Category Archives: Fitness

Poppy Run with Breakfast Club

This morning I headed out for a run with the Breakfast Club again. The plan was to run 20 minutes or so out and back to the Mulberry memorial on Stokes Bay where the British Legion would join us and poppies could be laid. Some people had also opted to take part in a 5K poppy run where they received a t-shirt and medal. I’d completely missed the memo on this though so just ran with them.

I picked up Claire, my friend from parkrun, and we headed off together, then we went back, picked up her Garmin and then headed back off haha. As always we started at the Bayside Cabin car park and this weeks route was up Stokes Bay prom, through the golf course and back. Claire has really helped me through my rehabilitation. When I run with her I don’t look at my watch, we just go and she tells me if we’re doing ok.

Before the Run

The wind was absolutely horrendous as we ran along the beach. It was blowing straight in off the sea leaving one side of me freezing, whilst the other side was sweltering. It felt very strange. Thankfully though the pouring rain from the last day stayed away whilst we were out. We ran for 25 minutes and then turned around.

When we made it back to the Mulberry Harbour memorial we soon saw fellow Gosport Road Runner Andy coming up the prom. He’s a member of the British Legion. Andy recited part of the poem “For the Fallen”

British Legion Flag

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: 
Age shall not weary them, nor the years contemn. 
At the going down of the sun and in the morning 
We will remember them
Andy speaking
After a minutes silence, the poppies and wooden crosses were then placed in front of the memorial. It was really lovely.
Mulberry Harbour Memorial
We then headed off again back to the Bayside Cabin for breakfast. I had my usual from there, the “Veggie 2” which is mixed mushrooms on toast. When we sat down Claire asked me if I’d looked at our splits yet. I hadn’t, as I hadn’t uploaded it to Strava. She then told me “Your mile 1 was really fast” Claire knows now what my good paces and slower paces are so I was intrigued to look.
Splits from Strava
Imagine my genuine surprise when I saw mile 1! A mile in the 12’s! I was so so surprised. I was probably going quicker to try and warm up!
After breakfast, a coffee and a nice natter with some of the other Breakfast Clubbers, I headed home to a nice hot bath! It definitely warmed me up.
Did you commemorate Armistice Day?
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A parkrun With More Running Than Walking

The weather was forecast to be vile this morning at parkrun. Thankfully, the weather somehow cleared for the morning and we had a dry run. This morning I ran with Kelly, one of my parkrun friends daughter, and Gavin, a fellow member of Gosport Road Runners.

Kelly can run a parkrun in 29 minutes but doesn’t like the pressure of having to run all the time so I was happy to have her run/walk with me. Gavin was taking part in the Gosport Road Runners Helpers Half Marathon this afternoon so he wanted an easy run. For me, the more the merrier. The more people I have to talk to, the easier the run seems for me.

Today was 3 minutes running and 2 minutes walking. I’m glad it’s finally got to the stage where I am running more than I am walking. It’s been a slow process getting this far. I was a little apprehensive this morning. I haven’t exercised all week and haven’t run since last weeks parkrun. I could make up excuses but it’s nothing but laziness to be quite honest. I really need to find a routine that works for me and stick to it.

Anyway back to this morning. There was a takeover this morning by Stubbington Green Runners, which means all of their club members provided the volunteering roles and cake.

Cake!

After the run brief we were off and the time passed by quickly. I could definitely feel that the runs are longer now and I need to concentrate on my breathing more as I’m now running for 3 minutes not 30 seconds. At one point, whilst running, I asked Gavin what our pace was and was pleased to hear 11:30 min/miles.

Mile 2 definitely felt the hardest for me as we turned in to the sun with absolutely no breeze whatsoever! I always overheat when running so this wasn’t pleasant. However when we turned at the final turnaround point there was a breeze which was just strong enough to help me cool off a little.

I finished with a time of 44:27, exactly one minute from my PB time! I feel like I’ll never reached that time again!

parkrun finish token

Afterwards I went and helped myself to a piece of cake. There was so much choice but at the last minute I spotted coffee cake which is my absolute favourite so I had a slice and I’m pleased to report it was delicious. All that was left to do after that was grab Gavin for a selfie and then head to the café for a well earnt breakfast.

Gavin and I

Tomorrow I’m off to Breakfast Club with Claire so fingers crossed the weather is better than it is right now! As I’m writing this, it’s heavy rain!

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A Windy parkrun

I’m finally up to date with parkrun posts! This week I was run/walking 2.5 minutes of each. I’m finally at the halfway point of my road back from Injury! It was a warmer morning than last week at parkrun and a lot windier!

This week I was run/walking with Lorna and her son Luke, both of whom I met through junior parkrun. My friend Maria, from work, also joined us. We started off really well and continued to do well until we reached the second turn around point. Now we were running straight in to the wind and they were strong. It felt like we were running whilst trying to push something incredibly heavy. It was so hard. I was fine with the run/walk intervals and it was pain free which is always a relief. My pace was again commented on as being a fair bit quicker than before.

We finished in 44:35 which is slower than last week but to be expected in that wind I think. It was Luke’s first big parkrun and he absolutely smashed it. He never complained once! Hopefully the run/walk intervals helped him to complete the parkrun easier than trying to run the whole 5k.

Group Shot

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A Return to Breakfast Club

Now that my road to recovery is well and truly underway my friend Honor asked if I’d like to join her at Breakfast Club again. Breakfast Club is a group of local runners who meet at 8am, run or walk at their own pace for 30 minutes, then turn around and come back. After an hour you’re back where you started and ready for Breakfast.

Breakfast Club group photo

Ready to go! It was freezing

I was running for 2 minutes and walking for 3 this week and Honor was run/walking with me. We set off heading from Stokes Bay back towards Lee-on-the-Solent. I’ve run with Honor a few times and she commented on my pace being faster now whilst running. Although I’m really trying not to focus on pace at the minute, as recovery is more important, this did bring a smile to my face.

We had a lovely chatty run and talked about everything from parkrun to weight watchers. We’d just about reached the parkrun start line when we hit the 30 minute turn around point. Instead of running along the road back, we hopped down on to the prom and ran back along the beach until we had to go back on to the road back to Stokes Bay.

I’d not looked at my watch once and when we got back Honor said “Wow that was an easy 4 miles” I was pretty shocked, it definitely didn’t feel like I’d just run 4 miles! I remember when I was running before my injury 4 miles felt like such a long way but on this day it had felt easy. There’s something to be said for this run/walking lark! I feel like I can go for longer.

Then it was time for the best bit, breakfast! I had my favourite breakfast they do there which is mushrooms on toast. It sounds pretty blah but they cook the mushrooms in something and it is to tasty!

I was back home before 10am having done a good run and having already nailed my 10,000 steps for the day. Perfect!

Run stats

Is there anything like the Breakfast Club near you?

Have you tried a run/walking routine?

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Halloween parkrun

Saturday (27th October) was the Halloween parkrun. Fancy dress was of course encouraged. This week I was running with Kerry who is a member of Fareham Crusaders, a fellow blogger and a Women’s Running magazine cover girl!

Kerry dressed as a zombie nurse and I wore my 99p from eBay pumpkin t-shirt!

Halloween parkrun

This week I was running for 2 minutes and walking for 3. I’d done a mid week run on the treadmill which had gone well so I was hopeful this would easily transfer on to the tarmac! It was near perfect running weather for me as it was about 2c! I run so much better in lower temperatures as I just get so hot whilst running.

Kerry and I chatted easily about working out, routines, running and injuries. We kept up a good pace and I noticed that slowly but surely we were moving our way up the pack. We soon caught up with my lovely friend Mike and then ended up playing cat and mouse with him. He overtook us every time we walked, and when we ran we caught him up.

At the end I was surprised to see 420 on my finish token! There were more people there than I had realised! Usually I finish somewhere in the high 300’s. I was even more surprised to see my finish time! I finished in 43:53, a mere 26 seconds away from my fastest ever parkrun! Incredible, especially considering there’s still so much walking! I’ve knocked 6 minutes off my time since the beginning of October when I started back at parkrun after my injury. Mind blown!

Did you dress up for a Halloween parkrun?

If you did, what was your costume?

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Feeling Good!

I’m almost up to date with my parkrun updates! On 20th October I ran with two friends from parkrun, Richard and Penny. They were both running the Great South Run the following day so had agreed to run with me the day before. I’m always grateful that people are actually willing to run with me.

This week was 1.5 minutes running and 3.5 minutes walking so nothing too strenuous for them as they would be running 10 miles the next day. As we ran/walked we chatted about where best to spectate the Great South, I’d told them I was thinking about spectating at mile 9. We talked about parking and the best method of getting there etc. I’d been thinking of getting the Gosport Ferry over to Portsmouth but was still unsure of what was best. The time flew by and conversation flowed really freely between the three of us.

Just as we were heading towards the finish we saw Richard’s wife Gemma. She’d already finished but had really hurt her leg. She was starting to head back to the café so as soon as we finished Richard dashed off to catch up with her. Penny and I however took a selfie. She looks like we’ve barely run a step whereas I look like a tomato!

Penny and I

I improved my time again this week, dropping it to 45:08. I’m not looking at my watch during the run at all as I just want to run and make sure nothing hurts. However I do allow myself a look as I head towards the finish and this week I made a dash for it just to get that little bit closer to my PB. In October I’ve knocked around 4 minutes off my time which I’m pleased with.

Have you run the Great South Run?

Do you prefer running with friends or going on a solo run?

 

 

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parkrun and Contra

parkrun on 13th October saw me wearing my new Contra t-shirt. If you haven’t heard of Contra, it’s a sports brand set up by Paul Sinton-Hewitt, the founder of parkrun. They carry 10 sizes, everything is ethically made and the profits go back in to parkrun. I’d ordered a t-shirt as soon as they launched. I wasn’t expecting it to arrive, but they must have sent it early as it arrived before the due date.

Wearing the Contra t-shirt

I met up with my friend Claire who I ran with last week as she’d agreed to run/walk with me again. I told her I had absolutely no expectations and I just wanted to finish, preferably pain free! The weather was cool but the winds were really strong thanks to Storm Callum! This week was running for 1 minute and walking for 4 minutes. For the majority of the run the weather didn’t really seem a problem but as soon as we hit the 2nd turn around point, the wind hit you full on. It was like running on the spot. I told Claire at one point “This is so hard” and she answered simply “Shut up and run” That’s the kind of motivating talk I need.

We ended the run in a staggering 46:53. Considering the amount of walking I was doing, I was flabbergasted to be so close to my average of 45 minutes! In fact I was pleased as punch and thankful for another pain free parkrun.

Have you ordered anything from Contra?

What’s your average parkrun time?

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I Tried A 600 Calorie in 60 Minute Workout

I’ve really been enjoying exercising at home on a Friday which is my day off work. I’ve been using YouTube videos and have really been enjoying the ones on Popsugar Fitness’ channel.

The other day I spotted one called “Burn 600 calories in a 60 minute workout with Jeanette Jenkins” The 600 calories in an hour caught my eye so I decided to give it a go.

The workout begins with a warm up and I’m not afraid to admit that by the end of the warm up I was already sweating a little. You then move on to a couple of mini circuits doing a series of moves a couple of times. Something I like about the Popsugar workouts is one of the people doing the workout will always be the “modification” so if you’re unable to do a particular move, you can copy the modification instead.

Screenshout of the workout

Screenshot of the workout

The moves combine both upper and lower body so you’re working all of your body. There are some high impact moves but you can always copy the modification if you’re unable to do these. There’s lots of moves that help improve your balance and stability too as well as some plyometric exercises.

The routine finishes with floor exercises focussing on the core and then you move on to a cool down and stretches.

I really enjoyed this routine. It was fast paced and really didn’t feel like an hour. Most of the exercises were manageable and I only needed to follow the modifications a couple of times. But the big question is….Did I burn 600 calories?

Apple Watch Stats

I’m never quite sure what the active calories versus total calories are telling me but it was pretty much 600 calories on the active calories and well over on the total. Very impressed with this workout and I’ll definitely do it again.

Do you use YouTube for workouts?

What are your favourite YouTube channels?

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A Walk With A Twist

I went for a walk on Friday. I’d decided to do a “parkrun practice” I don’t really want to return to parkrun until I’m able to do it in under an hour. Anyway as I made my way down to the beach I thought “I’ll walk the course in reverse” And that I did. I started heading towards the second turnaround point and was thinking “At least this will give me something to blog about” I’ve struggled finding content as my blog is more of a diary but with nothing really happening it makes posting a struggle.

I was walking along enjoying the weather, warm with a breeze to keep me cool, and listening to snippets of people’s conversations as I overtook them or they overtook me. I was just thinking about how I might turn around at the slipway to avoid having to walk over the shingle section at the bottom of the slipway when I overtook an older couple. Then I heard someone fall, and I mean really fall.

I turned around and the lady from the couple was on the floor crying out. I immediately went back to her and asked if she was ok. She was crying out in pain and I think in shock a bit. She had a huge lump coming up on the side of her forehead and her face was cut and bleeding from multiple places. She was holding her knee too. I told her not to move but just have a little assess of how everything felt. She told me she didn’t think she could get up. She felt extremely sick and dizzy and everything hurt and asked me to call an ambulance. I rang 999 and whilst talking to the operator she repeatedly asked her husband if she’d knocked her teeth out. This became a real concern for her so she must have given them a fair old whack.

As I spoke to the operator he told me my call had gone through to the Isle of Wight and he was having trouble finding where we were on the mainland. I tried giving them landmarks but my mind was blank on road names. I asked her husband if he could think of anywhere but I think he went in to shock too as he couldn’t speak.

The operator told us we weren’t to move her at all and asked if one of us would be able to go up from the promenade on to the roadside to flag the ambulance down and take them too her. I told her husband I’d go up on to the roadside as she’d probably feel more comfortable with him there. I went up and looked out. The ambulance took a whole 30 minutes to arrive! It felt like time was standing still! The longest 30 minutes of my life!

Once the paramedics arrived I led them down to her and I was so surprised by the way they spoke to her. The first thing the paramedic said was “Is there any reason you’ve not attempted to get off the floor?” She became flustered and was trying to explain she didn’t think she could get up so I interjected and said we’d been advised by the operator not to move her. She then tried to explain what had happened and he cut her off by saying “We know you tripped, they all saw it” He was so short with her. It made me feel quite sad that he spoke to her like that when she was clearly shocked and a bit panicky.

I said my goodbyes and left them as the paramedic took her to the ambulance. I just went home after that. I’d been out a lot longer than I expected and felt a bit deflated by everything. Up until the point where I’d stopped to help, I’d actually managed to keep up a pretty good pace and was pain free.

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I Met Dame Kelly Holmes

Dame Kelly Holmes

Dame Kelly Holmes is a double Gold medal Olympian. She won the 800m and 1500m at the 2004 Athens Olympics. Recently on social media she’s been doing something called #joininjune where she has visited various places around the UK and joined in with different fitness class, bootcamps, cycle rides and parkruns.

I’ve mentioned local legend Nick a few times on my blog. He had the crazy idea of us putting a video together and getting her to join us at parkrun and in Gosport to run. So at parkrun we filmed a video asking her to join us, headed up by Geoff, the VC of my running club Gosport Road Runners.

Now if I’ve got my technical skills right, then below should be the video:

Afterwards Kelly Holmes responded with this:

Instagram Story

Which naturally got everyone very excited. But then we didn’t hear anything and she posted that she was going elsewhere for the last Saturday in June and everyone’s hopes dropped. 7th July was our 3rd Birthday at Lee-on-the-Solent parkrun. Yep, we’re still pretty much a baby. We were having a Rio Carnival theme for the day and the RDs were planning a surprise in the run brief. But then we got a surprise of our own on the Monday of our Birthday week. Dame Kelly Holmes was coming after all!

That Saturday morning everyone was really excited. People were in fancy dress, and I’m talking huge head pieces! We had music playing and oh, word had got out about Kelly Holmes so we also had 601 runners!

parkrun volunteers

Honor (left) Me (Middle) and Erica on the right

The run briefing got underway and Honor and I had hidden in amongst the runners. Maggie was RD so she started the brief, then handed over to us where we sprung ourselves upon people and asked them to tell us the “rules”. It was good fun. I felt like one of the reporters that cover the marathon or something.

Afterwards Kelly got up and said a short speech too which was lovely. She said she loves parkrun for the community. Just a bunch of people running together. She also spoke about how it helped her with her own mental health struggles and how the community of parkrun have helped.

Kelly Holmes addressing the crowd

The runners were then sent on their way and Kelly started right at the back with the very last runner.

Kelly Holmes Running

She then worked her way through the crowd and finished somewhere in the top 20. She stopped just at the funnel though and went back to begin high fiving the runners and offering them encouragement. 

Kelly Holmes high fives runner

She stayed right until the very end high fiving people and cheering them in. She then began the picture taking! Her cheeks must have been so sore from smiling as the queue snaked it’s way down the prom.

Naturally I joined the queue and go a picture with her.

Dame Kelly Holmes

Afterwards Dame Kelly travelled to Stokes Bay and ran the Golden Mile too. I however opted for breakfast!

Have you ever met an Olympian?

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