Tag Archives: walking

My first race in 3 years

On 12th September I ran my first race in 3 years. This should have been my graduation from the Gosport Road Runners beginners group but due to injuring my Achilles I never completed it. However, because it was better, and because my lovely friend Eileen offered me her place, I decided to run. I was running the Absolute Running Summer Series 5K. This was the fifth and last race in the series.

Thank you Eileen for the photo

Before I begin, let me tell you about Eileen who gifted me her place. You might have seen her featured on parkrun’s page. Eileen is in her 70’s and such an inspiration. In the 1980’s Eileen was a cross country champion and has a sub 3 hour marathon PB! I can not imagine our parkrun family without Eileen in it. She’s an absolute hoot and as cheeky as they come. Thank you Eileen for the place. Here she is finishing her first parkrun. Read Eileen’s story on the parkrun website here

Eileen at parkrun

I really wanted to do well in the race and use this as a bench mark for future 5k races. I took my nutrition on the day really seriously, looking up suggestions of what to eat and drink during the day before the race. I also kept a close eye on the weather reports. It was saying there would be rain and high winds. The day time was actually quite nice but as the afternoon progressed in to evening the sky turned dark and as I looked out of the window, the trees in my garden were swaying frantically in the wind.

I got down to Stokes Bay early and was a bag of nerves! I met up with Kieran and we went and collected my number which I then pinned on my top, and then re-pinned it when Kieran told it was neither straight nor central! We then headed out to the start rather leisurely, thinking we still had plenty of time. However we’d both read the wrong start time and had to rush! As a result this meant my Garmin wasn’t ready! I hadn’t had enough time to find satellites before beginning so had to start it a little way in to the race. In a way though this sudden rush at the beginning meant I forgot all about my nerves.

For the first portion of the race I chose to run for as long as I could but tried to hold back a little to allow me to run for longer. This worked quite well but I was soon breathless. At the minute I’m finding my breathing difficult. I usually stop running, not because my legs want to, but because I can not catch my breath. The wind, which was now around 25mph, was taking my breath away.

A special mention for this race has to go to the marshals. I knew pretty much all of them and what a difference it makes having marshals shout personal encouragement to you. They were so cheery even in the awful weather conditions.

The race heads along the sea front at Stokes Bay and then does a loop around the GAFIRS (Gosport and Fareham Inshore Rescue) building twice. GAFIRS were having a training exercise where they “rescued” six people involved in a pretend boating accident. I saw the team put through their paces and the coastguard circling overhead bringing in their casualties. Here they are hard at work. If you want to read more about their training exercise it can be found here

Gosport and Fareham Inshore Rescue Team

Soon I’d completed my two laps running for 30 seconds and walking for one minute. As I came off the second loop I saw the 4km marker. It was starting to get dark at this point and then the rain started. It was coming in sideways due to the high winds and my left side was soon soaked right through. The rain felt like small pellets hitting me in the face. After seeing the 4km marker I decided to try and run as much as possible mainly to get out of the wind and rain! I could see the lights of the race HQ in the distance and kept my eyes on them the whole time, apart from when the rain was that bad I couldn’t actually open my eyes!

I finished the race in 45:53 beating my parkrun PB by over a minute. I was so pleased. It wasn’t until I got home and uploaded the result that I realised I’d also beaten my 5K PB from 2012 when I was running regularly! I was so surprised and really pleased. Now I want to keep chipping away at my time through parkruns and my new running plan. Fingers crossed!

Bayside 5K Summer Series

Thanks to Ben from Friendly Photography for the photo!

If you want to read Kieran’s race report, it can be found here

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My New Running Plan

After my plans to join the Gosport Road Runners group didn’t exactly go to plan I needed a plan B, a back up plan, a new path to tread. For those that don’t know I joined the beginners group and two weeks in did something to my Achilles. It’s now pretty much fixed, but this week is the last week of the beginners group so I need a new direction.

I have scoured the internet for a beginners running plan, then researched for a real beginners plan. Why do some beginners plans start with an 8 mile run at a 9minute mile pace?!

I know there’s the Couch to 5K app, I’ve done this before but at the minute I’m happier run walking than building up to complete running. I don’t want to go back to the days where I lose sleep over the 8 minute block of running and then the 20 minute block of running. I’d rather go further doing a run/walk.

During my search I saw a link to Jeff Galloway’s page. I’ve heard of Jeff Galloway’s run walk run method before so had a look and saw there were training plans. I had a look at them and you know what, they look manageable. There is a plan for 10K but week one starts with two run/walks of 30 minutes and the third run to run/walk for 1.5miles. It then goes up by half a mile the next week and so on. The plan is manageable and gradual so I just might stand a chance of completing it without burning myself out or injuring myself!

Jeff Galloway

Jeff Galloway

Wish me luck!

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Returning to parkrun

parkrun logo

On 1st August I injured my Achilles. I’ve rested it, iced it, stretched it. It’s got a bit better. When I first did it, it hurt even without weight on it. Now it only hurts walking down stairs and it’s not exactly a pain, just uncomfortable.

On 19th August I walked a 5k and it was still a little painful. I’ve continued looking after the injury and today wanted to try out walking the parkrun course.

I walked the course with Kieran We also walked with Jade, the tail walker.. Jade is one of my fellow RDs at Stokes Bay junior parkrun. As we walked the Achilles felt absolutely fine. We kept up a good walking pace and chatted all the way round. It was really lovely, the sun was shining and I was chatting away with two friends and also improving my health at the same time. That’s the beauty of parkrun.

It was only towards the end, at the short uphill section, that I even felt my Achilles and again it wasn’t a pain, just uncomfortable. As soon as we had finished it went away and as Kieran and I walked back to the café I couldn’t even feel it.

After the run we took the standard post parkrun finish token photo. Kieran had his Birthday this week just gone and he got a new iPhone 7 plus. His post parkrun finish token photo was so much better than mine! I can not wait to get a new phone. For now though, you’re just going to have to deal with my picture.

parkrun finish token

We completed the course in 56:19, a good time for walking and still beats the first time I ever did parkrun and walked. I was surprised how hard it felt after a month off though! To be honest I thought we might have dipped over an hour but thankfully it didn’t. Now, the next step? A little try at running, possibly tomorrow. I’ll let you know how it goes!

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Earning the Run in the Sun medal

I was doing so well with my running. I was seeing improvements but then on 1st August it all came crashing down. I went to the second Gosport Road Runners beginners group and the session went fine. However when I got out of the car and put my foot down it hurt a bit on the back on my ankle/heel. When I took my shoe off it got worse and that night I couldn’t sleep as the pain was so bad. A little bit of research shows I’ve done something to hurt my achilles. It took a good couple of weeks to calm down and for me to be able to walk down stairs properly! It’s still uncomfortable now and hasn’t gone completely but it’s definitely better than that night. So, earning the Run in the Sun medal didn’t go to plan at all!

The rules were run, walk or cycle as far as you can in the month of August. You must achieve a minimum of 10km.

Here’s how it went:

On 1st August I attended the second Gosport Road Runners beginners group. We completed 2 miles. It wasn’t until a week later that I was able to do anything and that was a push. We’d gone to Weymouth for my husband’s Birthday. I didn’t want to ruin the day so managed to hobble 2.62 miles around Weymouth. It was slow and painful.

I then didn’t walk again until 19th August. I can now walk almost pain free. I can feel the achilles grumbling but also saying “Very well then, if we must” We walked 5k along the beach from Lee-on-the-Solent to Hill Head.

pastel beach hut

In August I completed a very disappointing 12.39km or 7.7 miles. Not the 26.2 I was aiming for at the end of July. So disappointed, now it’s time to work on fixing this achilles!

Here is the medal! I love how it’s Summer themed and perfect for completing runs by the sea, or walks in my case! It was hard to capture but the background of where it says “Run in the Sun” is glittery. I love a bit of sparkle!

Run in the Sun medal

Want to read about the other medals I’ve earned? The posts are below:

Kidney Research 5K Medal

Wonder Runner Medal

Mermaid Medal

To the Moon and Back Medal

Unicorn Medal

All Aboard Medal

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Earning the Kidney Research 5K Medal

As some of you may know I have hydronephrosis meaning I have one kidney that is larger than the other. Therefore when I saw this medal for Kidney Research posted on Virtual Runner I knew I wanted to sign up. At the minute my kidney behaves itself but one day I may need their help!

I signed up for this medal a while ago, before I was injured. I’d planned to use a parkrun to complete it but with my Achilles injury this wasn’t to be. I decided to take a walk and just take it slow to ensure I didn’t aggravate the injury any further.

We worked out a quick 5k route using the app Footpath. If you regularly run, walk or cycle this app is really good for figuring out routes and it’ll tell you how far your route is. We decided to walk down Lee-on-the-Solent prom and on to Hill Head.

As we walked the first part of our walk, down Lee-on-the-Solent prom past Daedalus slipway the heavens opened for around two minutes. Thankfully it was only for two minutes so we didn’t get too wet! You can see the dark clouds in this picture I took just before.

dark clouds over Lee-on-the-Solent

As we continued our walk leaving Gosport behind and entering Fareham’s coast line the weather improved a little and became sunnier but with a nice breeze to cool us down. We saw this bench. I’m not sure if it was knitted by someone who knows the person the bench is dedicated to or if it’s one of those random things people do. Either way it made me smile and stop to take a photograph.

knitted picture on bench

We turned round at end of Hill Head where the prom stops and it turns in to shingle beach only. I snapped this picture of a beach hut on the way back. The beach huts at Hill Head have a little personality to them, whereas the ones in Lee-on-the-Solent are all dark green. They’re not at all pretty.

pastel beach hut

We got home and thankfully my Achilles felt ok. It knew it had been worked a little bit but was no more grumbly than usual. And just in case you wanted to see the walk on a map here it is:

Walk from Lee-on-the-Solent to Hill Head

I walked 5km in 1:09. A slightly disappointing time but given that I’m carrying an injury it’s not too bad.

Here is a picture of the medal:

Kidney Reearch 5K medal

I love the little kidney cut out and that the lanyard carries the logo too.

Want to see the other medals I’ve earned? The posts are below:

Wonder Runner Medal

Mermaid Medal

To The Moon and Back Medal

Unicorn Medal

All Aboard Medal

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How I earned my Wonder Runner medal

In July I entered the Wonder Runner medal on Virtual Runner UK. I just thought I’d pop here that I pay for all my entries and I write these blog posts because I want to. I don’t even think Virtual Runner know about these posts. I just like how easy it is to be able to earn medals without having a minimum pace forced upon me. I can do it at my own pace.

For this July challenge I wanted to try and cover more distance than I did in June for the Mermaid Challenge. My running was going from strength to strength so I had a good feeling about it. The rules were to run, walk or cycle as far as you can through July. I completed 8 runs and 1 walk.

I started the July challenge with a 30 minute treadmill run where I completed 2.3 miles. This was followed by a 2 mile walk in 43:32. I took this picture of seagulls as they flew overhead. Just look how blue the sky is!

seagulls

This was followed by two treadmill runs. One was a 5k and the other was just a mile. Then on the 15th July I completed my 4th parkrun at Lee-on-the-Solent parkrun. I completed the 5k course in 47:47.

parkrun finish token

Standard finish token picture!

I then did a 2mile run on the treadmill before completing my 5th parkrun at Lee-on-the-Solent parkrun. This was completed in 47:38 which is my current parkrun PB.

parkrun finish token

In July I also joined the Gosport Road Runners beginners group. At the first one we totted up 1.24 miles of running. I then finished the month of July with two 30 minute runs on the treadmill both totalling 2.2 miles.

For the Wonder Runner July Challenge I completed 35.7km or 22.18 miles. I’d beaten my June total and for August I wanted to see if I could complete 26.2 miles or more (marathon distance)

Here is the Wonder Runner medal.

Wonder Runner medal

Want to read about the other medals I’ve earned? The posts are below:

Mermaid Medal Challenge

To the Moon and Back Medal

The Unicorn Medal

The All Aboard Medal

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How I earned my Mermaid Challenge medal

I’ve found it so hard to find time to blog lately so I’m sitting down now and writing a lot of posts and scheduling them. Embarrassingly these posts go back to June! But without further ado, here’s how I earned my Mermaid Challenge Medal from Virtual Runner UK.

The rules for this challenge were to run, walk, swim or cycle as many kilometres as possible in the month of June. I earned my medal with 1 walk, 3 runs and 2 bike rides.

My walk was at Stokes Bay where I walked 2.07 miles in 51:23. It was a lovely evening stroll where I took lots of pictures. Hence it taking so long. I’ll just share the one picture of the sun beginning to set.

Sunset at Stokes Bay

The first run, well run walk was at Lee-on-the-Solent parkrun. This was my 3rd parkrun and I completed the 5k course in 53:38.

parkrun finish token

If you don’t take a picture of your finish token did you even parkrun?

The two bike rides I did were to and from Stokes Bay junior parkrun. One ride was just over 2.5 miles and the other just over 3 miles. They both took 22 minutes. Riding there was a breeze but on the way back it was so windy! It was really hard to pedal against the wind. Here’s a picture of the start line. Look at the determination.

Stokes Bay junior parkrun

I completed the Mermaid Challenge with two treadmill runs. The first a 5k in 45:13 and the second a 30 minute run in which I covered 2.27 miles.

Altogether I completed 25.5km or 15.8 miles. I was really pleased with how much I’d completed but was determined to beat it in July!

The medal is such a stunner. I absolutely love it. I love how the lanyard carries on the theme!

mermaid medal

Want to read about the other medals I’ve earned? The posts are below:

Earning my To the Moon and Back Medal

Earning my Unicorn Medal – The Hard Way

Earning the All Aboard Medal

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My third parkrun

parkrun logo

I haven’t completed a parkrun for a couple of weeks due to hurting my foot falling over a door frame at work. However two weeks of resting, elevating etc meant that I was ready to attempt another parkrun.

My plan was to walk the majority of the parkrun and at the final turnaround point begin run/walking the remainder. I walked the first part and didn’t get any leg pain like I normally do. I ended up walking with three children ranging from 9-15. Perhaps the constant chatter amongst them didn’t allow me to notice any pain! As we continued the leg pain never appeared and we were at the turn around point before I knew it. I began run/walking, supported by the children who were more than happy to run along and call out encouragement. When beginning my run segments I’d pick a point somewhere in the distance e.g. a bin, bench or beach hut. I felt good on the run section and really noticed how the Hokas helped propel me forward.

I finished in 53:27, beaten by all three children! Those pesky kids! It was another parkrun PB so I was pleased. The hot weather meant I felt shattered afterwards! I finished in 386th position! I now can’t run a parkrun for a couple of weeks due to work and having friends visit from Sheffield. I’m really going to try and make sure I keep up with practising though.

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A bit of parkrun practice

Fresh off the back of a parkrun PB I really wanted to practice, to improve myself and see where I can go with this running lark. Sunday however was a really hot day and I put off going out, I put it off so much I got to the point where I wasn’t sure if I should go or not. I put a status on Facebook saying so and everyone told me to go! So I did. I’d waited until just after 6 but it was still so hot!

I’d already decided to do the parkrun course but whilst walking the first section towards Browndown I started to put a little plan together. I’d see how I felt as I passed the finish funnel area as I know I always tend to get leg pain on the first out and back. And if I felt ok I’d continue walking until the second turn around, evaluate again and if all was good, run walk the last bit.

As I looked at my watch it wasn’t showing the usual display of pace. Instead of mph it was showing min/miles and I don’t really know what I do them in! I couldn’t figure out how to change it either so just pressed on!

I did get the leg pain as I went to the first turn around point. A pavement with a slight tilt one way always makes my leg worse. In this case the prom tilts ever so slightly towards the sea. I carried on hoping it would pass and as I got to the finish funnel area it was definitely starting to subside. Now my only complaint was how hot I was! I put my head down and marched on. As I got to the final turn around point I was feeling ok so started to run. Just from one bench to the next so I have no idea how long for but everything felt ok so I continued running a little and walking in between.

When I reached mini mountain I looked at my watch. One of my friends had urged me to beat 55 minutes and I was so close! I powered up mini mountain and back down the other side and then ran as much as I could between there and where the finish funnel would usually be.

The result? A 5km run walk completed in 53:27!

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parkrun number 2

 

parkrun logo

This Saturday was a busy and very parkrun filled day! I volunteered to help at Lee on the Solent parkrun this week and put my name down as volunteer coordinator. This role involves telling the marshals or funnel team what and where their roles are. This week I was telling the funnel team and had offered to train up a couple of others, so when they were volunteer coordinator, they’d know what to tell the volunteers. When I’d finished I saw the lovely Louise from Fareham Crusaders and we took a parkrun selfie. Louise always takes one before parkrun so I was happy to oblige with this ritual.

parkrun selfie

After taking a selfie I went and positioned myself at the back of the pack ready to try out my second parkrun. I’m going to be honest, I wasn’t hopeful for it being as successful as last week. When I’d got up on Sunday last week I had a horrendous cold that pretty much made me feel rubbish all week and left me with a horrid cough which I still have now. I did however have my shiny new trainers on my feet that I’d bought from Nick at Absolute Running. He’d promised me I’d PB in them but I was unsure from being ill.

Hoka Mafate Speed 2

After volunteering I went and found my place at the back of the pack. We had a new PA system donated to us this week and as a result I heard every word of the run brief despite being at the back!

As we started the route I began to get the pain down the outside of my calf. The camber of the pavement always makes this worse and the first part of the course does have a slight tilt so this may be why. As we progressed to the turn around point and started heading back the pain began to subside. We picked up Adam as we were passing the sailing club for the second time from his marshalling spot. He told me he planned to help me PB this week. I’m so grateful for how supportive people are of me and trying to run! As we passed the finish funnel the pain was gone and I was beginning to feel stronger. There were two older ladies quite a way in front of me and I now had these in my sight! I wanted to over take them. As we headed to our second turn around point Paula came to join me. She had already completed her parkrun in a very speedy 23.11! Having Adam and Paula walk with me made the time fly by. They’re both quite funny and so my attention was focussed on the conversation rather than what I was doing. I glanced at my watch and was managing to maintain 3.3mph. Last week I walked at 3.2mph. When I mentioned this both Adam and Paula were encouraging me even more to keep the pace and over take the two ladies…which I did!

As we made it back to the finishing straight both Adam and Paula were speeding up and shouting encouragement at me so I literally had to run. I couldn’t keep up with them so did a sprint finish (if you can call it that!)

parkrun finish token

As it wasn’t such a big turn out this week I finished higher position wise, and I also got a PB! Last week I finished in 58:24 and this week I finished in…..drum roll….55:03!! Amazing what new shoes and a bit of encouragement from friends can do!

I’m going to do a separate post about the rest of my parkrun filled day so expect that soon!

Want to read about my first parkrun? It’s right here: My First parkrun

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