Author Archives: bigmugofteablog

More Running Than Walking

The last day of August was a Saturday, which can only mean one thing, parkrun day!

I’d seen on the Facebook page of my running club that they were encouraging everyone to wear their club tops to run in on Saturday. Not for any particular reason, but just because, naturally I obliged.

I’m a bit all over with my running. I’ve done a continuous 2 mile run and a variety of run/walks but I wasn’t sure what to do on the day so decided to wing it. I’d run as much as I could and walk when I needed to.

I set off and run a little bit with Gavin from my running club. He’d got penned in with his buggy at the back so was waiting for the crowd to thin out a little before making a break for it. After he left me Pete caught up with me and we ran for a short while together. He was sandwiching his parkrun in the middle of a long run. He’s training for Ironman Wales so his tapering run that he was doing was still a whopping 10 miles!

After he too had left me I took my first walk break. I was just over a mile in. I only walked for a minute and then continued. As I continued I only took a couple more walk breaks which I was pleased about. After we hit the turnaround point, there’s over a mile to the next turnaround point, and there was a glorious cool breeze that allowed me to run quite comfortably without overheating which pleased me enormously.

For the duration of the run I could see the 40 minute pacer ahead of me. At some points he was closer to me and at other points he seemed much further away. I try not to look at my watch whilst I’m running but gauged my finish time to be around 43-45 minutes given the distance between us at the end. As I was on the final section the pacer was cheering people in to the funnel and I figured he must have finished and come back round to cheer others on so as I entered the funnel and stopped my watch I was surprised to see a 39 at the beginning. Turns out the pacer had gone too fast and then walked through the funnel when he hit the 40 minute mark!

My official time came through and I finished in 39:20. I looked at my watch at the start and saw it had taken me 22 seconds to cross the start line so actually it should have had 38 at the beginning.

Does it take you long to get over the start line at your local parkrun?

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I’ve Signed Up To Beachbody

Beachbody Logo

I’ve been thinking for a while now that I need more structure to my workouts. At the minute I pick a random one from YouTube or do a random DVD with no real continuity or structure.

Someone I follow on Instagram is a Beachbody ambassador and the other day she posted a Transformation Tuesday picture and it was amazing. She has really toned up between the two pictures.

I started looking in to it and some of the workouts. I’d actually heard of a couple of them and not realised they were part of Beachbody. When I was looking I couldn’t help but wonder “Yeah this looks great but how much does it set you back?” I was pleasantly surprised to see it was £99 for the year and there are over 1100 workouts. It works out at £8.25 which is less than most gym memberships!

I’ve signed up and decided the first program I want to complete is Transform: 20. All of the workouts are 20 minutes long and you do them 6 days a week for 6 weeks. The website says:

“After five minutes, you’ll be breathing hard. At 10 minutes, you’ll be sweating and your muscles will be burning. At 15 minutes, you’ll be watching the clock. And by minute 20, you’ll be done, exhausted, and proud of yourself”

Let’s see if it turns out to be true!

 

A Stomping Good Walk

On the last Friday in August I went for a walk for my exercise. I got up in the morning and weighed. I was angry and upset. I’ve put weight on. Not a huge amount but enough to make me realise I’ve undone some of the hard work I’ve put in.

I set off from home for my walk without really having a plan. I just needed to get out, clear my head and when I’d stomped off the anger, have a good think about what I was going to do.

I took the long way to the beach and walked down the beach path towards the Browndown military area. I was fast walking to try and stomp away the frustration I was feeling. I got to the gate on the beach path where the Browndown area begins. As it’s a military area, you can’t go in if the red flag is flying. As the flag wasn’t up I thought I’d go in. My plan was to sit on the beach there as I figured it’d be quiet but actually I ended up discovering a path not covered in shingle meaning I could continue to walk fairly easily (Have you ever tried walking on deep shingle? Absolute nightmare)

The path was quite secluded and I know it sounds a bit dramatic but I had a little cry. I was just angry that I’d let myself put on weight after all my hard work over the past year. I also thought how much I want to run that path too one day. I love discovering new places to run. I’ve looked on google maps and that path would take me right through to Stokes Bay.

I turned around after walking 1.5 miles so walking home rounded it up to a nice 3 miler. I actually felt a lot better for getting out, further proof that being outdoors and active is good for my mental heath.

I snapped a couple of pictures whilst I was out. I’m sure these flowers are weeds or some kind of wildflower maybe but they were pretty and much more vibrant than they look in the picture.

flowers

And of course I had to snap a selfie

By the time I got home, I thankfully, felt a lot better and had done a lot of thinking.

That afternoon I went and met Rachel for a coffee. Rachel is one of the first people I met when I moved to the South Coast. She was instrumental in the setting up of my local parkrun. She’s one of my longest standing friends. We had a good natter. What I love about Rachel is she just gets it and gets me. We chatted about our health, our fitness, friendships and social media. It was a really lovely couple of hours.

Do you find being outdoors helps you?

 

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Earning the National Parks Award

I track my workouts using my Apple Watch. Occasionally it will pop up with an award to earn. These are usually related to a National day e.g. International Yoga Day

Saturday 25th August was National Parks Day. I’d already decided to give parkrun a miss. I’ve been feeling a bit run down lately. Despite getting my 8 hours (at least) a night, I’m waking up exhausted so with the long weekend upon us, I decided to opt for a few extra hours in bed.

I then did a treadmill run. To earn the award you had to complete 3 miles so that set my target nicely. As it was warm I decided to run/walk on the treadmill rather than just run. I opted for a 3 minute run followed by a 1 minute walk.

When I got going it soon warmed up in the garage where my treadmill is. My exercise bike (also in the garage) tells you the temperature and it was a rather warm 25c in there with absolutely no breeze. I got really hot! I managed 2 miles then had to put my running time down to 2 minutes and then eventually 1 minute.

When I’d finished, despite feeling ok on the treadmill I felt a bit unwell. I think it was just due to the heat because when I went and laid down under the fan in the living room and cooled off I soon felt fine again. Definitely confirmed (again) for me how much I’m not made for heat!

National Park Award

The National Park Award

Do you like treadmill running?

Which is your favourite National Park?

 

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I Discovered A New YouTube Workout Channel

Recently whilst wasting time on Instagram (please say it’s not just me) I came across an Instagram feed showing different workouts. They’re mainly bodyweight/no equipment workouts. These are the ones I’m terrible at. I am not strong when it comes to these types of exercises. After a bit of looking and watching I saw they had a YouTube channel so thought I’d give one of their workouts a go.

The YouTube channel is called Mr and Mrs Muscle. I opted for the Low Impact HIIT workout. I did Day 1, 2 and 3 as they were only 15 minutes each. The moves were simple and easy to follow. I kind of liked that on the videos there is no talking, just music. This means you’re not listening to the same narrative over and over if you repeat them. It’s always a bit of an eye roll moment when you can quote the workout DVD you’re following.

I completed the 3 workouts and felt ah-may-zing! I felt really energised and strong afterwards. Which is great, and I need to remember that feeling as for the next 4 days I had the worst doms! Now I know why it’s split in to days! You’re not meant to do 3 days worth all at once! The moves were really simple to follow though (It does include modifications if you need them) but clearly effective with how much my muscles ached after! There’s 30 days worth of workouts so I’ll try and work my way through them all.

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Bigmugoftea Reads – The Cornish Cream Tea Bus

I thought I’d try something a bit new and let you know what I’ve been reading on a semi-regular basis.

Bigmugoftea reads

Recently I read the serialised edition of The Cornish Cream Tea Bus by Cressida McLaughlin. The full story is now available to buy.

The Cornish Cream Tea Bus

I’ve read quite a few books by Cressida McLaughlin so eagerly awaited this one. The story is focussed on Charlie who inherits her Uncles old tour bus. Charlie is at a bit of a low and so moves to a sleepy little town in Cornwall, renovates the bus and starts up The Cornish Cream Tea Bus! Throughout the book you get to meet different characters who live in the village and of course, the love interest for our main girl Charlie. Like all good chicklit books, the road to romance isn’t always smooth.

An easy to read enjoyable girl meets boy kinda book. A perfect summer read.

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parkrun and More Flat Hunting

I tell lots of people about parkrun. Usually it’s work colleagues who are intrigued by me going every week. Quite often they say “Oh I’d like to do something like that, I can’t run though” to which I always reply “You can walk it if you want, if you ever fancy going, I’d be happy to walk it with you” I never nag them to come to parkrun, I never force them to say yes just to shut me up. Lots of people have said they’ll come to parkrun, they register, chat about it, make all the arrangements to come and then Saturday morning they text with whatever their reason not to come is.

You can see where this is leading, on Saturday 17th August, a work colleague was supposed to be joining me. Again, I didn’t nag them or force them, in fact, they asked me. Anyway Saturday morning my phone beeped with the text that, to be honest, I was expecting. I was a bit annoyed though as the day before I’d run 2 miles non stop as our plan was to walk with maybe a little bit of running on the Saturday. Now I would have to still run walk to as not to aggravate my injury but if I’d have known they were going to pull out, I wouldn’t have run on the Friday.

Anyway, I set off with the plan on running for 3 minutes and walking for 1 minute. It felt so hard. I haven’t been running as much as I should lately and I had been for a run the day before. It was breezy yet muggy. Surprisingly though, even though it felt difficult my splits weren’t actually that different. I felt like I was getting progressively slower, yet miles 2 and 3 were exactly the same.

Mile 1: 12:12min/mile
Mile 2: 12:27min/mile
Mile 3: 12:27min/mile

Maria had waited for me and ran the last bit with me. She actually commented on how fast my sprint finish was! Watch out Bolt! haha

parkrun selfie

My mum was coming down at some point on Saturday morning to go and view more flats. We didn’t know what time she’d get here. When I got in from parkrun I grabbed breakfast then went for a bath. I commented to my husband “I can guarantee I’ll get in the bath and she’ll arrive” Just as I got in the bath the doorbell rang!

We went to view 3 flats all in Gosport. Each flat got progressively better and I think she’s found the one! We went to look round the last flat and to help her get her bearings I took her the very short walk to Gosport waterfront which looks out over Portsmouth Harbour. She was pretty impressed by the view, and in the picture below, you can see why.

Portsmouth Harbour

That evening my husband and I had dinner booked at the café we use after parkrun. We booked it way back in March as they sell it so quickly and I couldn’t remember for the life of me which options I’d selected from the menu. So, each course was a nice surprise. I had garlic mushrooms on a crisp bread, vegetable lasagne with a side of seasonal vegetables and orange sponge cake with orange sauce and custard. It was absolutely delicious but the pair of us left feeling stuffed! We enjoyed it so much though we booked straight on to the next available one…April 2020!

Do people ever let you down over parkrun?

Have you ever had to book so far in advance to eat somewhere?

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A Non-Stop 2 Mile Run

I feel like my running is so patchy at the minute. I hate running in the heat and I don’t have the energy to run after work at the moment as it’s so hot all day I’m exhausted by the end of my 11 hour day.

On Friday 16th August, following my recent successful 2 mile run on the treadmill (Read about it here) I wanted to give it a bash outdoors. I went out earlyish and it was actually nice and cool. There was a fresh breeze which helped keep me cool.

I ran non stop along the parkrun route. I did well until the last half a mile where my legs turned to lead and I felt like I was running through treacle. I was so tempted to stop as I ran past the route where I could just turn off and go home but I kept it going. Strangely that 2nd mile was actually my faster of the 2 miles! I was pleased that I maintained a good pace too. My average pace was 12:01min/mile, which, if you’re a regular reader, you’ll know that’s pretty fast for me.

I’m pleased that I completed it but also I can’t believe I’m back to barely being able to run. I can’t believe in May I ran a 10K! I guess this is what injury does to you and you just have to come back stronger. I’m hopeful once the weather cools off I’ll ramp my running back up again (sensibly of course!)

On my walk back home from my run I snapped this picture of the flowers near the prom. They’re far more vibrant than they look on this picture.

Flowers

How do you keep motivated when you feel like your running isn’t going great?

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I Ran My 150th Mile for 2019!

On Sunday I ran my 150th mile for 2019. I know lots of people will have surpassed this total months ago but I’m still super proud.

150 miles is from where I live on the South Coast to beyond Calais in France. 150 miles is from where I live on the South Coast to Nottingham in the Midlands. It’s the same as a 3 hour car drive!

I didn’t expect to complete my 150th mile on the treadmill though! But Sunday morning was windy still, with the aftermath of the storm, as well as rainy! I just wasn’t feeling it and was debating doing nothing at all, but that’s not what I wanted so the treadmill it was!

I knew I needed 2 miles in the bank to reach my 150th mile so that’s what I did. I ran the whole thing too and it was absolutely fine! Hurrah.

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A Hardcore parkrun

Saturday’s parkrun was pretty wild. My weather app told me the wind speed was 45mph, but later on the news I heard the gusts had been 60mph.

Walking down to parkrun was strange. It was so windy, yet it was a warm wind. I’d expected it to be colder. As soon as I turned on to the street that takes you to the seafront, I was almost blown away! The wind was strong!

I’d decided it was time to move on from the 1 minute run/walking which I’ve done the last two weeks at parkrun and I thought I’d give 2 minutes running and 1 minute walking a whirl. I was run/walking on my own but it never feels like you’re on your own at parkrun as you’re surrounded by others and their conversations.

To be honest the run/walking was absolutely fine and there’s really nothing to report on that front. However, the wind made it really difficult. Although running along the coast you’re always exposed, there are some points where you’re more exposed and I could feel my legs being blown sideways from under me! Very disorientating!

All the way along I could see there was sea foam blowing off the sea. Nothing prepared me for when a big clump of it hit me in the face! It was icy cold and of course, very salty! The spray off the sea was continuous and quite refreshing as it was actually really warm!

I was definitely glad to be finished by the end as it’d felt like running whilst pushing a brick wall at some points. I was really surprised to finish in under 40 minutes! I’d kept the 40 minute pacer in sight but she was quite a way ahead of me and I finished after her so presumed I’d have finished over 40 minutes.

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