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?

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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?

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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

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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?

 

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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?

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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:

 

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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?

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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?

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Longest Run to Date

On Sunday (20th May – phew, nearly caught up) I went to Breakfast Club again with Honor.

As is customary at Breakfast Club, a group photograph was taken.

Before Breakfast Club

The picture doesn’t show how hot it was. It was misty but so warm still.

The route this week was a little more inspiring as we ran along the promenade, known affectionately as Gosport’s Golden Mile. We then headed through the gate at the end of the prom and ran up to Fort Gilkicker which is currently being converted in to luxury apartments (Isn’t everything these days?)

We then ran through Gosport & Stokes Bay Golf Club and back on to the road. As we ran Honor told me a bit of history about this area which was lovely. I still sometimes feel like such a newbie down here.

We hit our half an hour but we were really close and Honor suggested that if I was happy to, she’d like to take me there to see the view of Portsmouth Harbour. Obviously I was more than happy to and so we carried on, only for a couple of minutes more to get to the sea wall.

I wish I’d taken a picture as the view was absolutely glorious. The sun was glistening off the water, there were boats here and there and we could see Fort Spitbank some way out in the water.

We turned round and headed back. When we reached the Golden Mile again I commented to Honor how we’d probably click over 4 miles this week. She said she thought it’d probably be about 4.5 miles by the time we got back. I told her that’d be my longest run ever. As we clocked over 4 miles I told Honor how I was still feeling pretty comfortable. It wasn’t until we got to 4.25 that I said I’m beginning to feel it now. We could see the finish though and I knew I’d make it.

When we got back I was so pleased. I couldn’t stop smiling as I’d just done my longest run and on the whole it felt really comfortable. 4.53 miles in 1:04:51. I’m pleased with that and now the Romsey 5 mile race feels manageable. That’s a huge relief!

After group photo:

After Breakfast Club

For breakfast I had mushrooms on toast as I’d seen Honor have this last week and it looked divine. It was so tasty! I really enjoyed it. I also had an iced latte which was perfect to cool off with after such a hot run.

What’s your longest ever run?

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Gosport Road Runners parkrun Takeover

Just over a year ago I wrote this post – My One Year Plan – On 19th May the final piece of the plan came to fruition.

We host 4 takeover a year at Lee-on-the-Solent parkrun. My favourite one has always been Gosport Road Runners takeovers and this year, as a member, I was allowed to volunteer and take part as a member.

I had volunteered to pace. This is a role I’ve never done and I know you’re probably thinking “Woah, you paced?!” but don’t worry. I was only the Run/Walk pacer. That’s probably the only one of the pacer roles I could do.

I got down to parkrun early as I was also volunteer co-ordinator. After giving the volunteers their instructions I put on my pacer vest and found my place in the pen.

I started the run with a lady who told me she’d played squash for years and it had wrecked her knees. Now she was trying to run but had never done an out door run, just running on the treadmill at the gym. She told me she couldn’t run for that long so I explained to her how the run/walk would work. After maybe 5 minutes or so she said she felt she could run a little longer than the run/walk offered so she’d run on.

I felt a bit disheartened. I was excited to be the run/walk pacer for the first time but I had no one to help! I decided to treat it as my own interval session instead. I ran a little faster than I normally would on the run sections but then walked at my normal walk pace on the walk sections.

I love this picture Chris captured of me going one way with the 30 minute pacer heading the other way.

Run Walk Pacer

As the run went on I definitely felt it. I pushed harder and by the end I was thankful to be nearing the end! So many people asked me if I was ok when they saw me walking. I guess they didn’t realise I was pacing and they’re used to seeing me running now.

As I entered the finish funnel I was definitely ready for the run to be over! Intervals on no fun on 3 miles!

Run Walk Pacer

I’d aimed to come in somewhere between 45-50 minutes as run/walk pacer. I came in with a time of 45:09. I was pleased with that.

Have you ever paced at parkrun?

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