May 2017 Round up

Last day of the month and it’s a rest day, so I thought I’d have a look back to see how the month has gone.

May 2017 round up

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Sewerby parkun – nearly at the finish
  • Total miles:  87.38
  • Number of runs: 17
  • Races: 0

VERY pleased with the miles for the month!  14 more miles than last month, but in the same amount of runs – shows that I’ve been increasing the distance of the long runs.

Last night was track session and I really struggled with it.  I normally thoroughly enjoy these sessions and pushing myself hard, but last night there was just nothing in the tank.   The session was walk, jog, run, sprint between cone markers.  First one way, and then swap and go the other way round the track which meant that the walk was shorter, the sprint longer.  Because it was Bank Holiday Monday we’d taken Sunday as a rest day and did our long run of 11.5 miles on Monday.  I’m presuming (hoping?!) that this is the reason that I struggled with the track session this time.

But……..  this month has been good overall.  I’ve run my quickest parkrun in a long time and finally got back under 26 minutes and I’ve had some really good long runs.

Next month is busy, I’ve entered Sledmere Sunset trail 10k and Humber Bridge Half Marathon……

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Running in the rain

Are we all enjoying the sunshine?!  It is beautiful at the moment, though I think club run this evening is going to be a very warm one.  (are you wondering about the post title yet?)

It has been a hectic few weeks again and I’ve realised that I didn’t do an April round up, so here you go:

April 2017 round up

  • Total miles:  73
  • Number of runs: 17
  • Races: 2

So that is a nice amount of miles for the month, and back to more where I want to be.  My average pace for the month (yes I’m a stats freak and I like working it out) 09:25 min per mile.  I’m really pleased to see that after struggling for quite a while to get my pace to where I wanted it.  Still have a way to go, but it is coming back.

This pic shows my pace for a recent club run.  I had to include it for a bit of a giggle.  This was a lovely evening run with club, a combination of road and off road, warm and muggy to start with lots of refreshing rain for the second half of the run.

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See the spike on the pace chart?  See the maximum pace – 5:22 min mile !!  That’ll be the field with cows, calves and bull in then…..  I am very scared going through livestock like this, and would only go across with several guys surrounding me (and our club coach who is as scared as I am!).  As soon as the way to the gate was clear I just went for it.  I suppose it could class as interval training…..

We really welcomed the rain on this run.  It was an overcast but very warm evening, with lots of bugs about.  It started with a heavy drizzle and got heavier until it was really raining.  There is something pretty fun about running in the rain.  Warm rain, no wind.  Perfect way to cool down !

Does anyone else like it or is it just me?

The Hornsea Triangle Trail run

18156996_10211765215822408_473294124944461009_nI’m always looking for new routes to try, as close to home as possible for convenience, which lead me to look on my local council website where they have a section for walks – showing routes, with distance and descriptions.  Really useful!  I saw this route quite a while ago but hadn’t had the chance to go and run it until the Bank Holiday weekend.

Sunday morning found me and my OH heading off to the nearest point of the route to us to find somewhere to park and set off.  We’d decided that Seaton would be a good place to start, so that is where we headed – hadn’t even got out of the car and OH realised he’d forgotten his watch.  Oh well, that’ll be one that isn’t on his Garmin stats then!

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The old railway line

Just a couple of hundred metres on the road before we took a public footpath across a grass field (full of sheep and lambs at this time of year) and made our way towards the Wassand Estate where we picked up a public bridleway.  This part of the route was on rough track with quite a few gates to go through.  We missed our turning (the footpath sign wasn’t good!), but soon realised and picked up the path again which unfortunately for me lead into a field with bullocks in.  Now those that know me, know that I don’t like cattle.  I’m scared of them.  I was chased a few years ago by a cow whilst out walking and I now really don’t like going into fields where there are cattle.  However we were already a good way across the field (diagonally – the worst obviously!) before we saw them, so we just had to carry on.  My OH jokes that it was the fastest I ran on the whole route, but I really am scared!

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Can you spot the cattle?!  I was scared….

We finally came to the little church at Goxhill, that I’d never seen before.  It is a lovely little church and we’d timed it just as they were ringing the bell for morning service.  After a quick photo stop we were onto a short road section until we found the old railway line (Hull to Hornsea) that we followed all the way to Hornsea.  If you’ve never found an old railway line to run on, they are generally very good – straight, flat, fairly sheltered routes.

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We had the choice of two different routes to get back to the car from Hornsea – through the town and along the road and then footpath to the North of the main road, or off road just to the south of the mere.  We decided off road was the best choice so set off again.  It was beautiful!  A great route near the mere and then through some more fields (luckily empty!) back to the Wassand estate.  We then had a bit of an extra road loop to make the run up to 8 miles.

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Hornsea Mere

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It was a glorious day (need to find the sun cream if we have another day like this out running!), the route was fab and we thoroughly enjoyed the very relaxed run.  This for me is what running is about 🙂

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Mental Health

Nine years ago today I’d just got married.  Little did I know on that day that the marriage wouldn’t last very long and I’d be hurt in a way that I never thought would happen. (In hindsight there were definitely warning signs that I should have paid heed to).

Last night I watched the first episode of Mind Over Marathon on BBC.  From what I’d already read on social media I knew that the programme would be emotional but what I didn’t expect was to recognise myself in what was been spoken about.

I watched the programme with my other half, someone who knows me better than I know myself !  He was a friend for many years before becoming my significant other and had to watch as my marriage fell apart and the affect that had on me.  Once, many years ago, he did broach the subject of depression and wondered if it would be a good idea for me to visit my GP.  I brushed this off in my typical stubborn manner… ‘I can’t be depressed, I’m still functioning’ ‘I can still be happy sometimes’ ‘I can’t be ill, I’ve got to look after my child’ (as if anyone ever makes the choice to be ill…).  And I never did go to the GP.  I’m lucky in that I did have some support and I know now I was being watched / monitored / worried about, whatever you want to call it, in case things deteriorated with my mental health.

Rhian on the programme, who had suffered the loss of her child and husband within five days, was describing herself and the way she was ‘coping’.  My other half looked at me and said that I was very similar to this lady.  And yes I can see that my coping strategies are very similar.  Very good at pushing grief / pain / upset away as you daren’t / can’t / won’t face it.  Rhian, you are an incredibly brave woman. To share your story and your journey with others is a huge step to take.

I think of myself as lucky that I found running when I did.  Running definitely helps with my mental health.  I have run and cried many a time.  I’ve run to get rid of the physical feelings of frustration.  Running helps!

2 Races plus parkrun!

What an Easter weekend!

Bridlington Easter Dash 5 miler – Good Friday

I only decided the day before to enter this race.  It is pretty local to me, no hassle to get there, would know plenty of people.  And the biggest thing……  my teenage son said he would do it if I did!

The race starts at the lifeguard station near Limekiln Lane car park in Bridlington.  It consists of two laps – a small one and then a big one.  Apparently this is a change from previous years where it has been a different one lap route.  I didn’t mind this too much, although felt like I didn’t settle into the race until I’d started the second lap.  Terrain was tarmac / rough path / grass / bark chippings – a little bit of everything!  And don’t forget the steps either.  Due to the wind it also felt like you were running on two different days!  On the way out, towards Sewerby, it was very warm but as soon as you turned to come back along the cliff top it was a head wind and pretty cold.

I managed a finish time of 43:57 which I was over the moon with!  Helped by running with our club coach, it was a really good run.  (And my son, who hasn’t run more than 3 miles since last November…..  he came in at 44:50!)

Bling?  Yes, a pretty good medal for everyone and a crème egg seeing as it is Easter.

Would I do it again? Yes I probably would – it isn’t the most exciting route, but it is convenient and good fun.

parkrun

I have to mention parkrun here although I didn’t run this week as I’d decided I was overdue to volunteer.   I’ve made a commitment to myself to volunteer a minimum of three times a year.  I don’t think this is much to ask really and as something I want to see continue I believe I should support it to do so.

So, Sewerby parkrun, Easter weekend.  Wow!  What a turnout.  347 people.  99 more than our previous attendance record.   Thanks in part to a large touring party from Sowerby Bridge Snails (great to see you all!) plus lots of other visitors this was a great turnout.

Helmsley 10k Multi terrain challenge – Easter Sunday

Another good turnout for Yorkshire Wolds Runners on a chilly Sunday morning in Helmsley.  A challenging course, with the first two miles being uphill on roads, onto tracks and fields as it levels out and then drops back down.  I found the hill hard and did walk for a short stretch.  I was slower than I’d hoped for the first two miles so decided that rather than targeting a finish time I would aim for negative splits.  That way I’d still feel like it was a successful run.  I was struggling mentally to find the motivation to push on – how do you deal with this?

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 I managed it – just!

Official finish time:  58:50

Bling?  An Easter Egg and a Mug

Would I do it again?  Yes.  I enjoy off road and I have unfinished business with that hill!

Early morning fasted running? Do you or don’t you?

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Yorkshire Sunrise

Early morning fasted running?  Do you or don’t you?

I ask this because our club coach posted that she had done and that it wasn’t a regular thing for her.  We discussed it and she is happy to go out and do 5-7k but is aware that pace won’t be as good as it could be.  This got me thinking!

By choice, I run first thing in the morning, before breakfast.  I generally have half a glass of water and head straight out of the door.  Ok, I’m not aiming for world records, but I do sometimes push for intervals / tempo runs etc.  I also rarely eat prior to parkrun or a morning race.

I love running at this time in the morning, particularly when the sky is clear – it’s quiet, you get to see wildlife and it sets you up for the day.  At the moment I’m out the door just after 6am, so there is no way I’m getting up at 4.30 / 5am just to eat something but on parkrun days it is relatively easy to change what I do as I’m normally awake by 7am anyway.

Do you think it makes much difference?  Or only over a certain distance?

On the same theme I’m currently following the 5:2 diet.  So on one or two days of the week restricting my intake to between 600 – 800 calories.  If I choose carefully, this still means that I’m having three meals.  So far I’ve been avoiding running the morning after a fast day, but would it make any difference?  I think I’m going to have to try and it and see how I get on.

March 2017 round up

March:

  • Total miles:  63.43
  • Number of runs: 15
  • Races: 1

 

As the above figures show, this has been a month low in miles.  I’m really trying to not let that bother me, and hope that I will at some point in the year make up the lost miles to still hit my target of 75 miles a month because I know that I needed to pull back a bit and give my body a break.

Do you plan lower mileage months into your plan?  I’m wondering if I should.

This picture shows the company that I had for my post run stretches 🙂 what a wonderful sight to have.

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Ups and downs

It’s been a manic month!  But not in terms of running.  As far as running goes I seem to be falling apart…..  I had a week or two where lots of little niggles seemed to be starting up: my feet ached; my hips were sore; something popped in a calf; my back spasmed; I felt ill one day.  No one thing was particularly epic, just all added together had me feeling a bit down.

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In the rest of life, I’ve got engaged and got a new job.   March has been an exciting month!  If you go back to the very beginning of this blog you’ll get an idea of why getting engaged is such a huge deal.  I never thought I would again.  Part of me is still terrified.  But the person who gives me the confidence to go out and do what I want to do will be the one that is by my side.   Running has really helped me know the person I am and have the confidence to stand up for what I want.  The relationship I have with my OH is a very equal one – we are two adults whom chose to be together, but support each other to be very much individuals too.  Watch this space for the wedding photos!

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Dalton Dash 2017

Last week I ran Dalton Dash 10k.  I wasn’t looking forward to it as I’d really not been feeling good the previous week, but I decided to go and start.  If I had to pull up, well that is what I’d have to do. My OH offered to run with me but I knew that if I needed to stop he would want to stay with me and I really didn’t want that added pressure.  The course is a very rural one, starting and finishing in front of the house and running out of the grounds and onto country lanes.  It is undulating, but nothing too bad.  I started very steady and decided very early on that I wasn’t going to look at my Garmin at all, not to check my mile pace / distance, anything! DaltonDash2017

The course was marked in kms and I used my mental strategy of ticking off the kms rather than adding up (6 to go, 5 to go, 4 to go etc, rather than 1 km run, 2 km run and so on) as I find this really does work for me.  I set off very steady and just aimed to try and find a rhythm.  We’d only been running for less than 10 mins and a lady fell into step beside me and started to chat.  I quite like this.  I like the fact that it doesn’t matter that we didn’t know each other, that we’d never spoken before, but we had in common this moment.   We chatted until the water station where I didn’t stop for a drink (just before the biggest hill on the course – I knew it wouldn’t be a good idea for me to have a drink!) and I had my head down to aim to run the whole of the hill – and I managed it !

I knew from then on it was relatively easy for the rest of the course so tried to pick up the pace a little.  I was pleased with how I was feeling when I’d been so worried about completing the run.  The last two miles ended up being the quickest miles of the race, so I’ll take that as a result!  Official finish time 58:02.

February 2017 round up

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Feb:

  • Total miles:  77.94
  • Number of runs: 17
  • Races: 0

Pretty pleased with that.  February being a short month I was expecting to be lower on the mileage than this, but a few longer Sunday runs with the OH has kept the miles up.

February also saw my quickest parkrun of the year (and since last Oct) 26:48.  Still a long way from my PB, but at least heading in the right direction.  On the theme of parkrun last week my son ran an amazing run to knock 70seconds off his PB, and gain his first sub 26 min run.   For someone who is only running once a fortnight this kind of improvement is fab; can’t wait to see what he can do when he is running more consistently.

Parkrun have also announced that they are starting a junior parkrun fairly locally to me.  Although my son is too old for this, I am very pleased to see it as there aren’t any other junior parkruns in the area.  Hopefully it will encourage more and more children and families to get involved.

Time is going to be even more stretched as I’ve just taken on a new role at work.  This means my runs will be even more precious – ensuring I have the time to wind down as well as get my exercise.