Thursday, 30 May 2013

PMA all the way!

This morning I managed another PB for running a mile.  That in itself is quite an achievement for me, but how I did it is also an important milestone.  Now I realise i'm going to sound like a motivational speaker from a 1980's business conference when I say this but it really is all about the positive mental attitude!  Yesterday I read an article about the power of positive thinking on running performance and this morning was a perfect day to try it out.

When I woke up this morning to  another grey, wet day with a raging headache, the last thing I wanted to do was to get out the door and run.  Why do beds get so much warmer and cosier in that moment after the alarm goes off??  So I got up, got ready and told myself I would just run one mile this morning.  One little mile, that's all, but faster than i've ever run it before! 

I went out into the damp, miserable May morning and started a slightly longer warm up walk, just to make sure I was ready and when I started my run I decided to concentrate, not on the rain or the grey skies or the fact that my head was still pounding, but making my strides a little longer and focused on my breathing. I cleared my head of any negative thoughts and told myself 'you can do this!'. This helped me settle into a nice rhythm where I felt calm and in control of my running. 

I consciously didn't take any notice of what time I was running so that I would concentrate on doing my best and when I looked down at my watch when the mile 'beep' went off I was shocked to see 9:32!  My previous best was 10:15 and that was only a week and a half ago that I actually ran my first mile without stopping! 

I gently jogged all the way home, looking like a strawberry jelly in my bright pink mac and face to match but did I care?? Not in the slightest, was too busy smiling :) 

Wednesday, 29 May 2013


Back to the short runs this morning. suffering with a bit of calf strain at the moment so I remembered to include a warm up walk and a cool down walk at the end (with plenty of stretching when I got home) but still got the running miles in!

Aiming for a minimum of 2 miles running every morning now with the long runs at the weekend, going to try for 4 miles of long run at the weekend but we'll have to see how restrained I can be on Saturday night!!

                               Got to be a first time for everything :)

Monday, 27 May 2013

Week Six!

Five weeks done! How easy was that?? Not easy at all, but i'm still at it and am still improving!

Yesterday was supposed to be my 5k day but I ate a whole load of rubbish on Saturday, woke up with my insides churning on Sunday morning so didn't go out.  This then sent me into a rage like the incredible hulk over the slightest thing.  Yes, I am turning into an angry person if I don't get my exercise. This is something new to me.  In the past, I would have felt angry at the thought of training but now the whole thing has flipped and that little outburst was a reminder that I can't just slip in and out of my old habits without consequences.

That was yesterday.  Today is another day and i'm feeling rather chuffed with myself! I shaved another 1 min 45 secs off my 5k time, despite not having a clear route in my mind when I set out and forgetting to take a drink with me. Doh!  This resulted in a lot of dehydrated meandering around town, but hey, I survived, and the thought of getting back home for a drink probably made me run faster!

Have been doing a lot more serious research into my training over the past week and am going to incorporate a good 5 minute cool down walk at the end of my run rather than it finishing when I arrive home.  Just had a good stretching session too as I've also recently discovered exactly how important this is to help prevent injury. 

Time for some Monday Motivation......2012-03-03_0712

Friday, 24 May 2013

Warning! Excited dog alert!

I love dogs, I really do, but have only just discovered what a menace they can be to runners. The other week I had the dog poop (more of an owner issue) to dodge, but today I had the dogs themselves.  I was running along in the park, aiming for a new PB for running a mile when from behind some trees ran two little beasties (a Cocker Spaniel and a Scottie - lethal combination!) who thought they would come and say hello.  The next I know they are both running around my feet and I ended up with my legs tied up in a mass of fur and leads!  I said hello to them and gave them both a little pat on the head and got them de-tangled then carried on but that little encounter cost me a whole 25 seconds!! 

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Another milestone, well, two more milestones!

It's only 6am but today has, so far, been a good day.  Got up for my normal run, managed to find a nice pace quite quickly so I decided to see how far I could go without feeling overwhelmed to walk.  Soon enough I made it to the end of the first mile, 12 seconds slower than Monday's mile but still feeling good, so I decided to keep going for another half mile, was still feeling fine by the end of that so decided to go for 2 miles and I made it, even though the last half mile was up hill!  I was so happy I strode purposefully home and even managed a little sprint up the hill to my front door :)

The one thing that has surprised me most about this week is how much fitter I am after only 4 weeks of training. Took my resting pulse rate last night while lounging on the sofa and it was only 62 - don't think it's ever been anywhere near that for a long time. My poor heart has been used to galloping along between 80-90 bpm for the past 15 years!  

If anyone reading this is thinking about starting running then I urge you to stop thinking about it and just go for it.  Feeling fit is, probably, the best feeling in the world :)

quotes thumb alt

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Another revelation!

Today was a day off from running so I hit the gym instead.  I haven't been to the gym much lately but was pleasantly surprised at how much more I could do compared to the last time I went, which was only 5 days ago!  

I did 30 minutes on the cross trainer and 30 minutes on the bike but found myself reaching for the resistance button on both machines to turn it up!  This was something that I have never even considered before...always been the 'do as little as you can get away with' type but now I'm finding that I am actively seeking out challenges rather than wasting energy trying to escape them, and it feels good.

I can now understand those insane people who get pleasure from exercise as I am proud to say i''m now one of them :)

Monday, 20 May 2013

Week Five.

Overcome by the shock of entering week five and that i'm still getting up stupid early for a run, I managed to run a whole mile, no slowing down for a 'breather' in 10 min 15 sec!! For someone who usually averages around 11.5 - 12 min miles, that was a significant breakthrough!  

So if anyone saw a weeble running through the rec this morning grinning like an idiot and punching the air then that was most likely me!

I didn't do much more than the mile though and slowly trotted the rest of the way home after remembering how I overdid it last weekend by subjecting my jelly legs to just over 5 miles in 24 hrs but doing some cross training in the gym tomorrow then back running again on Thursday morning.  Probably should have a had a rest day today as I have a tendency to forget that I am only a beginner and need to focus on not pushing too hard and getting an early injury!

As it's Monday, here's some weekly inspiration.....


Sunday, 19 May 2013

Sunday Morning.

Sunday morning again, every sane person was still in bed following last night's thrashing at Eurovision and I was once again out on a run. I was also quite chuffed with myself because I managed a whole evening of socialising last night on only two beers, as opposed to two bottles of wine, and subsequently felt a lot better for it today!   

Ventured out slightly later this morning, so was able to lie in 'till 7am! As it's the weekend I went for a slightly longer run than usual and did another 5k. I believe I managed to knock a few seconds off my time from last week too, (not sure exactly how much because the Garmin site is down - on a Sunday morning really? That's when the world goes for a run! Shame on you Garmin!!)  

Having not hit the tarmac since Thursday morning, I was a little worried that I might have lost it a bit but as i've gone easy on the running this week and done more cross training, but surprisingly my legs felt a lot stronger and had less niggly aches and pains than last week.

Though my body felt better I did have a few clothing issues this morning. It's getting towards the end of May now, plus I was out later than usual means it's a little bit hotter in the mornings, plus the fact that I had to wear two sports bra's this today for comfort (only discovered this tip yesterday and it has helped a lot - ladies of a certain build who have ever tried running will fully understand what I mean by that!) so ended up little over heated today (see fig. 1.1). Must invest in a long sleeve running top so I can ditch the hoodie over summer!

fig.1.1.  Hot!

Garmin site is up and running now and it's 1 minute and 12 seconds I beat my last 5k time by! Woo and indeed hoo! :)

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Hay fever Strikes.

What Bugs a Bunny? campaign - Hay fever © RSPCA

Got back out on the road this morning and my legs feel a lot better for the rest! As always in life once one problem is solved, another rears it's ugly head, this one being hay-fever. 

I'm very lucky that I only suffer very mild symptoms but it's enough to have me wheezing like an old steam train when i'm running through the more rural areas of my route!  It made me feel like I used to when I foolishly tried running as a smoker a few years ago....not good!  It wasn't so bad when I got back in to town so for the next few weeks i'll probably be sticking to the built up areas and chucking anti histamines down my neck! 

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Tuesday. Feels more like a Monday!

Tuesday morning and back on the road after a day off.  It was very hard to get out of bed this morning, woke up a bit late and for a few minutes I just laid there very seriously considering saying 'sod it' and snuggling under the duvet for some more zzz's.  Even started going through silly excuses: my knees still ache a bit; I won't have time to make my lunch for work etc. etc.  

In the end I just told myself to haul my fat ass out of bed and try, if it's that bad i'll just come home and rest.  Simple.  So I did go out and have come back with slightly better feeling knees but a very sore right thigh, maybe another rest day tomorrow.  If I keep running on slight niggles without giving them a chance to heal then they will surely turn in to major niggles! And I can do without any major injuries.

Monday, 13 May 2013

Week Four...

Woo Hoo! I've made it to the start of week four, that's nearly a month you know!

This morning however, I am sore.  Sore knees and sore hips - telling me that running just over 5 and a half miles in two days was a slightly silly idea! Oh well, live and learn so today I went nowhere near the road and drove to the local swimming pool for 30 relaxing lengths of breaststroke just to keep everything ticking over without pounding my poor 33yr old joints!

I have re-thought my weekly training plan now and will run no more than 20 minutes in the mornings for now  (gradually increasing to 30 as I get better) and then do just one 'long' run of 5k or over at the weekend. That way I have at least 2 days off from running a week and should be training sensibly so I don't knacker my joints out completely before the real marathon training begins!


Sunday, 12 May 2013

My First 5k!

Today mother nature was kind and provided another gorgeous sunny but breezy morning.  This was a good thing, as I decided yesterday that today I would attempt a 5k.  I Planned the route using the Garmin website so I knew exactly where I was going for a change as I headed out the door.

I have attempted a similar route before when I was 'training' (I use the word training in the loosest possible sense!) for the race for life last year. I seem to remember it taking me just over 45 minutes then so to complete it today in  just over 37 minutes is quite an achievement.  The route is quite hilly though so that makes my time even more impressive for a tubby bird like me :)

        Watch out! There are snails about!

Another good thing about this morning's run was the lack of dog excrement and regurgitated kebab meat but as it was very wet last night I had the challenge of snail dodging.  Those little slimy interceptors were waiting around every corner but I refused to let them foil my run!

Saturday, 11 May 2013

I love gadgets. Fact.

It is a lovely morning again, a little breeze but that's nice and you don't get that stuck inside the gym! 

I was a little bit excited about my run today because I have a new gadget.  Got myself a GPS watch and it's a grand bit of kit! Really simple to use and very accurate too, it's so nice to see exactly where I have been and how many miles I have covered.  Even though speed isn't that important, it was nice to see that i'm trundling along at an average speed of just over 5 miles per hour, which puts me on track for just under five and a half hour time for the marathon - exactly what i'm aiming for! Got to work at maintaining that pace for that amount of time - that's the hard part!

I was also surprised at the distance I have been covering, what I had previously thought was about 1.5 miles is actually 2.5 so that's a plus!

   Garmin Forerunner 10 - Lovely stuff :)

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Uphill Struggle

Today I smashed through the 20 minute barrier! By smashed I mean limped through the barrier looking rather hot and sticky rather than skipping through it with ease like an Olympic champion. But still, I did it!

It also didn't help that I decided to try out a new route today which turned out to be almost entirely uphill so there was a bit more walking involved today.  But even though it was hard, I am still enjoying it and feeling stronger. Just got to keep pushing a little more every time I go out.

Checked the Brighton Marathon site  only 333 days to go, that's only 11 months! Started to worry earlier if what i'm doing is enough then had to remind myself that i'm not trying to break any records, just get round the route alive and in a reasonable time!

Having a day off tomorrow then attempting to hit 25 mins on Saturday morning.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013


I'm not gonna lie to you, this morning was a struggle. Probably due to a couple of reasons, one being that I was wide awake at 2:30 this morning and could not get back to sleep (Grrrr!) and the fact that I consumed a grand total of 500mls of water all day yesterday! Running dehydrated is never a good thing.  Definitely need one of those beer hats for work when i'm scrubbed!

Despite all this I still managed to get another 19 and a half minutes of running in so not at all bad.

           More of this                       =               less of that!

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Week Three....

Three weeks ago, I really didn't i'd still be here writing this blog! Got back yesterday from a lovely weekend away and four days of no proper exercise -other than embarrassing the OH by running up every little hill at Alton Towers and masterfully tackling never ending spiral staircases at Warwick castle!

Despite the time off, I found on Sunday that I was missing running desperately and have since vowed to take my kit with me the next time we go away.  I have had people tell me that it is addictive but always assumed that I would be immune as running addiction only happens to other people right??

Anyhoo, I was up at the crack of dawn this morning, raring to go.  I decided that I would see how long I could continuously run for, (previous best being just over 6 minutes) and to my surprise, happily managed 10 minutes, the latter 3 of those being uphill.  

Just got to keep that going for another 320 minutes and i'll be able to run a marathon!!

Thursday, 2 May 2013

On annual leave now for a few days so had the chance for a well deserved lie in. I had set the alarm for 7am but oh no, my body had other ideas!  Found myself wide awake just before 6am and desperate to go running, but after 3 days on the road I thought it better to do a gym session instead.

So I trundled off t'gym to do 45 mins of cross training to keep everything ticking over.

Gotta go now 'cause i'm taking the old man to see Chas and Dave tonight...rabbit, rabbit, rabbit!

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Hey - it's May!

The first day of May has provided me with another fine morning for running.  Tried to push a bit harder today as this is most likely the last run of the week due to the long bank holiday weekend so had to get the most out of it.  

Pushed my total running time up to just over 19 minutes with a little over 6 of that being continuous, which, for me is a PB when it comes to road running!!

Even though today is the end of my first week of running in the real world I can feel my fitness improving and finding that I have to add more distance to my route as I seem to be running faster. Result!

Happy runner :)