Category Archives: Fitness

6am Run Club

Back to catching up with my posts! On 14th December I was going out with friends for breakfast at 8am. I knew that if I didn’t run before I went out then I’d probably not run at all that day. So I joined the 6am Run Club!

I only wanted to do half an hour which usually equates to about 2 miles. I’ve only run that early once before. I made sure I wore my Hi-Viz and off I went. I ran down the High Street. For some reason I like running down there when all the shops are closed and it’s just me plodding along. Strangely though I saw two people that morning. One was washing the windows of one of the restaurants. I presume he works there. He gave me a friendly “Morning!” and nod. The next person I saw was fiddling with a letter box to one of the flats above the shops. I made them jump as I passed them then they walked away. Odd!

I continued down the High Street and then weaved around a couple of streets before starting to head back home. Quite a few people had their Christmas lights up outside as it was halfway through December so it was nice to look at those as I ran. I keep forgetting I’m a bit quicker now as my 2 miles actually only took me 24 minutes! Mile 1 was an 11:45min/mile! I don’t pull those out of the bag too often but it seems I do at 6am! Anyway I got back home, jumped in the shower and just had time for a cuppa before my friend picked me up at 8am.

Post Run Selfie

The plan was to go to our friend’s house. She’s currently off work on maternity leave so we went and met her beautiful baby, her very excitable dog and had a cuppa before heading to The Tenth Hole for breakfast. On the way there we decided to go and do some Christmas shopping afterwards in Portsmouth. As I’d planned to have an intentional day off WW, for breakfast I had Eggy Bread. On the menu it says it comes with a choice of bacon or banana but I chanced it and asked if I could have both and they said yes! I then had a piece of their banoffee pie which is my favourite from there.

Molly the Dog

Banoffee Pie

Afterwards we headed in to Portsmouth and had a wander round the shops. I bought some Reindeer Christmas bedding and a couple of presents for people. I also treated myself to some new goodies from The Body Shop. I got the Peppermint Candy Cane Body Butter and Hand Cream. Both of which smell absolutely unreal! When we finished we headed back home and I had to rush to the local little Boots store to pick up a click and collect parcel I’d had sent there. I thought they closed at 5pm but actually I needn’t have rushed, they actually closed at 5.30pm! It was a lovely day with friends. I thought I’d only be out an hour or two but actually we were out  all day!

Christmas Tree

Do you ever run super early?

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My Running Goals for 2019

2019 Running Goals

At the end of 2017 I set my Running Goals for 2018. There were 4 quite clear goals but, as regular readers will know, I failed on the majority of them. It was out of my hands. I got an injury that had the physio puzzled. In the end the advice was just rest and hope it goes away. Thankfully 5 months later it did. So here we are at the end of 2018 where I’ve been able to pick up running again from October. In a weird way I’m thankful my injury was in the summer so I didn’t have to run through the heat wave!

And so my goals, well my goal for 2019, is simple. I want to just run. Run because I can, run for pleasure, run for the joy of running. No time goals, no distance goals, no races entered (apart from one) just me, plodding along and seeing how it goes. It’s always nicer to run faster or run for a greater distance but at the minute I’m happy just doing what I’m doing and having everything stay in working order.

Fingers crossed for me.

Have you thought about your running goals for next year?

Do you set New Years Resolutions? 

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My Longest Run Since Injury in 55mph Winds!

On 9th December I went to Breakfast Club with Honor (whom I ran with the day before at parkrun too) We were still in the thick of Storm Deidre so Nick (creator of The Breakfast Club) set us a route to keep us protected from the wind…well until the end!

Before we began I realised I’d left my beeper at home (I have an interval timer for my run/walks) After a quick chat we decided we’d just run and see how I got in and if I needed to, we’d walk.

Breakfast Club

So after the “Before the run” picture was taken, we left the café where we meet and ran away from the sea front. I was very grateful as the winds on the sea front were something else! We headed in to Gosport weaving through the streets of Alverstoke. I’m less familiar with these streets but in a strange way I find this helps. It makes time go quicker as I’m too busy looking around at where we are! We ran through Alverstoke village which is quaint and pretty. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen it before.

Alverstoke Village

We then weaved away from there and headed back towards the sea. We ran along the sea wall at Gosport which gives you amazing views over Portsmouth Harbour. You can see the ships and ferries as well as views over Southsea. We didn’t stop to have a look though as the wind was absolutely hammering us. We then headed away from the sea wall for a short while before running through the golf course and along the promenade on the Golden Mile. It was far from Golden! I could barely move and we were unable to chat by this point as the wind was so strong.

Near the Sea Wall

Just before we hit the sea wall

We ran past where the junior parkrun starts and they were all (wisely) hiding behind a shelter to keep out of the winds. If I could have joined them, I would! As we continued along the prom you could see where stones had been flung up from the beach on to the prom and the car park was flooded where the sea had blown up and over. The wind felt like it was getting stronger as we finally reached the last part of the prom and made it back to the café.

We ran a total of 4.6 miles and I hadn’t stopped once! I guess the injury is well and truly finished with for now. It turned out the winds were 55mph that morning! Yet by late afternoon they’d dropped to practically non existent! How very unfair. A tough but pleasing run!

Have you run in crazy weather?

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A Beasting and Gosport Half Marathon

I’ve slipped a little with my blog posts again! Following on from my parkrun PB on 17th November, the following day I went for a run with Claire. We were meant to go to Breakfast Club but as it was the morning of the Gosport Half Marathon (which meant road closures between home and Breakfast Club) we decided to keep it local.

We met up at the end of my road and agreed we’d keep it to 30 minutes out and back just like a Breakfast Club. We set off towards Hill Head and ran along the prom. We ran all the way until the point where the prom runs out and then turned around. On the way back as we passed the toilet block we did some hill reps on the slopes that go from the toilets to the upper level pavement.

We then headed to Browndown where Claire then had me run up and down the stairs. As we began running again afterwards my hamstring on my left leg started to hurt. I think I probably strided out too far on the hill reps maybe.

We headed for home after this which made the run up to just over 4 miles. I was slower than the previous day but that was to be expected after getting a PB. Once I got in I had a quick shower and headed out to spectate at the Gosport Half Marathon.

The good thing about spectating at the Gosport Half Marathon is that you can see your runners multiple times due to the layout of the course and the fact it’s two laps. It’s a strange one though if you’re a runner. It’s along the seafront in November so windy and cold. It’s two laps, some people find laps soul destroying. And finally, if I were running it, I’d practically run past my house twice whilst, I imagine, in a world of pain! I’d probably just want to go home!

Anyway I stood with two friends from Gosport Road Runners and had a natter with them whilst cheering people on. I only took one picture as I didn’t want to miss any of my runners.

Gosport Half Marathon

I was a bit gutted to miss Anna on her final fly by as I was still watching runners come the other way! Still I think I managed to see most people 4 times which is good and not something that can be done at all marathons.

Do you like to spectate at races?

If you want to read my other post about Gosport Half Marathon, it can be found here –> Gosport Half Marathon 2016

 

 

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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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