Category Archives: Life

What do you blog about when you have nothing to blog about?

I am still injured. I’m still not allowed to do anything. No walking, running, swimming or cycling. I told a friend this the other day and she said “Bloody hell, what’s left?!” Exactly! I’m feeling pretty miserable. I seem to have reached a bit of a plateau. My injury is definitely better than when I first did it but I’ve reached a point now where it’s just the same every day. No better yet no worse. I’m doing all my stretches and foam rolling daily like I’ve been told, yet nothing. It’s still more painful at work and feels better when I’m at home at the weekend. At the moment I don’t work Mondays which means I get three days of good recovery. Yet I go back to work and it gets worse again due to the amount of getting up and down from the floor.

So here I am, a week on from my last blog post and I feel like I have nothing to blog about. This weekend I didn’t even volunteer at parkrun. I persuaded my husband and friend to go to Southsea parkrun instead so I could just be anonymous and not have people looking at me sympathetically whilst saying “Oh, you’re still injured?” I just can’t face it. Does that sound selfish?

I’m going back to see my physio today but I know already what she’s going to say. As there’s no improvement it’ll be the same advice. No walking, no running, no swimming no cycling. I just feel like there must be something I can do.

For now, that’s it. That’s all I have to blog about.

 

Southampton Airport Runway 5K

On 24th June we got up at the rather ridiculous time of 3.30am. That’s because my husband was running the Southampton Airport Runway 5K. I was supposed to be running too, but I’m injured, as you know.

We left the house at 4.30am and made our way to the airport. Registration opened at 5am and the race began at 6am. We arrived just after 5am. We weren’t sure what the traffic was going to be like once we hit the airport, as it happens it was really quiet.

Spectators weren’t allowed through to the runway, instead we had to spectate from the roof of the multi storey car park that overlooked the runway. I walked down though anyway to see how far I could get.

Once my husband had registered, this meant he received a wrist band to get out of the car park for free, we milled around. I spoke to a couple of people I know through parkrun and work. Lots of people were in fancy dress, including a guy in one of the inflatable dinosaur costumes I keep seeing. As the start of the race neared I headed back up to the roof of the car park and got a spot at the fence. Whilst waiting I got to see the sun come up

Sun Rise

I watched the warm up and confirmed to myself that 6am was definitely too early to have to listen to Steps “One for Sorrow” blasting out. The race started at 6am sharp, to be honest the runners looked like little ants from the top of the car park. I did manage to spot my husband though as he set off beside the inflatable dinosaur!

From the start line they ran to the end of the runway then around the end of it to go back on themselves. Then it was one long run out and back. To be honest it looked like hell.

Map

As you can see from the map it’s over a mile on one long piece of concrete! Although my husband assures me it didn’t feel that long and actually felt shorter.

The race wasn’t a chip timed race. My husband finished in 32:16. He was unfortunately beaten by the inflatable dinosaur man!

He made his way up to the car park and gave me the goody bag to look through. It didn’t take long. A bottle of water, a magazine about the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance and a window sticker supporting the aforementioned air ambulance. Bit disappointed there was no food!

We were back home by 7.30 in the morning so had the rest of the day to do as we wish, that was a definite advantage to the race. It was over so early but wasn’t fun getting up in the dark.

And this blog wouldn’t be complete without a snap of the dinosaur! 

Dinosaur Fancy Dress

 

Physio, Transformation and the Founder!

Physio

The Monday after the Gosport Golden Mile I managed to get an appointment to see a physiotherapist. I couldn’t get in to see my usual physio so went with one I’d been to before a few years ago. She came to the conclusion that I had an inflamed adductor. The adductor is the muscle that runs up your inner thigh and in to your groin. She told me I need to let it settle down so no walking, running, swimming or cycling as they’ll all aggravate the muscle. She gave me a massage, highly embarrassing given where my pain was, and did some ultrasound on there too. I’m to go back in two weeks which, as I’m so far behind with blog posts, is actually tomorrow as I’m writing this (Sunday) but yesterday as I post this! Confusing!

Transformation

People have been telling me recently that I’m looking slimmer and more toned. When a picture was posted of me at the Gosport Golden Mile, for the first time, I could see it too.

Transformation

The picture on the right was taken about 2 years ago and the one on the left, just over two weeks ago. Feeling pretty pleased with that.

Meeting the Founder

On 20th June I went to Solent University in Southampton to attend a talk given by Paul Sinton-Hewitt, the founder of parkrun. When I arrived I met up Anna and her friend. I also saw Roger and Dave, our former parkrun ambassador, a lovely guy (who I think was also called Roger) from Havant parkrun and Martin, the Event Director of Whiteley parkrun. Whilst we waited to be let in to the lecture theatre we reminisced about our university days. It’s fair to say Solent University, particularly the Atrium we were stood in, is far more modern than the campus I spent my University days on.

Solent University

When we were allowed in to the lecture theatre I gave Anna instructions to get us to the front, whilst I hobbled down the stairs behind her.

Selfie

We took a selfie whilst waiting for everyone to take their seats and discussed what questions we’d ask if given the opportunity.

Paul Sinton-Hewitt

Paul talked about so many topics, all under the umbrella of parkrun of course. It was raw and incredibly honest. He spoke of the first parkrun, his core team, the various countries that want to set up parkrun, his role within parkrun and how that has evolved. It was really interesting. At the end people were allowed to ask questions and some people were pretty tough with the questions they asked. He answered them all though. The talk was only meant to be an hour but it went on for a glorious hour and forty minutes. I was in my element and was pretty disappointed when time was called. We were however invited to get a selfie with him.

Selfie with Paul Sinton-Hewitt

The final slide shown was the one below that just summed up what parkrun is and what it means to so many people.

parkrun slide

Do you parkrun? 

What does parkrun mean to you?

Tagged , ,

A parkwalk

This post has taken me a while to actually get round to writing. I started it straight after the parkrun (16th June) but just couldn’t face finishing it. The pain in my groin I got at parkrun the week before has just developed in to a full blown injury. When you can’t run, the last thing you want to blog about is running. But anyway on to the post…

My groin felt uncomfortable all week. I probably shouldn’t have done the workout at the gym. It didn’t make it worse, but equally, it didn’t help it. On Saturday I decided I’d just walk parkrun as I had a race on Sunday and didn’t want to make it worse.

When we got to parkrun I went and found Jacqui who is a fellow Gosport Road Runner and today was also tail walker. I told her I was injured and that I planned on walking the course. She told me her husband had also had a groin injury and that he had a sheet of stretches at home. After the parkrun I messaged him on Facebook and asked if he’d mind sending me those stretches.

We walked the course and chatted about injury. Jacqui is dealing with an ongoing foot injury. We also talked about Weight Watchers as Jacqui has just joined. I’ve thought so many times about joining Weight Watchers/Slimming World. She’s getting on well with it and having some success which is great to hear.

We walked at a good pace and my groin pain wasn’t too bad until we got to maybe the last quarter. Then it became worse, the thing is, because of where we were I had to walk to the finish regardless.

I ended with a time of 57:49 and a whole heap of pain. We slow walked up to the café afterwards and the pain subsided a little and went whilst we were sat having breakfast. Unfortunately by the time we walked home afterwards it was a lot worse.

The day after I was meant to be running the Gosport Golden Mile 5K. When I got in I had a hot bath with Epsom Salts to see if that’d help. Afterwards I iced it and rolled around on a tennis ball in the hope that’d help before the next day!

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

A Workout At The Gym

I haven’t been to Spin for a couple of weeks. Sometimes life gets in the way and with my spin partner busily finishing her dissertation for uni, I’ve taken advantage of some Thursday’s at my running club. However on Thursday we made the pledge to return to spin. Sometimes though your day doesn’t go as you expected and my spin partner had a bad day and no longer felt committed to spin. I suggested we go to the gym and do a workout instead.

My spin partner, Maria, goes to the gym before work some mornings so I suggested she take me through the workout she would normally do. We did a 10 minute warm up on the treadmill. Then she would normally go on the step machine but this was busy so we headed over to the floor area to do an abs workout but the floor area was busy too so instead we did 5 minutes on the elliptical whilst we waited. I quite like the elliptical machine, it feels like I’m running but low impact.

The floor area became free quickly, hence only 5 minutes, and we got started on the ab routine Maria has been following. She was good at the exercises, whereas I had to do modified versions for some of them. I can’t remember everything we did but a lot of them were your standard floor ab exercises.

Maria has quite a few workouts saved on her phone so when we finished I asked what she had on there for legs. We then did a quick leg workout. I am weak, I definitely need to focus more on strength and conditioning. I know this, but putting that plan in to action is another thing!

At the end Maria asked if I knew any stretches so I took her through a few I’ve learnt from practising Yoga. We then agreed that we’d come to the gym every Wednesday and do some similar workouts to what we’d just done. To make it more interesting we’re going to take it in turns to provide the workout. Hopefully that’ll keep it interesting. If you have any suggestions let me know!

A Walk With Wilson

One of my favourite bloggers, Instagrammers and Tweeters is WoofsWithWilson. I can’t even remember how I discovered Wilson and his devoted Mum, but I did. They live close by and over time I’ve got to know them through the power of social media.

Wilson is simply beautiful. He is such a handsome prince right from his floppy ear to his floofy tail!

So imagine my delight when Wilson’s mum invited me to go on a walk with them! We met at Browndown, a quiet part of beach on MOD land. Thankfully there was no red flag flying so we were free to roam around.

Wilson

The first thing I noticed about Wilson is, he’s bigger than he looks in Instastories! Not loads bigger, but bigger than I thought. The second thing I noticed is he’s such a happy dog. What’s not to be happy about when you’ve got your favourite toy and the sea to paddle in?!

We walked in to Browndown and Wilson’s Mum and I were soon chatting away. I love to meet new people but I particularly like meeting new people who are so easy to chat to. We talked about our jobs, blogging, Instagram etc. The time passed by so quickly.

I loved watching Wilson scurrying after his ball (He’s fast) and finding the perfect stone to carry. I’d love a dog but working 11 hours a day with no one in the house just wouldn’t work.

Wilson

Just look at that floppy ear! Wilson and his Mum showed me some different routes around Browndown which I’d never seen before. I’m still discovering so many new parts of this area. We talked lots about running too and there were some parts of Browndown that definitely felt like they could make part of a running route! I’m always looking for new routes, particularly off road routes.

 

Wilson and I

Taken from WoofsWithWilson’s Instagram

We’d planned to be out for an hour but actually walked for 90 minutes. A nice bit of recovery after my 5 mile run the day before! Honestly time passes so easily when you’re in good company. And you know the greatest thing? I’ve been invited to join them again!

Do you own a dog?

Where’s your favourite place to walk?

Tagged

Mystery Blogger Award

Mystery Blogger Award

Thank you CeeJay for nominating me for the Mystery Blogger Award. I adore CeeJay’s blog because it was her blog that allowed me to run again. I was googling my injury symptoms and a blog post of CeeJay’s came up in that search. I read that she’d used compression socks to help with leg pain so I bought myself a pair and the rest is history.

So now a bit about “The Mystery Blogger Award”. It was created by Okoto Enigma’s Blog…in her words…”The Mystery Blogger Award is an award for amazing bloggers and their ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. they are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging, and they do it with so much love and passion.”

Rules:

1. Put the award logo/image on your blog.

2. List the rules.

3. Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.

4. Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well.

5. Tell your readers 3 things about yourself.

6. You have to nominate 10 – 20 people

7.  Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog.

8. Ask you nominees any 5 questions of your choice; with one weird or funny question (specify).

9. Share a link to your best post(s).

Here are the 5 questions CeeJay asked me:

  1. Where are you from and what is the one thing you love about living there?

Originally I’m from Sheffield in the North of England. I lived there for 32 years. Someone once said to me “When you’re bored of Sheffield, you’re bored of life” It’s true. There’s always something to do in Sheffield. It’s a huge city with plenty of shopping, museums, nightlife, gardens, parks etc.

Now I live in Lee-on-the-Solent on the South Coast of England. The one thing I love about living here? The beach. Being so close to the sea is a dream come true.

2. What do you strive for within yourself?

I try to be the best version of myself. I try to be kind and considerate of others.

3. If you were given an air ticket to anywhere in the world, where would it be to and why?

This is a tricky one because I’m not a traveller. Some people have dreams of seeing the world but I just don’t. I guess I’d maybe say Australia. No idea why, it just looks like a nice place to visit.

4. Who or what is the biggest influence in your life.

I think I’ll credit my parkrun friends with this. Not only did they welcome me in to the community when I moved here 3 years ago but they’ve also supported my return to running. They inspire me to try harder and keep going when it comes to running. They answer my annoying questions about running and never laugh at me for being a rookie.

5. What words do you live by or try to live by?

Stay close to people that feel like sunshine

A link to my best post:

I don’t know if this is my best post but this is definitely milestone post. My post about running The Whole 5K

Tagged

A Long Weekend With No Running

I’ve had a little break from running. Sadly this wasn’t quite my own choice but more health and heat related. On Friday before the long weekend my heel started to hurt. At work we have a hard tiled floor in the kitchen and I think walking on that in slippers (the one disadvantage to wearing slippers all day) has hurt my heel. I was going to get up to run on Saturday morning before my stint as RD at parkrun but my heel still hurt so I thought it best to wait.

Saturday morning as RD was very stressful. There are  knee high bollards on our course, the marshal that stands down there takes with them bollard covers. These make the bollards much higher and therefore easier to see. However on Saturday morning he rang me to say he’d forgot them. At the same time this happened I was chatting to another marshal who had failed to bring their mobile phone. Marshals are asked to bring their phone in case they need to get in contact with the RD for whatever reason. This particular marshal was meant to be at the defibrillator but can’t do that marshal point without a phone. By now most of the other marshals had left  to reach their own marshalling position. I sent him down to the bollard marshal with the bollards. Then the phone rang again. This time it was the slipway marshal telling me the slipway was closed because of the impending hovercraft landing. I asked them to speak to the health and safety guy there we have as a contact. I now had no marshal for the defibrillator but luckily, like a gift from above, my friend Claire came and asked if there were any roles spare. I sent her running to the defib! Then, luckily again, the slipway marshal called back to say it was open. Phew! Somewhere amidst all of this I saw Anna and garbled my stresses at her. She very kindly said I was managing to look calm on the outside. I didn’t feel it! Once the run got underway and I made it down to the finish funnel everything seemed to be going smoothly. That is until the timekeeper told me the timer wasn’t functioning correctly! It had missed some of the runners she had clicked. No pressure to the one remaining timekeeper still working! Thankfully everything else went ok and I had a very quiet results processing as no one else came back to the café! We’re usually a table of ten, but this day was just my husband and I.

I can definitely see the panic in this photo!

parkrun RD

Photo courtesy of Peter Stoddard

Afterwards we went back home to wait for our friends to arrive from Sheffield. They were meant to arrive at 3 but didn’t make it down here until 5.30 because of traffic.  We went to Miller and Carter for dinner which was lovely. It was a very warm evening and we were grateful to be sat by an open window, unfortunately though this did mean we could smell cigarettes almost constantly as this seemed to be where people went to smoke.

On Sunday, I woke up with a bite just above my knee but didn’t think anything of it. I went to volunteer at junior parkrun. I was timekeeper and despite doing it 37 times before, on my 38th time I was that person that messed it up. I don’t know why but I pressed A to stop/start the watch for the first 5 runners instead of B to click the runners *facepalm* Afterwards I went home and we took our friends to the Tenth Hole. It was lunch time by now so I ordered mac and cheese with bacon which was so nice and a slice of peanut butter drizzle cake.

Cake

Afterwards we went for a walk along Southsea beach. We collected pebbles/shells and had a paddle in the sea.

Southsea

It was such a hot day. We headed back to Lee-on-the-Solent and went to the beach where we chatted and cooled off in the sea.

Paddling in the sea

That evening we went for dinner at a Chinese restaurant in Chichester.

On Bank Holiday Monday I opted not to run. My heel felt much better but the heat was unbearable. We went up the Spinnaker Tower for our friends last day. For those not in the know, the Spinnaker Tower is 170 metres tall with three viewing platforms around the 100 metre mark. There were amazing views from the top. I won’t bore you with lots of pictures but here is Gosport, the Marina and views over to the Isle of Wight.

Views from Spinnaker Tower

We had pre booked afternoon tea up there too.

Afternoon Tea

The bread on the sandwiches was so soft and the scones, which aren’t pictured very well were as big as your face. It was really yummy and all washed down with unlimited tea and coffee.

That afternoon we had a walk around Gunwharf Quays afterwards. We were all so hot by this point. The temperature was 27c and unbroken sunshine. The bite on my leg that I had woken up with on Sunday morning was really starting to hurt too. We went for a coffee before bidding farewell to our friends. We popped to Tesco to pick up some bits. I nipped to the toilet and noticed the bite on my leg was very red and swollen.

I messaged a couple of friends that evening  about my bite. One works as a community nurse and the other works in A&E. Both said to draw around the bite and if it continues to spread and swell get it seen at minor injuries. On Tuesday I woke up and it was still very swollen and spreading. I went to work but by lunch time was concerned as the bite was turning purple and really hot and swollen. I was allowed out of work to go to minor injuries and get it checked out. I was taken straight in to triage to have my observations done and then continually called in and out for the next 2.5 hours whilst they decided what it was. One nurse thought it was cellulitis and that I needed admitting to hospital so they could administer IV antibiotics and the other thought it was a severe allergic reaction to the bite. In the end they opted for the allergic reaction and sent me on my way. I felt quit unwell and went to bed at 7.30 that night. Thankfully, now it’s Thursday the bite is looking a lot better. There are two puncture wounds on it which makes me think it was a spider bite but the thought is creeping me out way too much! I’ll spare you the pictures but on Tuesday it looked horrendous.

Have you ever had an allergic reaction to a bite?

How was your long weekend?

Tagged ,