I had hoped that I was back to blogging, but I’ve not been well recently. This has had a couple of knock-on effects. Firstly, I’ve not had the energy to do much exercise and secondly, I’ve been too tired to blog. I’ve been to see my doctor for some blood tests and will be discussing the results with her next week. I suspect that it may be anaemia that has left me feeling listless (although glandular fever [mononucleosis] is another possibility). In turn, this has led me to make a lot of unhealthy choices. I’m hoping that I will feel better soon and make the right choices. I’m now 1.5lbs away from being as heavy as I was when I first joined Weight Watchers at 29 years old. I need to get back to being 30lbs lighter!
As I’m trying to get back up to date, I’m going to break this post into short sections. Apologies if it doesn’t read well.
I wasn’t well for Valentine’s Day, so I didn’t really get into the spirit of things. I had bought Stu a small gift, but I failed to buy a card. Hopefully, he knows how much I love him anyway. I shared the photo from my graduation ball on Facebook. Surprisingly, it received 84 likes. That’s probably more than almost anything else I’ve ever posted. I’ve changed shape since then and gained a few wrinkles… and Stu and I have both had quite a few inches cut off our hair!!!
Virtual Running UK Blog Hop
Earlier this week, Virtual Running UK tweeted to let me know about their Run Blog Hop. I’d never heard of a Blog Hop before, so I had to google what it meant. Essentially, a blog hop is when a group of bloggers post about a topic and share links to the other blogs so readers can go to them. It usually takes place in a set time frame.
I’d forgotten that yesterday was the end of the month. I think my fastest 5km has probably been 27:44. That was my time for the first 5km of Bramley 20 (which you can read about later in this post!). Is anyone else joining in with this blog hop? Please post a comment if that’s why you’ve stopped by here today 🙂
IDEA Inspired Blogger
I’m also delighted to have been chosen as an IDEA Inspired Blogger. There is now an IDEA Inspired Blogger page with my photo and link to my blog here: http://www.ideafit.com/inspired-bloggers. It’s really exciting to be part of this network:
The IDEA Inspired Blogger program is designed to recognize bloggers who inspire and motivate others to live a healthy lifestyle.
Around the World Running Blog Relay
A while back I signed up to take part in an Around the World Running Blog Relay. We’re trying to see how many miles/kms running bloggers can log in March and April. Are you in?
Although I’ve not had enough time (or energy) to get back to lunchtime yoga sessions at work, I finally went back to one of Wai’s ‘Yoga for Runners’ classes on Friday. It wasn’t a particularly demanding class, which was brilliant as I needed a gentle reintroduction!
My swimming has been a real struggle recently. I’ve been able to battle on with my running whilst being unwell, but I’ve not got the swimming background to enable me to do that. I’ve been finding it really hard to breathe, which has meant that doing more than 25m at a time has been really hard. I left one training session halfway through, which made me feel like I was letting myself and my coach down, I missed another session and although I trained on Monday this week, I took lots of rest. I really hope that I get well soon as I hate finding swimming this difficult.
As I’ve been ill and my training has suffered, I’ve started to worry about Brighton Marathon. Originally, I had hoped that I would be able to complete it in 4:15, but I’ve now had to wave goodbye to that as being unrealistic. I’m still going to do the race and have every intention of finishing it, but should probably be happy with anything under 5 hours now.
Bramley 20 Mile
The night before Bramley 20 mile, I had the opportunity to catch up with two friends who I haven’t seen for a long time. This meant that I had to get my stuff ready before I went out.
I picked up all sorts of gels and drinks as well as making peanut butter sandwiches on granary bread and buying chocolate milk for afterwards.
I drove up to Bramley 20 quite early. It was strange being on my own in the car as usually, Stu comes to races with me and we often car share with other runners. After I arrived at the venue, I met up with a few other Lordshillers and was able to meet up with Teri as we had agreed to run together. We had enough time for a selfie before we had to line up. Teri was originally wearing a long-sleeved top under her charity vest as well as long tights and a buff. I just had on a t-shirt and shorts, so Teri decided to remove her long-sleeved top at the last minute. Although it was quite cool, the sun was out and I’ve had problems with overheating recently, so I wanted to wear as little as possible.
Unfortunately, Bramley 20 did not go as planned. I decided to go out strong from the start as that technique had served me well two years ago when I got a massive PB, but it wasn’t long before I started to feel warm. By 5 miles I was overheating, which is a bit worrying only a quarter of the way into a race, especially as it was below 7 degrees (<45 F). I decided to see how I felt when I got to 10 miles as I could drop out at that point if necessary.
By the time I got to 10 miles I was struggling, but I was also determined… I knew I had to do a 20-mile run as part of my marathon training and it would be easier to keep going than try to do it on another day. By 13 miles, I felt really sick. I managed to get Teri and Luana to go on without me so that I was able to slow down and drink more.
I drank a lot of water as well as taking on energy gels, so I don’t think I was dehydrated. By 16 miles, my fingers were so badly swollen that I was unable to curl them. I felt rough but was still hoping that I could beat my time from last year (3:27). By 18 miles, I realised that I wasn’t going to beat 3:27, but I didn’t want to keep my friends waiting for too long as I had promised Teri a lift home.
I finally finished the race in 3:30. It was a big disappointment for me, but at least it had fulfilled its purpose, which was as a training run.
After the race, I had a stretch, got changed and drank some of my milk. I also tried to eat my sandwiches, but I just didn’t want them.
Overall, Bramley 20 is a great race, with lots of snacks in the goody bag and an attractive medal. It is also well-signposted and has some great marshals… although it’s sad that these signs were required after some people’s actions last year:
Last weekend’s long run
Despite not feeling up to it, I forced myself to go out for a long run with Teri on Saturday. I needed to do 15 miles and I wanted to include parkrun as it was Stuart’s 100th run. Teri blogged about the run here: http://gingergirlrunning.wordpress.com/2014/02/23/a-week-off-training-week-10/
Unfortunately, I didn’t plan our route well and wasn’t moving very quickly, so we didn’t manage to run 12 miles before parkrun. After we had finished parkrun, we needed to do another loop, so we picked up Steve and then continued on our run.
Teri was on great form and managed a blistering pace at parkrun. I ran significantly more slowly and struggled with it. Having some extra company for the final loop was great. It meant that I didn’t have to talk as I was so out of breath. I was also starting to feel uncomfortable… fortunately, for you, the image above is quite dim as my shorts were very short. They look lovely, but the lack of fabric meant that I had a bit of chafing 🙁
It was my birthday last week, so I originally planned to spend the weekend celebrating, however, as I was feeling ill, we kept it low key.
I tried some lovely Brooks Pureflow shoes a few weeks ago and really liked them. When I went to buy them, I found that I could only get them in black. Fortunately, after a bit of pleading Alton Sports managed to get me a pair in a beautiful shade of turquoise. I really hope that they look good with my Team SOAS kit… I know that the fit is more important than the colour, but I love it when my clothes match and nothing’s going to change that!!!
I’m fortunate enough to have very kind and generous friends and relatives. Here’s a snap of just a few of the cards and gifts that I received 🙂
One of the first presents that I opened was a lovely running top from my brother-in-law and his family:
Then I opened a present from Stu. It’s a lovely Castelli cycling top. I’m looking forward to trying it out.
One of the gifts from my in-laws was a pair of Seal Skinz socks. Stuart gave me a pair a while ago, but we can’t find them, so I’m very glad to have these as a replacement!
I also received lots of presents that are not related to sports!
On Saturday afternoon, Stuart, Katherine and I went ice-skating. It was a lot of fun, but I didn’t enjoy it as much as usual as I felt really tired and was struggling to stay awake. It was also very busy as it was the end of half term week and people were also feeling inspired after the Winter Olympics in Sochi!
I’ve received lots of exciting parcels recently, one of which was my Embrace Sports kit that I ordered back in December. It’s a bit chilly here for me to wear the shorts on my bike, but I should be able to wear the top with my Wiggle bib tights and some black arm warmers until the weather gets better. (Although, I should be able to wear the shorts when I’m on the turbo trainer!)
World Book Night 2014
Ok, so this isn’t related to running, cycling, swimming or eating, but I thought I’d share it anyway. I’ve been selected as a World Book Night giver for 2014 🙂 I’ll be handing out copies of ‘Black Hills’ by Nora Roberts on 23rd April. I read it on holiday a few years ago and enjoyed it, so I thought it would be a fun novel to distribute. If you are likely to see me between 23rd April and 1st May and would like to receive a copy, let me know.
Charlton Duathlon and Winchester Duathlon
My first multisport event of the year was going to be Charlton Duathlon, but it was cancelled. It may turn out to be a blessing in disguise. I’ve been so ill that I don’t think I would have been able to do it (or at least to perform well). I now have to hope that I’m well enough to do Winchester Duathlon later on this month. It was my first ever multisport event last year, so I’m hoping that I smash my time.
The guys at Try Tri challenged me to ‘trinominate’ some people to get involved in triathlons this year. I had to get into an unusual position and then ‘trinominate’ people to make a video. If you want to know what I sound like (and see the beautiful location where I was brought up), watch the video on Facebook.
Now that we’re into March, it’s getting tantalisingly close to my kit arriving. I can’t wait!
I just love the detail that has gone into every aspect of this kit. Look how gorgeous the arm warmers are!
I also had a moment of fame on the Team SOAS Racing Blog:
This is something really cool that I read about online this week. Have you heard of it before? It seems to have similar aspirations to parkrun:
November Project™ is a FREE fitness movement that was born in Boston as a way to stay in shape during cold New England months. Now present in multiple cities in across four time zones in North America, the movement is using a simple sense of accountability to motivate and encourage people of all ages, shapes, sizes and fitness levels to get out of their beds and get moving. Our members vary from Olympic medalists, professional athletes, marathoners, triathletes, current and former collegiate athletes all the way to complete fitness rookies and recent couch potatoes just looking to kickstart their healthy life choices. If you think that you’re not fit enough to join the group, stop thinking and come see what the fuss is all about.
You can read more about it here: http://commonhealth.wbur.org/2012/11/november-project-free-fitness
If anyone lives in the Southampton area and meets the criteria to set this up locally, then I’d love to join in!
I’ve had a few problems with my hybrid bike recently (which were exacerbated by the number of trees that I’ve had to carry it over… it’s been very windy here). As a consequence, I’ve not been cycling to work every day. Anyway, I recently learned about two useful websites:
- Veloviewer.com This website makes it easy to extract data from Strava.
- Tapiriik.com This website syncs your data with Strava, GarminConnect, RunKeeper, DropBox, Training Peaks and Sport Tracks.
Breeze Bike Champion
I’ve signed up to become a Breeze Bike Champion so that I can encourage other women to go out cycling. The training is in a couple of weeks’ time and I’m really looking forward to it.
Well, sorry that’s all a bit of a jumble. Hopefully, I’ll be able to post another update tomorrow!