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?

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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?

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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.

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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?

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Introducing a Friend to parkrun

As you probably know if you’re a regular reader, parkrun means a lot to me. Obviously I talk about it to others as I’m there every weekend. If someone asks me what I’ve done at the weekend, the answer is always parkrun. To date I’ve volunteered 159 times and run 33. I always tell people they should try it if they’ve never been and someone finally agreed!

On Saturday, Maria, my spin partner, came to join me at parkrun! We arranged to meet at 8.40 so we could walk down and take her to the New Runners Briefing. However I was quite glad to attend it to as there was a change of route due to there being some works on the beach.

We got ourselves in to the starting pen and were soon setting off. I’d told Maria I’m a slow runner and if she wanted to stick with me we could walk whenever she needed to. We soon caught up with my lovely friend Mike and I was pleased Maria got to meet him as I’ve told her about him before. Maria didn’t need a walk break until after we hit the first turn around point! We had a quick walk and then were soon off running again.

As we continued to the next turnaround point (about a half mile earlier than the normal one) it was very warm and muggy. I struggle so bad in this weather. I’m definitely ready for colder weather again when it comes to running.

Because of the works on the beach we had to go past where the finish funnel would normally be. This definitely messed with my head despite the fact we’d turned around early. As we were running towards the new turnaround point I developed a pain in my groin every time my left leg went down. It wasn’t so bad that I couldn’t complete the run but it was definitely uncomfortable.

Maria did so well. She only walked 3 times and a fourth because I asked her too as I was struggling with the heat. I finished with a time of 45:18.

Finish

Afterwards we went to the café for breakfast and Maria got to meet the core team as we were all there. She commented on how friendly and encouraging everyone had been which made me feel proud. Even better though, she said she’d like to come again! Hurrah, I have made a parkrun convert.

Have you introduced anyone to parkrun?

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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!

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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