Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Running five miles needing a pee isn't easy!

If you were paying attention last time you'd know that today I was scheduled to run 5 miles ...........

Well the day didn't start well and for one reason and another I was completely stressed to the eyeballs by the time we set off to Yarde! (I know eighteen years of never setting foot on the Tarka trail and now you can't get us off it!!!!)

Incidentally the stress isn't related to running or the 10K!

Not long after I set off I needed a pee (and yes I had gone before we left home) so during the easy mile I was on the look out for a bush, there weren't any! I did consider 'doing a Paula' but decided to hang on and hopefully find somewhere suitable further on.

At the start of the second mile I had to open and shut a gate, cross a road and open and shut another gate then I went up a gear as the next three miles were going to be race pace ......... then my lace came undone ...... bloody buggers! I've had these running shoes for four months and the laces have never come undone! Well until today!

I carried on in second gear, still looking for a bush!

Coach Steph had suggested I try for 9.30 min/mile race pace after Sunday's feel mile!

Then came another two gates to open and close with a road to cross in between. This is still mile two!!

Mile three was straight forward although it seems I was a second slower than the obstacle course mile, then the stress stuff started in my head and I took my mind off the running .....................

Oh and still no bush!

Somewhere along the line on the return trip I opened and closed the four gates and then ran easy for the fifth mile. This one was like I was running through treacle and my legs felt like they were going to come unscrewed, and I thought someone had moved the car park it took so long!

Looking back at my previous times recently all I can say is at least I'm pretty consistent on my pace as well as starting out too fast as well!!!!
Maybe if I hadn't wanted a pee or lost concentration then I'd have been faster today ......... who knows! It's done and tomorrow is another day!

So roll on Thursday for the sprints and strides!!!!!

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Almost niggle free .......

Can you believe it, the big day is two weeks today?? aaaarrrggghhh don't panic, don't panic ........ (visions of Cpl Jones in Dad's army!!!!)

According to Coach Steph the mantra is 'I have the fitness and form and don't panic'

Due to my niggling injuries I've recently been a bit behind with the training menu or missed some of it out completely but now with two weeks to go I need to stick rigidly to it.

So 1. 2.5 mile run .... first easy ..... second mile run on feel of what is race pace ..... last bit easy

2.  5 mile run ..... first easy ..... next three race pace seeing if can hold the pace from running on feel ...... last mile easy.

3) strides and sprints (oh joy!)

I still have slight stiffness in my calf but it's nothing compared to what it was and I can walk fairly normally again.


Well I haven't run since Thursday evening so this morning was scheduled as a training day. Now I had planned to do the 5 mile run as we were going out to the Tarka trail and had a lovely breakfast in preparation.

A genius combo I heard about yesterday!! Marmite on toast with avocado ....... go on try it, it's lush!!

After re reading the training menu (I think the first reading when it popped into my inbox was through a bottle of wine!) I realised that the 2.5 miler had to be run before the 5 mile one. So 2.5 miles today, 5 miles on Tuesday and the joyous sprints and strides on Thursday ...... oooohhhh and Parkrun on Saturday, hooray!!!

So we ...... that is the OB not on a bike and the doggens went to Yarde for a 11.20 am start .........

No k tape on the knee, just the support!

After running for a while I had an inkling that the bird on my phone hadn't started.


However it actually worked out well as the delay meant I started the second mile after I'd had to open and shut two gates. For the first time in several runs I managed to get out of first gear too although I think I was a bit over enthusiastic and will have difficulty maintaining it for three miles on Tuesday .......
I then trotted back to the car park, with the thought that in two weeks time I'd be nearing the end of the Bideford 10K but obviously
running a bit faster!!!

Now, if you're paying attention you'll see that I actually trotted back for a mile and if you're really hanging off every word you'll know it's because of operator error at the start ....... but hey it was on the flat, no potholes and no inconsiderate motorists!!

How are the niggles? I hear you ask

Well my knee is feeling almost back to normal, so 99% there!

My calf felt fine during the run and didn't stiffen up the moment I stopped. It's still a bit stiff but definitely on the mend!

So there's still hope for a pain free run on 10th May!!

Friday, 24 April 2015

A year ago today ........

Sooooooooo, a year ago today I pulled my ancient trainers out from under the stairs, hoovered the spiders and cobwebs off them, put them on and then tried running down the lane with the dogs, running to a tree and then walking to get my breath and then running to a  bush and so on ........... I quite enjoyed it and so went out the following week a few times and increased the running bit .......

If you'd told me then that a year on I'd be training for the Bideford 10K I'd have had you admitted to the asylum ....... me? in lycra? run in a race? Noooooooooo ......... you're joking!!!!

Well, as you read this in the asylum I'll update you on this weeks training!

On Tuesday despite the previous days cycling I was still hobbling around ( like a hobbling around person) so just pottered around the garden doing vegetable gardening type things!

I was still dot and carry one on Wednesday and was seriously pissed off of Shebbear ......... I needed to run but ........... Well just but! I have no idea whether I'm buggering myself up forever by continuing to run or whether it's the thing to do.
Anyway after cheesemaking we had to deliver to The Commodore at Instow.

Instow is the half way point of the Bideford 10k and around two and half miles of the return race is on the Tarka Trail so the OBOAB suggested that he drop me off and I run back to East the Water on the Tarka Trail.

So after taking the obligatory photo I set off .........

Having never set foot on here before and only by doing  a rough calculation driving alongside it on the way I was sort of running blind but assumed it was just under three miles. Not that it mattered as yet again I couldn't get out of first gear, not helped by my very stiff calf. The knee was well strapped so only dared to be slightly niggly. Anyway I ended up in the old station (complete with train) but forgot to take a photo as was trying to find my way out ...... I now know I'd run too far for the exit. However it was 2.78 miles and my split pace was 10.14 min/mile.

Now for some reason I wanted to beat myself up about the time but actually after giving myself a good talking to and getting the calculator out I'm pretty consistent with my timings especially as I'm hobbling!!! (I have also reminded myself that this time last year I was  running 3 min/mile slower. ........ Yes I know, I know, you don't need to put your two penny worth in either.........

Once I stopped running my calf seized up and I  was back to hobbling ...... not a good look going past the queue of commuters in their cars as I made my way back to the OBOAB in the car park. Once home I literally hopped across the yard my calf was so stiff.

Yesterday was a date that has been in the diary for some weeks.


What's that then? I hear you ask.

A trip to Bideford with Coach Steph and the Bradworthy running group to familiarise ourselves with the start and finish of the Bideford 10K.

How was the knee and calf I hear you ask?

The knee, still strapped hardly niggled but the calf was really stiff.

So we had a lovely trot out to the Tarka Trail which included one of the two hills.........

Well it was nothing to worry about ........ compared to the hills we all have to endure during our training it was easy!!

Once on the Tarka Trail the beasting started after a gentle jog and a few exercises which showed I'm completely uncoordinated we did sprints!!

Sprinting 300 metres at 75% seemed a breeze initially but clearly I was doing 90% instead so when Coach Steph upped the ante to 90% I was wrecked.

My knee held up but every time we stopped my calf seized, so it was an incentive to keep going!!.

We then trotted back and did some warming down exercises, one of which helped my calf enormously. So much so that when I got home I could actually walk, as it wasn't so stiff.

Today my knee has felt almost normal and initially my calf was its usual stiff self  but then, almost by magic after lunch I stood up from the table and realised that I was walking around pain free!

Long may it last .............

OBOAB = Old bloke on a bike

Monday, 20 April 2015

If I were a horse they'd put me down ........

I managed to get two blisters on the side of one of my big toes on the run last Monday ...... the first time since I started running! ......... just due to sweaty feet I think as I was wearing a pair of my normal running socks and shoes. Luckily they hadn't burst.

Once home my right calf felt very tight ...... I put this down to stupidly dehydrating myself on the run by not taking water and so the muscles were complaining .......... I drank lots of water!!!!

On Tuesday I was hobbling around like a hobbling around person, my knee was niggling and the calf was very stiff, clearly I'd strained it and the lack of water had had nothing to do with it. Walking up and down stairs was a nightmare, both feet on the same stair before I could move up one.

If I were a horse they'd put me down

By Wednesday panic had set in ......... how the hell was I going to be in any fit state to run a race in three and a half weeks time????  One that I was being sponsored for as well. To be honest if I hadn't signed up to run for Children's Hospice Southwest then at this point I would have pulled the plug and given up but as it's not an option I decided to carry on training .........

............. Well the 30 minute easy run anyway!

It had been a very hot day and although I couldn't get out until 5pm it was still pretty warm. The OBOAB wobbled along with the dogs but ended going back with them after half a mile as Jess was limping, so it was just me. I tried to ignore the sore bits ......... the first two miles were relatively easy and in fact my second one which was mainly up hill was 9.31 min/mile ....... 33 seconds faster than the first one! This possibly might have had something to do with my having to run past a couple of lorry drivers twice and trying to appear cool! ( In reality a hot sweaty bird in lycra with a face brighter than her pink top!!!) It then all went to pot on the last .90 mile ....... 13.06 min/mile ...... what a struggle, it didn't help that one of the blisters rubbed raw either.

On Thursday despite everything I decided that I needed to do the 40 minute training run which included hard pace in the middle.
 So with my knee strapped up and padding on the blisters and nothing on the calf, I set off ......... it wasn't good, suffice to say I couldn't get out of first gear at all and ended up ambling for 30.17 minutes.

Yes, yes yes ....... I know what you're saying but as I had a free Saturday I HAD to do Parkrun and of course you're right I should have given it a miss and rested my knackered legs but I didn't!!

The hobbling continued over the weekend!

As I said if I were a horse they'd put me down!!!

This morning the OBOAB got very cross and shouted at me when I mentioned that I was going to run today, so guess what?

I went out on my bike instead ....... infact twice!!!!! Ok it was only a total of nine something miles but I tell you I'd rather run up hills than cycle, however it seems to have helped the knackered knee and calf, so much so that I can now walk up and down stairs normally!!!!

Do you think they'll waive the rules for me on 10th May and let me cycle the 10K instead ????

OBOAB = Old bloke on a bike

Monday, 13 April 2015

I've discovered a new place for training ....... the Tarka Trail

After Saturday's Parkrun my knee was a little stiff but it didn't fall off (probably due to all the pink tape sticking it together!!!!!!)

As I didn't get any training runs in last week I really need to up my game now ........ The Bideford 10K is less than four weeks away!!

Don't panic, don't panic, don't panic ......

Ok hands up those of you who've placed bets on the fact that as it's Monday I will have opted for the easy 30 minute run .......

Ha, ha, I win ........

Today I ran six miles along the Tarka Trail ( unbelievably we've lived here nearly eighteen years and never set foot on it before!!)

I K taped my knee and wore the support which seemed to keep everything intact again.

After a couple of false starts where the bird on my phone paused the workout ....... I think my big arse jiggles the phone too much in the back pocket, I got going.

It was flat, apart from the last quarter of mile which was up hill, it was beautiful and it was blooming hot and guess who left their water in the car?

I was fine until mile five when I started to feel parched and kicked myself for not having water, I even considered climbing into a field to drink out of a cattle trough!!

Despite this I really enjoyed the run and was chuffed with a time of 1 hour 3 minutes.

As this bit of the Tarka Trail is only fifteen minutes away I now have somewhere flat for sprint and strides training!

Saturday, 11 April 2015

All strapped up for Tamar Lakes Parkrun

After my last blog post several people suggested that I needed a knee support or strapping and as I have no intention of seeking medical advice until after the Bideford 10k (in case I'm told to stop running!)  I looked online at the array of things listed under knee strapping and then decided that it would be better to go and see Sean at HPT sport in Bude as he would be able to advise me, being an experienced runner himself.

So yesterday afternoon we popped to Bude to see Sean.

The shop was busy so I looked at the display of knee supports first thinking that I could sort myself out but had no idea really what I needed. At the same time there was another girl looking at them who made a choice but ended up behind me in the queue at the counter.

When it was my turn I explained the problem and he immediately suggested K tape, showed me what it was and how to apply it. He also advised a knee support. Now as I followed him to the knee support hooks I saw the girl behind looking less than impressed. He must have noticed too because on the way back asked her if she was ok.

It turns out the advice he was giving me was helping her and she ended up getting the same knee support.

This running lark isn't cheap you know!!

At least I have a loyalty card and got £2.50 off!

Although Sean explained how to apply the K tape, I am Mrs. Thickey when it comes to most things so checked out Youtube.

Well, I could have spent all evening watching how to apply K tape to knees there were so many of them!!

The OBOAB suggested that I taped up after my bath and before going to bed so that I didn't make myself late for Parkrun in the morning.

Eh voila.........

(I did add another strip in the morning but don't tell him)

With the knee support over the top I was ready for Parkrun at Tamar Lakes.

Everything felt fine as I set off and I seemed to be running at a good pace, however at the first mile the bird on my phone didn't tell me, nor at the second mile either. Clearly operator error ..... I hadn't swiped it properly at the start, doh!!!

Last night we had curry and I usually have the constitution of an ox but suddenly my stomach felt decidedly dodgy into mile three.

As you can imagine trying to clench your buttocks at the same time as running is difficult so of course  I ended up slowing down.

How was the knee?

Bloody marvellous thanks! A bit stiff now as I've been sitting around but the tape and support seemed to help!

Oh and I got a time of 30.27!

Yay, there's hope for me yet!!

OBOAB = Old bloke on a bike

Thursday, 9 April 2015

At the moment the knee is in the driving seat!

Sorry I've been a bit lax of late reporting in but a busy Easter weekend of trading has kept me away ............

So last weeks menu was the following

5 mile run - a mile of each easy, steady, hard, steady, easy

Hill reps

30 min run - easy then build to race pace then moderate

On Monday I was absolutely shattered after a busy weekend of work, the clock change, quite a bit of socialising, as well as one of my silly o'clock starts so the only run I could face was the 30 minute one.

Yes I know I always pick the easy one on a Monday but believe me I was knackered and it was nearly lunchtime..........

All I'll say is that I ran for 30 minutes .......

Oh ok, if you must know my first mile was race pace, I then built to slow pace and then went back to race pace ....... totally unintentionally and I'd have never realised if it wasn't for the bird on my phone but I was knackered and hungry!

On Wednesday as you know if you read my last post I did my second training run. This was meant to be the 5 mile one and I did run  it but after leaping into hedges, answering my phone and jarring my knee I only managed to run it 5 seconds faster than last weeks easy run..........

On Thursday I was hobbling around like a hobbling around person and decided that I'd probably never run again .......

Whilst the OBOAB was at a market on Friday, I was frantically ticking off my to do list which also included taking out the dogs.

(Now, for those of you who don't know I only started running last year on 25th April because I didn't have time for my to do list and walking the dogs!!! )

However I was still hobbling but decided to ignore the niggling knee ( and please don't tell the OBOAB ) but went for a run....... Yes, yes I hear you too but it had to be done! ......... suffice to say I haven't run split pace 12.27 since I signed up for Map my run (the bird on my phone) on 15th July 2014! Things must be bad!

A busy long weekend working and then the day job for two days meant I couldn't run and although I was on my feet all day I suppose I was resting my knee abit.

My knee improved slightly over this time but  I got really pissed off that I couldn't run!

How bizarre?

A year ago I'd have said that it was plain stupid to think like that!! How times change!!!

Yesterday I just had to run and bunked off cheese making for half an hour to do an easy 30 minute run ......... Yes again the easy option but I needed to see if I could still run after a week off and still with a niggly knee.

Yay! Yes I can ........   but as you can see I slowed down at the end!

This week there is also a 6 mile run and a 40 minute run on the menu. I'm really wondering if the knee will hold up for these though ........ However I NEED TO RUN so what do I do??

The other spanner in the works is the fact that unexpectedly I have this Saturday off so could do Parkrun too ........

At the moment the knee is in the driving seat though!

OBOAB = Old bloke on a bike

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Dear Motorists

Dear Motorists,

Today you frightened me with your fast and inconsiderate driving whilst I was running. Not one of you eight slowed down, infact Mr.Milk Tanker you sped up. You saw me run past you as you got into your cab so knew I was on the road, you could also see that as you approached me I was on the narrowest bit of road but within a few paces would be able to run into a farm entrance to let you pass so why did you accelerate and make me leap off the road into the mud??? You inconsiderate bastard!

Mr. Shiny Car Man, you wanged round the bend so fast that if I'd been another car  there would have been a lot of dented metal! Your car wouldn't have been that shiny then would it! Even so you made me jump into the verge which caused me to jar my knee (again) it's only just recovered from the last injury. You inconsiderate bastard.

Then Red Van man, another one with super powers to see around bends didn't have enough time to take avoiding action did you because you were driving too fast. Good thing I threw myself into the hedge then. You inconsiderate bastard.

The other five of you need to slow down too. It may seem funny to you that I have to leap into the hedge or onto the verge but believe me it's not nice when the ground is wet, muddy, uneven or covered in dog shit.

 In case you don't know the middle pedal by your feet is the brake. If you press this, your vehicle will slow down!

Rule 206 of the Highway Code with regards to driving past pedestrians on rural roads is quite clear .......

"Approaching pedestrians on narrow rural roads without a footway or footpath. Always slow down and be prepared to stop if necessary, giving them plenty of room as you drive past."