On Sunday, I ran Day 2 of Race to the King Ultramarathon – 27 miles across the South Downs Way. It was my final long run as training for Race To The Stones non-stop, and a good way to see how Threshold Events worked ahead of the big day(s).
On Sunday, I ran my first Marathon. Alone.
It began Saturday night; while cleaning out my hydration
pack for a planned 13.1 miles, I had a mad idea. (As my ideas tend to be!)I was due to run ny 26.2 next weekend – take it slower this Sunday, build up to it. But I was feeling strong. Confident. Annoyed at washing out the hydration pack to *only* run 13.1.
So the next morning I got ready to run a Marathon. Fancy new visor, annoyingly odd socks. I tucked my grizzling boys back in bed, waited for my watch to find GPS, double checked my route, picked out my audiobook… and set off.
I recently started cross training more. I have always been a big fan of HIIT training, cardio, body weight and all that horrible sounding stuff. With my dodgy hip/knee, I need strengthening exercises so I can keep running without any more instances of Runners Knee (the dreaded words!) or hip pain. On my last Long Run of 13.1 miles a very kind cyclist veered into me, meaning I had a quick leap into a ditch – meaning I twisted my leg and my knee went. Luckily the pain hasn’t lasted – but it reminded me that I need strong muscles if I’m going to manage 100km of trail running.
I decided to give the Focus T25 workouts a go. Not cheap and not easy – but I’m 3 days in and I can honestly see why.
The workouts are intense 25 minute bursts that send your heart rate up and down; mixing cardio, body weight and ‘focus’ – intense movements that require muscle control and balance. It’s actually great fun, incredibly sweary (the sign of a good workout!) and the modifier is wonderful when it comes to push-ups!
Burpees squats and jumping do feature, but for the short amount of time you do expect to be leaping around like a madman or where are the results coming from?? You also get a calander to mark off exercises and how you think you did, and track your measurements (not your weight – finally a progress tracker that makes sense!).
My first workout was great, although I did step on my son’s toy dinosaur, which I’ve now taken as my mascot. A few days in and I’m still enjoying it, my glutes are definitely feeling it and I’m hoping for success.
So a year ago today, I was running the Eden Project Half Marathon. A wonderful, hilly, gorgeous, hilly, inspiring, hilly, 13.1 mile race through the gorgeous Cornish countryside. Did I mention the hills?
It was an odd one. I’d trained so much, I’d literally sweated my backside off, but things still went wrong. What did I expect? I was new, I wasn’t quite comfortable in my own skin, and I certainly wasn’t prepared. I got blisters from my thick cotton socks (I know). My joggers (yes, joggers!) chaffed, and made me uncomfortable. My fringe was probably sticking upright the entire time. I even slowed down at the finish line instead of going for a sprint! I was not prepared.
Apologies for the silence of the last few days/week.. I’ve been quite poorly, as have my boys. A lot of bugs going around! I’m also still struggling with my knee so feeling a bit sorry for myself.
However, and somewhat impulsively, I have some news! As well as running Race To The Stones next year, the full 100k – I am also going to be running Day 2 of Race To The King! The full Race is an Ultra-Marathon through the South Downs, a brilliant event running to the burial place of the first Kings (Winchester Cathedral). I’ll be running the last 26.2miles to the Cathedral on the 26th of June, in preperation for running the Ridgeway on July 16th. So so excited to be a part of two amazing races!!
I will be doing the 26.2 for charity – raising money for Save The ChildrenSave the Children helped 17.4 million children in 2014. They are a fantastic charity giving aid for disasters, funding education, working to tackle child poverty and make big changes in the way our world supports its most vulnerable. They work in the UK (where 1 in 3 children live in poverty) and abroad, in over 170 different countries. They really are an amazing charity.
My boys have been lucky enough to win the lottery of life – they will grow up in a situation where they don’t have to struggle the way millions of other children do. But together we can do something, even something small, to help stop the suffering.
If you want to donate via Virgin Money Giving please click HERE
I am so so excited!
You might know the wonderful running Community known as Run Mummy Run®, and I’ve previously shared their campaign for fundraising and linked to them. As a member of their Facebook page I love sharing and chatting to other women and Mums about their running stories, experiences, and goals.
I recently had to take a week off running due to an injured knee (the curse of every runner with weak hips!). I founjd myself putting off the day I would get back into it – I didn’t have time, I would rather carry on cross training, I wanted to watch a film… the reasons not to run kind of started to stack up on me. So I thought it would be interesting to find out other reasons that people like me have given for not running.
So (after very kindly getting permission), I posed the question on the Facebook Page – Why didn’t you run?
The reasons I got were hilarious, varied, and sometimes quite sad. Far too many women (although one is too many!) said they felt embarrassed, or lacked confidence. Some felt guilty – guilty for having ‘me’ time, or not being with their families. Some even felt afraid.
Here’s a selection of reasons given, and a nice infographic I put together of the numbers. Unsurprisingly it was Childcare, Illness and Injury that came top!
I have always been stubborn. It’s kind of my thing. And now I’ve gotten myself into a mess.
My first post has been my fitness journey so far – and I hope you found it interesting. I’d love someone to find it inspiring, even. But what I really hope (what will make me send you a virtual high-five!) is that someone is asking ‘What now?’
I found myself asking that too! Having signed up for a couple of races this year, a 10k I loved and a 14k that didn’t come through, I was feeling a little underwhelmed. As proud as I am to still be running, I didn’t feel like I was challenging myself. I felt like I was still training for something, something not defined yet. I’m still working on my fitness (read: I’m still a little wobbly) so a bigger challenge was all I could think about.
Five years ago I set off to walk the Ridgeway walk, going from Wendover to Avebury. I failed. That sounds blunt – I got to Wallingford, I made it a fair way. But I failed because I didn’t reach my goal. My wallet was stolen at a youth hostel, my bag split, my tent was too heavy. I was unprepared, I was young, I was a little foolish.
Well now I’m still young and foolish, but I’m stubborn. I don’t like leaving things undone, even 5 years after the fact. So – I’m going to run it.
So I’ve been asked before about my post-baby fitness journey. I’ve always suffered from low self esteem, and always been concerned about my weight – I was never ‘overweight’ when I was younger, but I was never happy with where I was. There was always a few extra pounds I could have done without.
Now? Having lost 100lb, I’m very much happy with my progress. It hasn’t been easy, but you know what? It’s actually been pretty fun.
Here’s what happened.