Finding Mojo….

So, I’m back. I’ve not blogged since April. Mainly due to losing what they call the ‘running mojo’, I think I lost it somewhere around mile 18 of the London Marathon. It happens to the best of us – one minute I was setting goals, reaching new milestones in my training and then after the marathon I avoided any kind of running. Instead preferring to spend my time lifting weights and attending gym classes. I just felt like marathon training became a real ‘chore’ and more like ‘work’. I also discovered that my pace had slowed right down and it really demotivated me.

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Having spoken to running friends, I realised that losing your running mojo is a real thing. Especially after such intense training for a marathon. I realised that I needed to set some new strategies for getting out the door…

Using the run as a ‘keep fit’ – This advice one came from one of my running friends. It was good advice. Just forget about your speed, distance and just look at it as a ‘getting fit’ run.

Cut your runs down – so you’ve been marathon training, you can relax in the knowledge that you no longer need to spend 18 miles and umpteen hours of your Sunday morning out there running.

Sign up for races– Run for fun, or go for a new PB – or even treat the race as a training run… there is also bling at the end! Everyone is a winner!

Run with friends-Running with friends can take the pressure off pace (depending on what friend you run with of course!) and ensures that the miles just fly by. I do love a good ole natter but also can enjoy a couple of miles ‘just listening’. Many of my long miles with friends have been to stop in the shop for an ice cream or a drink and to take pictures.

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Try a different run– why not try a different route altogether? Even if it means driving to a new location…

X Country – I LOVE a bit of mud. Bring it on! I find X country so exciting as you never know what’s going to be around the corner and there are always some fantastic routes and views to be had.

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Don’t stress about it-It doesn’t matter if you’re not running as long as you’re moving. Take the time to try out some classes or new exercises until you get your fitness and running mojo back!

Try something different to running that you’ve always wanted to try! I am really enjoying my stand up paddling at the moment.  Why not try paddling or kayaking? We have had a beautiful summer so far so why not try something different and give your legs a well-earned break!

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Lose the Garmin – If you’re someone who has been running for a long time, then you know for sure what your pace is. Even if you tell yourself you won’t look at your Garmin, don’t believe it – you will. So, just leave it at home! Run free, at whatever pace feels good and liberating.

Join a run club – you will meet some totally awesome and inspirational people. Enough said..

Buy some new trainers – it’s the answer to everything. Plus, won’t it be great to just go test those baby’s out!

Change up your track list – my track list varies so much – I have gangster rap right through to slow ballads. It depends on what kind of day I have had as to what I choose to listen to.

Stretch!

Lastly, Run because you Can!   Remember that running is a privilege. It’s something YOU get to do for yourself. After all, not everyone has the ability to run. Some are sick, or physically not able to, and some just have no time. Be grateful instead that you have legs that are mobile, lungs that are strong, and a body that is healthy – all of these things mean that you “get” to run today.

Have you ever lost your mojo and have you any new strategies to getting your love for running back, I would love to hear them!

May your runs be long and your injuries few…

Kezza x

 

 

The London Marathon!

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Packed and ready to rumble!

On Sunday 23rd April 2017, 40,000 runners took to the street to run one of the biggest races on earth – the Virgin London Marathon.  There were first timers (like myself), seasoned marathon runners, walkers, costumed runners, younger runners, older runners and in all shapes and sizes.  I was so anxious before I started – this was my first marathon – would I make it?

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Welcome to the Expo!

Myself and my friend Michelle travelled up the day before to the expo.  As it was my first marathon, I really wanted to soak up the atmosphere and enjoy every minute!  The expo didn’t disappoint and is an absolute haven for any runner – stalls full of trainers, running info, races, running freebies, and so on! I dragged my poor friend around to pretty much every stall – picked things up, tasted things and had my face painted with the union jack!  I also managed to catch up with some Twitter friends and then as if my day couldn’t get any better, I bumped into PAULA BLIMMING RADCLIFFE! (who is totally lovely and was ever so sweet with me grinning and talking to her like a love sick puppy).  I was pretty much on a high after that and it well and truly set me up for the Marathon.

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My hero, Paula!

Marathon day – Nerves set in again. I also woke up extremely tired due to 3 hours sleep. Doh!  I had my normal regime of two bagels with peanut butter, a cup of tea and a banana.  I was surprised to see other runners having a full cooked breakfast!   Michelle and I then made our way to the Blue Start Line.  As you can see from the photo, I am finding it difficult to smile!

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It was absolutely freezing when we got to Blackheath Park and we laughed at other runners with little shorts on (turns out, it was a really warm day and I was wearing far too much and I had to take my underlayer off at mile 18).  Soon we were informed to get to our pens.  I caught up with a couple of team mates which was lovely and I was like an excitable puppy.  Considering the amount of runners there are at this massive event, it is SO well organised – and probably more organised than some of the smaller local races I have been to.

START LINE – There were so many nervous and anxious runners at the start line – I gave a couple of girls in front of me a massive hug as they were more petrified than me – I didn’t even think that this was possible.  I begrudgingly took off my fluffy fleece which I had purchased from a charity shop a couple of days before and gave it to one of the marshal’s.  I felt anxious but amazingly calm.  I think it was because I knew there was no pressure.  Before we knew it, the sound of the klaxon sounded and we were…not off… 15 minutes passed before we actually started moving!

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Mile 1 – 3 – So mile ONE, my knee condition (runners knee) started playing up. Marvelous. (this seemed to get worse and worse and I had lost my paracetamol).  I also needed a pee at mile one, I thought it was nerves – it definitely was not – it was more likely to be the cup of tea we had whilst we were waiting to start.  Unfortunately, this then entailed a 15 minute wait in the queue for the loo! At mile two, Michelle and I decided to say our goodbyes with Michelle screaming ‘GO, GO, GO’ at me!  The best part of this part of the race was at mile 3 when the red and blue pen’s joined together – 40,000 runners all in it together – totally amazing.  I think I grinned a whole lot during the first part of the race.

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Mile 4 – 12 – At mile 6 we ran past the first major landmark, the Cutty Sark – it was amazing to see it in all of its glory. At mile 12, another amazing landmark -the Tower Bridge.  Nobody had warned me here that there was a bit of an incline… I started panicking thinking that my legs had started to struggle.  This wasn’t the case at all… The crowd really were amazing here and the noise was completely deafening!  I expected the bridge to be small but it was the width of the M27!!! Coming off the bridge, you turn right and see the super speedies already 7 miles ahead of you, running in the opposite direction towards the start line.  This is where you could lose it psychologically if you are not prepared.  Luckily the crowd is electric – more jelly babies anyone?! Here is a great place to spectate as you get to see your runners twice.

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London Bridge

Mile 13 – I frantically looked for my sister who was on the opposite side of the road to which we had planned!! I had to cut across about 20 runners to get to her.   Quick hugs and a hello and I was off again…

Mile 14 – 20 – Running though Canary Wharf is notoriously quiet, however I can honestly say there were hardly any parts that were quiet on Sunday. I think this was the toughest part of the race for me without a doubt,  I just couldn’t get my rhythm going again due to the amount of runners that were stopping and it completely messed my head up.  At mile 16, I was actually wondering how long I had left – I must have spent a mile wondering how long I had left. My brain was completely frazzled.

Mile 20 to 26 – I weirdly had an out of body experience during this time and my body felt like it didn’t belong to me. I’m not sure if this was dehydration or just my body trying to block the pain of my knee.  All I can remember is looking at the pavement and feeling like I was dreaming.

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Mile 26– The Mall. Were do I even begin? I literally cried from the top to the finish line. I felt like everything I had trained for, the last 4 months of 6am Sunday mornings, the tears, the injuries and the pain of the run had all come down to this moment and the relief is absolutely incredible. I didn’t see the bandstand of people, people around me or the photographers… in my mind the London Marathon music was playing, however watching the footage back, it was actually – Billy Idol – White Wedding! I must have been completely out of it! I ran over yet another red mat and relished the fact that I had just completed the LONDON MARATHON!

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The Mall – what an Experience!

After the Marathon I met with my sister and Brother in Law and we decided to go to Canary Wharf to miss the crowds. All was going swimmingly until Rich (my Brother in Law) expected me to walk up 50 stairs to the top. A kind stranger had heard the commotion and witnessed me trying to get up the stairs backwards and kindly gave me a fireman’s’ lift to the top!!!

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My afterthoughts on the London Marathon – The sights of London were stunning and I pushed on as the miles kept flying past. I never hit the wall that day, although the second part of the race were very stop and start due to the amount of people walking.

I’m not going to say it was easy, but the crowds and atmosphere carry you through – although the thought of eating another jelly baby turns my stomach. :0)

Despite being exhausted the endorphins had taken over my body and I felt incredible – it took me at least 4 days to come back down to earth.  The experience I had was simply unforgettable. A marathon is not a walk in the park by any means, but I think the positive memories have taken over the pain my legs definitely felt the next day. The marathon journey is a tough one – its mentally tough and physically tough and it’s not for the weak willed. What a journey is was though. It was probably one of the best days of my life. I finished in 5.28 but like Martin Yelling has wisely pointed out -‘Time, positions & performances don’t define you as a person – character does’.

Now when does that ballot open?!?

May your runs be long and your injuries a few.

Kezza x

STOP! Taper time!

STOP - Taper time

9 Days to go…

So this is it. Long runs are DONE!

My last run was 20 miles. I ran 18 and walked 2 towards the end.  Unfortunately I have developed an issue with my knee.  GRRRR! I can feel it on baby runs but it becomes really bloody excruciating at mile 18.. I guess on the day, I’m just going to have to suck it up! Last Sunday, I decided to swim rather than attend the 10 mile Salisbury race that I had signed up for.  Let’s be blunt… I am RUBBISH at swimming.  I lowered myself into the ‘slow lane’ and kept getting caught up by a 70 year old gentleman who thought this was highly amusing.  He must have felt great (You’re welcome Sir).  A couple of times I had to hang onto the edge of the pool and cough out half of the pool that I had swallowed. Cue – loud giggling from the elderly gent.

Well tapering is er interesting…. I’ve never been here before (I’ve not even completed a half marathon before).  For those that haven’t tapered before, it’s all about taking your mileage down so you are fresh as a daisy for the race.  Running these smallish miles has given me major paranoia that I am going to lose my fitness. (I won’t)- and I guess these feelings of doubt are natural.

This marathon journey has been such an experience, and I have learnt a lot from it. Here are my thoughts on tapering and the journey so far…

The Journey….

  • Positivity – Surround yourself with the doers and positive people.    I am nervous yes, but really don’t need to read or hear about more doubts that others are having.    At the end of the day, we can only do our best.  My time is going to be important and will mean a lot to ME.

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    Amen

  • Speed – regardless of how I have tried, it has been virtually impossible to retain my usual pace… When friends told me that my pace would drop, I thought they were joking…they weren’t.  I have learnt to accept it.  I can’t run long distance at the same pace as my Parkruns! That’s life. I can’t remember the last time I won a strava segment, but just watch me run for miles…and miles…
  • Loneliness – There I said it.  I have found the journey incredibly lonely. Especially as a first timer.  What may seem like stupid worries and anxieties for the more seasoned marathoner, the anxiety has been very real for me. Race day will be different, I have the ability to speak to anyone and everyone – Hello new friends from Eastleigh 10k – I hope you enjoyed me singing to you around the course!
  • Tiredness – I have been so so so so tired.  To the point of waking up and just crying.  This has eased off.  Now I am tapering, I have so much unspent energy  – I literally do not know what to do with myself – I have been painting my garden fence, and my house is immaculate. Win!
  • The body is AMAZING. I have been fascinated with the fact that I have been able to run further and further each week..
  • It never did get easier… nuff said….

Tapering…

  • MARANOIA! I feel like I am hanging in the balance of being undercooked and also worrying about making my knee even worse! maranoia
  • Rest Days – These are really important.  It’s also important to remember that tapering  also means you are still training… So it doesn’t mean you can sit on your behind for 2/3 weeks. Its a good move to use these days wisely – I’ve been stretching, cross training and doing some yoga.  Feeling niggly? Get you bike out or go for a swim! Rest days is when the magic happens.  I have always had muscly legs but have developed new muscles and my calves are just ridiculous at the moment..
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Working on getting to a headstand!

  • You won’t lose your fitness in 2 weeks.  You just won’t! Relax. Tapering is essential for prep.
  • Do nothing new – Now is not the time to try new vitamin pills Kezza, it may end up in a disastrous run if you catch my drift… portaloo
  • Eating Habits- People who know me personally will know that I have a liking for Cadbury Crème Eggs.  Okay, a real PASSION for crème eggs – I have eaten 10 in 5 days. I have been told by a very reliable source (Facebook) that it takes 15 minutes to run one Crème Egg off. This means that I should be okay – although I may not have any teeth…no teeth
  • Energy – I have so much now I am tapering… I am feeling twitchy and restless.

My runs this weekend consist of a nice little Bluebell Run (5 miles) with the club and a 7 miler on Sunday. Next week I have three 3 milers in…before the big day! eeeeeek!

How is your tapering going?! How are you feeling in the run up to your marathon?

May your runs be long and your injuries afew

Kezza x

VLM…18 Days to Go…..

18 Days to go…18…. shucks!

Well, you will be pleased to hear that since my last blog, I am feeling much more positive.  I won’t lie, I have found the training really, really hard.  I run on my toes and have found running on my forefoot for 20 miles, just excruciating.  On the plus side, my calves look amazing (and are bigger than my quads!).

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On Sat, I took off on my own for a 20 miler.  I ran down to Lee on Solent Parkrun, and then back along Lee to Hill Head up through Titchfield and back home.  I got lost at one point and had to ask a cyclist where I was going….much to his amusement.  My 20 miler ended up being 2 miles of walking (hills and due to how much pain I was in with my poor swollen knee).  Unfortunately, I have the dreaded ‘Runner’s Knee’ which can only be blamed on gait issues and a massive increase in mileage.  I have pretty much accepted the fact that there will be some walking on the day,  but you know what, I am absolutely cool with it.  The views on my run were amazing….

I am feeling a whole array of emotions at the moment – dread, fear, nausea, anxiety, excitement and trepidation.  I am really enjoying the light evenings and as much as I love the sunshine, I am hoping it won’t get too much warmer.  I have been trying to change my mindset about the marathon and looking at it like a ‘day out’ rather than a frantic dash to the finish line! Liz Yelling has literally hit the nail on the head with her comment about the final stages of training….

Liz Yelling – The final 2 weeks of the marathon prep is more about training your mind. Learn how to positively re- frame and think of mantras or dedicate certain people to a part of the course. You can do this…
I have also been training much smarter and set my Garmin to scream at me if I am going over a certain pace.  The pace is irrelevant, it’s all about the distance.  In fact training for this marathon has really shown me how much I have been obsessing about pace.  I have only ever ran two 10 mile runs, the rest have been 10k’s so I really have taken a big leap! (I don’t do things by half).  I have been surprised with how my pace has steadied and never really understood it until I started training.

 

I have been training with a really great guy called Paul Pickford ( Twitter – https://twitter.com/pickfordpj). For those who don’t know this crazy cat, he runs ultra distances.  He has to be the most humble runner I have ever met.  He usually runs at a very quick pace but he has been really happy to plod alongside me and offer encouragement and support.  Paul has been like my very own agony Uncle and picked me up just at the right time when I was ready to quit.  Thank you Paul.  Also a massive thank you to Sarah Moulding (Twitter – https://twitter.com/Only_m_e) who has also ran with me or has checked in regularly after a long run to make sure I was safe and that I was mentally okay.  These sort of people in your life make so much difference when you are struggling on your training runs. Here we are on our 18 mile run..

 

So now, I have reached taper time.  I can’t believe how excited I feel about this! My longest run in the next three weeks leading up to the marathon will be 10 miles.  I will be running the Salisbury 10 mile race but again will be treating it as a training run.  I have been continuing with my yoga, which I am really enjoying and have started looking seriously at my nutrition.

 

Lastly, I have decided to run for a charity for the London Marathon.  I didn’t want to choose one so early in case of injury.  After much deliberation, I have decided to run for ‘Second Chance’ which is a local animal charity which looks after abused, orphaned and neglected animals.  I wanted to ensure that 100% of the charity money raised, went to the cause.  If you would like to sponsor me, I would be forever grateful and here is the link.

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/MissKB

Until then! it’s Taper time!

May your Runs be long and your injuries afew!

Kezza x

 

Keeping it Real…

The Definition of a Real Runner….

I’ve heard this phrase mentioned whilst doing what I love (running) and it has got me thinking. The term ‘Real Runner’.  It confused me somewhat – what is a REAL runner?

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Is there such thing as a fake runner? Is the term real runner reserved for those who take running seriously? For those that are quicker? Surely each runner puts in as much effort as the next person. Isn’t it all relative? My 9-minute mile could be the equivalent to your 11-minute mile effort. Either way we are both exerting heart strengthening, lung boosting, endorphin generating effort.  Sounds like a runner to me.

Being a real runner shouldn’t be defined by comparing yourself to others. Being a real runner is about the passion you have about running, about the way you embrace each step with every mile. In my opinion, a real runner is how much grit and determination someone has. My definition of a real runner is;

  1. Courageous – You may not be the fastest or fittest but you are still running. That’s brave.
  2. Grit – Running isn’t easy, but with time, it does become enjoyable. A ‘real runner’ knows that hard work gets results.
  3. Commitment – Running takes commitment. Making goals and trying to reach them is a great way to become healthier.
  4. Mental Toughness – Many people will find excuses not to exercise but a real runner runs in the cold and the rain and even the hail and snow! A real runner realises that showing up is half the battle.
  5. Competition. A real runner competes against themselves. We cheer for each other and do the best that we can.
  6. Performance – A real runner will always have a crappy run but will go out the next day and try again.

Running is an attitude, it’s a mentality – propelling you out of the door in the rain and wind. It’s an urge. It’s social – only other runners know what you are going through and feel the pain in your heart and the ache in your legs. If you have found yourself nodding your head whilst reading this blog, you are a real runner. It doesn’t matter if you are running 10 minute miles or 15 minute miles. Those feelings, that way of thinking – that is running.

I am not being defensive, I just felt the need to write this post to protect my beloved sport of running, to be an ambassador of what is beautiful about supporting each other, looping, hobbling, racing, plodding and sprinting.

We asked the runners from  Fareham Crusaders ‘what’s a ‘real runner’?……..

 

Next time you head out the door tell yourself -and others – you are a REAL runner! I am…

May your runs be long and your injuries afew…

Kezza x

 

A big thanks to the Runners at the Fareham Crusaders for keeping it real and to James Musselwhite from Closer Photography for editing the video

VLM – 44 days to go….

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Up to 15 miles…

 

46 days until the London Marathon and I can pretty much say that the novelty has well and truly worn off! I am so tired, mentally and physically but the main reason for my lack of mojo has been due to the struggles on my longer runs. I also seem to have developed a niggle in my right knee which is really annoying!  My never ending appetite seems to have calmed down though.  I got to the stage where I was wondering whether my stomach was an empty hole….appetite

My longest run so far has been 15 miles. The last 3 miles of those were really painful,  I was really grateful that I had good company with good friends (well, for at least 12 miles!).

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Still smiling at mile 10…

 

My physiotherapist has told me that I am chasing the rainbow to continue training for this marathon and his opinion is that my body is that of a sprinter and just not cut out for longer distances.  His exact words were ‘Kerry, you are chasing the rainbow’ which has made me even more determined to do it! Even if I have to walk /run.

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Apart from my knee niggles, I have hit the dreaded wall a couple of times in my training. The wall isn’t something I have experienced before- how can I explain it- Basically there is nothing you can do or say, think or feel that will give your legs and lungs the strength to push forward. You are mentally and physically spent!  I think this just about sums it up! I have also learned some new and colourful swear words….

I’ve been looking at what I can do to overcome the exhaustion and what actions should I be taking on this tough period of training.

  1. Put things into perspective – it would be easy to quit and embrace a defeatist mentality at this point of my training. I have worked so hard and not long got over a serious illness. I need to review the progress that has already been made and just go with it. if I need to walk at any time, so be it.
  2. Take a Rest Day or Cross Train – I am having a few niggles this week (knee and hip flexor) so I have made the decision to cross train this week. (Spin, boxercise, swim and rowing). Allowing my body time to recover better.
  3. Reduce the volume or intensity in my training – hopefully by Sunday, my legs will be less tired.
  4. Nutrition – I need to start keeping a log of my diet. Although I have been carbing up, I am not 100% sure that pizza is a complex carb!
  5. Think Positive – there have certainly been a few tears recently and I am trying to keep a positive mindset. This has helped by talking to those closest to me – as in running friends.

This week I have been Cross training to reduce the impact in my knee and to give my body a break.   Nothing gives me quite the same rush as running but needs must. I aim to go out again on Sunday on a 16 miler but perhaps at a slower pace than my usual 10/10.30.

How has your marathon training been? Have you ever hit the wall and what have you done to get over it?! How are you feeling at this stage of your training?

May your miles be long and your injuries a few….

Kezza x

London Marathon – 68 Days to go…

Time seems to be slipping through my fingers at this point and although I am now up to 12 miles, it has not been easy.  I am still running 3 times a week.  My Sunday is my longer run, followed by a Tuesday recovery run, and a Thursday night 8 miler. I have started eating A LOT and napping whenever I get the chance.

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Sleepy cuddles with Papa Smurf

Since my last blog, I have been up to London to the Virgin London Marathon ‘Ask The Experts’, it really was a great day and I learnt a lot.  I was a bit skeptical about going up on my own but I met so many different people and runners from all over the country – amazingly there were over a thousand runners there!  The day was more for first time marathon runners like myself and it was a chance to find out what to expect on the day, get injury advice and other things such as, what to wear on the day.  Ultimately, it was about learning how to get the most out of potentially, one of the best days of your life.

Guests included – Hugh Brasher (the son of the Founder of the London Marathon), Shannon Foudy (one in a million runner from VLM 2016), Sport Psychologist – Josie Perry, Kerry McCarthy (The Editor from Runners World) and many more including a great talk from Martin Yelling.  I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Liz Yelling (Martin’s wife) at the Fareham Crusader Question and Answer Session, and she is also ridiculously knowledgeable in all things running related. There was a #reasontorun booth too – take a look at my picture!  My reason to run is to make my friends and family proud, but like my good friend Neil Smith suggested – you should also be running London to make YOURSELF proud – he has a good point!

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#reasontorun

Adidas were also there and I went a bit crazy on purchasing some official London Marathon kit at discounted price.  I’m terrified of wearing it BEFORE the actual event though as I feel it would be tempting fate!  The official colour this year though appears to be blue for the ladies, with peach detail. I love it!

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Adidas gave us a sneak preview!

The day after ‘Ask the Experts’, I ran my longest run with some awesome ladies who were great company.  Most of our run consisted of overlooking the solent at Lee. The miles go by so much quicker when running with friends, you really do get to know each other really well! I have to be honest, I struggled with the last mile.  Because I run on my forefoot, my calves were absolutely screaming by mile 11 and I was tempted to stop.  Thanks to the girls, they kept me going for one more mile…. Keep an eye on the back page of Women’s Running next month, you may just spot us ;0)

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Cathy Pittick, me and Joy Smith…we love a good natter!

Yesterday I had a ‘short run’ (ahem indeed), this involved 8 miles with more running friends. I again struggled on the last mile and so I need to dig out my Psychology textbooks and practice what I preach. My next long run is 14 miles… I’m worried I will get half way round and need to jump on a bus…

How is your training going?

How have you coped with the increased mileage?

Follow me on Twitter @ukrungirl

 

May your miles be long and your injuries a few

Kezza x

London Marathon – 79 days to go….

So we are now in February which means only 79 days to go until the London Marathon… EEEEKKKKKK! Overall I am relatively happy, despite being about three weeks behind due to illness.  I am confident that I will be able to catch up – albeit slowly. Since my last blog, I have enjoyed some X country sessions with my running Club, the Fareham Crusaders. Captain Aaron took us on a magical mystery tour on the rainiest day this year which can only mean one thing – MUD!!!!

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Sunday Running – Rain and Mud!

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Let’s be planes

The great thing about X country is that is strengthens ankles and core and is much tougher than road running, which means when you get back to the road, it should be easier! I absolutely love X Country, for me these runs aren’t about speed and the views are fantastic.

I am pleased that the weather and my training is finally into double figures… both at the magic 10! I have to be honest though, I am massively struggling with the mileage and hope that my body can start to adapt so soon after illness.

I have been running three times a week and also weight training for muscle strength, I really do need to sort my diet out though.   I’m not a fan of pasta, but really need to start eating some complex carbs! My training consists of a recovery run on the Tuesday (3 miles), 7.5 miles on the Thursday and a longer run on a Sunday (which is increasing steadily each week).  This Sunday is a 12 miler. I am gutted that my training partner Lyndsey has an injury at the moment and we are hoping that it is muscular.

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Nothing beats a good training partner…

I have had a niggle myself this week, with my Achilles reminding me not to overdo it.  I think I am just going to slow my pace down a wee bit just to keep them happy.  My Achilles are the thorns in my side and I had to defer my 2016 place in the London to this year because of chronic Achilles tendonitis- frustrating!  I’ve tried to nip any injuries in the bud before they escalate by visiting the lovely Sharon Gwynn at the Rural Retreat in Wickham for a decent sports massage and Gary Sadler (physio) in Cosham for some Shock Wave therapy.  (I can’t big this treatment up enough).

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My sports massauge, sharon,  looking like she is enjoying this a bit too much!

Right, im off for my 7.5 miler in this wind and rain before I change my mind!

May your runs be long and your injuries a few….

Kezza x

VLM Training -96 Days to go…

My training so far for the Virgin London Marathon has not gone to plan…. The latter part of last year I found myself with hip niggles and required a steroid jab in the joint.   Two weeks into my training and I decided to stupidly train in the cold with a chest infection which resulted in trip to the hospital with Pneumonia.  AHHHHHHHH…. Panic well and truly set in….

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After my complete melt down, I started to put things into perspective.  This is real life, things are going to get into the way – illnesses and injuries will occur.  I’m not an Olympian, I’m not running a good for age place and I’m not going for a PB (whatever time I run, it will be a PB as I’m a first timer)….

Having got the green light from my Doctor I was told that I could return to running albeit slowly as I would have reduced lung capacity for a while.  I was also told that I needed to keep warm which is a mission in its self at the moment with the weather on the verge of snowing…so it was time to visit the dreadmill….

dreadmill

View from the ‘dreadmill’

I managed a very gentle walk / run on the treadmill but nothing beats running outside – taking in the all the sights, and sounds… nonetheless, I am grateful to be able to be back into training……all be it gentle.

And so it’s back to the training plan.  I am currently using the ASICS one (Asics.com) which sets me training sessions of three a week.  In between these sessions, I will also be cross training, Body Pump and Yoga.  I have recently taken up James Dunn’s 30 day challenge which concentrates on stretching, conditioning and resilience training for runner.  Today’s session looked like this –

james-dunne

 

I will keep you updated with how this is going at a later date.  I am RIDICULOUSLY injury prone and I am hoping this is going to make me a stronger runner by conditioning muscles I use regularly. (If you want to try this out yourself, check out http://www.kinetic-evolution.com)

From next week the mileage starts to build.  Goodbye Sundays! I have been advised that tiredness is a side effect of pneumonia and so at least I can look forward to lots of sleep and sofa days!

cat

Other aspects I really need to sort is my DIET! Dry January is working well for me so far, but I still can’t refuse those pesky crisps. I can easily eat three packets a day and still crave for more…

Luckily I have a really good support network and belong to a fantastic club called the Fareham Crusaders.  I also have a close group of runners who I run with – I think this has a massive impact on your state of mind.  Like all of us, I need a kick up the arse sometimes, or a massive reality check.

My aim is to enjoy the experience and be prepared for any challenges that may crop up between now and April.  A wise person once said to me ‘if it doesn’t feel fun, don’t force the run’.  I’m not totally naïve in thinking that the training is going to be all sunshine and flowers, but with a positive mind-set, supportive club and trusting in my own ability and training, I can make the journey  a smoother one.

Follow me on twitter and lets swap training stories! (@ukrungirl)

Are you in the London Marathon?

Is your training going to plan?

Have you been met with any unexpected obstacles?

 

May your miles be many and your injuries a few..

Kezza x

 

 

 

 

Lakeside Portsmouth Parkrun

Massive congratulations to the 168 runners (47 first timers) and hardcore volunteers who braved the bitterly cold temperature for yesterday’s Lakeside Parkrun.

Yesterday was my first time at Lakeside and it certainly won’t be my last – whilst writing this report, I was surprised to learn that this is the 31st week at Lakeside. As a Fareham Crusader, a few of us met there to celebrate Allie Hodgson’s 50th Parkrun. Upon arrival I was delighted to be able to find the ‘start’ location without any delay due to its luminous sign. I sat in my car with my heated seats on for as long as I could get away with!

Soon it was time to leave the warm comfort of the car and join the debrief for first timers at Lakeside. Having just returned from injury with a strained hip flexor, I was slightly nervous, I need not have worried, everyone at Parkrun is so friendly and there is such a mixture of age group and abilities – everyone is so welcoming. The only competition is with yourself.

volunteers

Our wonderful Volunteers – without them – Parkrun couldn’t happen!

 

Soon we were directed to the start line and we were off. It was a rather steady start for me and my usual 9mm pace had dropped to 10.45mm. I think this was a mixture of the cold and my hip taking its time to warm up. It was nice to not run competitively and just enjoy the atmosphere, and chat to other runners. It was also lovely to see a mixture of other club runners there including Stubby’s and Gosport runners – despite being in different clubs- we are all very supportive of each other.

The first mile led us towards the under path and back on ourselves towards the path (which seemed to last forever). I seemed to have warmed up after the first mile and gave Jessica Masey (a fellow Crusader) a tap on the bottom as I passed her. We ran all the way to the waiting photographer, gave a big thumbs up, and looped again… more high fives to fellow Crusaders. I saw a couple of runners who I usually run with, running their home stretch to the finish line. It made me feel a bit sad – but then I thought -how lucky I am to be able to run at all.

runreport

A very cold but beautiful setting

 

I loved the Lakeside Parkrun, the settings are beautiful and you seem to be shielded from the wind which is a bonus! It’s also nice and flat which means that there is massive PB potential for the more competitive runner!

I knew that a PB was not in sight for me today, but I still managed to get my signature sprint in at the end… albeit, I did get overtaken by an 8 year old and thanked my lucky stars a photographer wasn’t there to capture the magic moment.

There were a massive 45 PB’s this week which is just incredible. Perhaps everyone was running harder to keep warm?!

I thanked the volunteers at the end and ate some of Allie’s biscuits, I then made my way to Starbucks for a signature hot choccy! Until next week Parkrun!

lakeside-parkrrun

My running family – The Fareham Crusaders

 

Have you ran Lakeside?

What’s your favourite Parkrun course and why?