Know my Limits but Don’t Ever Stop Trying to Pass Them!!!

I’ve reached my training limit it seems.

Pushing to train through a torn calf muscle then dealing with the aftermath of overstressed foot/shin ligaments had not stopped me.

Dragging myself around the lake where I work for the umpteenth time during my lunch hour was strangely enjoyable once I got out there.  Easy/tempo/progression and repeat!!

Racing Parkrun and making sure I was able to run every day apart from Mondays didn’t phase me in the slightest.

However, getting a painful heel that appears to be tightening that lovely immense tendon attached to it was the gentle tap on the shoulder to say – This is too much too soon.  Back off a little please.

It’s incredibly frustrating.  I can happily run a hilly marathon with no pain whatsoever but the following day I’ve got the big reminder that I’ve worked that heel/tendon and it needs rest to recover.

I’m starting to wonder if I am not registering the pain when I run for some reason.  It’s happened before.  A spectacular sprained ankle and it felt a little sore after I sorted out strapping it up.  I then ran 2 miles on it.  It was a little painful but thinking back on that moment I should not have been able to put ANY pressure on it let alone RUN on it!!

So here’s me – pulling out of training for the 100 miles in September.  I’ve also pulled out of the St Oswalds Ultra – told the organisers to donate whatever I would get as a refund from my entry fee to their local charity.  I’m not giving up though.  Oh no.  I’m seeing this as endurance training.  I’ll keep running but at a gentler pace until my heel/Achilles gets stronger.  I will do more cross training to compliment my running.  Cycling/swimming/rock climbing.  No….. there are NO plans to do an IRONMAN!  Half ironman maybe but there’s no way I’m cycling that far and then running a marathon!!  There’s a whole load of words I can eat at a later date!!  Hahahaha!

So now I’m back to running at whatever pace I want until things start to resolve themselves I will be booking up a few marathons for the rest of the year.  Ones I can do at a snails/sloths pace.  I’m going to have a fabulously fun time in the Lake District at the Lakeland100/50.  Not running but helping out this year.  Paying back some of the fabulousness that I received for the last two years at that event.

That’s all for now.  This Ultra Sloth is going back to taking things a little easier until the training can begin again.  By easier I mean running a few marathons/ultras for fun and not so much running mid-week!  Which doesn’t sound easy at all does it!.

Enjoy!

Injuries – They Take TIME to Heal

Yes.  TIME!!  The body can only rebuild as fast as it was designed to.  There’s not much you can do to speed things up without resorting to surgical means.  11th March 2015 my greyhound decided to use my legs as a brake.  I didn’t realise at the time that the impact of dog on shin had done damage to the muscle.

12 weeks!!  Yes!  12 weeks for the injured calf muscle then the resulting overstrained tendons to heal.  I’m finally running without pain in my shin!  FINALLY!! So it’s back to the training plan.  Back to speed work, back to planning and plotting that damned 100 miles that’s driving me nuts!!

Plus I’ve taken on changing my diet.  Using the art of smoothie!  Why?  Because I rarely eat nuts/seeds/fruit and when I do it never really tastes nice and then I avoid it.

YUCK!

YUCK!

So my thinking was….  If I put all the fruit seeds and nuts together into a smoothie and try to have one at least every other day then I will gently teach my body to digest those foods and build up some healthy gut bacteria.  From that my theory is that once I’ve built up enough seed/nut/fruit eating bacteria I’ll start wanting to eat seeds/nuts and fruit.

Smoothie ingredients before blending

Smoothie ingredients before blending

YUMMY smoothie that didn't last till the afternoon!

YUMMY smoothie that didn’t last till the afternoon!

It’s been a couple weeks so far and the result is – I REALLY like the seed/nut/fruit smoothies.  I crave them now.  It’s all rather odd!  I’ve tried the smoothie without the nuts and seeds and although the smoothie feels……smoother……it doesn’t taste right without the added nuts and seeds.  I’ll give it a few more weeks but I’m seeing an improvement in energy levels and concentration.  This is just tired old me though.  I’m not saying everyone should go out and get into smoothie’s.  I’m using them as a crutch to get myself eating stuff I REALLY DON’T LIKE!!  So for the fussy eaters out there….. try it.  No alien textures and lots of yummy taste with very little overpowering alien flavours.  Plus it’s healthier than the bottled versions from the shops and most of the fruit I blend is frozen!!  YUM!!

I’ve not been up to much training over the last couple months and it feels like I’ve gone completely backwards.  I was seeing improvement on speed and endurance before the calf injury and now I’m right back to the speed I was at the beginning.  BUT…….. I still have the endurance!!  Go figure!!  I’ve gone on a few leisure runs which felt like a lovely walk instead of a sweaty run where I need to keep up and gasp at every hill!!  – read as run with no training in mind, just enjoying the countryside and company.

Back to easy 30-45 mins running.  Back to progression.  Back to intervals.  Back to park running and long training runs with marathon pace (which I still have no idea what that’s meant to be!!).  Back to cross training on the……. WHO THE HELL HAS EATEN THROUGH MY DERAILER CABLE!!!!!!!!!!  Ugh…..  I swear the greyhound is trying her hardest to tell me something!  Lalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalaaaaaa I’m NOT listening.

You will listen or I'll eat more healthy looking stuff!

You will listen or I’ll eat more healthy looking stuff!

At least a derailer cable is easier to fix than my calf muscle AND it wasn’t the soft yummy tasty handlebar covers.  Although that would have been far more acceptable!!

Roll on next weeks entertainment of orienteering with Lesley!  Hopefully I’ll once and for all be able to get my head around a map and compass!  Although I’m still baffled on how to use these items in the dark!!  DARK!!  I’ll be navigating by stars next!!

Oh…. I’m to change my name to Grylls.

Only the best can be BEAR!

I get called Grylls by a few of the LFR (Leighton Fun Runners) All because I carry first aid kit, poncho, safety blanket, change of socks, eye wash, mobile, mobile charger, spare batteries, gpx, gels…… the list continues…… on pretty much every trail run I do.  Plus – after an extremely lonely moment at the back of the pack in a long run – I’ve started to figure out what a trail shoe print looks like compared to walking boots or wellies.

Salomon speedcross mud print

Salomon speedcross mud print

It’s a handy skill!!  Especially when you’re supposed to be following a pack of runners and they’re nowhere to be seen!!  Doing the whole…..they passed this way – picks up a few leaves and drops them – about 30 minutes ago…… moment is NEVER going to happen though hahaha!!!  Although I may try it at some point and see what the reaction is……hahaha!!

Happy running

How Time Changes Things

From April 2012 on my first attempt at blogging – or my online persona of running revelations and things to remember!! 

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Looking back at this I remember that day. It’s skipped my memory completely until I read this again and now?  Well now I look back on some of these posts and chuckle to myself. Whenever I’m having a bad moment, bad day, why isn’t life playing fair moment I go on a little online tour of my running rantings.

Running in the rain!! I was such a wuss!! Seriously! The “now” me would just put on shorts, top and shoes then just run!! Oh! Not forgetting my trusty garmin, obviously!! Rain/wind/snow…… Go run! Fun fun fun!!

Recently, I’ve been feeling frustrated by an injury that just doesn’t want to play ball and heal. I feel like there’s little or no progress. I’m not getting out to run with the local running club and I feel like I’m losing touch with local running friends. It’s all pretty self centred and just plain dumb!! Reading my old blogs has reminded me I’m always being so hard on myself. I’m always critiquing how slow, not fit enough, not good enough I am! But I AM stronger! I know much more about food/injuries/equipment. Even though I constantly battle with self doubt I know I’m one helluva stubborn cow that doesn’t know when to just give in already!!

Hopefully the injury will heal. I’ll still be hard on myself because I do want to be better. Good enough – I don’t want to be good enough. I want to constantly be better!! I started running because I wanted to improve myself. I’ve achieved that. Now it’s time to be more!!

Have fun running
Hels ;-)

Who are you? Where have you been?

Blimey! It’s been just over a month since updating my thoughts and feelings on the web. Did anyone notice? What with Paris Marathon, THE MARATHON, Centurion Thames Path 100 and all those other spring events going on through April I would be surprised if anyone did notice haha!!

So what have I been up to?

Are you sitting comfortably? Go grab that cup of tea/coffee/protein shake, maybe a biscuit or two.

Lets see…. New Garmin watch, Centurion South Downs Way 50 volunteering, Paris Marathon, painful shin, lots of training, Centurion Thames Path 100 and then…………

New Garmin Watch – I am LOVING my new Fenix3. So far I’ve run with it. I’ve cycled with it – indoor training and outdoor training. I’ve also gone pool swimming with it! In the swimming pool!! Makes me want to sign up to a triathlon to justify wearing this gismo but not yet. Not yet!!!! I’m still getting used to the amount of data that’s available. The battery life is awesome – I’ve not tested it to its limits yet but I have tested on the go charging and it’s comfortable to wear whilst charging. Nice one! I’ve not used the compass, route or pretty much all the other snazzy functions it has on offer but I’m sure I will at some point.

Centurion South Downs Way 50 volunteering – My first volunteering duty at Centurion Running. They are a well-oiled machine of running supporters that was so efficient it was intimidating!! I was on number duty on the first checkpoint and witnessing these runners flying through the first checkpoint/aid station was educational. The lead runners looked fresh as though they had started a mile down the path. The back of the pack runners were a determined bunch filled with heart-warming smiles and overflowing with gratitude for the support. 4 hours wizzed by and before I knew it the checkpoint was packed up and ready to collect the equipment from the next checkpoint! Well-oiled, efficient machine!!

Paris Marathon – Had a fabulously easy trip via Eurotunnel to Paris. Found my hotel with surprising ease – I still have a suspicion I was in the wrong hotel. The room was huge and very quiet!! – and found running friends just as easily. Thankfully I’d packed enough breakfast snacks to get me through the weekend. My previous experiences at travel have resulted in me not eating much throughout the whole time away. As I was running a marathon I needed to keep myself fed and breakfast being an important start to the day I made sure I had food I knew and trusted. Yup! Fussy eater survival guide – always take food you know and trust!

The weather was perfect. The citizens of Paris were polite. The monuments and facilities were very tourist friendly. The Paris Marathon Breakfast run the day before the marathon was great fun. 5k from the arch to finish in front of the Eiffel Tower – Genius!! Virgin London Marathon – here’s an idea you could use!! The marathon itself was a tour of Paris that started in the brisk cool air of a blue sky morning and ended in the burning heat of the sun. I enjoyed the company throughout the marathon as I was running injured – Huge thank you’s for the Carolyn/Vicki running support team. It made running around Paris, getting sweaty and sunburnt fun!!

Painful shin and lots of training – Well. That’s it really. Lots of training, lots of pain due to the calf muscle tear causing havoc on other tendons. Because I just wouldn’t rest things got worse. I’m still dealing with a painful shin that good some days and worse on others. Speed training has been completely wrecked and its really messed with my mood! I’m not going to give in though. I’m a stubborn git! Even if being a stubborn git has got me into this mess in the first place!!

Centurioin Thames Path 100 – Marking 13 miles of the course, helping at 44 mile checkpoint at Durley and then running the final 22 miles with Kate Jayden. WHAT A WEEKEND!! This was always going to be a long weekend. I’m not even sure WHY I volunteered to mark the course as well as help out at an aid station and then agree to run 22 miles with Kate!! WHAT the HELL was I thinking at the time? My concept of “easy” really does need an adult on hand to keep me from saying “yeah, that sounds like fun!” when I really should be saying “Sounds like fun…..just need to check a few things first and I’ll get back to you….”

Sigh!!

Marking the 13 miles was fun – I was thankfully over prepared with a running pack JUST big enough to carry all the marking equipment required. I was told to keep the marking obvious but not over the top. Every 0.3 miles or so was enough and more if needed around junctions, turning points, bridges and multiple path options. The day started cold but I knew the forecast was for a hot day ahead.

Marking finished I got myself changed, fed and ready to help out at the 44 mile checkpoint. Getting all the food out and ready, working out how to get the gas canister fitted in the travel stove and cheese slicing to begin with. Getting a phone call from Kim – Kates first pacer – saying “I’ve hit my head and fallen in the river, I’m completely soaked and I’ve lost my glasses. Can you get to Goring………….” That was it! The line went dead. I panicked and tried to find out where Goring was – an hour away!! Argh! – then I tried Facebook. Then I tried calling the number and a different voice answered the phone. The woman who answered told me Kim was heading into the town centre. A little dazed, totally soaked but looking okay. I decided to wait and hear from Kim again before I drop everything and run.

It was a while before we saw our first runner and they looked fresh. As the day wore on we saw each following runner look like they had started further and further away. The first runner looked like he’d run 3 miles – the last runner I saw before leaving looked like he’d already run 100 miles!! This checkpoint was scary for me! I needed to get my head around 100 miles for St Oswalds Ultra and this wasn’t helping!! It was a huge amount of fun though.

Kim called again telling me the most bizarre story of how he managed to “ride” into the river Thames and the kindness of strangers had helped him to the checkpoint that he was to meet Kate at. Phew! Amazing and phew!

I left the checkpoint just after 8:30pm and got myself to Wallingford. Grabbed something to eat, got myself changed, got my kit ready for a wet night, said hi to the checkpoint crew – and fed them with my pizza remains! – then settled in the car for a quick nap. I couldn’t sleep well and I kept checking the centurion website for updates. I managed an hours sleep and was ready to go by 1:30am. I was surprised how lively I was after such a short sleep. Kate arrived around 3:30am and we set off into the dark. Having never paced someone at this distance before I didn’t know what to expect. Mostly walking or mostly running or a mixture of both. It was mostly running with the occasional walk, lots of laughing, lots of stats, lots of jokes and me trying my best to keep Kate eating. Having read lots of other blogs on how all those other ultra bunnies manage to run massive distances the biggest factor near the end of a long run was nutrition. The fact that an ultra was a good or a bad run was rarely down to equipment. Running out of fuel was the most important factor. So I brought along some salted macadamia nuts, salted peanuts and a selection of babyfoods. The sugar train would have ended by 77 miles and my job was electrolytes and fats from this point on! I saw Kate go from okay to a very low mood a couple times following her having shot blocs. That was a no no then. No more shot blocs. After that it was maintaining the pace and trying my best to keep up with her!!! There was no way I was going to have Kate say she slowed down for me!! The horror!!

Kate did an amazing job to get under 24 hours for her first 100 miles. If I’m ever to help out again I need this speed training to work hahaha!! Even after 77 miles Kate is still a fast runner and after the busy day I had I really struggled to keep up with her. So pleased for her.

And then…………

My wheels fell off!!

I went into melt down about how the hell I was going to manage 100 miles! I’m so tempted to just give it a miss and say it’s all a pipe dream and way out of my ability. Who am I to think I can run/walk/run 100 miles? I’ve not even seen any of the route yet and all my speed training is going backwards……. PANIC!!!!!!!!

Step back. This is depression talking. I’m not worth anything. No one should listen to me. The world can carry on without me. Yep – depression. I need to step away and just concentrate on the here and now. Things are okay. My kids are awesome. My husband is my best friend. I have an awesome best mate. My life is okay, everything else can just WAIT!!!!! It can just WAIT!

I’m taking care of the dark monster that follows me around. I’ve neglected it for a while and it’s upset. It needs some loving comfort and calm. Over planning and stressful thoughts can take a hike for a while. I’m going to take a few things at my own pace and the dark monster and I are going to sort things out so I can achieve what I want.

I don’t know if I’m going to get to the St Oswalds Ultra start line. If I do then I will do my best to finish being the stubborn git that I am. If not then there’s always next year. Calm………

Happy running

Post Injury Workouts & Other Stuff

It’s been a tough week. So much running not accomplished but oh so much cycling, turbo training and cross training done that I REALLY needed to get out and run this weekend.

Note to anyone who is injured. Make sure you have something you can do at home that’s low impact that will get you through the torture that is not running. This week I have been mostly cycling, turbo training and cross training. I HATE the cross trainer with a new vengeance! I’m never getting rid of it though. It’s perfect for recovery training. It’s a magnetic resistance cross trainer so there’s no belt to tighten up. It’s just right, I still hate it though!!

So why am I not running? Somehow, even I’m still not sure how, I’ve managed to tear my calf muscle. The possible culprit could be a medium sized greyhound running through my legs, yes through!!! Yes she’s our dog and yes we were playing, oh well :-) I didn’t realise I had injured my calf at all. I was getting odd cramping and pin prick pain in the muscle. This has now been resolved and feels like it’s healed well. But…… There’s always a but!! The muscles and tendons that were trying to protect this muscle are now feeling damaged. So my left calf/shin/foot feels like it’s been broken. I know all this bruising and pain will eventually resolve itself but (there’s that but again!!) I shouldn’t really be running with all this injury going on.

While I wasn’t running I was checking and rechecking my kit to make sure everything was still okay and found the toe part of my Brooks Ghost had collapsed. That explains the tender patch on my foot from lunchtime and weekend runs. 

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Replacing the tyres

Here’s my new Salomon x-scream. Slightly less heal than the Brooks but just the right amount of toe room and they feel lovely while I’m running or walking.

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This bizarre looking instrument of torture has helped with cramped/bruised muscle. I absolutely HATED this thing to begin with. I’m now using it every day to work out any knots in my legs. To begin with it was all pain, rolling out my muscles like a piece of pastry was not relaxing at all. Now? It’s like settling into that perfect sofa spot and snuggling down. Oh how things have changed this year!!

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One shocking thing I did this week. I sold my garmin 310xt. I sold it!! It’s been a great gadget. I’ve managed to keep it working throughout all the garmin connect/express updates fiasco. Using my phone to upload workouts rather than garmin express. Thing is, after being spoilt with the ease of use of my garmin 620 I longed for something similar. The obvious choice was the garmin 920xt but I really didn’t like it. It didn’t really offer more than the 310xt. Yes it had Bluetooth communication and the training functions but I already had access to the new training functions on my garmin 620. It just didn’t float my boat!! I was seriously considering Suunto, Yes!! Not garmin!! That is until I saw this………

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The Garmin Fenix 3. Pretty precioussssseesseesss!!!!! It does everything the 920xt does with a few extras to extend the battery life. Plus it looks like a watch and acts like one. Then I’m not walking around work looking like I’m about to do an impression of superman or spiderman by striping of my work clothes and running out of the office in skin tight Lycra!!! Yes I do have that little montage in my head every time I go for a lunchtime run hahaha!! 

It’s been a frustrating week for running. I have kept up the training using other means of cardio torture and nobly instruments of pleasure/torture!!

You’re still reading? Wow! Well done!
So what will I be up to next week? Next week I have plans…… Plans that involved cycling to work. That’s 14 miles! It doesn’t sound far but it’s about an hour to get to work I reckon. I’ll know more when I try it :-)

Okay, I’ll let you go now. Have a great week.
Hels

Training Week 16 – Blog Blackout

Where did a month go?  One minute its my birthday and the next I’m realising I haven’t bored anyone with my training blogging.  So are you sitting comfortably?  No?  Well get that cuppa and maybe a biscuit or two if you’ve been active today and I’ll update you with my training nonsense.

Once upon a time, in a land not so far away from Milton Keynes there lived a middle aged mum who had the most amazing idea.

“I know what I’ll do this year”  She chirped happily to herself whilst reading blogs and facebook posts one evening.  “A marathon is fun, 50 miles has been fun as well, so I think I’ll try 100 miles this year”  But wait – 100 miles is such a long way and this middle aged mum was not a fast ultra runner.  She was an ultra plodder.  Unfortunately this wouldn’t allow her to run most 100 mile events.  So after spotting that another (not so slow) ultra runner was entering a 100 mile event that had a fairly reasonable cutoff the middle aged mum got herself into training mode.

At first the training was purely down to internet research with very little background knowledge to running.  Then she got herself a coach and the training since then has been eye opening.

So much so that she forgot to blog about it and was far more focused on training well.

So there’s my story so far.  Not enough detail?  Seriously?  Okay then.  The last post was from week 11 wasn’t it.  So……..

Week 12 – Recovered well from Punchbowl marathon and got stuck into a week of Tues/Weds/Thurs runs and a weekend of parkrun + a run and a Sunday long run which I did with the local running club.

Week 13 – Rest week which still involved lots of running – I’m starting to get the difference now between rest and hard running weeks.  Tues/Weds/Frid running.  Saturday I was on my feet most of the day helping out at the Social Ultra Cotswold Way 50k.  Sunday was the Bath Half Marathon.  A very unexpected 2hrs 5mins of easy running.  I didn’t once feel over worked and usually I would have to push myself to get near that time.  I was very pleased especially with the insane crowding at the beginning of the half marathon.

Week 14 – Another rest week of easy running.  Rest weeks have running but far less instensive workouts.  I’m learning.  Slowly!  Sunday I had a fabulous time doing the Chiltern Kanter with Claire and Emma to begin with and then Carolyn and Bonnie at some point near the beginning.  I had the route all planned out even though it was a point to point map reading afair.  Weather was perfect for a run in the local hilly countryside.

Week 15 – High intesity workouts Tues/Thurs and longer easy running on Weds.  Although having a greyhound smash into your shins can cause muscle damage I found.  This wasn’t noticed until much later in the week after I ran the Larmer Tree Marathon in record time for me considering how hilly/muddy it was.

Week 16 – Was intended to be a fairly easy week training wise due to some pain in my shin/calf muscle.  Monday I was giving the muscle intense massage.  Tuesday it was driving me crazy because I could run but it would feel like needles in my calf muscle.  Booked myself in to see the physiotherapist and there’s a small tear in the muscle.  Not from running I might add.  I hadn’t realised having a greyhound use me as stopping post would tear muscle.  I just thought I had some bruised bone issues.  No running for a few days to let the muscle heal a bit.  Then stretches and strength training.  Instead of running I switched my workouts to the turbo trainer.  Picture the scene – Lycra clad middle aged woman wearing headphones linked to a phone that’s propped on a music stand in front of a road bike huffing and puffing away whilst watching the Green Latern.  Yeah!  I must be the only one that kinda likes that film…… Moving on…….

So there you have it.  Not much to brag about.  Lots of running, lots of training.

One thing I have noticed recently.  My average pace is increasing.  Ever so slowly I’m becoming faster.  I am thoroughly enjoying the training programme and I’ve noticed I’ve become a much stronger, more resiliant runner.  Mile 22 on the Larmer Tree Marathon Love Station I felt as fresh as a daisy.

Also – I’ve purchased a foam roller and a massage stick.  The most hateful impliments of self massage ever!!!!  I LOVE THEM.  I am completely contradicting myself at every turn this year.  Next I’ll be eating Marmite on toast!!!! BLERGH!!

Have a fun weekend

Hels

;-)

Training – Week 11 – ROUGH!

Oh dear! Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear!!
Last week’s training should have been so much more but I was thoroughly and utterly drained. Not by overdoing it, I wish!! After managing to escape the raking cough, snotty nose and fevered shivering I fell ill with……. Erm…… A horrible never ending headache that left me so drained and tense that I tied my back into knots which needed the physio to unwind!! Well, I didn’t know it was my back. The pain was in my hip but after the visit to the physio I’m working on keeping those tension knots at bay!! I tried to keep up the running but just couldn’t push myself.
Thankfully by Friday I was feeling much better and I was looking forward to Saturdays attempt at Parkrun plus easy run. So much so that I ended up arriving at Willen Lake early. An hour early! I had a choice, sit in the car and cry – depression is just plain mean sometimes!! – or run the Parkrun route in reverse at a very easy pace to arrive at the start to then race it.  It wasn’t in the plan but I wasn’t about to sit and let bad thoughts eat at me until 9am!! 
I’m pleased to say that although the easy reverse Parkrun felt like I was running through treacle I was feeling alive and great for the Parkrun itself. Weird considering I had run so badly to the start! I felt so much better for the rest of the day. The plan for Sunday 3 hours easy was looking like fun. I didn’t want to run the roads. I needed to get lost on some trails. I hadn’t been feeling too good emotionally and trail running just brings out the wonder in the world.
Again I was up early so I got myself out the door with my trail kit, etrex and first aid kit – you never know when you might need to use one!! It was great fun, I finally found some paths I had been looking for, got thoroughly muddy, followed by inquisitive sheep, found more paths I want to investigate next time and felt strong throughout the adventure. I can’t call it a run because I was run/walking/taking pictures/etrex map reading and enjoying the creepy scenery. The only focus was the last 25-30 minutes where I was running home from Rushmere park.
Enjoy the pictures ;-)

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Inquisitive sheep

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Creepy fog filled fields

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Trails to……??

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This trail is covered in nettles during the summer months

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Creepy dead tree

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No land marks at all!

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Middle of nowhere and I find the mystery footpath that I’ve been searching for!

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The mystery footpath looks like muddy fun ;-)

Training – Week 10 – Training Pro Badge

I can’t quite believe I’m in week 10 of training.  Do I get a Training Pro badge?  No?  Sigh…..  This weeks plan looks good and I’m starting to think I’m rather enjoying having a plan set out.  I’m feeling a tad tired but that would be down to full on work and running around organising birthday treats rather than anything else.  The training has been a welcome chill out time to all the madness!

So last weeks “rest” week was easy.  I’ll admit it.  I took everything at a chill out pace and still managed some good times.  Plus I did some turbo trainer work to stabilise my right hip/knee which is starting to play up with the extra mileage.  What I thought was going to be tiring and tough was very manageable once I made sure I kept to the plan.

The plan – That’s the thing that has been bugging me.  I’ve tried to set myself targets and even with the best intentions I’ve let myself down.  For some reason I’m super/ultra/obsessively keeping to “The Plan” for fear of losing valuable training.  It feels nuts!  However – I’m managing to keep up with the plan.  Somehow!!  So it seems that my training wasn’t so much lacking in intensity or quality it was down to me not sticking to a plan.  If that ramble makes sense to anyone can they explain it to me as well?

So – training this week is bigger and better.  Starting the week tired from family/work life is not such a good idea but somehow I’m still going.  Core work is done each day I’m running and those lovely, wonderful, yummy rest days are now definitely REST days.  The Blerch LOVES rest days.  Hahahaha!!

I’ll leave you with a picture of my daughters birthday cake.  MASSIVE thank you to the lovely, wonderful lady who made this for her.  My daughter utterly loves it!  Best birthday cake EVER!!! Her words not mine haha! But yes, it really is a fabulous cake.

Have a great week everyone.

Hels

Daughters birthday cake

Daughters birthday cake

Virtual Run to………. Madrid

Yes.  Virtual.  Choose the location.  Map out where I went daily and hopefully by the end of the year I will virtually run to Madrid.  No camping, no B&B’s, no travel costs, no requirement to find virtual loos on route.  Comfort of my own bed every night, home made meals, nights with the husband and kids.  What’s not to like about this idea?

Why Madrid?  My husbands choice.  In fact he’s quite excited about mapping out where I’m going to go.  He’s so excited that he was researching the route last night and asking how many miles I do each week.  He knows I love running and knows it chills me out but this response was rather endearing.

Anyhoo…..enough of that slushy nonsense.  This is a running blog!!

Here’s the initial route.  The route may change, I may go further than the planned 1,395 miles to Madrid by New Years Eve 2015.

Enjoy ;-)

Training – Week 9 Easy Does It!!

So many miles covered in January! Wow!

Last week was a toughie but thoroughly enjoyable – well, enjoyable until the wheels utterly fell off Saturday morning!!

Throughout the week I accomplished all the training runs expected.  I was very happy with what I’d done and apart from a muscle twinge around my right hip I was all set for the weekend.  By Saturday morning I was thoroughly looking forward to a good session at MK Parkrun and thought the 30 minutes afterwards would be super easy.  The session for Sunday I was planning to go early either along the LFR watchless 10 route before anyone was there or along the Leighton Tough 10 route with an adjustment to the end to accommodate for pushing myself in the last 30 minutes.

MK Parkrun was awesome – I warmed up before the run.  Ran through the course in my head where I would push myself and where I would ease off to recover.  I was in race mode, fixated on getting the maximum out of that 5k.  Heart hammering before we even set off.  I kept the panic under control, boiling away at the surface but using the adrenalin instead of closing down.  The course was incredibly icey and I kept to the grass verges as much as I could to avoid the numerous black ice patches catching other runners.  The run was a push but I kept my form and I was very pleased with the result for such a slippery run.  27:08 – not bad!!

A few minutes waiting to get the barcode scanned and then 30 minutes easy.  Oh dear!  I got myself ready to run, checked the watch was ready, started at a gentle run and then BAM! Gut wrenching queasiness and the world on a roundabout as I suddenly felt utterly drunk!  I’m amazed I didn’t smash into the pavement face first.  I usually feel like this along with a racing heartbeat and my chest being gripped by an invisible force not letting me breath when I’m having a panic attack!  Not quite knowing what the hell was going on – I took a knee….

http://afterearth.wikia.com/wiki/User:NewMovies/Take_a_Knee

Yeah! Strange thing to do but I didn’t want to sit down or lean on something.  After a few minutes things started feeling okay and I tried again to set off for a run again.  To begin with I had legs of lead, stomach about to turn itself inside out and my lungs just didn’t want to work for the first five minutes.  Then everything was okay.  Back to feeling good and running was easy.  Utterly weird moment!!  This is going to make next weeks “Race” mood slightly more interesting.  I just know I’m going to hold back knowing that the remainder of the panic attack is waiting for me at the finish! Blergh!

Then Sunday – Oh dear!  No early start due to my insides not liking anything I’d eaten since Friday.  I waited to make sure there was no need for any outdoor toilet breaks before venturing out.  Good grief this is embarrassing but honest.  Thankfully I ran with my backpack which had just the right amount of water and shot blocs in it for a long run.  Both of which I used fully!  I decided on the hilly Tough 10 start to my run and was very surprised to reach Great Brickhill with ease.  At that point I didn’t feel tired at all.  It was refreshing and fabulous.  Then the big descent to the canal for the rest of the run – erm…. note to self.  Flat is worse than hills!  Hills are my friend.  Hills are like interval sessions with occasional rests.  Flat HURTS!!

http://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/682119142

Elevation profile for Sundays run

Elevation profile for Sundays run

I did – just about – manage the increased pace in the last 30 minutes but wow that was tough.

So this week is an easier week, a recovery week.  However, I’m still running Tues/Weds/Thurs/Sat/Sun though?  Errrrrr!!  Rest = easy running.  Erm……. Okay then.  I think!?!  Maybe this is where I’ve been going wrong when it comes to training, thinking a rest week is complete rest.  The Blerch will not be happy with that! Hahahaha!! Bring it ON!!!!!!!

http://theoatmeal.com/comics/running

To everyone else out there training – Keep up the good work ;-)

Hels