Category Archives: Fitness

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.

Tagged

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?

Tagged ,

Gosport Golden Mile 2018

After watching the Gosport Golden Mile in 2017 I’d decided I wanted to sign up. I’d opted for the 5K race rather than the mile. This was obviously because I thought I’d be able to run it instead of being injured.

The night before I knew there was no way I’d be able to run 5K so I asked the organisers by email if I could swap to the mile race. Now I know what you’re thinking. The sensible thing would have been to not run at all. However by the morning I was barely in any pain at all so I thought I’d give the mile a whirl and if it hurt I’d stop and walk the rest.

Before the Mile

Before the start. From left to right Phil, Adam, Angela, Tee, Alison and Me! These are a mix of friends from parkrun, junior parkrun and Gosport Road Runners.

I lined up at the back, knowing I’d be one of the last. I stood beside Alison and we met up with Kerry, another GRR and her Mum.

Start of the Mile

I started off pain free. We were running at about a 11:30 min/mile to begin with which I knew was too fast for me. I told Alison this, as she’s a similar pace to me and we slowed it down a little.

To my utter surprise as we were running past the playing field I saw Sarette and Wilson who I recently blogged about here They were out for a walk and decided to stop by and spectate. It made my day to see them! They gave me a little cheer and then I featured on their Instagram story.

Wilson

We passed by Pebbles café where we go after junior parkrun and my friends Maggie, Paul and Jade were there cheering us on after finishing the results processing. Maggie snapped this picture of Alison and I.

Running the Mile

By now I was starting to hurt a little. As we progressed it just got worse. I wanted to stop but knew I was helping Alison to keep going. I managed to run until the end but it was very painful and I’d now developed a limp/hobble. I managed a time of 13:32. When I was fit I was hoping to break in to the 12’s

Race Medal

Afterwards we went and watched a special presentation for Loyd, a member of Gosport Road Runners. Loyd had diabetes and had numerous problems with one of his legs as a result. He asked the NHS to amputate his leg. Now he’s getting back to running using an artificial leg. He’s currently awaiting a fitting for a blade but needs to wait for the swelling on his stump to fully go down. He’s such an inspiration, not only did he run the mile (and beat me) he did a triathlon the week after and is going to be training with other para athletes!

We have a road runner on some of our team shirts and they club had made Loyd his own version wearing a blade.

Road Runner

Loyd's presentation

We then went and watched the 5K race for a bit before heading back to the car. I had to hobble back to the car. Where we had parked had a slight incline to walk up and the pain was incredibly bad! I tried getting in to the car and couldn’t lift my leg to get it in. It was like all strength had left my leg. That evening again I had a hot bath, I put ice on it, I tried stretches and vowed that if it was still as bad in the morning I’d do my best to get a physio appointment.

Have you ever run a mile race?

Tagged

I Did The Runner Beans Strength Workout

Recently Charlie from The Runner Beans posted a “No weights strength for runners circuit workout” on her Instagram. As mentioned in THIS post, my friend and I are going to take it in turns to bring a workout to the gym so I thought this would be an ideal time to try this workout. The workout is listed below:

  • 15 squats
  • 15 commandoes
  • 15 curtsey lunges each side
  • 15 press ups
  • 15 walking lunges each leg
  • plank 30 seconds

I also added in 15 donkey kicks on each leg and a 30 second wall sit.

You’re supposed to do the circuit 4 times with a minute rest between each circuit but with no rest between each exercise.

The first circuit we got through but both agreed it was pretty tough. My gym has air conditioning but it never seems to be on enough! I was sweating by the end of it. We took our minutes rest and had a drink of water.

We then did the 2nd circuit and I’m going to admit as we got towards the end I felt my form struggling, particularly on the walking lunges. After the 2nd circuit we decided to call it quits as I didn’t want to end up with an injury from having poor form.

It was a good workout and for the next two days my thighs ached! You know when you go to sit down and have to groan to get there? That was me! I’m definitely going to keep doing it and see if I can work up to the 4 sets. I really need to work on my strength and workouts like this are good for someone who doesn’t really know what they’re doing.

Tagged

Women Only Gyms

Recently at work we were talking about the different gyms we’d been a member of. Through work we get a deal at the local gym. We only pay £20 a month and most people at work are members. However, before this, we’ve all been members of other gyms from the expensive types right through to the budget gyms.

We were talking about the different pieces of equipment when someone said a gym they were a member of only had dumbbells of 2-3kg in a Women’s Only section!! Now is it just me or does that give you the impression that they think women should only lift light weights? Women are far too dainty to lift anything bigger. Naturally I shared this rant with my colleagues.

This then led another colleague to tell us about a gym she’d been a member of. In their Women’s Only section all of the equipment was pink!! I don’t even know where to start with this. I thought in these modern times we were above all of this?! I guess not.

Now don’t get me wrong I understand that the Women’s Only section has it’s purpose in a gym. I used to use the Women’s Only section of a gym I was a member of a long time ago. It gave me the confidence to work out without feeling too inferior or intimidated. I think if it’s going to build someone’s confidence then that’s great. I also used to find the equipment in the main gym was busy so if I couldn’t get on a treadmill for example, I’d go and look if there was one free in the Women Only section. It did tend to be quieter in there.

I know companies like Curves, the gym chain for women only, are making a fortune and if people are working out then that’s great too but I just don’t like the fact that as women we seem moulded, thou shalt not lift heavy weights, thou shalt use cardio machines and pink ones at that! It just makes me groan and wonder if we’ve transported back in time.

Coincidentally, whilst looking for pictures to accompany this post I found lots of pictures of women like this:

Pretty and slim with small weights and not a bead of sweat on her. Whereas the pictures of men are very much like this:

Have you ever used a women’s only gym/section?

Tagged

Can We Talk About Poo?

Poo, it’s a bit of a taboo subject isn’t it?! But the fact is, we all do it! On Wednesday morning I woke up with the lark and decided to go for a run before work. I got up, went to the loo…but didn’t y’know, didn’t go and got ready. I headed out of the door at 5.35am.

I love that it’s light at that time. I bet the gent I passed in just his underpants in the street grabbing something out of his car boot wasn’t glad of the light! There was a cool breeze as I set out and I was grateful of it after the heat of running on Sunday. I had a 1 mile loop planned out in my mind so that if I wasn’t feeling the run I could stop after a mile. As I ran along though I felt pretty good so decided to stretch the route out a bit. I was only planning on doing 2 miles anyway. I dropped down to the beach and ran along the prom. The only other people I passed were runners and one dog walker. It was lovely and quiet.

But then there was a rumble at 1.5 miles and it was my stomach. It was definitely letting me know I needed the toilet. The public toilets along the beach aren’t open that early so I turned to head for home. I had to walk at one point as the urge was getting worse and then I had to full on stop. I pretended to stretch whilst I took a minute. Then I thought I’m going to have to run, I wasn’t going to have an accident but I needed to go. That last half a mile or so was probably the fastest I’ve ever run!

I made it home and the urge had actually settled so I stretched out a bit on the drive whilst I cooled down. I had a lovely run but oh I could have done without the panic!

Have you ever been caught short?

Tagged

Romsey 5 Mile Beer Race

On Sunday I completed the Romsey 5 Mile Beer Race hosted by Romsey Road Runners. I’d had this race recommended to me by Anna. Anna, why didn’t we get a selfie?!

Anyway I’d been keeping an eye on the weather all week and was worried as I saw it was meant to be 23c. The race didn’t start until 10am either so the heat was already ramping up. We got there about 9.05 and went to collect our bibs. We barely even queued as they seemed to have the process refined. I applied suncream and went for two nervous wees.

I met up with my fellow club members. This photo tells me I need to work on my bib pinning skills.

Gosport Road Runners Group Photo

We stood in the shade as much as possible before the horn hooted, signalling the start of the race. The race begins with a lap of the cricket field and then out on to the roads.

Hayley took lots of pictures of the day so most of these are credited to her

Running

I really struggled to breathe because of the heat. It was like I couldn’t get a full breath. The heat was crazy hot. I’m not made for heat and definitely not made for running in heat. Despite originally not planning to (before I knew how hot it was going to be) I took quite a few walk breaks.

The route takes you around the village of Braishfield. We were soon climbing hills. I was ill prepared for hills, because I didn’t know there were any but we ran as much as we could and walked when we needed to. We took in some of the houses we passed by. They were huge and beautiful in that quintessentially British way.

As we headed up another hill we passed by a field of cows. Two calves were stood by the gate loudly mooing. It was as though they were cheering the runners on.

I hadn’t studied the route (rookie error) and so we were very surprised when we joined up with the faster runners and saw the 4 mile sign before we’d seen the 3 mile sign. We wondered if the marshal had directed us the wrong way. It was around here that the tail runner caught up with us having had a few people drop out. She explained that we’d soon see people peeling off to the finish but we still had an extra lap to go. It was then that we saw the 3 mile sign and it all made sense. At this point we saw Hayley cheering us on.

Hill Climbing

This picture makes the hill look slightly steeper than it actually was! It was a little disheartening seeing the others getting to finish but I’d been cross when I thought we’d been mis-directed so I kept in mind that I was going to complete the full 5 miles. Hayley later told me she thought some of the runners hadn’t been completely honest about how many laps they’d completed. I imagine they just wanted to get out of that heat.

The second lap actually passed by really quickly with a mix of run walking and throwing water over myself. Then, finally it was our turn to peel off to the recreation ground where the race ended. I was really pleased to see my team mates had waited for me to cheer me in.

Finisihing

The lovely tail runner stuck with me the whole way. She was so lovely. I gave her a big hug afterwards to thank her.

We had to run a lap of the recreation ground and then it was down to the finish line.

Finish Line

When I crossed the line I was given tokens to collect my beer and cake and then I was handed a prize! I asked why I’d won a prize and she said “Because you did an awesome job” I think that was probably code for “Because you came last” but hey I’ll take it! I won a Hilly waist pack and it actually looks like a pretty good one. It probably cost more than what I’d have spent on it so I’m pretty pleased with that.

After this we went and collected our beer provided by Flack Manor Brewery of Romsey. We had Flack’s Double Drop and it was absolutely delicious. After the run it was the perfect thirst quencher. We then went through and got our cake. I had a beetroot brownie which was wonderful and my husband had the chocolate cake.

Whilst we ate them we watched Anna collect her tankard for being 2nd female. I’m totally in awe of Anna’s running. I still feel like I’m at the very beginning of my running journey but watching where Anna is, is just thoroughly inspiring.

We went and had a chat with my fellow Gosport Road Runners and Hayley snapped this picture of me with my beer and prize.

Beer and Prize

We then watched Hayley and Chris’ daughter Faye participate in the fun run. Usually I’d be cheering Faye on at junior parkrun on a Sunday morning so it felt apt to cheer her on here. Afterwards we walked back to the car park with them and Faye chatted away to us all. She’s so funny.

That afternoon the results were online and my chip time was 1:19:31. I’m quite pleased with that. I’d wanted 1:15 so given the hills and heat I don’t think 4 minutes outside it is too bad. Already I’m thinking of next years! How can I get better so I can tackle those hills? Can I find better ways to deal with the heat? So many thoughts!

Have you ever won a prize at a race?

How do you tackle hills?

 

Tagged , ,

Mrs B’s Intervals

I was told a while ago I need to incorporate intervals in to my runs. Mrs B, one of the coaches at Gosport Road Runners told me to come and try hers. She said it was friendly, inclusive and at your own pace.

I set off on Thursday night and it was still incredibly warm, around 24c! Gosport Road Runners meet at Gosport and Fareham Rugby Club. We did a warm up and then headed over to the Rugby pitch. We run around the top of the pitch. It’s affectionately called “The Dell of Doom” We started with 5 minutes of running before getting a rest break. Luckily for me Mike and Marie were there so I had a little chat with them. Mike peeled off to have a wee though so I soon lost him. He said he’d tried to stay hydrated all day but had probably over done it. Oh we’ve all been there. I then spotted two of the three ladies I ran with the other week (In my post New Running Friends) I got chatting to them and managed to stick with Cari for the whole session.

Running on grass is really hard, especially when the grass is longer in places. Even though the run portions got less and less with each one it still felt incredibly hard because of the grass and heat. I kept going through the session and managed to clock up 2.6 miles of running in a circle and also got a pretty funky Strava map.

Intervals Map

I was shattered afterwards but I do secretly enjoy intervals. I think because you get rest portions 😉

As this was the end of the month I tallied up my running totals and realised this was my highest mileage month to date.

Monthly Miles

Are you a member of a running club?

Do you incorporate intervals in to your running?

Tagged ,

I Was Interviewed About My Running Journey

I’ve spoken about local legend Nick before. He runs a sports shop in Gosport, is a core member of Gosport Road Runners and brings the running community on a Wednesday evening with 545 club and every Sunday morning with the Breakfast Club. He also does “Red Sofa Interviews” where he interviews people from our local running community who he feels have a story that will resonate with others.

About a week ago Nick asked me if I’d give an interview. I was flattered and surprised all at the same time. I wasn’t sure I had a story to tell but he assured that I did. So, without further ado. Here is the interview:

 

Tagged ,

Intervals!

Finally up to date! On Tuesday (22nd May) I went to my running club, Gosport Road Runners. I’m not going to lie, it had been such a hot day at work I didn’t want to go but a couple of colleagues encouraged me to put on my kit, start heading to club and see how I feel. As I go the same way home as I do to club I could easily just pull off towards home when I got there instead of carrying on. However, as you’ve probably guessed, I decided to go on the way home.

I’d seen previously that there was going to be an intervals session tonight and I’ve been wanting to give it a go since I was advised it’d be good for my running. I’ve never done a proper intervals session before so I was slightly apprehensive. I felt better though when I saw there were quite a few people I know in the group, including Mike who I like to parkrun with.

We started with a warm up as we walked to the cycle track where we were going to be doing session. We then had to run for 4 minutes, before having a break. I started way too fast and could barely finish the 4 minutes! Oops! I slowed down a little for the next burst which was 3 minutes. We then did 2 minutes and then a final 1 minute. I was able to push a little harder on the 1 minute as I’d just about got my breath back!

As we walked back to the start the instructor explained to me I should have got faster with each run section. That definitely would have been handy to know before we started! Guess I should have told him I’m a newbie in advance.

We then did another game where  you worked with a partner. You ran to the first cone and back, then recovered whilst your partner did the same, when they got back you ran to the second further away cone and then back and they did the same. You were meant to partner up with someone who had a familiar pace to you so that you had a good recovery time. I, however ended up partnered with a very fast runner. Still, I did the session. Afterwards, despite only doing little over 2 miles I was shattered. Once I’d caught my breath and had a sit down I realised I’d thoroughly enjoyed the session.

Imagine my delight when there was someone taking photographs of the session too! Good for the blog but bad for my ego. This picture is horrendous but I’m doing it for the blog!

Intervals

Have you ever done an interval session?

Tagged ,