Tag Archives: track running

Back on it – a weekly round-up

16 Jun

Hello again! I feel like I’m finally getting back on top of things, so here’s a round-up of my week…

Saturday – Volunteering at parkrun

For the second week in a row, I was a volunteer at parkrun – this time as a Run Director.

Southampton parkrun 10 June 17

Because of building works, we’re currently on an alternative route at Southampton parkrun that starts near to The Cowherds pub. I quite like Run Directing with this start as there’s a bench for me to stand on. There was also some excitement as our long-awaited PA system has now arrived, so I now longer need to rely on my teacher’s voice projection!

RDing at parkrun

That’s what 767 runners looks like © John Grant

 

Sunday – Southampton Tri Club event

On Saturday afternoon, Stu and I finished sorting out our bike trailer, so that M is able to go out cycling with us. I recently traded in my beautiful Fiat 500 for a Citroen Berlingo that we affectionately refer to as ‘the mum bus’. It’s not a beautiful car, but it’s comfortable and there’s plenty of room for bikes and more. Stu reconfigured the car to fit all of our kit in, but we learnt the hard way on saturday night that Baby M is allergic to peanuts. This meant that we didn’t manage to join Tri Club friends for a social bike ride on Sunday morning. We could have joined in with the run, but were shattered after a long night.

STC BBQ

©Darryl Marcus-Hanks

Stu took part in a sea swim, whilst I sun-bathed and played with M on the beach. We then had a lovely barbeque. Southampton Tri Club is such a friendly club and this was a great opportunity to meet some of the new members. After a few burgers, I went off for a walk by the beach huts.

Calshot beach huts

 

Monday – swimming

The Quays

I finally got myself back to the pool on Monday night. I think swimming will always be the hardest part of a triathlon for me. I prefer open water swimming, but it’s hard to get to the lake and reasonably expensive, so I need to make sure that I attend tri club sessions at the pool.

It was the first time I’ve swum since I got me new watch, so it was interesting to see what data it would show me. We did quite a few 100m sets, including some with fins. Coach Steve called me over and explained that he had identified the problem with my front crawl – apparently my stroke looks like a bear crawling along and it’s basically my strength that gets me through as my technique is awful. Steve had a new torture device swim aid that he got me to try – a Finis Forearm Fulcrum Positioner that “holds the hand, wrist and elbow to position the forearm optimally”. It definitely felt different, but I still don’t think that I can visualise what correct technique should be – it doesn’t come naturally to me!

I positioned myself at the back of the lane for the swim as I’ve not been swimming for a while, which meant that I didn’t feel too much pressure. We covered just over a mile in the session, which was enough for me!

 

Tuesday – Run with Sarah

At lunchtime I went for a run with my work colleague and friend, Sarah. It was quite warm, but we were out for nearly an hour. I had M in her buggy and that combined with the humidity and my asthma/hay fever made for a challenging run. Sarah and I kept the pace slow so that we were able to have a much-needed chat. I love running for keeping me fit, but I also love it because it really helps to keep me sane. Some people might swear by a glass of wine at the end of a hard week, for me nothing beats a chatty run with a friend 🙂

 

Wednesday – Buggy Mums and Mile of Miles

On Wednesday, I went to Buggy Mums, which is one of the highlights of my week. It was a hot and sunny day, so we did a mix of intervals and exercises in the shade. It was lovely to see some mums that I know from elsewhere (Sing and Sign and my running club). Unfortunately, I didn’t get to participate as much as I had hoped to as M wasn’t in her happiest mood and my hay fever was playing up.

On Wednesday evening, Stu, M and I walked down to the Sports centre to take part in Mile of Miles, which is a 10 x 1 mile track relay. Southampton Tri Club had two teams: a fast team and a fun team. Stu was originally on the fast team, but he’s been under the weather, so switched to the slower team. I was on leg 8 and Stu was leg 9. I did a brief warm up, but my hay fever and asthma were making breathing difficult, so I knew that I would find it hard. I also struggle to pace myself on the track and the relay format meant that I wasn’t running alongside others, which usually helps to push me.

My final time was 7:29 which is quite a lot slower than my recent PB of 7:10. I had thought about doing the Lordshill Magic Mile on Tuesday evening, but decided against it as I wanted to save my legs… however on Tuesday I was feeling well and on Wednesday I was shattered. Hopefully, I’ll feel better by the next mile event as I would love to achieve 6:59. My splits were all over the place: 1:41; 1:59; 1:55; 1:54!

Tamsyn at the track

© Di Mattingly

Tamsyn at the track

© Di Mattingly

Tamsyn at the track

©Paul A. Hammond

Tamsyn at Mile of Miles

©Paul A. Hammond

Tamsyn at Mile of Miles

©Paul A. Hammond

Tamsyn on the track

© Paul A. Hammond

Tamsyn running on the track

© Paul A. Hammond

Tamsyn at Mile of Miles

©Paul A. Hammond

Tamsyn at MoM

©Paul A. Hammond

Tamsyn on the track

© Paul A. Hammond

Tamsyn at Mile of Miles

©Paul A. Hammond

Tamsyn at Mile of Miles

©Paul A. Hammond

Tamsyn on the track

© Paul A. Hammond

Tamsyn running on the track

©Paul A. Hammond

STC at Mile of Miles

©Paul A. Hammond

Tamsyn at Mile of Miles

©Paul A. Hammond

Tamsyn running at Mile of Miles

©Lois Elliott

Tamsyn running at Mile of Miles

©Lois Elliott

Tamsyn running at Mile of Miles

©Lois Elliott

Tamsyn running at Mile of Miles

©Lois Elliott

A rare pic of me with my baby © Paul A. Hammond

STC at Mile of Miles

Thursday – run at Weston Shore

I drove to Weston Shore early on Thursday as I was keen to be there ready for Buggy Mums. I had a bit of time to answer some emails when I arrived, before going over and chatting to friends. After a short while, one of them looked on Facebook and saw a message saying that the class had been cancelled 😦 All was not lost as one of the others agreed to go running with me. We did an out and back – one direction was easy, but the other was into a headwind. I did just over 4.5km, but couldn’t motivate myself to make up the extra distance with the wind!

Sadly, I’ve heard that there won’t be any more sessions at Weston Shore… however, they will be replaced with sessions at Riverside Park, which is a bit closer to home.

 

So that’s my round-up of this week. Southampton parkrun is cancelled tomorrow, so I’m looking forward to going to Lee on Solent parkrun. My friend, Sarah, lives nearest to that parkrun, so hopefully I’ll get to run with her. Also, I’m going to meet up with a few Hampshire-based running and tri bloggers, which should be fun. Then I’ve got some really exciting events planned for next week, including an aquathlon in a stunning setting.

What are you looking forward to next week?

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Catching up

11 Sep

The last few weeks have been hard work, which is why I haven’t been blogging regularly. It’s taken me a while to shake off the despondency of having my bikes stolen. Fortunately, I have my work bike back, so I can cycle to work. We’ve improved the security on our garage and are seeing a specialist about additional measures this week. This has been prioritised over getting new bikes as I know a number of people who’ve replaced stolen bikes only to be hit again a few months later.

A friend has recognised that the photo of my bike that was shared on Gumtree was taken outside the Bright Water Inn (Wetherspoons) in Shirley, Southampton. If any of you live in that area and can keep an eye out for my bike (or any of the other 3 that are still missing), I’d be really grateful.

I’ve been quite tired recently and am looking forward to finishing work in 3 weeks time. I’ve been doing parkrun every weekend, but haven’t done as much other training as I’d like.

southampton-parkrun-218-27th-aug

Southampton parkrun 27th August

Southampton parkrun 3rd September

Southampton parkrun 3rd September

southampton-parkrun-220-10-sept

Southampton parkrun 10th September

I’m a bit annoyed with my time for the last run as I recorded a quicker time on my Garmin and the friend I ran with (and finished with) had a finish time that was quite a bit faster. We’ll just have to make sure we go faster next weekend! I find it strange that running is more comfortable than swimming – I seem to get out of breath a lot faster in the pool, but perhaps it’s because we’re all more competitive there.

I fitted in a track session with Southampton Tri Club this week and really enjoyed it. It’s been a while since I’ve been to the track, but it’s one of my favourite types of running.

I had a bit of excitement recently as Runners’ World sent out a photographer to take pictures for an article that will probably be in the October 2016 issue. It’s about ‘running inspiration’ and running with friends. I was interviewed about how my friend, Jez, inspired me to start running and how that has made me go on to run 5 marathons and become a Run Leader before becoming a coach. The photo shoot was great fun – Jez and I went down to the track, which was fortunately very quiet.  We had to do all sorts of posed pictures including ‘tying our shoelaces’ (I had elastic laces on) and stretching whilst holding onto each other. I can’t share any photos yet, but after the embargo is over, I should be able to post a few here. There were also a few photos taken of us running together, and then we came back to my garden to have a few more pictures taken in front of a white screen. I laughed throughout the whole shoot, whereas poor Jez found it rather awkward. I also made sure that I dressed in my finest for the pictures – my 2016 SOAS team vest and shorts with my matching Brooks trainers.

Although I haven’t been doing my usual amount of training, I have spent hours in my garden and have managed to turn it from a derelict wasteland to something that doesn’t look too bad. I just need the weather to stay nice so that I can spend a couple more days outside. (I’d also make more progress if I could get rid of the garden waste more easily).

Tidier garden

I really should have taken before and after pictures… and since taking this, I’ve removed the enormous bush on the right hand side.

I’ve also painted a few rooms and my mum has been up to help finish off my kitchen renovations. My fitted bench seat finally has cushions on it, which looks really good and is much more comfortable than just chipboard!

Having spent most of this weekend decorating (changing our bedroom from a hideous shade of rose-pink to pale blue has taken hours), we decided that we needed to do something fun, so Stu and I went off to look at bikes in a couple of local bike shops. I’ve got a few bikes in mind, but none of them are as unusual as this bike I saw when we were in Denmark:

wooden bike in Denmark

Sadly, none of the bikes that were stolen can be replaced like-for-like as they’re not available any more, so Stu and I are both having to make some tough decisions about what we want. I think I’d like to get a nice carbon road bike (but perhaps with tri bars) to replace my Kuota, and a cyclocross bike to replace my Giant Defy. It’s been a few years since I bought a bike on the cycle to work scheme, so I may see whether I can find an appropriate cyclocross bike in a local shop.

First of all, we went to Hargroves Cycles in Totton. We’ve looked at their bikes online and have visited the store previously, but I was disappointed to find that they had a disproportionate number of mountain bikes in stock, with relatively few road and cyclocross bikes. Also, most of the bikes didn’t have their sale prices on them, so we had to look a few up on the Hargroves website. However, it was refreshing to see a female member of staff who was really lovely.

Then we went over to the Giant Store. I bought two of my three bikes there when it was CycleWorld Wessex, so I know the staff are good. It also has a reasonable range of Liv bikes, including some of the triathlon and road bikes that I wanted to see. The Envie Advanced Tri bike sounds like a good option – it’s a lovely aero road bike with tri bars, but I don’t love the colours!

Reduced Liv Envie Advanced Tri

I love the colour scheme of the Liv Avow Advanced Pro (black, jade and purple), but don’t think a TT bike is right for me. I don’t have the bike handling skills and also I like to take part in group rides.

I managed to identify my Kuota on Gumtree fairly quickly as not only did it have a women-specific saddle on it (plain black instead of the usual black and white), but it also had my name visible on the crossbar. I hated this when I first got it (especially as the font was unattractive and didn’t match the rest of the bike), but it served as a good identifier, so I’ll make sure my next bike has some distinguishing features. Orbea bikes can be completely customised and I’m keen to look at the new range from Ridley (but their website hasn’t been fully updated yet). Have you seen any interesting or unusual bikes that have caught your eye? I definitely want something that isn’t too common.

I’m also interested in getting an anti-theft bike tracker. A few years ago, there was a surge of these (mainly through kick-starter projects), but none of them seem to be available any more. Ideally I’d like something discreet, such as a spybike top cap tracker, as that would be unlikely to be noticed by an ordinary bike thief. A friend has recommended TrackR. It’s for sale in the UK and there seem to be some local users. This review was interesting: https://bikeindex.org/news/bike-index-meets-trackr-a-review-ensues If anyone can recommend a similar product, I’d love to know about it.

Recently, I’ve been eating Dr Zak’s high protein peanut spread on toast. I love porridge, but just can’t eat very much in the morning at the moment, so this has been a life saver. I’ve tried it in two flavours:

  • sweet banoffee pie
  • chocolate fudge brownie

Dr Zaks peanut butter

I can’t decide which I like best. They both taste good, but I think the sweet banoffee pie one spreads a little more easily. They’re also both suitable for vegetarians and do not contain palm oil, so I don’t feel guilty consuming them. Unfortunately, I’ve discovered there are five other flavours, which sound equally delicious:

  • Salted Caramel
  • White Chocolate & Coconut
  • Apple & Cinnamon
  • Cherry Bakewell
  • Fresh Raspberry

…and I’m sure I saw pictures of some other new flavours on Twitter. Yummy! Have you tried any of the new flavours?

I’ve now only got 10.5 days left at work before I go on maternity leave, so I’m starting to think about my plans for next year (alongside the challenges I’m likely to face). I’m looking whether it will be possible to do some training courses whilst I’m on maternity leave to get me closer to my goals. ideally, I’d like to find something that is distance learning or else a blend of online and evening/weekend sessions. I’m looking at the following:

I’d really like towards becoming a personal trainer. I’ve also looked at a lot of nutrition and dietetics courses. Sadly, I don’t have the time or money to go back to university for another degree (and can’t afford a part-time/online degree), so I’m thinking of doing a Precision Nutrition course. I’ve worked with a Precision Nutritionist before (Sam) and found him to be very helpful.

I also need to think about my race goals for next year. I have no idea how long it will take me to get back to training, but would really love to do Southampton Marathon in April 2017, and am still considering doing Ironman Weymouth in September 2017 (as per my original plan)… but if Stuart would like to have a fair shot at an Ironman next year, I wouldn’t stand in his way as I was so disappointed on his behalf by what happened around his attempt at Ironman Copenhagen. When I’ve firmed up my plans, I’ll decide whether I’m going to work with a coach, or whether I’m going to go it alone. I’m also keen to take part in some cyclocross training in Southampton and perhaps enter some races.

Have you started thinking about your race goals for 2017? What will be your A race?

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What a glorious feeling, I’m happy again…

13 Nov

We’ve had torrential rain here for the last few days, but things are starting to look positive. There’s even some sunshine on the weather map for tomorrow 🙂

Monday

The day didn’t start well as car problems meant that I missed out on the strength and conditioning session that I had been looking forward to. I was so gutted about it – I hope I manage to book a place for next Monday’s session, although I imagine that I’ll be tired after Gosport Half Marathon. I didn’t have to rush straight to work as I was booked in for a ‘flu jab. I’ve never had one before as I’ve never counted as an ‘at risk’ category, but my asthma means that I’m now someone who may be more seriously affected. I really hate needles and have fainted quite a few times when I’ve had to give blood, so I was a bit concerned about it. Fortunately, the nurse at my doctor’s surgery is lovely and it didn’t take too long, although I had to sit still for a few minutes afterwards to ensure that I didn’t keel over!

On Monday evening, I agreed to take Ben’s group at my running club… however, this group consists of the fastest runners in the club. They are seriously fast. Their warm up jog pace is my flat-out on the track PB pace. Of course this meant that I wouldn’t be able to run along with them and shout encouragement, and it’s a bit cool to stand around for an hour, so I got on my trust hybrid bike and cycled  around with them. Their main set was 6×1 mile reps at HM pace, which was a comfortable slow cycle for me. It was quite nice to be able to encourage them and I also got to see lots of the other runners who were out training.

After finishing off the LRR session, I cycled to the Quays for tri club swimming. There were only three of us in the lane, but I was by far the slowest one. My left arm (where I’d had the injection) was feeling stiff and tired and it was another impossible set – 12 x 25m off 30s. I decided to ignore what we’d been told to do and just did my best for each length before having 5s rest. We also had to tread water for 2 minutes with our hands behind our heads. I’m not sure whether I was doing it wrong, but it felt quite easy. Bizarrely, I received more praise from the coach than I’ve ever had before, even though I didn’t really do much!

 

Tuesday

On Tuesday, I went to the SUTri spin class. It was the first time that I had gone to a spinning class for two years and my first ever hour-long class.When I worked at Bournemouth University, I used to love going to lunchtime spin classes, but for reasons of time and cost, I’ve not been to any classes since I left BU. I remember that when I started going to classes, I found them completely exhausting, so I was a little concerned about how I would find an hour-long class. Fortunately, all of the time that I’ve spent on a real bike, whether commuting for work or triathlon training, has paid off and I did not struggle with the class. I liked some of the tracks that the instructor played, but I didn’t find the class as motivational as ones that I’ve been to in the past with lots of recognisable recent dance tracks with lyrics. There was also less variety than I’m used to, but I still think it was good and want to go again.

Last week, I went to the SUTri swimming session on Tuesday evening and I am planning to go again, but I had another commitment on Tuesday evening. Recently, Stu and I had a photoshoot with the lovely Sue and Jules from http://www.julianporter.com/ On Tuesday, we went to have a look at the photos that Jules had taken and decide which one we wanted to have printed and framed. Jules has written a blog post about it… it includes lots of the images that he took: http://julesandsue.co.uk/2014/11/lordshill-road-runners-shoot/ If you are in the south of England and need a photographer, I’d recommend getting in touch with Jules and Sue.

 

Wednesday

I really love running on the track, so I was looking forward to the Lordshill track session on Wednesday evening. The weather was pretty miserable, but I think it’s important to train in all weathers as you never know what race day will be like. Ben did quite a long warm up and technique session before the main set started. We were tasked with running 200m at 5K pace +10 seconds, followed by 200m at 5k pace. Ben had worked out how fast we should do each rep according to our PBs – I think I was meant to do 200m in 1:10 followed by 200m in 1:00… but I thought it was 200m at 5:10/km followed by 2oom at 5:00/km, which less of a variance. In the end, I did 200m slow followed by 200m fast, which wasn’t really what we were meant to do. I’m not very good at identifying my pace and I couldn’t read my watch. I think I should have probably relied on my lap button more. I’m not sure whether I did 12 or 13 laps, but it took me just under 26 minutes, which wasn’t too bad.

Garth and Graham at Vankru Cycling shared this fantastic video from Ritte cycles:  http://rittecycles.com/ritte-bicycles/the-rider-diaries-a-chance-encounter

The Rider Diaries: A Chance Encounter from Ritte Bicycles on Vimeo.

Make sure that you watch it to the end!

Tracking and track-ing

10 Jun

Today has been a really beautiful sunny day, so I’ve made the most of it. This morning, I had to cycle down to the Oceanography Centre for work (which was exciting as I got to see some really cool stuff linked with a work project), but the real bonus was that I then had to cycle all of the way across the city at about 11:30am, so I got to enjoy some of the sunshine.

I’ve also been #TWIETing today:

Breakfast:

Chocolate brownie porridge

Chocolate brownie porridge

Oats, raisins, cocoa powder and almonds (there were no walnuts in the cupboard!)

Lunch:

Salad with carrots, spring onions (scallions), spinach, lettuce, radish, tomatoes and hummus.

Salad with carrots, spring onions (scallions), spinach, lettuce, radish, tomatoes and hummus.

An apple (with my brand new apple!)

An apple (with my brand new apple!)

Snacks:

No photos, but a sharon fruit/persimmon and some toast.

Tea:

Vegetable stirfry with tofu and a peanut sauce

Vegetable stir fry with tofu and a peanut sauce

I’ve been using MyFitnessPal for an entire week now and am into the final couple of weeks of my WW membership, so I went along tonight for my Weigh In. The tracking has obviously helped me as I’ve lost 2.5lbs 🙂 I hope I can maintain my momentum as I’m back under 11 stone again – I’m 10st 12lbs (152lbs)… only 26lbs to lose, how hard can that be? 😉

So, from tracking to track-ing… This evening, I went along to the first Tri Club track session. I quite enjoy running at the track, and it doesn’t cost me anything, which is great. I also thought that it would help to mix up my training and I might meet some new people. Finally, I’ve grumbled a bit before that my Tri Club mainly functions as a swimming club, with a few rides organised (at times, locations and paces that don’t suit me) and absolutely no running, so I felt that I should support this endeavour.

A mix of people from Tri Club turned up, but I recognised most of them which was good. I was definitely at the back of the pack, but I hadn’t really expected anything else. Also, an advantage of track running is that you’re never far from the other runners and after a while it’s hard to know what lap anyone is on!

The track was very busy when we arrived, so we went for a 1 mile warm up outside of the track. Then, on our return, we did some drills, including high knees, butt flicks and fast feet. Then it was on to the main set 6x600m. We were meant to be doing them at 5k pace, but I went out at what Steve Prefontaine would refer to as ‘suicide pace’, which wasn’t wise and I paid for it later. How on earth did I think I could maintain 3:19/km?!! I averaged 5:12/km for the entire set, which is faster than my current 5k pace, but I know the last couple were very slow… and I want to see all of them start with a 4! Overall, I really enjoyed being at the track, but I think I need to push myself harder.

Do you like track running? Is it something that is readily available for you to do? (It costs £3+ per session here).

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