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.

For the love of trails

It has been a few weeks of trail runs, runs that I love.  They aren’t fast, they aren’t easy, but they are good fun and give a good break from the road running.

We had a good club away run (to break up the monotony of our usual winter route) to Scarborough sea front, to roughly follow the route of the Yorkshire Coast 10k.  It was a nice evening, but windy on the way back made it hard work.  All added up to very much deserving the fish & chips afterwards!

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At the beginning of the month we broke from our usual routine to visit another parkrun to meet with a friend who was visiting too.  Humber Bridge parkrun – first visit.  I wasn’t sure how I’d find this, as a three lap course, but actually quite enjoyed it.  Although it is paths, it was pretty wet on our visit hence we finished with mud splashed up our legs – all good fun.  Don’t think I like it as much as Sewerby, but would be happy to come back and run it again.

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My OH and I had a very rare free Sunday so what else is there to do but to go for a nice long run (is that normal?!)  We wanted an off road run and thought a return visit to the Hudson Way old railway line would be a good idea.  Ended up with 8 miles of mud and puddles.  Thoroughly enjoyed this run and my OH reminded me that this is why he started running, so that we could have times like this, out in the countryside, not worrying about pace, but just enjoying it.  We were however, very grateful for the dry socks and shoes in the car along with old towels to sit on and stop the mud clarting the car seats!

This weekend the weather was not conducive to a leisurely run hence we decided on a few miles from home with the dogs.  It was very windy and raining, muddy underfoot.  The picture show the dyke we had to cross, that I failed and ended up with my feet dangling in the water whilst laid on the bank.  Oh well, all good fun!

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Valentine’s Day today.  It is also club night.  Which means that we will be spending our evening out on a club head torch run (the advantages of both enjoying running!).

Do you share your passion for running with your OH?

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January 2017 round up

Jan:

  • Total miles:  80.15
  • Number of runs: 20
  • Races: 1

#Yorkshire

That is actually the most runs I think I’ve ever done in a month!  Hadn’t realised that until I’ve written it down.  Although I’m still struggling with pace, I’m pleased that I have run the distance I have in January.  I’ve seen the doc again and am to remain on iron tablets for another three months as my levels are still pretty low.  Also I’ve been advised to add in a Vitamin D supplement.  I’m hoping that a combination of these, plus losing some weight, will really make a difference and the pace I was running at will come back again.

Within those runs, I’d included 3 hill reps sessions.  I do think these do me a lot of good!  I really want to keep these up through the rest of the year.  I’m also looking forward to club track sessions starting again.  I like the structured sessions and think they help increase pace and stamina.

How did January go for you?

Dalby No Ego Headtorch run

Saturday 28th January 2017 found me, along with a large contingent of my club mates turn up at the Dalby Forest visitors centre in preparation for a 5 mile run, in the dark, in the mud, through Dalby Forest…

I had mixed feelings about this run, I knew it would be hilly and muddy therefore hard work.  As I’ve been finding running generally very hard work recently I was expected this to be very tough!

A forty minute drive and we arrived nice and early (hate being late) so plenty of time to get registered and site and have a drink and a chat with mates.  There were lots of people I knew at this run (nearly 600 runners in total), and it still strikes me what a difference this is from the first races I did when I hardly knew anyone at all.  My other half treated me to a No Ego long sleeved running top (worn for the first time yesterday and it was great – I would recommend one if you get the chance) and before long we were on to the final loo stop and then time to get our jumpers off, head torches on and make our way to the start.

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I was approaching this race in a different way to any I’ve run before.  I was preparing to walk some of the course.  Although I have walked on some other races, it always seems to feel like I’m not pushing enough, but this one I’d been warned that there are areas where it is impossible to run.

The first few hundred meters are on tarmac and then a right turn to immediately climb up a hill on a narrow forest track.  Now I LOVE trail running (have I said that before…) and straight away felt at home.  It was steep, and due to the sheer number of people we had to walk part of it, but I felt like I was managing to find some kind of rhythm.

It was really hard to look about you, even at the people very close because you were so focused on the short distance in front of your feet to try and make sure you didn’t trip.  The few glances I did get of a row of head torches heading up the hill were fab.

The race was 5 miles long and pretty crowded tracks for the first couple of miles and then it really started to thin out and you had a bit more space.  Here is the elevation chart:

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How come when you start and finish in the same place there seems to be an awful more uphill than down ?!

I feel very comfortable off road and even I nearly went over on my ankle a couple of times and definitely need to learn to pick up my feet more judging by the amount of tree roots that I nearly tripped on.  The mud was very thick in places and there was lots of slipping and sliding.  All that adds up to lots of fun but I was grateful for the new trail shoes that I bought a week or so ago.

I don’t know why so many people seem to have such a problem running downhill though.  There were some that seemed to go slower down than up!

The last mile or so was mainly downhill and I really felt like I was getting into my stride and pushed for home, very happy to come through the finishing arch in chip time of 57:04.

splits

I was really pleased when looking back at my splits on Garmin that I’d managed negative splits!  Taking that as a result.

And to finish of a great evening our club went to a local pub (The Black Bull Inn) for something to eat afterwards.  Great food, great company – a perfect Saturday night.

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Would I do this race again?  Yes !

Best bit?  Running through the middle of the biggest puddle whilst everyone else was going around the edges 😉

Encouragement or patronising?

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This comment was shared on a group I am part of – a picture of the text taken from a book or magazine (not sure which, it didn’t say) and the discussion which ensued was very interesting and made me think.

If you pass people do you offer words of encouragement?

Do you like to receive words when you are passed?

Or do you agree with the comment and think that it is patronising?

One comment that I liked was that ‘you can’t judge a runner by how they’re running at any one moment’ as it is so true.  They might be injured, they might be just taking it easy, or they just might be slower than you.  What I have learnt is that speed does not necessarily equal experience, or vice versa.  There are some runners who are quite a bit slower than I am but whom are far more accomplished runners.

I think that it follows the train of thought that many of us have where we beat ourselves up because we aren’t fast, because we are too slow; where we think that those that run faster are therefore better than us.

When I pass people I do like to speak, encourage, or share the experience in some way.  Not so much maybe in races, but definitely at parkrun and on social runs.  I also like it when others do the same to me.  To me it is as much about making a connection with another person, than it is the actual words spoken.  Does it not make it a more pleasant parkrun if others speak?

We’ve actually made friends just by doing this.  As a regular at parkrun you tend to pass / be passed by the same people at a similar point on the course week in week out.  Do you ignore them, or do you say morning?  Are they running well that day – tell them!

As someone who often feels socially awkward, this kind of interaction and inclusiveness has been a welcome part of running for me.

What do you think?

Yorkshire Wolds Way trail run

What better way to spend a Sunday, than meeting up with friends for a trail run taking in part of the Yorkshire Wolds Way.

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The Yorkshire Wolds Way

I’d ummed and ahhed about joining this club run – could I keep up, could I cope with the run at the moment.  I am so glad that I did go.  The idea of the run was to give members the chance to use a map to follow a route – which some haven’t really done before.  As always with our club, no one ever gets left behind and we had regular stops to check the map.  I’m fairly used to using ordnance survey maps to plot and then follow a route (lots of walking in the past!), so was happy to step back to let others work it out and get the most from the day.

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Perfect running route!

We met up at the village of North Dalton and were immediately off road and onto the tracks and bridleways.  I love this type of running – although there were hills so it wasn’t all easy, it is just such a beautiful place to be.  It was a very frosty and foggy morning, so the views can definitely be better, and we will definitely be back another day.

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#ChallengeHull

It was also my first run in the trail shoes that I’d bought the day before.  I have a very old pair of Saucony trails, that were the first pair of proper running shoes that I bought – but I’m presuming all the cushioning has gone as they now make my legs hurt if it wear them.  As we are doing more trail running I thought I could really do with some shoes with better grip than my road shoes……  hence a quick trip to Sports Direct to see what I could pick up cheap.  I ended up with a pair of Karrimoor trail shoes – but the mens ones.  The ladies were just too narrow so I thought it was worth a try.  And they did seem to be OK – a little rubbing on one toe which might have been my sock, but I’m sure they will be fine for next Saturdays 5 mile No Ego run in Dalby Forest.

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Great company

To make a day of it, we had booked in at the village pub for Sunday lunch – a treat that we were all looking forward to, and ready for after our run.  The Star Inn always did have a good reputation for good pub food.  Unfortunately we were all disappointed.

We’d prebooked as there were a few of us and had asked about gluten free whilst booking as two are strictly gluten free but they got orders wrong, gave a normal meal to a gluten free person – couldn’t answer questions about the meal.  I had pork – about a tablespoon of mash, yorkshire pud, 2 slices of pork and two roast potatoes each.   They brought veg out in serving dishes, but not a lot and VERY al dente!  We asked for more veg and more roast potatoes and they brought out a few, but not enough to go round.  And hot plates can’t make up for very lukewarm food.  We left very disappointed and feeling like it really wasn’t worth the money and wishing we’d gone elsewhere.

Overall it was a great way to spend a Sunday morning – great company, in a gorgeous part of the country.

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A very frosty morning – Yorkshire Wolds

The long awaited 100 shirt

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Brigham #yorkshire on a beautiful frosty morning

We are certainly well into the new year already.  Hope you are all coping with the weather being thrown at some parts of the UK at the moment !

Had a very exciting moment last week…

The parkrun 100 club ladies tshirts came back into stock !

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Now this might not seem exciting to some of you, but I can assure you it was.  I’d waited ten weeks since running my 100th parkrun and it has seemed like an absolute age.  Even better, I ordered and it was delivered pretty quickly in time for Saturday morning (with a treat of a little packet of Haribo – thanks Wiggle).  Now I knew that I wasn’t the only one waiting for one of these shirts, so it had to be worn on parkrun day.

And of course we had to have some photo’s taken to mark the occasion 😉

I’m still struggling with running, but am trying to take the focus off pace and just get out there and run.  I actually love this time of year when we get the beautiful bright, crisp, frosty mornings.  And if we get snow I’m quite happy to go and run in that too.  For the record, I’m not impressed when it is windy, or worse – wet and windy.

I’m trying to lose weight!  We are being alcohol free during the week, but giving ourselves the option for a glass or two of wine on the weekend.  From experience I know that once I get out of the habit I tend to drink less on a weekend too.  I probably won’t have anything on a Friday evening and then a glass or two on a Saturday at the most.  Eating…  like most people I felt my food intake needed an overhaul after Christmas habits.  Snacking is my downfall and I have a very sweet tooth.  My goal is to reduce the snacks, and replace bad snacks with good snacks.  Increase quantity at meal times !  but I don’t mean huge portions here, but lots of veg (not easy for a non veg lover) and protein and a sensible amount of carbs.  A little bit of planning needed to make sure we are having better meals and I’m hoping that this will help me to curb the snacking.  So far this seems to be working and I’ve lost a pound or two this week already.  Now the hard part of sticking to it.

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Beautiful Isla that I had the pleasure of cuddling after I’d finished parkrun