Category Archives: Fitness

Gosport Golden Mile 2017

The Gosport Golden Mile is a much anticipated local race. It is organised by Nick Carter who owns Absolute Running and a true legend in the running community. He also organises 545 club (every Wednesday), Breakfast Club (every Sunday) and the Bayside 5K Summer Series as well as the Golden Mile!

Sunday morning started bright and early. The weather was absolutely glorious. I smothered myself in sun cream and donned my hat as I knew we were going to be there all morning.

Upon arrival my Mum and I (Yes I dragged my Mum along but she actually enjoyed it!) went and grabbed a coffee in the Bayside Cabin. It was like lava though and as a result we missed the wheelchair race! Ooops!

We headed over to the start/finish line of the Golden Mile ready for the kids race where I quickly caught up with Maggie.

We were waiting for her son to complete the mile. He’s been doing really well in our new junior parkrun and this was a fraction shorter so we knew he’d do well. We were also looking out for the young man who keeps being first past the line at junior parkrun. We knew he’d do well too. However the biggest surprise of all was as we were clapping in the winner and second place, we noticed who was in third place, Kieran was storming his way to the finish line. I went mad cheering him on. I literally couldn’t believe it! As he made his way round to us with his medal I was so pleased for him and told him so. However, being the teenager he is, he was totally chill about it! He completed his mile in 05:42.2! If you want to read his account of the run click here.

340 children entered the Gosport Golden Mile! That’s an astounding amount of children, but it was watching this race last year that really confirmed we needed a junior parkrun in the area.

Next up was the Adult mile race. Jeez those guys were fast. It was won in 04:09.4! We cheered and hollered so many of our friends on from parkrun. It was a brilliant atmosphere. It was a hot day but so many people still managed to get PB’s.

Afterwards it was time for the final race, the 5K race. The pack seemed a little small, 140 people. Maybe this seemed small because I’m so used to looking at our huge parkruns! I’m sure the weather probably made some people DNS! Again we gave our support to everyone, but mostly the people we know from parkrun. It was nice to see them all as I’d missed parkrun the previous day due to work. Booo! We watched the last runner come in then headed over to watch the presentations.

The first three winners of each race were given a plaque and cash prize. I was pretty impressed, great medal and fantastic prizes for those who managed to achieve them! There were also bottles of wine for those who won their age categories. It’s the race that keeps on giving!

Image courtesy of Kieran

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks again Kieran

You know what I’m going to say now right?! Watching this race inspired me so much and now I’m eagerly awaiting the entries to open for the Gosport Golden Mile 2018 to open so I can enter. But the question is, which one? The mile? The 5k? Or Both?!

Tagged , , , ,

My third parkrun

parkrun logo

I haven’t completed a parkrun for a couple of weeks due to hurting my foot falling over a door frame at work. However two weeks of resting, elevating etc meant that I was ready to attempt another parkrun.

My plan was to walk the majority of the parkrun and at the final turnaround point begin run/walking the remainder. I walked the first part and didn’t get any leg pain like I normally do. I ended up walking with three children ranging from 9-15. Perhaps the constant chatter amongst them didn’t allow me to notice any pain! As we continued the leg pain never appeared and we were at the turn around point before I knew it. I began run/walking, supported by the children who were more than happy to run along and call out encouragement. When beginning my run segments I’d pick a point somewhere in the distance e.g. a bin, bench or beach hut. I felt good on the run section and really noticed how the Hokas helped propel me forward.

I finished in 53:27, beaten by all three children! Those pesky kids! It was another parkrun PB so I was pleased. The hot weather meant I felt shattered afterwards! I finished in 386th position! I now can’t run a parkrun for a couple of weeks due to work and having friends visit from Sheffield. I’m really going to try and make sure I keep up with practising though.

Tagged , , , , ,

A bit of parkrun practice

Fresh off the back of a parkrun PB I really wanted to practice, to improve myself and see where I can go with this running lark. Sunday however was a really hot day and I put off going out, I put it off so much I got to the point where I wasn’t sure if I should go or not. I put a status on Facebook saying so and everyone told me to go! So I did. I’d waited until just after 6 but it was still so hot!

I’d already decided to do the parkrun course but whilst walking the first section towards Browndown I started to put a little plan together. I’d see how I felt as I passed the finish funnel area as I know I always tend to get leg pain on the first out and back. And if I felt ok I’d continue walking until the second turn around, evaluate again and if all was good, run walk the last bit.

As I looked at my watch it wasn’t showing the usual display of pace. Instead of mph it was showing min/miles and I don’t really know what I do them in! I couldn’t figure out how to change it either so just pressed on!

I did get the leg pain as I went to the first turn around point. A pavement with a slight tilt one way always makes my leg worse. In this case the prom tilts ever so slightly towards the sea. I carried on hoping it would pass and as I got to the finish funnel area it was definitely starting to subside. Now my only complaint was how hot I was! I put my head down and marched on. As I got to the final turn around point I was feeling ok so started to run. Just from one bench to the next so I have no idea how long for but everything felt ok so I continued running a little and walking in between.

When I reached mini mountain I looked at my watch. One of my friends had urged me to beat 55 minutes and I was so close! I powered up mini mountain and back down the other side and then ran as much as I could between there and where the finish funnel would usually be.

The result? A 5km run walk completed in 53:27!

Tagged , , , , ,

parkrun number 2

 

parkrun logo

This Saturday was a busy and very parkrun filled day! I volunteered to help at Lee on the Solent parkrun this week and put my name down as volunteer coordinator. This role involves telling the marshals or funnel team what and where their roles are. This week I was telling the funnel team and had offered to train up a couple of others, so when they were volunteer coordinator, they’d know what to tell the volunteers. When I’d finished I saw the lovely Louise from Fareham Crusaders and we took a parkrun selfie. Louise always takes one before parkrun so I was happy to oblige with this ritual.

parkrun selfie

After taking a selfie I went and positioned myself at the back of the pack ready to try out my second parkrun. I’m going to be honest, I wasn’t hopeful for it being as successful as last week. When I’d got up on Sunday last week I had a horrendous cold that pretty much made me feel rubbish all week and left me with a horrid cough which I still have now. I did however have my shiny new trainers on my feet that I’d bought from Nick at Absolute Running. He’d promised me I’d PB in them but I was unsure from being ill.

Hoka Mafate Speed 2

After volunteering I went and found my place at the back of the pack. We had a new PA system donated to us this week and as a result I heard every word of the run brief despite being at the back!

As we started the route I began to get the pain down the outside of my calf. The camber of the pavement always makes this worse and the first part of the course does have a slight tilt so this may be why. As we progressed to the turn around point and started heading back the pain began to subside. We picked up Adam as we were passing the sailing club for the second time from his marshalling spot. He told me he planned to help me PB this week. I’m so grateful for how supportive people are of me and trying to run! As we passed the finish funnel the pain was gone and I was beginning to feel stronger. There were two older ladies quite a way in front of me and I now had these in my sight! I wanted to over take them. As we headed to our second turn around point Paula came to join me. She had already completed her parkrun in a very speedy 23.11! Having Adam and Paula walk with me made the time fly by. They’re both quite funny and so my attention was focussed on the conversation rather than what I was doing. I glanced at my watch and was managing to maintain 3.3mph. Last week I walked at 3.2mph. When I mentioned this both Adam and Paula were encouraging me even more to keep the pace and over take the two ladies…which I did!

As we made it back to the finishing straight both Adam and Paula were speeding up and shouting encouragement at me so I literally had to run. I couldn’t keep up with them so did a sprint finish (if you can call it that!)

parkrun finish token

As it wasn’t such a big turn out this week I finished higher position wise, and I also got a PB! Last week I finished in 58:24 and this week I finished in…..drum roll….55:03!! Amazing what new shoes and a bit of encouragement from friends can do!

I’m going to do a separate post about the rest of my parkrun filled day so expect that soon!

Want to read about my first parkrun? It’s right here: My First parkrun

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

My First parkrun

parkrun logo

On 13th May I completed my first parkrun. I’ve volunteered at my local parkrun at Lee-on-the-Solent for 22 months but never completed one thinking I’m not fit enough and I’d never be able to complete it in under an hour.

In January I set myself some goals for 2017. One of them was to take charge of my health and another was to complete a parkrun. So since then I’ve been working on my walking, upping the distances and in time improving my speed.

On 13th May it was the Gosport Road Runners take over at parkrun meaning I couldn’t volunteer as I am not a member. So instead I was going to walk it. I put a call out on Facebook as in the past people have said to me if I ever want to walk it, they’d be happy to walk it with me. On Saturday morning I had my friends Rachel (who was also tail runner), Andy, Kieran and Louise walking with me.

The walk started good. The Lee-on-the-Solent course is a loose figure of eight and as we made our way to the first turn around point I was absolutely astounded by the amount of people there. As we were at the back of the pack we had to walk in single file as the main crowd of runners were on their return leg.

As we went around the turn around point I started to get twinges down the outside of my legs. This is always where my leg pain starts. Instead of focussing on the pain I decided to instead focus on the conversations around me which at this point was about dreams about Tough Mudder events!

As we continued making our way towards the other end of the course we passed the finish funnel and this is my only moment of complaint. The promenade was packed with runners and I had to slow right down to try and work my way through people meandering back to their cars. It was frustrating but I know how difficult it is to keep the prom free from runners. As we passed the finish funnel I actually over took a group of three ladies and couldn’t believe it. I was no longer at the back. This did however mean I got separated from my group for a while as Rachel had to stay with the three ladies at the back as tail runner (the ladies later dropped out) I instead began chatting with Louise, we chatted about all sorts of things but she also told me how when we reached the slipway we’d already walked two miles and the bulk of the work was done! As we were chatting I hardly noticed the time going by. I felt good at this point (though warm) and wished I’d left my jacket behind at the funnel. It meant I had to carry it for a lot of the walk. As we rounded the next turn around point and made our way back towards the finish funnel Louise and I continued to chat about parkrun, running and injuries.

As we got closer to the end Anna came back to find us. She had already rather speedily finished her run and walked the remainder of the walk with me. It was so lovely chatting away to her and she informed me of the amazing cakes waiting for us when we finished. That girl knows how to motivate!

As we made it to the ramp (or as the parkrunners like to call it, the mini mountain!) the finish funnel was in sight, along with a sea of hi-vis vests of the marshalls and funnel team. It was quite the sight and there were lots of people there ready to give me congratulations and well dones for completing the course.

I came 583rd out of 587 runners (so not last!!) I walked the majority of the course chatting away and feeling good and most importantly, pain free. There was one slight problem though…I forgot to take any pictures!!! D’oh, what sort of blogger am I?! Rest assured, next time, I’ll take lots!

Want to read my 2017 goals? You’ll find a post about them here and a quarterly review of them here

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

April Roundup

I know I’m getting to this April roundup a little late. In fact, we’re almost half way through May already but hey, better late than never right?!

In April I went to the cinema for the first time in over two years. Of course it was to see Beauty and the Beast! I was dubious about the remake, wondering if it would be as good as the original animated cartoon version from 1991 that I remember watching over and over on VHS as a child. In truth, the remake was wonderful and every bit as magical as the original if not more due to the progression in film making. I was enthralled from start to finish.

I also left my job in April and one of my leaving gifts from my colleague was this wonderful chip cup!

Chip from Beauty and the Beast

I got lots of lovely gifts from my colleagues and the children and I got lots of flowers! I had 7 vases brimming with beautiful blooms! Below is just one of them. I love tulips, they’re so pretty and vibrant.

Tulips

Of course in April I’ve also taken some beach pictures when I’ve been out walking. I’m still determined to keep gaining fitness by walking more often.

Lee-on-the-Solent Beach

Lee-on-the-Solent beach

I love how the sun is reflecting off the wet sand in the second picture. Sun set at the beach is the best. As I’ve been doing lots of walking I’ve also discovered some new places in and around where I live. Below are photos of Fort Gilkicker that was built in 1863 and is soon to become “luxury homes” and the Haslar sea wall where you can see across to Portsmouth Harbour.

Fort Gilkicker

Haslar Sea Wall

As I’ve been doing lots of walking I wanted a new way of recording my walks as for some reason, despite having a full battery my phone will die when using apps like Strava and say it has no battery, thus losing my data. Then, annoyingly, when I get home and plug it in my phone shows a full charge again! I hunted high and low for my old Garmin Forerunner 410 but despite being sure I brought it from Sheffield with us, I couldn’t find it anywhere. I researched a few different tracking watches and settled on the Garmin Forerunner 35. It’s simple to use, tracks heart rate and has GPS. I’m pretty pleased with it and am loving tracking all the stats again.

Garmin Forerunner 35

I’ve also continued to volunteer at my local parkrun. I decided to go back to marshalling as I usually do a funnel role. I loved being back out on the course cheering everyone on. I was put back in my old marshalling spot of the playground which just so happens to have a café right at the side of it so it was coffee and marshalling for me!

parkrun marshall

Speaking of parkrun we’ve also had confirmation of the junior parkrun we’ve been setting up. Stokes Bay junior parkrun will start on 4th June! We’re all so excited about this. The trial is on Saturday afternoon for us to try out all the equipment and make sure everything works before we do it for real. Afterwards we have to have a training session on being an RD at a Junior parkrun. I’m guessing this will cover some safeguarding aspects with it being juniors.

I think that’s it for my April update! I have some exciting news too but that’s for another post!

Not had enough? Why not look at my other post from April…

My One Year Plan

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

My One Year Plan

At our parkrun we have takeovers. This is where a particular running club fills all the volunteer roles. It’s good publicity for the running clubs, it encourages people to volunteer when they might not normally. It’s a win win situation.

The next takeover is Gosport Road Runners who are taking over on May 13th. I have a lot of friends who are members of Gosport Road Runners, or GRR, as they’re often called. Don’t get me wrong, I have friends in other clubs too but there’s just something about the people of Gosport Road Runners. They’re a great and friendly bunch.

As they’re holding the take over on May 13th I won’t be volunteering as the GRR’s will take over the roster. Instead I have decided to walk the course. Finally a date is set for my first parkrun. I’m not sure how I’ll do, however I do know the tail runner that week is Rachel. Someone who I know will encourage me and provide me with all the support I need to get the job done.

As I thought about this one thing became clear. I want in! I want to be part of Gosport Road Runners, or as I like to call them Team Yellow! And I want to be a member within a year so I can volunteer at their next take over!

On Saturday just gone I spoke to Auz, another member of Team Yellow, and he informed me of their beginners group in January. Do you see where I’m going here? So I walk on May 13th with the hope of building up to running a little, to then be able to join their beginners group in January to then being a fully fledged member by April/May 2018.

Can I do this?! I guess I have to now, it’s on my blog!

Are you part of a running club?

Have you ever thought of joining a running club?

Earning my To The Moon and Back Medal

In February I took part in the To the Moon and Back medal challenge from Virtual Runner UK. They wanted to see if the participants could complete enough mileage, you guessed it, to reach to the moon and back!

I really must learn to take more pictures when I’m out and about as it makes blog posts far more exciting! I completed 16.14 miles made up of running, walking and cycling. I ran a mile, walked 7.07 miles and cycled 8.07 miles! I have no idea how I managed a 50/50 split, it certainly wasn’t intentional! All the cycling was completed on my exercise bike and the walking was a mix of treadmill and out and about.

These pictures were taken at Lymington Harbour where I walked just under a mile.

Lymington Harbour

Lymington Harbour

The only other pictures I took didn’t turn out too good at all. However, here is a picture of the medal. I really like it, the way the heart hangs is a neat idea and the lanyard is a night sky.

To the Moon and Back Medal

I love these medals and they’re really helping me to stick to my 2017 goal of taking charge of my health. I don’t have another medal until June now, so it’ll be interesting to see just how well I manage to keep going without the incentive of receiving a medal at the end!

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Volunteering at Waterlooville Junior parkrun

parkrun logo

As you all know by now I love volunteering at parkrun. This week was a parkrun double for me. I volunteered at my usual Lee-on-the-Solent parkrun then on Sunday I headed over to Waterlooville Junior parkrun.

Waterlooville is only half an hour away from where I live so it wasn’t too far to travel. The parkrun is held in Jubilee Park (Milton Road entrance) in Waterlooville so if you’re in the area with a 4-14 year old on a Sunday then why not give them a visit?

The course was a 2 lap course with a small loop then in to the finish funnel. I went along with two friends and their son who initially weren’t going to volunteer but were going to watch and their son was going to run. When we arrived at 8.30 to register as a volunteer there was only Adam, the run director there. He was setting up the course but stopped to have a chat with us. He was really friendly and told us a few snippets of information about the course. They were low on volunteers this week so my friends were quickly roped in to help. One as a marshal and one as Tail Walker (although actually it was a tail run in the end). I was barcode scanning and a bit nervous as I was the only scanner. I’m used to scanning in over 400 runners with three scanners. Luckily it turned out on a very cold February morning only 39 children were to take part.

The junior parkrun is 2km instead of the 5km of a Saturday parkrun. Watching the children was brilliant, especially the two children that led the way. They were fast and pushed hard. It was nice to hear from one of the Mum’s that the first female across the line is part of an athletics club showing she takes her running pretty seriously.

The first male crossed the line in 08:17 and the first female was close behind with 08:25. The final runner crossed the line with a PB of 19:08. She told me friend she turned 4 in September and had taken part in 4 or 5 parkruns. She was just as inspiring as the first runners over the line. 4 years old and a parkrun advocate, brilliant!

As the junior parkrun is 2km, volunteering there really doesn’t take up too much of your time and is really rewarding as you know you’re helping the future generation reach a healthier lifestyle. Why not look up your nearest junior parkrun on the parkrun website and offer some of your time?

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Earning my Unicorn Medal – The Hard Way!

Way back in November I signed up to earn the Unicorn medal from Virtual Runner UK and posted about it here. To complete the medal all you had to do was complete 10K in as many different events as you like and you could walk or run.

So here’s my story!

Walk along the beach

Activity 1 Walk – 2.27 miles 47:50 – Not much to report about this walk and I didn’t take any pictures!

Activity 2 Run/Walk on the treadmill – 3.11 miles 59:12 – This ended up being void as my treadmill reset itself after 30 minutes so I wasn’t able to take a picture of the display showing the whole amount completed. Fail!

Activity 3 Walk – 3.45 miles 1:13 – An early evening beach walk which made for some nice pictures as the sun set.

Sunset

Activity 4 – Walk 1.96 time unknown – This also ended up being void. Despite setting off with 85% battery on my phone after 0.82 miles my phone died and showed the needs charging sign. I’d barely started my walk but with no recording it kind of made it pointless as I couldn’t submit this as evidence towards the 10K. I turned around and walked home.

Activity 5 – Walk 2.01 43:50 – I had an awful head cold this day but was quickly running out of time to finally reach 10K and submit the details to Virtual Runner.

Finally, after 5 activities I reached 10K! Who knew it would take so long. Pretty sure it won’t have taken anyone else as long as me to achieve this but the main thing is I achieved it. After submitting my results I soon received the medal which is epic!

Unicorn medal

Really pleased with that. During February I’ll be earning the Love You To The Moon and Back medal which looks like this…

Image courtesy of Virtual Runner UK

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,