I’m about a month behind on updates about how my running is going! Oops! Hopefully over the Christmas break I’ll manage to get caught up.
On 27th November Maria and I went back to the spin class we used to attend at the gym. We haven’t been to a spin class since I got my injury on 9th June. We were looking forward to getting back to it. I’d left it so long after my return to running because I wanted to be so so sure that everything was ok.
Obviously we take our class very seriously, and before it began, we took selfies with filters. We were pretty pumped to find out the class was our favourite one. We do Virtual Spin, which basically means they play a video. It’s a bit like doing a DVD at home, except you’re in a spin studio.
We really enjoyed the class and both left absolutely buzzing. Completing a spin class gives me that high feeling. I’ve yet to experience that from running! To quote one of my favourite movie characters, Elle Woods…
However, the next couple of days, as well as the saddle soreness you experience from a spin class I could also feel my injury. Don’t get me wrong, it was nothing like as painful as it had been. In fact it wasn’t so much painful, but really uncomfortable. Which makes me wonder, was it a running injury after all? Perhaps it actually came from a spin class and running the parkrun that morning just upset it further? Perhaps that’s why when the physio asked me what I did to cause it, I didn’t know the answer. I didn’t do anything, I was just plodding along.
That uncomfortable feeling lasted a good couple of days. As a result, I haven’t been back to a spin class again. My running is going so well at the minute I just don’t want to risk aggravating the injury again by continuing to spin. I’m pretty disappointed though because I do love the spin classes.
Have you had to give up something you enjoy for health reasons?
I’m really struggling with my running at the minute. I seemed to come on in leaps and bounds and now it just feels really difficult all of the time and with that my motivation is waning.
Since my last post I’ve run 3 times. 3 times in 13 days. Not good. One of those runs was only because I realised it’s 6 weeks until my first 5 mile race and I’ve yet to run 5 miles! I need a good kick up the butt. I need to work on my nutrition too as this will make running a bit easier too.
So, since the 9th April when I ran my new 5k PB I’ve run one parkrun, it was horrendous. I set off too quick which meant after mile 1 I felt dire, it hurt and I couldn’t even keep up with the run 1 minute/walk 1 minute pacer. This didn’t help my motivation.
I then ran at club. I did the three mile slow and steady run. I tried to learn from my mistake at parkrun and stuck to the back with a lady I know runs around 15 minute miles. This then felt too slow, it was painful. I can’t win!
I then ran yesterday. I said I would as I thought I’d feel pumped. As it happens I had a stomach like a washing machine all day. Nothing came of it though so I forced myself out for two miles. It was crap, it hurt and I got lost. Google maps saved the day though.
I’ve also had to miss spin classes due to going to Wales and work commitments.
It’s not all doom and gloom though. In none running related news I went to Wales. After only recently discovering Gavin & Stacey, the TV show, we went to Barry Island and went to some of the locations from the show.
I’ve also been out for dinner with the legend that is Anna and her friend Mike to Casa Brasil. Anna was still on a high from running a PB at Brighton which I loved hearing about. I’ve also been to Sprinkles with my spin partner/colleague Maria after a night out turned disastrous. That brings us up to last night.
Today I didn’t have my day off as usual but I did manage to get to a spin class and bashed out a new PB on distance of 14.4 miles. Before my PB was 13.3 miles so that’s made me feel good. The class was so quiet too, only 6 of us. I guess the New Year resolutions are well out of the window now.
Tomorrow we’re going out for dinner for a friend’s Birthday which is great but it means I miss another run at club *sigh* I am, however, off work on Thursday morning so will try and squeeze in a run in the morning.
It feels like way more than a week since I did my catch up post! But I already feel like it’s time for another.
Last week after parkrun I bought the kit home as I was to be the RD the following week.
On Easter Sunday I went to spin class with Maria, my spin partner in crime, and work colleague. We go to Virtual spin and it was my favourite one, RPM 75. There’s one section of it that I absolutely love. So much so that I’ve downloaded the track that goes with that section.
As this week was Easter I got another day off in the week as my usual day off is a Monday but obviously it was the Bank Holiday so I was given a Wednesday as my day off. This was great as it meant I could prep the kit for parkrun mid week and get it all done in the day rather than charging it over 3 or 4 evenings. However I had to go in to work for a meeting at 6pm and I always feel like I’m clock watching when that’s the case.
I also wanted to get a run in on Wednesday but it threw it down. It looked like it was stopping so I quickly went and put on my running kit only to come back downstairs and find it had started throwing it down again so I, begrudgingly, did a run on the treadmill. I did a 2 mile run and it was just awful. Running on a treadmill is now so hard! Before it was my comfort blanket. Now I literally hate it. I’m definitely converted to an outdoor runner. Just not in heavy rain!
Thursday was spin class again. Unfortunately the bike I used seemed to have a faulty speedometer and it only recorded 10 miles. I always do around 13! Frustrating but nothing I can really do.
On Saturday I was RD at parkrun. I had all the kit prepared and got there nice and early to set up. I was about to announce the new runners briefing and asked someone to turn the PA system on. They tried but it wasn’t working. It’d switch on for a second then fade out. We’ve had a couple of problems with the PA system and it looked like today was going to be another problem. Well, good job I’m loud! I shouted that the new runners brief was starting and when that was over I shouted the whole run brief to 350 people and was heard! Yep, I’m that loud. Thankfully the rest of the run and the uploading of the results went off without a hitch.
Hollering the Run Brief
Sunday I was tail walker at junior parkrun. As I’ve completely lost my mojo I thought this would be a way to get me out and running. As it happens I ended up walking the whole thing! It was actually really nice though as I walked with a fellow RD’s daughter who I presented with her half marathon wristband in this post. She was just so sweet chatting away. We talked about her pets, her running, her dad’s running, her school friend, foxes honestly the list goes on.
Sunday afternoon I was back at spin class and somehow I managed to get on the same faulty bike again! What a nightmare. It recorded only 8 miles this time despite my watch telling me I’d actually burnt more calories than usual. I felt like I’d worked really hard too so it’s a shame I don’t know how far I really went. A lot of the time the speedometer was telling me I was doing 1mph when I obviously wasn’t so I let the receptionist know that the bike is faulty.
That brings us to Monday. I finally got outside and went for a run. The weather was so rainy but I waited it out and managed to get out when it was just spitting/drizzling. I ran part of the parkrun course and then ran from there to Hillhead beach. It was really quiet out because of the weather. Although I did see some people and it’s funny what people say. I passed a lady for the second time and she said “Ooo you’ve gone far” I didn’t really know what to say so I just did an awkward laugh. I then passed two elderly gentlemen and one said “You go for it girl” ha I said thanks and jogged on. Bless them, they did make me smile though. Somehow I managed to get a new 5K PB! Amazing what being well rested and well hydrated can do! I’m now at 42:13. Ever closer to 40 minutes! Now I just need to try and replicate it at parkrun!
Tuesday last week saw me back at my running club and joining in with the beginners group. If you missed my post about Week One just click –>here<–
Last week I made it in to Group Two but decided to go in to Group Three and stick with my friend Rachel who is leading that group. Rachel and Jo, the other person leading the group, took us outside and we did some warm up exercises. (I’ve since incorporated these in to my other runs) then we took a brisk walk to where we jogged round the block in Week 1.
We then started intervals of run 1 minute and walk 90 seconds. We looped round the block whilst we carried out 8 intervals of each. It was good, but if I’m honest a little easy. Because it was easier though it allowed me to chat to some of the ladies in our group. I got to know a bit about some of them and encouraged one lady to try parkrun. She said she didn’t think she could because she couldn’t complete the distance but I explained to her that you can walk it and that there’s also a run/walk pacer every week at out local parkrun. She was actually there on Saturday and completed the course in just under 48 minutes with the run/walk pacer! How awesome is that?! I hope she went home with a feeling of achievement.
At the end of the session the group were given homework to do the intervals two more times before we go back. They were all given a slip of paper with the timings on but I wasn’t! So I can slack off right? Haha not true!
I actually went out for a run the next day after work. I really didn’t want to as my back was aching from being at work all day but I knew I’d struggle to fit in another run during the week. I went out though and nail a 2.5 mile run. I actually really enjoyed it!
The next night I went spinning. We’d taken two weeks off for various reasons and oh my word it was hard, plus my legs felt tired from running the day before. However on the standing hill climbs I felt really strong, like I was running on the pedals and really getting some speed up. I was surprised to see at the end that I had gone 13.3 miles which is the furthest I’ve ever done in a class. In my first class I only went 9 miles!
So that’s last week rounded up for you. I went to parkrun on Saturday too but I’ll leave that for another post.
I started this post thinking I’ll do a typical week but actually this ended up being a not so typical week with a work meeting and my Birthday.
Monday 8th January: Monday is my day off from work. I’m usually up relatively early. Today I made us a chilli in the slow cooker. I put it on at about half past 9 ready to eat at about half past 8. I often eat late because of the hours I work. Today there’s a meeting at work I have to go in for. I leave the house at 5.30 and the meeting is 6-8pm, meaning I get back at 8.30pm. I also went for a run today which you can read about here: My First Outdoor Solo Run
Tuesday 9th January: I get up at 5.50am as I start work at twenty past 7 meaning I leave the house at around 6:40am to make sure I’m there in time if I hit any traffic. It’s a busy day at work and people have phoned in sick which always makes it harder. I finish at 6, as always I finish work with back ache (from lifting and being on my feet all day) and a head ache from not drinking enough. It’s home, cook tea and bed.
Wednesday 10th January: It’s the same routine of up at 5.50am. After work tonight I want to go for a run but don’t yet have anything hi-viz or lights to make me visible whilst running in the dark. Instead I run on the treadmill. I try a new technique (I know, again!) I slow down the pace I run at and try to run as much as I can and walk when I need to. I cover two miles in 29.40. I’m pleased with that as I’m not used to running in the week after work when I’m exhausted. I’ve also got an Apple watch now, it’s meant to be for my Birthday but I’ve been given it early.
Thursday 11th January: OK so same routine of work. Tonight it is Virtual RPM at my gym with my work colleague Maria. We get there pretty early and walk on the treadmill to warm up a little and have a natter. You can’t chat in spin class. If you’re chatting, you’re not working hard enough! I find the spin class a little harder than usual. Possibly down to the run the night before? I still cover 12.2 miles. Maria covers a whopping 12.9! When I first started spin classes I was only covering 9-10 miles so I’m pretty pleased with the increase.
Friday 12th January: It’s finally Friday. I’m always pretty tired by the time the end of the week rolls round. Same routine of up and going to work. Then Friday night is rest night. I’m in bed by 9pm for tomorrow it’s parkrun day. I like to go to bed early on a Friday night as, although I’m not having a lie in due to parkrun, I’m still getting a bit of extra sleep.
Saturday 13th January: Happy Birthday to me! I’m up early to go to parkrun and follow my usual schedule of a small cup of coffee (Don’t want to be desperate for the toilet halfway through the run – although our parkrun has 3 lots of toilets on the course!) and a Belvita breakfast bar. A parkrun friend told me they have a Belvita as they contain 4 hours of carbohydrates (I think?) so they’re ideal to help you with a run. I’ll leave the tale of my Birthday parkrun for another post I have planned. Below is a picture of me after parkrun.
Afterwards we go home and shower. I feel like my Birthday has crept up on me as it doesn’t feel like two seconds since Christmas. Therefore I haven’t planned anything to do on my Birthday. I decide on a look around the shops in Southampton will do. Whilst there I buy a couple of things and we go for a Sprinkles. We get home mid afternoon where I have my choice over the TV (for once) and then we go to a Chinese restaurant in Chichester which is really lovely.
Sunday 14th January: This morning it’s up early again, as I’m volunteering at Stokes Bay junior parkrun. This week I am the volunteer coordinator (I tell all the marshals where they need to stand and give them their lanyards with safety information on) and then I am the Timekeeper. When it’s finished we pack up the kit in to the cars and everyone makes a swift exit as the team are off to Stubbington 10K, a very local race. I go home and grab my bike then cycle to the closest point the race comes to where I live. I spot lots of friends from parkrun and team mates from Gosport Road Runners. After the race has ended we cycle home. I’m booked on to Sunday spin but I decide to cancel it as I’ve cycled for over half an hour going to and from the race. The rest of the day is spent relaxing and preparing for work the next day. I don’t normally work Mondays but this week coming I am as I’m off on the Friday instead.
So that is what a semi-typical week looks like for me. Work takes up a massive chunk of my time with me working 11 hour days so it takes effort to fit in other things as work does tire me out physically and mentally.
Apologies that this post is a little late. I’ve kind of being feeling a little burnt out when it comes to blogging. I’ve had no inspiration or motivation but this post should really write itself so lets see how it goes.
I started off November in Brazil, or more specifically Rio De Janeiro. If you want to read my post about it, it’s here: My Holiday to Rio De Janeiro, Brazil Below is a picture I didn’t share on the post, but did on Instagram. This is taken at the top of Sugar Loaf Mountain. There was a huge wall covered in this graffiti. I know sometimes graffiti can be menace and look unsightly but when it’s done like this, it’s marvellous.
When we got back from Brazil my husband and I received our iPhone X’s. My old iPhone 6 plus had been running slower than an old dog so I was glad to be able to upgrade. I’ve enjoyed playing with the portrait feature on the camera. I like how it blurs the background on pictures.
I also went to lots of parkruns and still tried (unsuccessfully) to break the 45 minute 5K. Getting closer though!
Staying on the fitness note, I’m still really enjoying the spin classes at the gym. The calorie burn is epic and I come out of the class buzzing. I’ve started going twice a week now.
A funny moment that occurred at Stokes Bay junior parkrun in November was a lost dog. One of the rules of junior parkrun is that dogs aren’t allowed on the course, unlike the adult parkrun where you can run with a dog. We spotted a dog running loose and at first assumed it was with one of the spectators but we soon realised it wasn’t. Our wonderful team rallied together and caught the dog and hooked him up to a makeshift lead! Luckily he was wearing a collar with his owners phone number on so we made contact. As I was RD I was left holding the dog whilst the rest of our team returned to their volunteer roles. His owner soon arrived and was very thankful. Apparently he’d come quite a way and crossed over a busy road! Thank goodness he wasn’t hurt!
The core team of volunteers at Lee-on-the-Solent parkrun had a team night out in November. We went to a Chinese buffet in Fareham. The only problem was they sat us on a super long table so it was difficult to talk to people more than a couple of seats away from you. They’d seated another large group on a round table which looked a much better way to chat but we couldn’t have got a “down-the-table-selfie” as easily had we of been sat there.
I think that pretty much sums up my November. I managed to get a few blog posts out before I burned out too, in case you missed any, they’re listed below:
October felt like the month of illness. I had a cold and bad throat then started to get better, had the flu jab and got worse all over again!
October started with a visit to Sprinkles in Southampton and as a result, another ride on the Southampton Wheel! We went on it just as the sun was setting so it made for some lovely photographs.
October 7th was parkruns 13th Birthday. They’d asked people to post photographs of them in their apricot t-shirts so they could try and get a picture of every parkrun location. So here is me and my parkrun family celebrating parkruns 13th Birthday and also Kieran’s 50th parkrun and 25th time volunteering! Also worth mentioning we didn’t know the lady with the dog, we just grabbed her for a photo because she was wearing an apricot t-shirt! I think she thought we were a bit crazy!
I’ve been enjoying my spin classes at the gym I’ve joined. It’s such a good workout and really makes me sweat. I took a picture of the screen at the end of the class. Just look at that calorie burn!
The famous wave pattern on the pavement at Copacabana Beach
In October I worked really hard to have a blog post every other day to take me in to November so I didn’t have to worry about blogging whilst I was away. If you didn’t see one, or want to revisit a post, they’re listed below and all open in a new window:
At work we get a 50% discount off a membership at the local gym. So for £20 a month I get a membership to a gym with plenty of classes and a swimming pool.
I’ve been a few times now and so far I’m enjoying it. I’ve been using the elliptical trainer as this mimics running, without causing my Achilles injury any further stress. I’m working on building up my time on there. I’ve also been using the treadmill, rower and cross trainer (although this is quite similar to the elliptical)
I’ve also attended a couple of classes. I’ve been to Spin which was great. I used to enjoy spin classes when I was a member of a gym before. The class was in a semi dark room with disco lights, great music and an instructor who gave clear instructions on what we were doing and what was coming up. Previously I always hated the climb sections of spin classes where you’re up and out of the saddle. However, this time these were my favourite part. The class was 45 minutes. My Garmin told me I’d burnt 364 calories. I’m pretty sure I lost a lot of water through sweating!
The other class I tried was CX Worx. I was convinced to go by a work colleague and I really struggled with the class. I just don’t have the core strength to do some of the exercises. Also the class was only half an hour so it felt a little rushed. My friend said she didn’t feel enough instructions were given by the instructor but I didn’t really notice this being a problem. I burnt 200 calories in the half an hour.
I’ll definitely be going back to Spin, in fact I’ve booked myself in for Virtual spin this week to see what that’s like.
I’m hoping by getting stronger in a variety of ways it’ll all work together to help me become a stronger, fitter runner too. And hopefully mean my Achilles injury will go away! Fingers crossed! It seems to be getting better. In this post I said I was going to try a run and see how it goes. I did 15 minutes run/walk on the treadmill and it went quite well. I could feel my Achilles, but it wasn’t super painful, just a little uncomfortable like it has been before. Again, once I stopped, the feeling stopped and it’s not been made worse from trying a run so that’s a good sign too!
Hopefully enjoying the gym will be permanent and not just there until the novelty wears off!