I have an upcoming holiday booked. We’re flying out to Canada for two weeks of road tripping across Canada before dropping down in to Seattle in the US.
Naturally I have juggled our plans around to try and schedule in a couple of parkruns. One will be in Canada and the other in Seattle.
The first overseas parkrun I’ll attend is called Nose Hill parkrun and is in Calgary. The course is described as a mix of trail, tarmac and grass. It looks pretty flat from the course page. However, as there seems to be new parkruns popping up each week in Canada, this may well change.
Once we cross the border to the US I plan on attending Renton parkrun in Seattle. The course is on paths along the Cedar River Trail and from the satellite view on the map, it looks like a wooded area.
I’m really looking forward to taking my parkrun tourism overseas!
Have you ever done a parkrun overseas?
What’s the furthest you’ve travelled for a parkrun?
On Saturday I headed down to my local parkrun. If you’re a regular reader you’ll know I’m now building back up my running distances due to an injury.
I figured, today I’d join the run/walk pacer because I’m allowed to run 1.5miles and I figured technically that’d be ok. The run/walk pacer that day was Sue. Sue and I follow each other on some social media platforms but have never met. Sue is currently living with Stage 4 cancer and is part of the “5K your way, moving against cancer” group. Once a month they attend various parkruns and there’s a large group attend at my local parkrun.
I forewarned Sue of two things 1. I might not be able to keep up because of my injury and 2. I have two fat blisters! One on the ball of each foot. (I wore flip flops the day before and it obviously ended badly)
There was one other lady run/walking with us who was Sue’s friend Lucy. All three of us chatted together easily which is always a relief when running with new people. Thankfully because I had been and bought some blister plasters before parkrun, my blisters were just uncomfortable rather than painful. The running aspect though was absolutely amazing. I felt brilliant. I never struggled, other than being a bit hot.
At the end I felt like I could have easily run/walked an extra mile. It was great and really set my mind at rest about this injury. However, now I’m not sure how to play it. I need to up the distance but do I run/walk and stick at 1.5 miles, or do I run 1.7miles and then walk the rest? Hmm answers in comments please!
Happy face after finishing
After parkrun we went to a local café for breakfast. I scoffed a very tasty cheese and chorizo toastie followed by a mini Victoria sponge cake. We’re attending a dinner evening at the café in August so we also filled in our menu choices for that.
Saturday evening, once the sun had started to set a little we went out and did some work in the garden. We have an ongoing battle with a vine (bindweed) that comes over from a neighbours property. They choose not to garden which is completely their choice but it does make a tricky for us. We spent two hours out there pulling out the vine but to be honest, we could have spent another two hours out there and there’d still be loads. I feel like unless we can tackle it everyday it’s just going to keep growing quicker than we can remove it.
Do you have a 5K Your Way group at your local parkrun?
On Friday I received a text from Honor asking if I wanted to join her for Breakfast Club on Sunday. She explained, she too, is injured and wanted to try running a mile and walking a mile. This fitted in perfectly with me and my injury.
On Sunday morning when Honor picked me up we were chatting about her injury (She did it sprinting) and we decided to give a one and a half mile run a try. When we got to Breakfast Club we had the usual chat and pre-run photo taken.
Today’s run was along the coast so we did exactly as we said we would and ran for 1.5 miles and walked back. It was really hot and muggy and despite hugging the coast we didn’t feel the benefit of a sea breeze!
Luckily for both Honor and I our runs were pain free and I felt fine the next day too. Hurrah!
Afterwards we had breakfast and I scoffed down a toasted bagel with smoked salmon and scrambled eggs! It was delicious!
Despite the physio signing me off yesterday, I decided to walk parkrun on Saturday.
The weather had been predicted to be awful with wind, rain and thunderstorms. Thankfully all we got was a strong breeze, so not too bad at all. It was however really muggy and sticky!
When I got down to parkrun I bumped in to Rachel who was pacing 40 minutes. We had a chat before saying bye as we set off. I started walking and wanted to maintain a good pace. I made sure I used my arms to help keep up the momentum.
As I turned at the turnaround point I saw Paula coming the other way. She was also walking today so I waited for her to catch up so we could walk together. It’s ages since I saw her for a good chat so it was quite nice. We kept up a good pace and chatted about lots of different things, including injury. Paula currently has a stress fracture.
I was really surprised when we finished just over 50 minutes. The first time I ever did a parkrun I walked it and completed it in 58 minutes. My average mile was 16 something, I was pleased when I could run that two years ago! How times change!
If you’re not familiar with my calf injury then you can read my previous post about it >here<
On Friday I went back to the physio to update her on how my leg has been. It’s improved so much. No pain whilst running and no tightness of my calf the next day. I’ve continually done the exercises and stretches she set me.
So I was very pleased when on Friday she said I could begin to build up my running again. She suggested going up 10% after doing two pain free runs.
She also said I can go back to Zumba, which I was very pleased about, but suggested I find a way to spread my workouts out through the week rather than having them all clumped together at the end of the week and weekend.
I still have to continue my exercises and stretches but I can ease them off to every other day now rather than daily. I’m really pleased to get going again but equally anxious that it’ll flare up again once I start running again. Wish me luck!
I enjoy working out in the comfort of my own home. I have quite a bit of equipment and it saves having to drive 30 minutes to the gym. Sometimes I follow a fitness DVD (Hello Davina!) but most of the time I just log on to YouTube, so, I thought I’d share my 5 favourite YouTube Fitness channels.
I’ve mentioned Popsugar Fitness on my blog before when I did the 600 Calories in 60 Minutes Workout. Popsugar have a real range of videos to try. There’s everything from 10 minute core workouts, dumbbell workouts, dance workouts, cardio and so many more. There is always a “modification” person to follow if you’re unable to do the exercise the main person is doing.
The Has Fit channel is similar to Popsugar in that it has quite a few different workouts to choose from but it doesn’t have as wide a variety as Popsugar. They too always have a “modification” person to follow and tell you your predicted calorie burn which is handy if you’re not wearing some sort of fitness tracker.
Live Love Party is a Zumba channel. They have dances to lots of popular music including really current songs such as Ed Sheeran’s “I Don’t Care”
The Running Channel is a relatively new channel. I first heard about it when I went to the The National Running Show in January. It has lots of really good running advice as well as interviews with atheletes.
I’ve spoken about Yoga with Adriene a few times on my channel. She is pretty much the guru of YouTube Yoga. She has so many different videos to choose from. Her videos can be used to help different situations such as “Yoga for a Bad Back” or “Yoga For Runners”
On Saturday, after my run, I had a quick shower then went down to my local parkrun to volunteer. I was writing down the details of people’s barcodes which wouldn’t scan. Far from an easy job when there are over 550 participants!
I’d positioned myself behind the barcode scanners and cheered everyone as they passed by me, until the finishers started to need me. The 3rd finisher that day finished in 18:07 and was a buggy runner! I had a brief chat with him about running with a buggy and discussed his tactics when it comes to getting the buggy over the shingle section of our parkrun.
I was also collecting the finishing tokens of people who had forgotten their barcodes or who hadn’t registered yet. A lady came and put her finish token in as her friend was exclaiming “I can’t believe you’re not going to get scanned” to which she replied “But it was a rubbish time” Personally I don’t understand that, it’s about getting out there and taking part for me, it’s not about striving for amazing times every time.
I was surprised how many of the wristbands wouldn’t scan. I think I wrote down 4 or 5 wristbands that wouldn’t scan.
A man brought his barcode to me in pieces. He apologised profusely and said his barcode had got sweaty in his pocket and as he tried taking it out it had just ripped. I wrote down his barcode as best I could but one of the rips went right down the centre of a number so it was difficult to tell what number it was.
I chatted to a few people, friends and people whose barcodes I was writing down. There was a lovely lady who’s first it was and she’d absolutely loved it and couldn’t wait to come back. There was another lady who’s first time it was. She’d finished in a time of 21:XX and had really enjoyed it but said she normally had to take the children to some extra curricular events.
I also overheard a conversation where a lady was explaining to a gent (I think they’d met whilst taking part) that fizzy water gives you belly fat and that’s why men have so much of it, because they drink beer and that’s mainly fizzy water. I’m not sure how true that is but the gent was nodding along enthusiastically.
Right at the end two young men came over to me and one said he’d lost his barcode in the sea when he went in to cool down. He asked if I could write down his number as he knew it. I told him the parkrun rule of “No barcode No time” to which he replied “You’re kidding me?! But I brought it with me I’ve just lost it in the sea” I explained again that it’s a parkrun rule and that the moral of this story was to get scanned before going in the sea and losing your barcode” He angrily replied that he just wanted to cool down but I just shrugged and then I think he took the hint that I wasn’t going to write down his number. I told him he could always email in but he said “Oh I’m not THAT bothered” so I said Bye and turned my back on him to carry on chatting to two parkrun friends. What a pain!
Gemma snapped this picture whilst we were chatting
Have you ever volunteered for parkrun?
How do you feel about the “No Barcode No Time” rule?
On Saturday I got up bright and early to try and head out for a run. To be honest, I haven’t been running as much as I should because of the heat so it’d been a week since my last run. The physio had given me some stretches to try before my run, so I did these and headed out to do my prescribed 1.5 miles.
I decided when I headed out to stick to my neighbourhood streets as that way I could follow the shade whereas on the beach front there is absolutely no shade. I weaved in and out of different streets, crossing over the road lots to keep in the shade. It was actually cool in the shade but where there was no shade, it was absolutely boiling!
My run was pain free but by the end of the 1.5 miles I was glad it’s over. My running fitness has definitely declined somewhat, which is frustrating.
However, for the remainder of Saturday, although I did experience a little tightness in my calf, it was barely noticeable and certainly nowhere near as bad as it has been! Hurrah!
I’m back at the physio on Friday so I’ll see what she says then. Keep your fingers crossed for me!
I had a good chat with a friend this week about weight loss. She’s followed the Slimming World plan in the past and is now trying calorie counting. She said she finds it easier to lose weight in the Summer but I actually feel like I’m the other way round.
In Winter I tend to make lots of soups, chillies, casseroles and curries. I make them from scratch and cook them up in the slow cooker. I use them for meals and my lunches at work. These type of foods are my absolute favourite. I know some people go in to a hibernation mode in the Winter but these meals don’t have to be bad if they’re made from scratch. I usually make them chicken, quorn chicken or very lean beef based. Scrumptious, filling and easy on the calories! Perfect! However in the Summer I don’t want to cook as it’s so hot. And despite having healthy food in the house, I find myself making poor food choices.
I also find exercise a lot easier in the Winter. I don’t cope well in the heat and so I’m much more inclined to exercise when the weather is cooler. My exercise is actually pretty regimented in the Winter but in the Summer it tends to fall apart a little as I find every excuse under the sun (pardon the pun) not to exercise.
I’m just definitely a Winter person, this may come from being a January baby but I’m’ never happier than when it’s Winter!
On Friday morning I went out for another short run to test my calf. My calf has been feeling a lot better after doing the exercises and stretches given to me by the physio.
I headed out super early again to try and avoid the heat. I was going to do 2 miles but the heat was getting to me by 1.5 miles so I turned off and headed home at that point. Again my run was pain free, no niggles or pain. However, once home and settled, my calf tightened right up again. It’s actually pretty uncomfortable when it gets that tight.
Tried another timer selfie!
I went to my physio appointment late morning and told her how the last two times I’d run it had been pain free but was really tight afterwards. She was pretty pleased I’d been for a run that morning as she could see where it was aggravated and see if she could feel anything. First she tested the strength in my left leg to see if the imbalance had improved and she seemed suitably impressed with how much it had.
She then gave me a lovely massage on my left calf. Oh my word I nearly fell asleep! It was so warm in the room from the good weather we’re having and my eyes were getting so heavy! I just about managed to stay awake though.
Afterwards she gave me some more exercises to do, which are an extension of what I was doing before. She’s also given me some stretches to try before a run. However, she limited me to running no further than 1.5 miles, as at the moment that seems enough to aggravate it. As it eases up I’m allowed to go up by .1 of a mile. It’s going to be a pretty slow process but I’m willing to take the time and running 1.5 miles is better than not running at all.