On Saturday I got up bright and early to try and head out for a run. To be honest, I haven’t been running as much as I should because of the heat so it’d been a week since my last run. The physio had given me some stretches to try before my run, so I did these and headed out to do my prescribed 1.5 miles.
I decided when I headed out to stick to my neighbourhood streets as that way I could follow the shade whereas on the beach front there is absolutely no shade. I weaved in and out of different streets, crossing over the road lots to keep in the shade. It was actually cool in the shade but where there was no shade, it was absolutely boiling!
My run was pain free but by the end of the 1.5 miles I was glad it’s over. My running fitness has definitely declined somewhat, which is frustrating.
However, for the remainder of Saturday, although I did experience a little tightness in my calf, it was barely noticeable and certainly nowhere near as bad as it has been! Hurrah!
I’m back at the physio on Friday so I’ll see what she says then. Keep your fingers crossed for me!
On Friday morning I went out for another short run to test my calf. My calf has been feeling a lot better after doing the exercises and stretches given to me by the physio.
I headed out super early again to try and avoid the heat. I was going to do 2 miles but the heat was getting to me by 1.5 miles so I turned off and headed home at that point. Again my run was pain free, no niggles or pain. However, once home and settled, my calf tightened right up again. It’s actually pretty uncomfortable when it gets that tight.
Tried another timer selfie!
I went to my physio appointment late morning and told her how the last two times I’d run it had been pain free but was really tight afterwards. She was pretty pleased I’d been for a run that morning as she could see where it was aggravated and see if she could feel anything. First she tested the strength in my left leg to see if the imbalance had improved and she seemed suitably impressed with how much it had.
She then gave me a lovely massage on my left calf. Oh my word I nearly fell asleep! It was so warm in the room from the good weather we’re having and my eyes were getting so heavy! I just about managed to stay awake though.
Afterwards she gave me some more exercises to do, which are an extension of what I was doing before. She’s also given me some stretches to try before a run. However, she limited me to running no further than 1.5 miles, as at the moment that seems enough to aggravate it. As it eases up I’m allowed to go up by .1 of a mile. It’s going to be a pretty slow process but I’m willing to take the time and running 1.5 miles is better than not running at all.
I asked for running related questions on Instagram stories last week. Here are my favourites, along with the answers, in a little bit more detail than I answered them on Instagram.
Does beer post running rehydrate you?
No, alcohol should never be used for rehydration. However, it is jolly tasty and quite refreshing.
What got you motivated and how do you stay motivated?
When I originally started trying to run I was inspired by the 2012 Olympics. However, in 2013, I got bursitis in my foot and then when I tried running again I got a pain in my leg that would stop me running until 2015. The friends I made through parkrun inspired me to give it a go. The benefits to running keep me motivated.
What’s your favourite distance to run/race?
If we’re talking running on my own or at Breakfast Club I like a 4-5 mile run. Racing I like 10Ks, it’s doable without the crazy training of a half or full marathon. It’s better value for money than a 5K in my opinion too.
Favourite way to refuel after a run?
Breakfast, is there any other way to refuel?
How does one become parkrun famous like yourself?
This one was obviously sent as a joke. When people run with me they say it’s like running with a celebrity as I know so many people there. Then I’ve also been included in some of parkrun’s social media campaigns and emails. The way I got “famous” was through volunteering lots and lots! That way I became a recognisable face for the runners and gradually got to know people individually.
What’s your favourite way to refuel after running?
We’re all guilty of seeing our friends complete races and thinking “I’d love to run that one” I’m the same, but the reality is, I’ll probably never enter 90% of them! Here’s 5 races I’d love to run, but probably never will!
The London Marathon for a lot of runners is THE race! It’s the one we try to enter in our droves but only a few get one of the exclusive ballot places. I’d love to run it, running through the streets of our capital would be absolutely amazing. But let’s face it, I’ll never get in and I’ll also probably never run a marathon.
Round Sheffield Run
For those that don’t know, I haven’t always lived on the South Coast. I’m originally from Sheffield and the picture above is taken from the park at the end of the road I grew up on. I have so many memories from playing in the park as a child and then hanging around in it for hours on end as a teenager. This race does a huge loop of the city running through the parks and countryside. Did you know Sheffield is the greenest city in England? The race is almost a half marathon distance but oh my word the hills! Sheffield is a very hilly city too and boasts one of the steepest roads in England.
Windsor Half Marathon
I love Windsor! Such a beautiful town. I once entered this race, but then had to pull out as that’s when my 3 year injury started that stopped me running completely whilst living in Sheffield. I didn’t start again until I moved South. I love how you run up The Long Walk. I don’t think I’ve mentioned this on my blog before but I actually quite like the Royals too so this one ticks a few boxes for me.
Portsmouth Coastal Marathon
I hear such good things about the Portsmouth Coastal Marathon. But then there’s the flipside, and the flipside is probably why I’ll never sign up. Firstly, the boggy area the runners are going through in the picture? Apparently you can lose a shoe in there! And secondly, if you don’t make it back quick enough the tide comes in and that shoe you lost, will soon be very wet!
Gosport Half Marathon
Technically I’m not allowed to sign up for this race as my running club, Gosport Road Runners, host it. But it’s right on my doorstep and it’s a route I know well. However I’ll probably never sign up to it, not just because I can’t, but because I run that route all the time for free!
Do you have runs you like the look of but will never run?
Well it seems like Summer 2019 has well and truly arrived. We’ve had some glorious weather lately but this does make it difficult to run comfortably. Here’s some of the things I do to make running in the heat easier.
This seems so basic but we’re all guilty of not drinking enough water. Make sure you drink plenty before you go and run and then take water with you. If you’re carrying water you can also use it to pour over you too! After a run I like to use the Science in Sport hydration tablets in a pint of water.
This too sounds so basic but take precautions. I’m talking a hat, a UV protection t-shirt, light coloured clothes, sunglasses and of course sun cream!
Running in the heat can really take it out of you. Slowing the pace down will help you stay cooler and keep some energy so you don’t burn out too quickly. There will be plenty of other runs in cooler weather where you can push the pace.
Avoid the Heat
If I know it’s going to be a scorcher I’ll try and run as early as possible as it’s cooler in a morning. You could always run in the evening too when the sun has started to drop. I always try to run in the shade where possible too.
On Friday I was up with the lark so I could go out for an early morning run before the heat got too bad. It’s been a week since I saw the physio and she’d given me permission to try a short run on Friday. I figured a 2 mile run should be ok so headed out to the beach just before 7am.
I just wanted to do a gentle plod and not worry about pace at all. I headed out along the parkrun route. The beach was actually busier than I thought it would be at that time. I saw two other runners and a whole load of dog walkers.
I also saw a tractor head on to the beach. He was moving the shingle from one of the slipways. He kept driving right up to the waters edge and it looked like he was contemplating if the tractor would float him over to the Isle of Wight haha. Definitely cheaper than the ferry if it did make it across. I took a quick snap of him as it did look funny.
As I headed back I was pleased with how the run was going. My legs both felt fine. No tightness or the weird sensation I’d had before.
I often marvel at how people manage to get good pictures of themselves during their run. I decided to give it a go myself and I don’t think it came out too bad! I did wait though until there was no one coming either way on the beach! I’d have been embarrassed had someone caught me.
When I got home I had a bath with some Epsom salts just in case and then did my stretches from the physio. My calves did feel tight in the afternoon though and the weird sensation that I think is the tightness was back. Ho hum! I think I’ll keep on with the exercises and try another couple of gentle 2 mile runs and see how it goes.
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
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.
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.
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.
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?
On Saturday I headed down to parkrun as usual. I’ve had a terrible week and hadn’t done any exercise since last Sunday when I ran at Breakfast Club.
When I got there I had a good natter with Maria whilst we waited for the off. I was also volunteering to token sort afterwards and hoping to speak to two new potential Event Directors for an up and coming parkrun in my local area.
We set off and everything felt absolutely fine but as we got to the first turnaround point my left leg felt “weird” I don’t really know how else to describe it. It wasn’t painful but was starting to feel uncomfortable as we went further on. I slowed it down a bit, then told Maria I needed to walk. As we got back to where we started I said to Maria I thought it best I stop. It wasn’t massively painful but it definitely didn’t feel right.
We sat and had a natter whilst we waited for everyone else to finish. Despite me telling Maria she could go on without me she kindly stayed with me. As we were sat there chatting I noticed a large lump on my outer calf about 3 inches above my ankle bone! Once everyone had finished Maria left and I collected up the tokens. I met up with the other lady I was token sorting with, she had been marshalling at a part of the course I never reached. We walked up to the café together and my leg felt absolutely fine. Her husband met us at the café and we did the token sorting, along with a couple of others who came over to help, one being my lovely friend Mike. This was my 175th time volunteering at parkrun!
Obligatory token sorting picture of me holding token number one!
Once we’d finished I went over to chat to the core team. Two of them are hoping to set up another very local parkrun but are having some difficulties with one particular aspect. We chatted about the route they’ve found which sounds fantastic. They said they needed a winter route too and I offered them a 5K route I’ve run in the past that is a suitable winter course.
When I left the café my leg felt absolutely fine so I did a gentle jog home. It’s only 5 minutes from home when running. When I got back I had a bath with muscle soak and when I got out, both my legs had the same weird feeling. I *think* it’s tight muscles, although obviously I don’t definitely know. I took ibuprofen for the remainder of the day, iced it and wore my compression sleeves. I’m writing this on Sunday morning and again they both feel tight, although less so than yesterday. I’ll take ibuprofen again and then try some gentle stretches again. Fingers crossed this doesn’t develop in to anything.
Have you ever had to pull out of a parkrun?
Do you ever volunteer at parkrun? What’s your favourite role?
I feel like I’ve run in a storm in each month of 2019! The only downside to living on the coast is you get battered by winds and Saturday’s parkrun felt just like that.
I’d arranged at Zumba to run with Claire, one of my Zumba instructors. She wanted a slower run as she was starting work at 10am. I got down to parkrun early to have a natter with my friend Maria before we ran. Maria wanted to run alone to see where she was at (She finished in just over 30 minutes) so we had a good natter beforehand. By the time I’d walked down there I was already freezing from the strong winds so was glad when Maria suggested sitting in her car until nearer the time.
We got out at ten to 9 and Claire came and found me. It was so cold listening to the run brief as the winds were howling! Luckily by 9:03 we were on our way. As we ran the first section I told Claire about the Romsey 5 Mile Beer Run and she told me about a race she was doing the following day. As we turned at the first turnaround point the wind hit us like a brick wall and the grind began! Our friend Angela caught up with us and then to my surprise Mel did. Mel’s mum passed away on the Friday hence me being surprised to see her. She ran with us for a bit and told us her Mum had had a stroke on the Monday. She was really upset but appreciative that she could come to parkrun and be with friends. She told us her brother had come down to be with her, meaning he’d missed his 250th parkrun. I’ve met her brother a couple of times and went and offered my condolences after we’d finished running.
As we reached the 2nd turnaround point, Kaarina, the marshal at the turnaround point said “You’ll be really fast now with the wind behind you” Unfortunately the wind was coming straight off the sea and getting us side on rather than being behind us! It was slightly easier though.
I finished in 35:58 which I was happy with. I’m not running a lot at all at the moment so I’m glad it’s not affecting my times too much at the moment.
Janet took this picture for us and her husband said I needed to treat myself to a new smaller t-shirt! You can see the wind blowing up it and making it flap! It’s a shame once you’ve got a parkrun t-shirt you aren’t able to buy another one.
June marks the halfway point for 2019! Do you think it’s flown by or is this year taking it’s sweet time for you? I don’t really feel either way, I think 2019 is passing by nicely, but not too fast. I thought it might be nice to reflect on my year so far and see how far I’ve come.
I started January horribly ill at New Year for the 2nd year running! Meaning I missed the New Year double at parkrun and didn’t get my first run in until the 5th! I did travel to Barry Island for some tourism in January though and absolutely loved their course. I also got featured on parkrun’s social media platforms with this picture.
I also went to the Running Show which was so inspiring and met fellow blogger Mary and elite athlete Jo Pavey. January also saw me run my 50th parkrun with a time of 39:29
In February I got in a good mix of parkruns and evening runs. This is definitely something I need to get back to but I ran an evening run recently and felt absolutely horrendous. It’s really put me off! But in February I was running in wind, rain and cold temperatures! I also did my longest run of the year at 4 miles. February also saw a new parkrun PB of 37:05. Soaking wet hair in the photo below after an evening run!
March felt like the month of running in storms. The one downside to living on the coast is you get battered by winds whilst the rest of the country barely feel a breeze! I managed to score another parkrun PB in March during crazy winds of 36:18.
Check out my hair in the wind!
As well as a parkrun PB I went to Penrose parkrun in Cornwall.
March was also the month I went to my first Zumba class. I went alone, something I’d have never had the confidence to do before. I love it and I’m not afraid to admit I now have a Zumba addiction!
April didn’t contain a parkrun PB but I did run my longest run of the year, 5.2 miles. I went trail running, something I’d really enjoyed just before I became injured last year and then missed any opportunity to do it again.
April also saw parkrun tourism in Ipswich and at Moors Valley. I’m really enjoying visiting different parkrun locations.
May included a pilgrimage to Bushy parkrun, which was incredible and also a new parkrun PB of 34:41. This is my current PB. I also completed my longest distance of the year which was also my first race of the year, a 10k race. I set a great new 10K PB too of 1:13 which knocked over 24 minutes off my 10k PB.
Maria and I before the race
It’s safe to say 2019 has, so far, been a year of personal bests and great achievements. I’m so pleased with how my running is going but I definitely need to focus a little more on my running. At the minute my only consistent run is a parkrun on a Saturday. With my other exercise being a Zumba class. I want to get back to exercising 3 times a week consistently. And hopefully with that the remainder of 2019 will see me getting stronger and fitter still. This post has really inspired me to keep going as all my hard work is paying off and I want that to continue.
How’s your 2019 shaping up?
Do you find it’s good to reflect on how far you’ve come?