse and the other works in A&E. Both said to draw around the bite and if it continues to spread and swell get it seen at minor injuries. On Tuesday I woke up and it was still very swollen and spreading. I went to work but by lunch time was concerned as the bite was turning purple and really hot and swollen. I was allowed out of work to go to minor injuries and get it checked out. I was taken straight in to triage to have my observations done and then continually called in and out for the next 2.5 hours whilst they decided what it was. One nurse thought it was cellulitis and that I needed admitting to hospital so they could administer IV antibiotics and the other thought it was a severe allergic reaction to the bite. In the end they opted for the allergic reaction and sent me on my way. I felt quit unwell and went to bed at 7.30 that night. Thankfully, now it’s Thursday the bite is looking a lot better. There are two puncture wounds on it which makes me think it was a spider bite but the thought is creeping me out way too much! I’ll spare you the pictures but on Tuesday it looked horrendous.

Have you ever had an allergic reaction to a bite?

How was your long weekend?

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