Tag Archives: Sunday Runday

PBPB – getting back on form

28 Feb

Well, I’m fully into the swing of marathon training now. On 16th, my buddy Pete managed to get me around 17.5 miles, which is the longest run I’ve done for a very long time. I had been nervous about doing the run after doing Buggy Mums, but that class was cancelled, so I went for a long slow walk with some of the others instead and saved my legs for the run.

Pete is really good at planning routes – we go somewhere completely different every week and I’m seeing parts of the city that I’ve never seen before as well as visiting locations that I’ve not seen for a few years.

Our long run took us through Riverside Park in the dark, which would have been fine, but the river was so high that the path was flooded. Pete and I thought we had found a way around, but in the end we had to wade through freezing cold ankle-deep water. This part of the run was fairly near to home, but the last section of our run was all uphill. We were nearly there when I suggested a minor shortcut, which brought us out by my house. I was delighted, but Pete was less pleased as my house is at the bottom of a steep hill!

I was delighted that the baby slept really well that night… but I was so full of adrenaline that I just couldn’t get to sleep 😦

That weekend, I had my first jogging parkrun with baby M. We had to start at the back (like all buggy runners) and as Southampton is a very busy parkrun, that meant that the first km was tough going. I tried to go on the grass at one point, but that made it even harder, so I went back onto the path.

I was pleasantly surprised by how well the run went:

Southampton parkrun February 18th 2017

Southampton parkrun February 18th 2017

I’ve now got a bench mark for future buggy runs 🙂

Last Tuesday, I had another long run with Pete. We covered 14.5 miles, which was tough, but not as tough the previous week’s run. It was also a lot warmer, which was good. At one point, I thought we were heading towards home, when Pete turned towards town. I had a moment of panic, but Pete said to trust him. He then stopped at a friend’s restaurant, where he was able to refill our water bottles 🙂

I had been told that Buggy Mums was cancelled for half term, which was incorrect, but did give me a lazy week last week. Instead of doing Buggy Mums on Thursday, I went for a lovely long walk in the New Forest with my friend Ellie. It probably wasn’t our most cunning plan because of Storm Doris, but we got home safe and sound!

In the evening, Teri came around and we did a turbo session. I can’t say that either of us broke into a sweat, but it was good to be back on my bike… and also to have a catch up.

Turbo training with Teri

The next day, my legs were fine, but I was glad I didn’t have to sit on a saddle again!

On Saturday, I got in some more gossiping with Teri, as we ran parkrun together. Well, we chatted for the first km, but after that our competitive urges kicked in. I was delighted to get a PBPB – post baby personal best.

parkrun PBPB 25th February 2017

I was 344/829 runners, so in the top half. I was also 65/343 women, which is in the top 20%! I was 9/53 in my age category. I’m still 90 seconds away from my ‘real’ PB, but I’m finally making progress. It was also my 29th fastest parkrun (out of 208). I’ve only gone under 26 minutes 19 times, but I am absolutely determined to do it again this year (and to eventually beat my PB of 24:42). I’ve not run that quickly since January last year 🙂

I felt particularly pleased with my run as Teri and I were chatting at the start and the crowds meant that we had a slow start. Teri is still coming back from an injury, so it was also a comeback PB for her.

The following day was Sunday Runday. It was fairly tough as my legs were more tired than I expected after parkrun. However, the distance wasn’t a problem. Stu was pushing the baby, but he joined us in the 10 minute/mile group, which was nice.

Another exciting thing that has happened this week is that I finally ordered a replacement road bike. It’s currently being shipped and should be with me by the end of the week. I deliberated for a long time between a pretty bike and a better spec for the same price point… and eventually bought a pretty bike, with an even better spec at a higher price point – oops!

Today, I booked Stuart and I onto Decathlon 5k in Southampton. It clashes with a local 10k race, but I’ve prioritised this as we’ll be able to run with the baby.

Decathlon 5k 2017

My full tri club membership kicks in again tomorrow, so I’ll be able to get back in the pool. I’ve found another baby friendly exercise class (kettlercise), so there’s lots to look forward to.

How’s your training going?

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Pride comes before a fall

12 Feb

Last week didn’t start so well as I felt shattered on Monday and didn’t go to swimming. I know that I need to swim regularly in the hope that I can swim 5km by April.

On Tuesday, I went for a run with Pete. I took my head torch with me, but didn’t need it for the first part of our run as it was still daylight. As it has been so cold recently, I decided to wear my new adidas tights.

Pete and I ran down through Chilworth and North Baddesley and out towards Romsey. We ran on some country lanes with no pavement, but Pete had cleverly attached a red bike light to his belt, to make us more visible.

Once we got back to Southampton, we had to run up a very busy road. We had run 12 miles at a fair pace and I was feeling quite proud of how well we were doing. Well, the saying is ‘pride comes before a fall… It might usually refer to a metaphorical fall, but for me it referred to an unseen tree route on the pavement.

I hit the deck hard, with my full body weight being divided between my hands and my left knee, which was quite a shock.i sat on the pavement for a minute or two, before getting Pete to haul me to my feet. I had minor grazes on my hands and could feel that I had jarred my shoulders. I also felt a bit limpy, but was relieved to see that my tights were intact.

Pete and I jog-walked the remaining 2.5 miles back to my house, which was a disappointing way to end my longest run since 2015.

When I got in, I realised that my knee was bleeding quite badly, and a large bruise has developed over the past six days.

On Wednesday, I went to Buggy Mums. I arrived a little late, so the group had moved by the time I got to our usual meeting point. Laura was also late, so we jogged up The Common together. Fortunately, it didn’t take us long to find the group.

We did a variety of exercises on the grass, which was a little boggy. Then, we jogged down the hill towards the Bellemoor. Laura and I were so busy chatting to each other that we had to be told to slow down.

The session finished with some intervals on the grass, whilst a few people were interviewed by a member of the ParkLives team.

The following day, I was really stiffening up, but I went to Buggy Mums again. I was relieved that the class didn’t include any press ups or tricep dips as I don’t think I could have managed them. The second part of the session involved some shoulder work, but Christine gave me some alternatives. I’m really enjoying these classes and am amazed that they aren’t always oversubscribed… I’m guessing that people just don’t know about them.

I walked to Costa on Friday. Morgelyn fell asleep on the way there, so I was able to go online and answer emails for an hour. I’m tempted to make this a weekly habit, but it might not be good for my pocket or my waistline. As an alternative, I could go to a social area on the uni campus, which also has wifi.

When I got home, the post had arrived:

Ride London magazines

I had to defer my place in RideLondon last year, so it’s nice that Stu can do it with me… Assuming relatives can help with babysitting.

I met up with my friend Teri for Saturday’s parkrun. The flakes of snow (and my scabby knees) had put me off wearing shorts and I was glad I had tights on. My asthma has been playing up a bit recently and I was still achy from this week’s exploits, so Teri and I decided to have a social run. My time wasn’t awful ut I really want to get fit enough to knock a couple of minutes off it.

Southampton parkrun 11 February

When I got home, I was pleased to see that my personalised parkrun barcodes had arrived. I bought some a few years ago, but a couple of them have gone missing, so I now have to keep moving one between my trainers. This way, I can put one on each of my pairs of shoes. This isn’t just handy for parkrun as they each have an ICE (in case of emergency) number on them and my medical details, so if something happens to me when I’m out training, the necessary information is easy to locate. I also ordered some barcodes for Stuart and my mum.

parkrun barcodes

Yesterday was another Sunday Runday training run for Southampton Half Marathon. Baby M is now sitting quite confidently, so Stu and I have agreed that some light jogging on smooth Tarmac should be ok.

The route involved an initial loop around The Common before heading up the hill. I decided to start as soon as we got there and to miss the initial short loop, so that I would have a head start on the slowest group.

The fastest group passed me by the underpass and I was nearly on the University campus before the next group went past. I headed towards Portswood/Swaythling and was soon passed by the next group.

The next part of the route I was unfamiliar with, so I had to read the instructions carefully. I ended up running between some apartments and the river before finding myself at the bottom of a long flight of steps. I didn’t think the real route included steps, but as this was a shortened version for a training run, it didn’t surprise me. I was tempted to look for an alternative way, but didn’t want to kiss my group, so I ended up picking up the buggy with M I it and carrying it up the steps. As I got to the top, a man came to offer help… Isn’t that typical?

I continued on to Northam Bridge, expecting one of the two slower groups to catch up with me.At the far side of the bridge, I glanced back and saw a group of people running wearing turquoise t-shirts. I had to wait for a while at the level crossing, so I thought they would catch up with me there. It was only afterwards that I remembered that the 11 minute mile group had a different longer route.

I headed back through Bevois Valley to The Avenue, where I was passed by Jon’s group again. Soon I was back on The Common. I had kept a steady pace and walked the uneven parts (and some steep bits), so was pleased to have finished my first proper run with Baby M.

How was your week?

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What I’ve been doing

6 Feb

Busy, busy, busy! I’m still managing to exercise, but it’s so difficult for me to find time to blog, which is very frustrating. I thought I’d do a quick summary of what I’ve been up to recently…

Sunday 22nd January

No running for me today. Stuart, baby M and I headed out into the New Forest to marshal a race in the local cross-country league.

We had been positioned on one of the first marshal points, so we saw the start of the race and were then able to move to another point to watch runners heading towards the finish, before we walked back to the finish.

It was a crisp and cold day and as usual, there were lots of New Forest ponies around.

cc6-marshalling-1

You might not be able to tell from my photograph, but the water below was frozen solid and remained that way all morning.

cc6-marshalling-3cc6-marshalling-2

I feel so lucky to live in such a beautiful area and am looking forward to being able to get back on my bike and cycling in the forest.

Tuesday 24th January

I went for a long run with Pete around Chilworth. We left in daylight, but the sun started to go down as we headed down a very long hill. We paused to look at a beautiful sunset and to take some photos… but I hadn’t dressed adequately (just a t-shirt and shorts), so I quickly started to feel cold.

We ended up running around 10 miles, but it was hard going as my hands were so cold.

Wednesday 25th January

Baby M and I went to Buggy Mums on The Common again. We ran some laps around the model boating lake before heading up to the top ‘field’ part of The Common where we did some paired exercises. As usual, it was a lot of fun.

Thursday 26th January

The following day, I went to Buggy Mums at Weston Shore.

Last week the weather had been beautiful, with warm sunshine and no wind; it was the complete opposite today. Just before leaving the house, I decided to put on a base layer. I was so grateful that I had. I kept on my base layer, long-sleeved top, jacket, Buff and woolly hat for the entire session. Towards the end, I took my gloves off for a short period of time, but not for long!

buggy-mums-collage

I really like the Thursday sessions as they are less busy than the ones on The Common and there are more opportunities to chat to people.

buggy-mums-weston-shore

Saturday 28th January

It was my turn to run on Saturday. I met my friend Teri who is recovering from injury. She has to follow a walk/run strategy. I agreed to join her as I thought it would be nice to do a steadier-paced run… however, Teri is fitter than I am, so he run intervals were quicker than I usually go and the walk breaks were very short, so I barely had time to decelerate before we were off again.

In the end, my time for the run wasn’t much different from my usual result.

Southampton parkrun 28th January

Sunday 29th January

The following day was Sunday Runday – a training run for Southampton half marathon. It was my turn to run, so I was able to choose which group to help. Part of me was tempted to go with the 11 minute mile group, but I know that I need to push myself, so I joined my friends Pete, Kate and Malcolm in the 10 minute mile group.

It’s interesting to refamiliarise myself with the route for the half marathon (as well as learning the new parts). The race is being run in the opposite direction from last year.

Monday 30th January

The following day, I decided to return to Southampton Tri Club for my first swim since having my baby. It was a logistical challenge as Stu swam in the first session from 7-8pm and I swam in the second session from 8-9pm. Stu finished his swim a little early, and then met me outside the changing rooms at 7:55pm. I passed him Baby M in her car seat and my car keys; in return, Stu gave me his car keys.

There were lots of new faces in the swimming session, so Coach Steve had to rearrange the lanes a bit. I was asked to move into Lane 2, but I pointed out that I no longer have any stamina. I swam in Lane 2 just for a bit before Steve rearranged us again and I went back to Lane 1. There’s now quite a lot of disparity in the ability of the swimmers in Lane 1 as some people find it tough to do more than a length or two at a time.

Steve had planned an interesting session that included some core work on the pool side. This was quite challenging, but good fun.

In the end, I did the majority of the session, but I finished nearly 10 minutes early. This was because the pool was so busy that I didn’t want to have to queue for a shower as I needed to get home quickly. The changeover seemed to work well, so I now need to get myself back on track ready to take part in Swimathon. I think I swam around 1600m (1 mile), so I need a lot of training!

Tuesday 31st January

I had originally intended to go for a long run with Pete today, but I had completely forgotten that I had booked onto a cycle maintenance for women course at my local Giant Store, so we rescheduled for Thursday.

I know that some people will think that it’s not necessary to run separate maintenance workshops for men and women, but most of the women who attended seemed to be quite nervous and didn’t want to made to look stupid in front of men.

My friend, Lou, has recently bought a road bike, so she had also booked to come to the event with me. When we arrived, we were divided into three groups, as there were three members of staff, each of whom was running a separate 30 minute workshop.

giant-store

The first workshop was about bike cleaning. This was a simple topic to start with, and didn’t really warrant a 30 minute timeslot. One of the most interesting points was when we were shown the difference between Muc Off and a cheap alternative, which was quite eye-opening:

The second workshop was led by Nigel, the store owner. He was covering dealing with punctures. I’ve fixed punctures in the past and changed an innertube, but I think it’s always good to refresh this knowledge and there’s always something new to be learnt. Nigel showed me some tricks that make it easier to replace an innertube and tyre without using tyre levers. It was easier, but as I have delicate thumbs, I will probably continue to use levers!

Lou raised an interesting question about the need to pump up tyres after filling them with CO2. I hadn’t heard of this before and neither had the others. Later, Lou proved us wrong by sharing the scientific information that she found online!

The third and final workshop was the most technical one of the three as it was on brakes and gears. Whilst I understand the theory of all of this, I’m still nervous to adjust the gears on my own bike. We’ve had a few problems with the brake on M’s running buggy, so I asked a couple of questions and should now be able to fix the problem.

Overall, I think the evening was a great success. The staff were helpful and friendly and each participant was given a goodie bag, including a lanyard, button badges, a New Forest cycling map, some dry lube and a puncture repair kit. Apparently there are plans afoot to run more events in future, which would be really good.

Wednesday 1st February

On Wednesday, I went to Buggy Mums. My mum had come to visit, and I needed to drop her off before the session, so I ended up parking on the opposite side of The Common and had to dash to the start of the session.

We did a warm up on The Flats, so I ended up travelling back towards where I had parked. We then went back to the play area for the main part of the session, which included some pull up and chin up preparation as well as lots of tricep dips and press ups on the benches.

buggy-mums-on-the-common

Thursday 2nd February

I had so much to do and was feeling tired, so decided not to go to Buggy Mums and to save my energy for a long run with Pete.

I ran down to meet Pete on The Common. As I was cold last week, I decided to wear a long pair of tights that I had got out for Buggy Mums, as well as a t-shirt and jacket. I took off my jacket when I met Pete, so it immediately started raining. Fortunately, the shower was over quickly.

Yet again, Pete had planned a lovely route, which took us all around Ocean Village. I think it would be a lovely route to walk in summer, but it was quite windy and the water looked rough.

Part way around, we stopped for Pete to have a ‘comfort break’, which gave me a chance to put my head torch on. I was grateful that I had it on as we got to the east side of Riverside Park. The river was overflowing and all of the paths were covered. Pete and I took an alternative route for part of it, but in the end we just had to go through the water. It was ankle-deep and cold 😦 This meant that we had cold, wet feet for the final part of the run.

We headed up Bassett Green Road, which is a long hill. Pete had intended for us to go all of the way up to the top, but about 3/4 of the way up there is a short cut that leads towards my house. I was starting to get tired, so I suggested we took the short cut.

In the end, we covered about 13 miles. I’m finding the long runs tiring, but am not struggling with DOMS afterwards, which is a good sign.

Saturday 4th February

On Saturday, Stu, Baby and I headed to parkrun with my mum. My mum has never completed a parkrun before, so I agreed to walk it with her. I didn’t want to push her too hard, so we took it very steady:

Southampton parkrun 4th February

I’m now hoping my mum will take part in a parkrun near to her in future.

Well, that’s all of my recent training summarised. In the last few weeks, I’ve also been testing out a variety of products, so I’ll be posting about those this week.

What have you been up to? Are there any events that you’re training for?

Back on track for a spring marathon

20 Jan

Time is passing so quickly these days. There is so much that I want to blog about and never enough time!

I had intended to go to Buggy Mums on Thursday last week, but the weather forecast was very bad. I knew that the venue (Weston Shore) is quite exposed, so I really dithered about whether to go or not – in the end I didn’t go as I thought it wouldn’t be fair on Baby M. I felt disappointed about it, especially as the weather wasn’t nearly as bad as predicted in the end.

On Saturday, I went to parkrun. I was feeling ready to push hard and as I wasn’t running with anyone, I knew I wouldn’t be chatting much. Unfortunately, I had forgotten my Garmin and as Stu was planning to walk, he hadn’t bothered to bring his. I tried hard and thought I had finished in quite a good time. I asked the people who were immediately behind me in the queue what their times were – one said 27:37 and the other said 28:02, so I felt confident that I had got another sub 28 minute parkrun time. In the end my official result was 28:08. I was a little disappointed, but with 916 runners, the timekeepers have a very hard job.

parkrun 14th January 2017

I was 103/349 females and 17/53 in my age category.

As I ran on Saturday, it was my turn to walk on Sunday. On alternating weeks, Stu and I help to lead sessions for Sunday Runday in conjunction with ABP Southampton Half Marathon.

There’s a great group of leaders, most of whom have helped out for the previous two years

Sunday Runday Run Leaders

© Rees Leisure

Sunday Runday Run Leaders cheering

© Rees Leisure

The schedule for the slowest group was 4 miles at a 12-13 minute mile pace. I was confident that I could walk that quickly, but if not, I knew that I could get myself back

Speed walking

© Rees Leisure

Sunday Runday tail runners

© Rees Leisure

I really enjoyed my speedwalk and also liked getting to meet new people, including Sarah who blogs at Effing and Jeffing to the Stones. Thanks to Sarah for taking a great selfie of some of our group.

Sarah's Sunday Runday selfie

In the evening, I went out for another training session with Lou and Mel. They’re doing Couch to 5k over 12 months instead of 12 weeks to guard against injuries (they’re spending a month on each weekly schedule). I took baby M with me. The Couch to 5k programme consists of short intervals with walk breaks. I couldn’t quite keep up with the others when they were running, but maintained my pace during the walk breaks, so that I started each interval with them. We did just over 4.5km in the dark.

Speedwalking with Lou and Mel

Monday was an easy day with just a 3 mile walk to a mother and baby group (and 3 miles back).

Buggy walking on the Common

On Tuesday, Stuart came home from work early so that I was able to go out for a long run. Unfortunately, I had lost track of time at a friend’s house and had to rush home and change really quickly. I then had to run down the The Common (a couple of miles away) to meet up with my friend, Pete. He’s very kindly agreed to do long training runs with me for Southampton marathon, even though he’s a much better runner than I am.

I wasn’t sure what to wear as I knew it would get dark whilst I was out and it also seemed quite chilly. In the end I went for a t-shirt and shorts with my new Sport Art calf sleeves and a headband. I also wrapped my head torch around my wrist as I didn’t want to start my run with it on my head.

SportArt compression calf sleeves

SportArt compression calf sleeves

Pete had planned a lovely run that took us around much of Southampton, including a lovely waterside path that I’ve never been on before. It’s not easy planning a long run route that doesn’t include a lot of the Southampton marathon route, so Pete did a great job.

We had a couple of minor pauses for clothing adjustments and road crossings, but I only walked once. There is a very steep section by Woodmill that is only about 50m long. I knew that if I walked that section, I would have enough energy to run the rest of the route.

First post-baby long run

First post baby long run Garmin shot

It wasn’t quite 10 miles (nor was it quite 90 minutes), but I don’t think my pace was too bad for my first run of that distance since June 1st!

It was back to Buggy Mums on The Common on Wednesday. It was a mild day, so there was another large group of about 22 people.

Buggy Mums on The Common

We did a variety of exercises using exercise balls and resistance bands.

Exercise balls and resistance bands

Yet again, we were able to work to our own ability. I was surprised that I wasn’t stiff after my long run the night before.

The following day, I got myself organised to go straight to Weston Shore for another Buggy Mums class. I wasn’t sure where the group met, so I arrived early. I had plenty of time to stroll along the waterfront, which was just as well as I had parked at the opposite end of the park from where everyone met.

Walking along Weston Shore Beautiful Weston Shore Wrapped up at the start

I’d had to scrape ice off my car before I left home, so I’d layered up… it was a pleasant surprise that the sun was out and it was quite a few degrees warmer than my home on the other side of the water.

Sunshine on Weston Shore

The group on Thursday was much smaller than the previous day. There were just 8 of us. We did a warm up along the front and then a variety of bodyweight exercises using the low wall, including tricep dips and press ups. We also did some step ups and mountain climbers.

Further down the path we did a circuit session with some squat jumps, jumping jacks, and inchworms before heading off again to the ‘beach’. I was dreading going onto the shingle as I always manage to get pebbles in my shoes. This week I got a pebble in my slippers. I was indoors. They are boots. How?!

We did a variety of intervals on the shingle, including a number of reps going backwards. Then we did some core work lying on a smooth part of the path.

I particularly enjoyed this class as the sun was out and I had a chance to chat to a couple of the others.

Afterwards, I enjoyed a steady stroll back through the park.

A lovely bench by Weston Shore Baby M in the sunshine at Weston Shore Happy selfie at Weston Shore

Tomorrow is another parkrun day before marshalling a cross-country race on Sunday.

What have you got planned for this weekend?

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Ready to Race?

25 Apr

It feels like I’ve been so busy training recently that I’ve not had as much time as usual to blog…

I mentioned back in January that I’ve signed up for Solent Athlete’s Ready to Race course, which includes two track sessions a week and a self-led long run at the weekend (and some strength and conditioning work at home).

Solent Athlete 20th January

Solent Athlete 24th January

I know that a lot of you won’t ever have seen me run. In my head I am a gazelle, but the reality is a little different.

A friend recorded a video back in 2012 when a group of us visited a friend in Coventry – I can briefly be seen running at 1:22 and it doesn’t look good:

However, the work that I’ve put in with Coach Olly from Solent Athlete means that I now have noticeably better posture and feel lighter on my feet 🙂

Solent Athlete 3rd February

Solent Athlete 5th February

Solent Athlete 5th February Tamsyn

I did a parkrun on 6th February and was feeling fitter than the one I did at the end of January, so I was feeling confident that I could get a faster time… but I hadn’t allowed for the strong winds. I usually love the downhill sections and have learnt to keep running hard rather than recovering, but it was so windy that I struggled to maintain forward momentum!

Southampton parkrun 6th February 2016

On 13th February, I ran with my friend Teri and her son William. It’s always more challenging running with small children as long runs are always fartlek sessions with them. I find this kind of running much harder than going at a steady pace. William really wanted to do well, but it was a cold day and his hands were very cold. Luckily, the effort paid off and he got a PB!

parkrun 13 Feb 2016

Afterwards, Stu and I joined the others from SUTRI in Trago Lounge for brunch, which was a nice reward.

Solent Athlete 18th February

On 5th March, Carmen from Solent Athlete’s Ready to Race course joined me to do her first parkrun.

parkrun 5th March

She’s got more natural talent than she realises. She only took up running in January and managed negative splits throughout the run of: 6:48; 6:19; 6:17; 5:55; 5:31.

parkrun with Carmen

parkrun with Carmen

The following day I helped with another Marafun Sunday Runday in preparation for Southampton Half Marathon.

Part way around the route for Southampton Half

Part way around the route for Southampton Half © Kate Budd

The 10 minute mile group

The 10 minute mile group

On 7th March, my climbing course started. I’m absolutely terrified of heights, so it was a kill or cure option.

IMG_6868

The following two weeks, I was unable to check my progress as I was Run Directing at Southampton parkrun.

parkrun 12 March 2016

Solent Athlete 17th March

parkrun 19 March 2016

However, I was back to running on 26th March.

parkrun 26 March 2016

Solent Athlete 14th April

Solent Athlete 14th April 2

Solent Athlete 21st April

Solent Athlete 25th April

Overall, I loved the Ready to Race course. I made some great friends and was excited to learn about new running techniques. I can see a lot of advantages to what I’ve learnt and hope taht I’ll continue being able to put what I’ve learnt into practice.

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Illness stopped play :-(

10 Jan

After a great start to January, it didn’t take long for things to go downhill.

On Wednesday lunchtime, my work colleague, Sarah, and I jogged down to Southampton Common where we met a friend from Tri Club, Rob. The plan was to do an intervals session, which was just as well as Rob can run a 17:XX 5k!

We headed up to the model boating lake, which has a smooth tarmac path around it that measures almost exactly 300m. Rob initially planned to do 10 laps, but I knew that I didn’t have enough time to do that many and I was feeling a little under the weather. (I had a sore throat and as I have been struggling with vocal problems since April last year, I am trying to look after  my voice).

After doing a couple of laps, Rob decided that he would aim for 8 laps, and Sarah and I decided to go for 6. My first couple of laps felt quite good, but after that I could feel my technique starting to fail. After four laps I felt tired and was needing longer recovery between laps. By lap six, I felt entirely exhausted and I no longer felt able to pick my legs up properly. When I paused at the end, I felt so hot and was really worried that I would faint, so we walked part of the way back to work, before doing a gentle jog.

On Wednesday evening, I led my first running club session for a long time. I arrived early and waited a short while before runners started to turn up. After a short while, Kirsty and Irene arrived and we were able to get people to sign in. I was staggered by the attendance – there were so many runners, and at least 5 new people.

Kirsty led the first part of the session, which included some walking lunges, clock hops and squats immediately followed by sprints. After that, I led a Mona Fartlek session (named after Steve Moneghetti).

Session: 2 x 90sec, 4 x 60sec, 4 x 30sec, 4 x 15sec. Continuous running.

Total Duration: 20mins including recoveries

*Recoveries are floats of the same duration as the effort prior e.g. after the 90sec reps you continue with a float for 90sec before the next effort starts. Finish the session with a 30sec float. The efforts should be increasingly quicker as the durations get shorter.

Most of the runners took the recoveries as walking breaks as it’s a tough session and it was quite challenging to do it as the first session of the year. Have you ever tried this session?

On Thursday, I had been looking forward to doing a lovely home stretching session with Liz, followed by a spinning class, but I woke up feeling really unwell, so I spent most of the day in bed 😦

I spent a bit of time online, so I had a look at instagram and saw this which cheered me up:

New SOAS kit 2016

I can’t wait for my Team SOAS 2016 kit to arrive. I guess it will be in about March. What are you looking forward to this year?

I also learnt about Bountsa digital health app that literally gets you rewards and prizes from big name brands, right down to free stuff from the local store”. It probably requires hundreds of hours of exercise to get a single voucher, but I figure that if I’m doing the exercise anyway then I might as well log the hours and earn the points. I think Bounts is currently available in UK, USA and India. Have you used it? What do you think?

On Friday, I felt slightly better, but just walking up and down stairs made me wheeze and exhausted me, which was very frustrating. I worked from home as I knew I wouldn’t be able to cycle my bike up the hill from my house. I hoped that I would make a SUTRI swimming session in the evening, but I was ready for bed by 6pm, so that was another session I missed.

For over five years, my Saturday morning routine has included getting up in time to complete parkrun. I had wondered whether I would be able to go along and take it as a gentle jog, but when I woke up, I realised that I was still feeling rough, so I turned over and went back to sleep. Later in the morning, I went out to the kitchen fitters to discuss our proposed new kitchen, which took quite a long time. By the time I got home, I was ready to go to sleep again – just standing up had felt exhausting. I also still had a temperature 😦

I was so grateful to feel significantly better this morning. My temperature had dropped back to normal and although I felt a little stiff and tired, walking up and down stairs felt normal. It has been so frustrating to be ‘trapped’ in my house, so i decided to go out for a gentle run. I’ve volunteered to be part of the Sunday Runday crew in preparation for Marafun’s ABP Southampton Half Marathon. I had let John know that I might not be well enough to run and that if I did run, I would probably go with a reasonably slow group. As I was feeling much better, I said I would back mark the 10 minute mile group (the middle group).

Sunday Runday 4Sunday Runday 1 Sunday Runday 2 Sunday Runday 3  Sunday Runday 5

I can’t say that I found the run easy, but it was lovely to catch up with Jill, Malcolm, Laura, Peter, Kim, Kate and various other friends. I even had enough energy to tackle, the laundry and dishes and to do lots of food prep when I got home, which is such a relief.

I’m hoping that I can get in a full week of training this week, as I have my first race of 2016 on Sunday: Stubbington 10k. I love the email that they sent – it makes it seem like I’ve achieved something simply by entering!

Stubbington 10k entry 2016

I’ve entered this race several times previously and have blogged about my experiences. It will be interesting to see how my run stacks up against previous times:

  • My Stubbington 10k 2015 time (52:10) – 3rd fastest ever 10k after Eastleigh 2013 (52:02) and Eastleigh 2012 (51:06)
  • My Stubbington 10k 2014 time (55:17)
  • My Stubbington 10k 2013 time (55:14)
  • My Stubbington 10k 2012 time (53:03)

I’ll see how it goes on the day, but I’d like to finish in under 55 minutes.

How’s your week been?