On 29th December I ran the last parkrun of 2019. It was the first parkrun since Christmas and so I was going in to it filled with rubbish rather than filled with something that is going to fuel the run.
I ran on my own for this parkrun. As much as I enjoy a chatty run, I actually enjoyed running on my own for this one. It allows me to concentrate on my breathing. I find when I’m not concentrating my breathing is the first thing to go!
There’s not much of significance to note about this run. I plodded round. It was hard because of the Christmas food I’d consumed but when I finished I felt great and pleased I had managed to still get round in under 40 minutes and I’d managed to run all of it and not had to stop to walk.
We were nearly back at the café before I remembered to take my post parkrun selfie! Lucky I remembered haha
My finish time was 39:27 so I’m ending 2018 firmly in the 30’s now. Happy Days
Firstly I’ll start this post by saying I bought the Davina DVD with my own money. I am certainly not one of these bloggers lucky enough to be sent stuff for free.
You know what I love about Christmas, knowing the new Davina DVD will shortly follow. I like Davina workout DVDs. I own most of them, so obviously had to buy her new one.
The DVD, like many of Davina’s, is broken down in to sections so you can decide to do one, a few or them all. As I had time I decided to do them all. At the start is a little talk by Davina about how to punch properly when doing the DVD. At first I was a bit like “Pffft whatever” but actually, following her instructions actually felt like I was exercising more.
There’s lots of punching, upper cuts, jabs etc which is to be expected given the name of the DVD. Because I did all of the DVD I did feel like I repeated a lot of the same moves over and over. With this is mind, perhaps just doing a few of the sections is better but if you have more time do all of it? In between the punches there are quick blasts of cardio to keep your heart rate up too which is good and, much to my surprise, I was able to complete these for the allotted time!
The DVD has an ab section which I was apprehensive about. My core is so weak and I know it’s something I should work on but never seem to get round to it. What I liked about Davina’s old DVDs with Jackie and Mark is that Jackie would always show you a modification for those new to exercising. I usually need these on a core section but I managed to get through all of this one so that was a pleasant surprise.
I finished the DVD feeling pretty good. I didn’t feel fatigued by it, instead I felt energized but like I’d done a good workout. My Apple Watch told me I’d burnt 451 active calories and 591 in total. However, how I felt the next day is a whole other story. My abs ached, you know when you can’t laugh without being in pain? That was me. And my arms! I couldn’t lift my arms above my head the next day. It was killer. I attributed this to the little speech about how to punch properly at the beginning of the workout.
All in all this is an excellent DVD, I’ve yet to pluck up the courage to do it again though haha
I feel like I start every blog with this: I’m so behind on blogging, but it’s true. I am behind. So, this is going back to a run on 27th December.
I headed out for an early morning run as I wanted to do a Christmas Light/Sunrise Run. I quite like running on my own in a morning. I prefer it to running on my own in an evening. My plan was to head out do a 30 minute run. I don’t know why but if I’m just going out for a run I always choose 30 minutes rather than a distance. Perhaps because 30 minutes closes the exercise ring on my Apple watch?
I soon realised when I set off no one seemed to have their Christmas lights on! A bit annoying but I did see a huge inflatable snowman on someone’s shed roof that looked like he was waving in the wind. That kept me amused for a short while.
I weaved through the residential streets near where I live before dropping down on to the promenade. I made sure I ran facing East which was also my way back home so that worked out well. The thing with running on your own is, you can stop to take photographs without annoying anyone. I snapped a couple of shots and carried on towards home. I was on 2.4X by the time I got home so I ran past home to make it up to 2.5 miles. I do this a lot!
When do you prefer to run?
Do you end up running past your house to end on a particular distance?
This Christmas, much like last Christmas Day, started with a festive parkrun. It’s so nice to see everyone on Christmas Day. Everyone is always in such good spirits. It’s also an opportunity, I find, to meet family of my friends as they’re persuaded to come along too.
I decided against fancy dress for Christmas Day as it was a rather balmy 12c! After seeing friends and wishing them a Merry Christmas I went and joined the starting pen. I soon found Rachel, who hasn’t run parkrun for a while and my friend Claire who I run regularly with. They both kindly offered to run with me. Whilst giving the run briefing, the RD made me laugh by saying “I’ll try and get the results out before I get the gin out” The results didn’t come out until 4pm so I’m guessing the gin won!
We were soon on our way. I’m often asked by who I’m running with “So what are you aiming for today?” and I always answer “Just to finish” I set no expectations on myself now. As we were running we chatted about how busy it was. At one point I actually felt like I was being held back a little, this was probably good though, as I always start too fast. We even ended up walking around the turn around cone due to the congestion. It was frustrating a little but also nice. As I’m a “back of the pack” runner it’s rare I have that much company around me!
I managed to run the whole course with no walk breaks. This is happening much more frequently now which pleases me. I did struggle a bit, partly because of the warm weather, and partly because on Christmas Eve we’d been out for a curry at a local restaurant. Curry, whiskey and Baileys do not make good fuel for a parkrun!
As we ran in to the finish funnel I was pretty blown away to see my time was in the 37’s!! Only just though, when my official time came through it was yet another PB of 37:59! That was the best Christmas present I could have given myself!
Just like in my last post I thought I’d compare my Christmas Day parkrun results.
Christmas Day 2017 – 46:00
Christmas Day 2018 – 37:59
That’s a whopping 8 minute difference! Progress has definitely been made!
On 22nd December (I’m slowly catching up now) it was the official Christmas fancy dress parkrun at my local parkrun. I brought back my Christmas Pudding outfit from last year. I think my husband was pretty embarrassed to walk down the street with me dressed as a Christmas Pudding but I didn’t care one little bit haha.
When we got there I met up with my friend and work colleague Maria. She introduced me to her new boyfriend who is also a parkrunner. Bit of a shame I had to meet him dressed as a Christmas Pudding but there you go! Maria was wearing a Brussel Sprout hat which was hilarious. Maria had decided to run with me and soon Penny came to join us too. Penny was wearing one of those inflatable outfits which was Santa riding Rudolph! She looked absolutely brilliant but unfortunately Rudolph deflated half way round!
We had a quick chat and were soon on our way. As we all work in similar environments we had plenty to natter about along the way. Lots of children were keen to high five Penny as we ran by as she was dressed as Santa which was really cute. I think we all struggled a bit though in our fancy dress outfits. December was unseasonably warm and I, for one, was sweltering in my Christmas Pudding outfit! I did have a bit of a moan but Penny told me to shut up and keep running so I did.
Somehow, despite sweltering, I got a new PB. These are coming thick and fast at the minute to forgive me for appreciating every single one. I know they won’t last forever, so I like to celebrate them whilst they’re here. We finished in 39:04!!! So close to sub 39! I ran the same week in December 2017 dressed as a Christmas Pudding so I thought it would be interesting to compare the times.
December 2017 – 45:47
December 2018 – 39:04
I’m pretty pleased with a 6 minute difference to say I had 5 months out with injury!
Back to catching up with my posts! On 14th December I was going out with friends for breakfast at 8am. I knew that if I didn’t run before I went out then I’d probably not run at all that day. So I joined the 6am Run Club!
I only wanted to do half an hour which usually equates to about 2 miles. I’ve only run that early once before. I made sure I wore my Hi-Viz and off I went. I ran down the High Street. For some reason I like running down there when all the shops are closed and it’s just me plodding along. Strangely though I saw two people that morning. One was washing the windows of one of the restaurants. I presume he works there. He gave me a friendly “Morning!” and nod. The next person I saw was fiddling with a letter box to one of the flats above the shops. I made them jump as I passed them then they walked away. Odd!
I continued down the High Street and then weaved around a couple of streets before starting to head back home. Quite a few people had their Christmas lights up outside as it was halfway through December so it was nice to look at those as I ran. I keep forgetting I’m a bit quicker now as my 2 miles actually only took me 24 minutes! Mile 1 was an 11:45min/mile! I don’t pull those out of the bag too often but it seems I do at 6am! Anyway I got back home, jumped in the shower and just had time for a cuppa before my friend picked me up at 8am.
The plan was to go to our friend’s house. She’s currently off work on maternity leave so we went and met her beautiful baby, her very excitable dog and had a cuppa before heading to The Tenth Hole for breakfast. On the way there we decided to go and do some Christmas shopping afterwards in Portsmouth. As I’d planned to have an intentional day off WW, for breakfast I had Eggy Bread. On the menu it says it comes with a choice of bacon or banana but I chanced it and asked if I could have both and they said yes! I then had a piece of their banoffee pie which is my favourite from there.
Afterwards we headed in to Portsmouth and had a wander round the shops. I bought some Reindeer Christmas bedding and a couple of presents for people. I also treated myself to some new goodies from The Body Shop. I got the Peppermint Candy Cane Body Butter and Hand Cream. Both of which smell absolutely unreal! When we finished we headed back home and I had to rush to the local little Boots store to pick up a click and collect parcel I’d had sent there. I thought they closed at 5pm but actually I needn’t have rushed, they actually closed at 5.30pm! It was a lovely day with friends. I thought I’d only be out an hour or two but actually we were out all day!
Happy New Year! I hope you all enjoyed ringing in the New Year and aren’t feeling too sad about saying goodbye to 2018. Now, as regular readers will know, this blog saw a lot of doom and gloom through 2018 as I went through 5 months of injury. So, now it’s time to focus on what made 2018 awesome.
Obviously parkrun had to get a mention here. My first parkrun of 2018 was on 6th January (I missed the double on NYD because of a horrible virus) My finish time was 45:20. I’ve now dropped that to 37:59 on Christmas Day! I also was a tourist at Aviemore parkrun in March where despite finishing in 46:18 I finished in position 28. My highest finish position to date! Not only finish times and positions though, the friends I’ve made through parkrun. I know I can ask on Facebook for a run buddy and someone will always come forward. The running community is so supportive. I’ve built my network down here (We moved South in 2015) from parkrunners and now they’re incredible friends. In April I ran Mike’s 100th parkrun with him because, this still amazes me, he wanted to run with me because I was his favourite RD. I felt so incredibly privileged that day. More wonderful parkrun-related days were meeting Paul Sinton-Hewitt, the founder of parkrun, and Dame Kelly Holmes, the retired Olympic athlete.
I’ve not left the UK in 2018 (I went to Brazil at the end of 2018 and will go to Canada in 2019) but I’ve still discovered new and lovely places. I started 2018 by visiting Cheddar, Weston-Super-Mare and Bristol. In March I visited Scotland and discovered new places as we stayed in a different area to where we’d usually stay. In April I visited Wales, or to be precise, Barry Island. We went landmark hunting as I’d finally got around to watching Gavin & Stacey! In September we went back to Scotland where we did so much walking! My injury was finally fading and I loved enjoying the outdoors again.
My running has improved so much towards the end of 2018. However I want to focus on some of the amazing runs I’ve done that aren’t parkrun related. I ran in my local country park for the first time and discovered the cliff top run so many people have told me about. That was an incredible run but it’s a shame it coincided with flying ant day!! A year to the day after starting parkrun, I also completed my first run with The Breakfast Club. I’d never felt good enough to go before but I loved every second. In May I also did my first intervals session at Gosport Road Runners and absolutely loved it. By May my running was going from strength to strength and I was thoroughly enjoying it. In June I also ran my longest run (5 Miles) to date at the Romsey Cake and Beer Race. An incredible day and I won a prize! October was an amazing month as I started running again after my injury and suddenly found losing 2 stone had made quite a difference to my speed.
In June I met Woofs With Wilson and his Mum for the first time and got on with them famously. We’ve since met a couple more times and they introduced me to The Pump House, one of my favourite places in Gosport.
My friendship with Maria went from strength to strength as we went to so many spin classes and in June, I got her to come to parkrun. And got her hooked on it!
We had friends from Sheffield visit in June. The weather was sweltering so we had beach days, as well as playing tourist in our own area.
I also met up with Anna from Anna the Apple blog a couple of times at the Paul Sinton-Hewitt chat and for dinner where I quizzed her on every marathon she’s run.
Obviously in 2018 there were some great things that happened to me that don’t really fall in to the other categories. At the end of July I signed up to Weight Watchers and so far I’ve lost 2 and a half stones. It’s from the picture below people really started noticing my weight loss.
I added another string to my bow by completing a level 2 course on Understanding Childhood Illnesses.
In December, my husband and I also celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary.
What made your 2018 awesome? Or are you glad to see the back of it?