I’ve slipped a little with my blog posts again! Following on from my parkrun PB on 17th November, the following day I went for a run with Claire. We were meant to go to Breakfast Club but as it was the morning of the Gosport Half Marathon (which meant road closures between home and Breakfast Club) we decided to keep it local.
We met up at the end of my road and agreed we’d keep it to 30 minutes out and back just like a Breakfast Club. We set off towards Hill Head and ran along the prom. We ran all the way until the point where the prom runs out and then turned around. On the way back as we passed the toilet block we did some hill reps on the slopes that go from the toilets to the upper level pavement.
We then headed to Browndown where Claire then had me run up and down the stairs. As we began running again afterwards my hamstring on my left leg started to hurt. I think I probably strided out too far on the hill reps maybe.
We headed for home after this which made the run up to just over 4 miles. I was slower than the previous day but that was to be expected after getting a PB. Once I got in I had a quick shower and headed out to spectate at the Gosport Half Marathon.
The good thing about spectating at the Gosport Half Marathon is that you can see your runners multiple times due to the layout of the course and the fact it’s two laps. It’s a strange one though if you’re a runner. It’s along the seafront in November so windy and cold. It’s two laps, some people find laps soul destroying. And finally, if I were running it, I’d practically run past my house twice whilst, I imagine, in a world of pain! I’d probably just want to go home!
Anyway I stood with two friends from Gosport Road Runners and had a natter with them whilst cheering people on. I only took one picture as I didn’t want to miss any of my runners.
I was a bit gutted to miss Anna on her final fly by as I was still watching runners come the other way! Still I think I managed to see most people 4 times which is good and not something that can be done at all marathons.
Since getting back from my holiday to Brazil my running was going really well.
At the weekend, before last, I’d run/walked Lee-on-the-Solent parkrun. I started with run 1 minute and walk 1 minute as there was a pacer (my lovely friend Rachel) but as I got to the first turnaround point I was struggling to keep up. It was perhaps a touch too far from the 30 seconds run/1 minute walk. I dropped back to my usual and completed the course that way in a time of 45:47, only 22 seconds off my PB.
On Tuesday I went to Gosport Road Runners and joined my lovely friend Rachel again who was leading the run/walk group. We did 1 minute run and 1 minute walk at a slightly slower pace than parkrun. I kept up and we completed 2.7 miles. I was really pleased and enjoyed the chatty sociable run. I met a couple of people I’d never met before including a chap named Sid who has been a member of Gosport Road Runners for over 30 years. He was a funny guy who had me laughing all the way round and took my mind off the run. Beforehand I had been apprehensive about going as it was after work. I work long hours, I never seem to drink enough and there isn’t the opportunity to have a snack before heading out. Everything that could make a run disastrous. But I did it, and now I know I can do it again!
On Thursday I went to Virtual Spin at the gym with Maria from work. It was a different video to the ones we had done before and there were a couple of sections that were killer! It was good though. I always leave spin feeling like I’ve had a really good workout.
On Saturday I was the Run Director at parkrun. It all went really smoothly with no real incidents so I enjoyed it a lot. That afternoon I did my run. It had been so cold on the seafront and so windy I decided to do 5K on the treadmill. The run went fine. I did 1 minute run and 1 minute walk and it felt fine and at one point I felt really strong and like running was finally clicking in to place. After my run I stretched and then when I removed my trainers I got the dreaded achilles pain I got in August except this time in my right foot instead of my left.
I’m hoping it doesn’t leave me out of action for 4 weeks like last time! I participated in ukrunchat (@ukrunchat on Twitter) on Sunday night and got some sound advice about how to help it so I’ll be doing those exercises and stretches daily to try and help it. I’m gutted to be honest. How am I ever going to make it to ten miles at the Great South Run if I just keep breaking?!
Yesterday was a busy day. We had junior parkrun in the morning then headed straight back to Lee-on-the-Solent to spectate at the Gosport Half Marathon. We had to go such a topsy turvy way due to the road closures, I’m glad Maggie was driving and not me!
The Gosport Half Marathon is always such a good race put on by Gosport Road Runners. I felt like I didn’t know as many people this year, probably because members of GRR aren’t allowed to run the race and that’s where most of my friends are. The beauty of this race is you can manage to spot people 4 times as they do two loops. I saw friends from parkrun, parents from work and Anna.
I came home feeling disheartened. Usually after watching a race I feel motivated and looking forward to my next run but my achilles has just left me feeling low and wondering if this running lark is actually good for you after all!
Please tell me it’s not just me that thinks November has passed in the blink of an eye? And now here we are approaching December and Christmas at break neck speed!! So, before November completely disappears here’s what I got up to.
Christmas cups arrived at Costa! I love these, the Christmas cups are designed to look like Christmas jumpers. It’s like your cup has a Christmas jumper on to keep your coffee/hot chocolate warm. So far I’ve tried the Toasted Marshmallow Hot Chocolate and the Mint Hot Chocolate. Has to be said both taste divine. I’ve not actually tried any of the coffees yet but believe me, it won’t be long!
On November 5th I went to a baby shower. I’ve never been to a baby shower before but it was so much fun. It was all planned for them by another good friend and she did fun games, a quiz and arranged a stunning venue which is where this picture was taken. We went to The Vintage Tea Room in Fareham. I’d never been there before and it was so lovely. We had sandwiches, scones with cream and jam, then the most delicious slices of cake. I’d definitely visit again.
I went in to Southampton and did some shopping in November. I went to John Lewis in West Quay to look at the Buster’s Garden range and bought these two cuties. Well you all know I have an obsession with foxes. There’s more about these guys coming in my Christmas Haul posts. They start on December 1st so be sure to check them out.
It wouldn’t be my blog or a monthly roundup with out a picture of the Solent now would it? I still sometimes look at this view literally a two minute walk from my front door and think “Wow, I live here!” It still doesn’t feel real sometimes but here we are heading towards our second Christmas here.
Finally, whilst visiting a local garden centre they had reindeer! They were so lovely and you were able to stroke them and hand feed them. Naturally I had a go at feeding one. It felt very magical to be hand feeding one of Santa’s Reindeer 😉
My November in blog posts:
If you missed any of my blog posts in November here they are for you:
Firstly I want to start this post with a big thank you to my parkrun family. When I messaged you all I only expected one or two to answer but actually so many of you answered. I’m absolutely overwhelmed by you all wanting to help out. So Thank You and on with the blog post.
On Sunday I marshalled at the Gosport Half Marathon. I was stationed in Lee-on-Solent where I live so it was really easy for me to walk to my marshalling point.
I had such a good morning. Where I was stood was mile 2, but as this was a two lap course it then became mile 6-7 meaning I got to cheer on my parkrun family and all the other runners not once but twice. In fact I got to cheer some on three times as where I was the runners then ran on, looped back and passed again behind us before starting their second loop and I was able to nip there before the front runners came back on their second loop.
The race was won by Jonathon Roberts of Southampton AC in a time of 1:09:40 which was a new course record! The female winner was Ellie Monks from Southampton in a time of 1:21:36. Given the weather these times are awesome!
Storm Angus blew through Gosport on Saturday night with really heavy rain and winds of 45mph so there was talk of the race being cancelled. However the weather fairy must have been smiling down as the rain stopped in plenty of time and the winds died down as each hour passed by.
The finishers bags are also pretty good. They included a Twix, Go Crispy slices, Capri Sun, bag of crisps, a banana, homemade cake, a voucher for 15% off at Absolute Running in Gosport and a material bag with the Gosport Half Marathon logo on.
There was also a Gosport Half Fun Run which was 1.2km.
Have you ever thought of running the Gosport Half Marathon? Here’s what some of the runners told me about the race.
Victoria W finished in 2:17:59
Had an amazing run at Gosport Half today. No PB however it was tough with that wind. With my mini supporters on route ready with free high fives and all the other supporters and marshals it made the run more enjoyable and just about doable. The views amazing once again, very lucky to have an amazing fantastic race on our door step very well organised. Cant say no to it 4th Gosport Half completed and sure I’ll be back again in 2017.
Jade L finished in 2:06:03
Gosport Half has the most amazing atmosphere. The support from the volunteers and the local community was incredible and helped me break my target goal
Louise T finished in 2:09:58
I loved the race today – despite the wind I had a fantastic time. Route was lovely and support was incredible the whole way round.
Louise on the left
Lara B finished in 2:17:59
My second year at the Gosport Half Marathon and once again a brilliant event with fantastic marshals and support from the locals. Conditions were a little challenging this year but still didn’t stop us all enjoying a fab run! Thanks to everyone who turned up today and cheered us on
Victoria on the left Lara on the right
Penny N finished in 2:36:04
A well organised race that was just like a giant park run with lots of the usual park run marshals encouraging us around.
Amy W finished in 2:17:31
Gosport Half was very well organised by Gosport Road Runners and the local community. If it wasn’t for the road runners I probably would not of got my PB today.
There was no need for headphones as the samba band was brilliant and people playing music from their cars from Lee beach front
The goodie bag was pretty good and was so glad about the cake after battling the wind. Loved every minute of it.
Paul A finished in 1:42:32
Gosport Half Marathon is a “must do” local race for me, even from being a visitor to the area and not a local! Today the wind made it a challenge but fabulous encouragement from the numerous marshals, friends and family certainly helped. The 2 laps and seeing runners coming the other way allows lots of waves and hellos with running friends too. I even managed a high 5 with my son and LOTS parkrun mini marshal Pearson, before he chased me and photo-bombed me Plentiful water stations and entertainment help quick times on a mostly fast flat course, lean into the wind 1 way then float and be pushed the other. Personally a sore knee and calf meant I slowed over the last 3 or 4 miles so I can’t complain with a 1hr 42m time (although I do!)
Louise B finished in 2:29:53
I had a brilliant run at the Gosport Half Marathon, mostly thanks to everybody, both marshals and spectators, who stood out in some challenging conditions to ensure that us runners were properly motivated to get our arses around the course! As a result I took 20 minutes off my previous HM time and am still smiling the day after
So there you have it, if you’re looking for a half marathon somewhere in the South you really can’t go wrong with the Gosport Half.
There’s a race review coming up from one of the runners too. Look out for it!