Busy, busy, busy! I’m still managing to exercise, but it’s so difficult for me to find time to blog, which is very frustrating. I thought I’d do a quick summary of what I’ve been up to recently. It includes marshalling a race, attending a Giant store workshop, parkrunning and more.
Sunday 22nd January
No running for me today. Stuart, baby M and I headed out into the New Forest to marshal a race in the local cross-country league.
We had been positioned on one of the first marshal points, so we saw the start of the race. Then we were able to move to another point to watch runners heading towards the finish before we walked back there.
It was a crisp and cold day and as usual, there were lots of New Forest ponies around.
You might not be able to tell from my photograph, but the water below was frozen solid and remained that way all morning.
I feel so lucky to live in such a beautiful area and am looking forward to being able to get back on my bike and cycling in the forest.
Tuesday 24th January
I went for a long run with Pete around Chilworth. We left in daylight, but the sun started to go down as we headed down a very long hill. We paused to look at a beautiful sunset and to take some photos. I hadn’t dressed adequately (just a t-shirt and shorts), so I quickly started to feel cold.
We ended up running around 10 miles, but it was hard going as my hands were so cold.
Wednesday 25th January
Baby M and I went to Buggy Mums on The Common again. We ran some laps around the model boating lake before heading up to the top ‘field’ part of The Common where we did some paired exercises. As usual, it was a lot of fun.
Thursday 26th January
The following day, I went to Buggy Mums at Weston Shore.
Last week the weather had been beautiful, with warm sunshine and no wind; it was the complete opposite today. Just before leaving the house, I decided to put on a base layer. I was so grateful that I had. I kept on my base layer, long-sleeved top, jacket, Buff and woolly hat for the entire session. Towards the end, I took my gloves off for a short period of time, but not for long!
I really like the Thursday sessions as they are less busy than the ones on The Common and there are more opportunities to chat to people.
Saturday 28th January
It was my turn to run on Saturday. I met my friend Teri who is recovering from injury. She has to follow a walk/run strategy. I agreed to join her as I thought it would be nice to do a steadier-paced run… however, Teri is fitter than I am, so the run intervals were quicker than I usually go and the walk breaks were very short, so I barely had time to decelerate before we were off again.
In the end, my time for the run wasn’t much different from my usual result.
Sunday 29th January
The following day was Sunday Runday – a training run for Southampton half marathon. It was my turn to run, so I was able to choose which group to help. Part of me was tempted to go with the 11-minute mile group, but I know that I need to push myself, so I joined my friends Pete, Kate and Malcolm in the 10-minute mile group.
It’s interesting to refamiliarise myself with the route for the half marathon (as well as learning the new parts). The race is being run in the opposite direction from last year.
Monday 30th January
The following day, I decided to return to Southampton Tri Club for my first swim since having my baby. It was a logistical challenge as Stu swam in the first session from 7-8pm and I swam in the second session from 8-9pm. Stu finished his swim a little early, and then met me outside the changing rooms at 7:55pm. I passed him Baby M in her car seat and my car keys; in return, Stu gave me his car keys.
There were lots of new faces in the swimming session, so Coach Steve had to rearrange the lanes a bit. I was asked to move into Lane 2, but I pointed out that I no longer have any stamina. I swam in Lane 2 just for a bit before Steve rearranged us again and I went back to Lane 1. There’s now quite a lot of disparity in the ability of the swimmers in Lane 1. Some people find it tough to do more than a length or two at a time.
Steve had planned an interesting session that included some core work on the poolside. This was quite challenging, but good fun.
In the end, I did the majority of the session, but I finished nearly 10 minutes early. This was because the pool was so busy that I didn’t want to have to queue for a shower as I needed to get home quickly. The changeover seemed to work well, so I now need to get myself back on track ready to take part in Swimathon. I think I swam around 1600m (1 mile), so I need a lot of training!
Tuesday 31st January – Giant Store workshop
I had originally intended to go for a long run with Pete today, but I had completely forgotten that I had booked onto a cycle maintenance for women course at my local Giant Store, so we rescheduled for Thursday.
I know that some people will think that it’s not necessary to run separate maintenance workshops for men and women, but most of the women who attended seemed to be quite nervous and didn’t want to made to look stupid in front of men.
My friend, Lou, has recently bought a road bike, so she had also booked to come to the event with me. When we arrived, we were divided into three groups, as there were three members of staff, each of whom was running a separate 30-minute workshop.
The first workshop was about bike cleaning. This was a simple topic to start with and didn’t really warrant a 30-minute timeslot. One of the most interesting points was when we were shown the difference between Muc Off and a cheap alternative, which was quite eye-opening:
The second workshop was led by Nigel, the store owner. He was covering dealing with punctures. I’ve fixed punctures in the past and changed an inner tube, but I think it’s always good to refresh this knowledge and there’s always something new to be learnt. Nigel showed me some tricks that make it easier to replace an inner tube and tyre without using tyre levers. It was easier, but as I have delicate thumbs, I will probably continue to use levers!
Lou raised an interesting question about the need to pump up tyres after filling them with CO2. I hadn’t heard of this before and neither had the others. Later, Lou proved us wrong by sharing the scientific information that she found online!
The third and final workshop was the most technical one of the three as it was on brakes and gears. Whilst I understand the theory of all of this, I’m still nervous to adjust the gears on my own bike. We’ve had a few problems with the brake on M’s running buggy, so I asked a couple of questions and should now be able to fix the problem.
Overall, I think the evening was a great success. The staff were helpful and friendly and each participant was given a goodie bag, including a lanyard, button badges, a New Forest cycling map, some dry lube and a puncture repair kit. Apparently, there are plans afoot to run more events in the future, which would be really good.
Wednesday 1st February
On Wednesday, I went to Buggy Mums. My mum had come to visit, and I needed to drop her off before the session, so I ended up parking on the opposite side of The Common and had to dash to the start of the session.
We did a warm-up on The Flats, so I ended up travelling back towards where I had parked. We then went back to the play area for the main part of the session, which included some pull up and chin up preparation as well as lots of tricep dips and press ups on the benches.
Thursday 2nd February
I had so much to do and was feeling tired, so decided not to go to Buggy Mums and to save my energy for a long run with Pete.
I ran down to meet Pete on The Common. As I was cold last week, I decided to wear a long pair of tights that I had got out for Buggy Mums, as well as a t-shirt and jacket. I took off my jacket when I met Pete, so it immediately started raining. Fortunately, the shower was over quickly.
Yet again, Pete had planned a lovely route, which took us all around Ocean Village. I think it would be a lovely route to walk in summer, but it was quite windy and the water looked rough.
Part way around, we stopped for Pete to have a ‘comfort break’, which gave me a chance to put my head torch on. I was grateful that I had it on as we got to the east side of Riverside Park. The river was overflowing and all of the paths were covered. Pete and I took an alternative route for part of it, but in the end, we just had to go through the water. It was ankle-deep and cold 🙁 This meant that we had cold, wet feet for the final part of the run.
We headed up Bassett Green Road, which is a long hill. Pete had intended for us to go all of the way up to the top, but about 3/4 of the way up there is a shortcut that leads towards my house. I was feeling tired, so I suggested we took the shortcut.
In the end, we covered about 13 miles. I’m finding the long runs tiring, but am not struggling with DOMS afterwards, which is a good sign.
Saturday 4th February
On Saturday, Stu, Baby and I headed to parkrun with my mum. My mum has never completed a parkrun before, so I agreed to walk it with her. I didn’t want to push her too hard, so we took it very steady:
I’m now hoping my mum will take part in a parkrun near to her in the future.
Well, that’s all of my recent training summarised. In the last few weeks, I’ve also been testing out a variety of products, so I’ll be posting about those this week.