Category Archives: Life

Finally – An Update

I last updated my blog in February after I’d been to Moors Valley parkrun. I did go to one more parkrun on 15th February but I can’t remember any details from it now. In the days following that parkrun I got really ill and had to take two weeks off work and truth be told probably should have taken a 3rd week off. I thought I had a really really bad case of Sinusitis but it seemed more than that. At some point my heart was absolutely racing and I ended up booking a GP appointment as I really wasn’t right and it seemed more than Sinusitis (which I’ve had many times) The GP said I had a really nasty virus as well as the Sinusitis. I have never been as ill as I was for those few weeks before. At the time everyone was asking if I had Coronavirus and I was adamant it wasn’t but now that we have more information it could well have been. I guess I’ll never know now unless I get one of the tests. It did mean I missed the last parkrun which I was really sad about.

I’ve been on and off with work since the lockdown. I worked beyond the lockdown and then went on furlough for 3 weeks. I then went back to work for 3 weeks and then was furloughed again. It was meant to be for 3 weeks but I had a bit longer off. I can’t remember how long now, all the days/weeks seem to have rolled in to one. I’m now back at work part time on what work are calling “flexi furlough”.

I didn’t post a blog or read any blogs because I didn’t want to have to post about Coronavirus or read about it. After being so unwell and worried about how low my immune system now was, I was worried about catching Coronavirus as well and just felt really overwhelmed by the whole thing.

Apart from work I’m still very much living a lockdown lifestyle. I haven’t been in a shop at all since 2 days before we locked down. I don’t need to go so I just think why risk it. I haven’t visited any takeaways/restaurants/fast food venues since either. People have invited me out for coffee etc but I’ve just politely declined. I’m not ready yet and most people seem to be understanding which is nice.

My running/exercise as been a bit all over the place but I might save that for another update. I just wanted to get a post up explaining my absence. It’s been such a strange and worrying time. I hope you’ve all managed to stay safe and healthy.

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parkrun 28th December

This was probably the most awful parkrun I’ve run in such a long time. You know when running just feels awful? And you think “It’s finally happened, I’ve forgotten how to run”

My local parkrun is becoming so so crowded now. When we set off I got stuck behind two buggy runners running side by side. I couldn’t get round them and ended up running too slow and then I lost all rhythm.

Eventually I got round them and then was trying to find my stride again. I bumped in to two friends and thought I’d run with them for a bit, but they were running quite slow and I completely lost all momentum I had. I said bye to them and took a walk break.

I then ran/walked on and off and it just felt so hard. It was like all the Christmas food I’d eaten was sat in my feet making them hard to lift and move forward. When I did run I got a stitch and I couldn’t catch my breath so I just ran when I could and walked when I needed to.

It was the worst parkrun! I felt shocking afterwards. I finished in 39:55 which isn’t too bad considering the struggle! It was so bad I didn’t even take a picture!

Do you ever have bad running days?

Have you ever found yourself boxed in at parkrun?

The Worst Weekend

I was so excited for this weekend just gone. We’d booked a hotel so that we could do Billericay parkrun on the Saturday morning so that I could complete my unofficial Gavin & Stacey parkrun challenge. They really should make that a proper challenge!

However after arriving at the hotel on Friday afternoon I started to feel really queasy and not well. We still went ahead with going out for dinner as we had a booking and my husband still needed to eat. I ordered a bland mushroom risotto. I thought that was the blandest thing on the menu but when it arrived it was packed with garlic and I struggled to eat it without thinking I was going to bring it back. I ate very little and sat shivering and achingly cold in the boiling hot restaurant.

We went back to the hotel as soon as my husband had finished and I crawled in to bed. I watched a little of Children in Need whilst shivering under the duvet with a pounding head and the overwhelming feeling I was going to be sick. Thankfully I wasn’t, being sick is the worst thing!

I slept terribly as through the night I developed a heavy cold and get waking with a horribly dry mouth from having to breath through my mouth from having a blocked nose. I ached all over too. The alarm went off and I made the decision not to go to parkrun. I was devastated. Instead I had a couple of hours extra in bed and then we drove home.

Sunday I was supposed to be going to spectate at the Gosport Half Marathon which practically runs past my front door and which lots of my friends were running in. Sunday I was no better though and again had some extra time in bed.

I know you’re going to hate me for it, but to cheer myself up, I put up my Christmas tree and decorations. It started off badly though as my husband dropped a box of baubles and decorations. We lost about 50% of the box. Putting up the tree only took me an hour but it wiped me out for the rest of the day. It was worth it though!

What a write off of a weekend! Sorry for the moany post but I like to keep it real haha.

Christmas Tree

Do you get disappointed when your plans go awry? 

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World Mental Health Day

Today is World Mental Health Day. I am so lucky that I don’t suffer too terribly with my own Mental Health, however, I have close friends who really do.

I have days where I might feel a bit down or fed up but on the whole I’m naturally quite a bubbly happy person. I feel like because I’m naturally quite bubbly, I find it quite easy to see when I’m feeling down and that then in turn makes it easier for me to put a stop to it.

Being outside really helps me. If I’m feeling a bit low then going for a walk or run helps me feel better. It gives me a chance to think things through but also provides a good level of distraction too. I always recommend to my friends who struggle to try getting out and just see if it helps, because it helps me so much.

Music also really helps me. Listening to one of my favourite songs and having a little bop around the living room can really lift my spirits. Music means a lot to me and I find songs remind me of people and memories so having songs that link to happy memories also really helps.

How do you control your mental health?

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International Coffee Day

Today is International Coffee Day! So, I thought I’d dedicate a blog post to my favourite drink.

I love a good cup of coffee and going for a coffee with a friend is one of my favourite things to do.

Latte

Usually when I go out for a coffee I’ll order a latte. However, that’s not to say I don’t like other types! When I’m trying to be really good with eating well I’ll order an Americano, or if I fancy a bit more of a caffeine hit than a latte provides I’ll order a Flat White.

Flat White

I love to go for a coffee to see how places do coffee. Some simply use a machine but I love it when they use beans from a local company e.g. The Pump House in Gosport uses coffee from a Winchester company.

Post meal Latte

I never tire of coffee, it’s my go to drink, and as you can see I like to take pictures of it too.

Costa Coffee

My favourite High Street coffee chain is Costa coffee. I prefer their coffee and the general feel of them. However, in September, I do switch allegiance to Starbucks due to the mighty Pumpkin Spiced Latte.

Starbucks Caramel Frappucino

Lets not forget that coffee doesn’t just come served hot! I love an iced coffee and don’t just reserve these for the Summer. Starbucks definitely serve the best choice of iced coffees.

Starbucks Toffee Nut Latte

Do you like coffee?

What’s your favourite type of coffee?

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A Jolly Lovely Friday

Most of my blog posts are about my workouts or runs. My blog is almost a diary of them, however, I wanted to document a lovely day I had, just for the memories really.

I don’t work Fridays so I got up early and completed two of the Transform:20 workouts from the Beachbody subscription I have. If you’ve not heard of Beachbody, I did a post about it HERE

Afterwards I went and got ready because I was going out for breakfast with Nicky, a friend from work and her partner Kieran. It was Nicky’s Birthday the following day so I took along her present with me. She’s a big Panda bear fan so I bought her a soft and cosy blanket covered in Pandas!

We went for breakfast at The Tenth Hole, which is a tea room in Southsea. Despite weighing up the options for breakfast, we all decided to order the Billy’s Breakfast Burger.

Breakfast

Afterwards I had a slice of the Mint Aero cheesecake…but actually forgot to take a picture! Oops! I also took home a slice of Red Velvet Rocky Road for the Husband and I to have that evening. It was lovely just being in good company and having a natter about anything and everything.

After the dropped me off home I met up with Maria and we went and grabbed a coffee at Leon’s on the seafront. However, there was a plague of Cabbage Flea Beetles. They were everywhere jumping all over the table and us so we decided to move on and go for a walk. The bugs weren’t as bad walking along at least but they were definitely still a pain. We actually ended up walking about 4 miles as we chatted and caught up on life.

I got back home around 5pm, still full from breakfast and worn out! It was a really lovely day though with incredible company.

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parkrun and More Flat Hunting

I tell lots of people about parkrun. Usually it’s work colleagues who are intrigued by me going every week. Quite often they say “Oh I’d like to do something like that, I can’t run though” to which I always reply “You can walk it if you want, if you ever fancy going, I’d be happy to walk it with you” I never nag them to come to parkrun, I never force them to say yes just to shut me up. Lots of people have said they’ll come to parkrun, they register, chat about it, make all the arrangements to come and then Saturday morning they text with whatever their reason not to come is.

You can see where this is leading, on Saturday 17th August, a work colleague was supposed to be joining me. Again, I didn’t nag them or force them, in fact, they asked me. Anyway Saturday morning my phone beeped with the text that, to be honest, I was expecting. I was a bit annoyed though as the day before I’d run 2 miles non stop as our plan was to walk with maybe a little bit of running on the Saturday. Now I would have to still run walk to as not to aggravate my injury but if I’d have known they were going to pull out, I wouldn’t have run on the Friday.

Anyway, I set off with the plan on running for 3 minutes and walking for 1 minute. It felt so hard. I haven’t been running as much as I should lately and I had been for a run the day before. It was breezy yet muggy. Surprisingly though, even though it felt difficult my splits weren’t actually that different. I felt like I was getting progressively slower, yet miles 2 and 3 were exactly the same.

Mile 1: 12:12min/mile
Mile 2: 12:27min/mile
Mile 3: 12:27min/mile

Maria had waited for me and ran the last bit with me. She actually commented on how fast my sprint finish was! Watch out Bolt! haha

parkrun selfie

My mum was coming down at some point on Saturday morning to go and view more flats. We didn’t know what time she’d get here. When I got in from parkrun I grabbed breakfast then went for a bath. I commented to my husband “I can guarantee I’ll get in the bath and she’ll arrive” Just as I got in the bath the doorbell rang!

We went to view 3 flats all in Gosport. Each flat got progressively better and I think she’s found the one! We went to look round the last flat and to help her get her bearings I took her the very short walk to Gosport waterfront which looks out over Portsmouth Harbour. She was pretty impressed by the view, and in the picture below, you can see why.

Portsmouth Harbour

That evening my husband and I had dinner booked at the café we use after parkrun. We booked it way back in March as they sell it so quickly and I couldn’t remember for the life of me which options I’d selected from the menu. So, each course was a nice surprise. I had garlic mushrooms on a crisp bread, vegetable lasagne with a side of seasonal vegetables and orange sponge cake with orange sauce and custard. It was absolutely delicious but the pair of us left feeling stuffed! We enjoyed it so much though we booked straight on to the next available one…April 2020!

Do people ever let you down over parkrun?

Have you ever had to book so far in advance to eat somewhere?

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Calf Injury Update Part Two…

If you’re not familiar with my calf injury then you can read my previous post about it >here<

On Friday I went back to the physio to update her on how my leg has been. It’s improved so much. No pain whilst running and no tightness of my calf the next day. I’ve continually done the exercises and stretches she set me.

So I was very pleased when on Friday she said I could begin to build up my running again. She suggested going up 10% after doing two pain free runs.

She also said I can go back to Zumba, which I was very pleased about, but suggested I find a way to spread my workouts out through the week rather than having them all clumped together at the end of the week and weekend.

I still have to continue my exercises and stretches but I can ease them off to every other day now rather than daily. I’m really pleased to get going again but equally anxious that it’ll flare up again once I start running again. Wish me luck!

Why I Find Weight Loss Easier in the Winter 🥶

I had a good chat with a friend this week about weight loss. She’s followed the Slimming World plan in the past and is now trying calorie counting. She said she finds it easier to lose weight in the Summer but I actually feel like I’m the other way round.

In Winter I tend to make lots of soups, chillies, casseroles and curries. I make them from scratch and cook them up in the slow cooker. I use them for meals and my lunches at work. These type of foods are my absolute favourite. I know some people go in to a hibernation mode in the Winter but these meals don’t have to be bad if they’re made from scratch. I usually make them chicken, quorn chicken or very lean beef based. Scrumptious, filling and easy on the calories! Perfect! However in the Summer I don’t want to cook as it’s so hot. And despite having healthy food in the house, I find myself making poor food choices.

I also find exercise a lot easier in the Winter. I don’t cope well in the heat and so I’m much more inclined to exercise when the weather is cooler. My exercise is actually pretty regimented in the Winter but in the Summer it tends to fall apart a little as I find every excuse under the sun (pardon the pun) not to exercise.

I’m just definitely a Winter person, this may come from being a January baby but I’m’ never happier than when it’s Winter!

Do you have a favourite season for food?

Do you prefer winter meals or summer meals?

My Go To Running Kit

We all have our favourite bits of running kit so I thought I’d do a post about some of the things I can not run without.

parkrun barcode band

parkrun barcode band

On every run I wear my parkrun wristband. As you can see in the picture it has your ICE (In case of emergency) details on as well as any allergy information. Whilst I don’t have any allergies, I wear my band just in case anything should happen. At least that way if someone found me, they’d be able to contact my husband.

Flipbelt

FlipBelt

I also always wear my FlipBelt which I bought at the National Running Show earlier this year. I chose the reflective design to give me that extra bit of “being seen” on dark night/morning runs. I honestly don’t even notice I’m wearing it. I put in my phone, as well as my keys on to the key loop which gives me extra security.

Goodr Sunglasses

Beer

These have been an absolute godsend! I know they seem to be a bit of a craze at the moment and everyone has a pair but they’re really that good. They have a special coating on the frames which prevents them from slipping. At first I was dubious, I sweat a lot, I thought they were bound to slip. I was pleasantly surprised to find they don’t budge.

Hoka Trainers

Hoka Trainers

I only run in Hokas. They’re my go to trainer brand. The soles are like pillows. They give amazing cushioning and support. I know some people don’t like them, but I love them!

Do you have go to running items?

Do you tend to stick to the same brand of trainers?

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