Running For You

My husband writes, performs and records songs. Not something that I have shared with you before but he has done something pretty amazing; he has written a song to help raise funds for MIND (the charity that I have chosen to support. For reasons why see here and here). I am so grateful to him because I have been rubbish at raising any money at all this year.

We decided to ask other people who are running for MIND to submit photographs of themselves to make a video as this way it would give them an opportunity to ask people for sponsorship in a different way and therefore hopefully raise more money.

I am lucky. I chose to raise money for mind despite getting a place through the ballot. This means that I haven’t pledged to raise a huge amount of money in return for my place. The flip side to this is that I raised money last year but this year I have not done nearly as well. I am just not comfortable asking the same people for money again, especially when I didn’t actually do anything last year.

Anyway – enough of my  words:

Here it is:

Did you spot the panel I made last year?

Next time I promise to not write about running. I have 2 things that I have sewed to share.

Have fun. x

Downs and ups.

I have been hiding, again. Stupid I know but there are times when hiding is the only way I can cope. Fortunately I have come out the other side and am now able to explain all. …..

 

 

Source

2 weeks ago was the Cambridge half marathon. It is fair to say that this is my least favourite race for many reasons:

1. The first year I ran it I fell over and cut my knees.

2. The next year it snowed and I had an asthma attack.

3. The following year I had not recovered sufficiently from a chest infection and hated every step.

I have finished every year but for a race that is in my local city and a beautiful scenic one at that  it is far from top of my list. This year would be different though, wouldn’t it?

NO!

On the Wednesday before I got a sore throat! I increased my intake of vitamin c, had early nights and tried to be sensible. By Saturday my asthma was beginning to play up but I convinced myself it was only asthma therefore the below the neck rule was not applicable. (The general rule when running is that if you have symptoms above the neck you are OK to run. Below then not.) I woke up Saturday to a lovely sunny morning. Deep down I knew that I probably shouldn’t be running but I needed to get the miles in.

The first half was fine. I kept to 10 minute miles and was happy to plod along. The atmosphere was good, the weather was good and I was going to take it easy. All was great until about half way. I took my inhaler, once, twice and a few more times. I eventually had to walk a bit, and then a bit more. By now I was not feeling so great. The crowds were lovely and encouraging, as were the marshalls but there was no escaping that I was feeling rough.

As I looped back through the city centre for the second time I began to look forward to the next fuel stop – water and gels. Unfortunately there were no more gels….OK I can live without those but the killer was the water. They had run out of water and so were offering runners discarded bottles with the lids taken off. Ummm thanks but no thanks!

By this time I knew that even if I walked I would get round and so I kept plodding on. A puff of the blue inhaler every other step or so!

I did complete it, in 2 hours and 20 mins which is OK but my slowest ever time. The worst bit was that I felt no elation at the end at all. I literally had nothing left. I felt no elation, no achievement or even relief.

The medal however, never fails to impress.

The medal however, never fails to impress.

I got home and slept. The next couple of days were horrible. My asthma was bad and my mood rock bottom. I honestly thought that all dreams of the marathon were over. I saw a doctor who, much to my relief did say that it was only asthma and not an infection and there was nothing else I could do. I plodded on. Disrupted sleep, lots of coughing and generally feeling low.

A week later I went back to the doctor, a different one this time. He was very sympathetic and gave me some steroids. He also said that I could run although it would not be very pleasant for me. I would do no harm. Thank goodness for that. (Deep down I think that I had blamed myself for being stupid and running when I shouldn’t have.)

The difference the steroids have made is amazing. I can breathe! As I can breathe I have energy. I can smile, laugh and am actually living rather than existing. On day 2 of the steroids I went to running club. I felt so much better than I had dared hope! The next day I managed to run 16 miles in 3 blocks. (It was the only way I could fit it in.) 6 miles at 6am, 7 miles in the pm after work and before pick up and then 3 after pick up. The boost to my confidence that this gave me was immense.

It seems that my marathon journey is still on! I have come out of hiding. I can now participate in Facebook and twitter discussions about running without wanting to curl up and cry. There is still plenty of time for injury and illness to strike again but for now, my dream is alive.

Thank you for reading my moans. xxx

A different way of cutting

Did I tell that I have recently had a birthday? Birthdays means treats and this year it meant that I finally got my hands on:

A rotary cutter

A rotary cutter

I first heard about this about a year ago. I was not convinced until I tried to cut out lycra. It was not easy as the material is so stretchy and slippery.

As you can see I have finally managed to get around to having a play.

Lets just say I love it. It is so sharp, it cuts through the 2 layers of lycra with ease. I am able to cut accurately as the material stays flat on the table, you just run the blade around the edge of the pattern. No lifting, stretching or moving.

The only slight issue that I had was not meeting up at the corners quite, leaving the piece joined to the main material.

IMG_1254Can you see on the top right? This is easy enough to rectify – you just chop it but it is a bit annoying!

When done properly this is all you are left with - a clear hole in the shape of the peice.

When done properly this is all you are left with – a clear hole in the shape of the piece.

Oh and you can see how it also cuts through the paper pattern a bit too! ;)

As to what I am making …..more on that another time. I simply didn’t get enough done to show you today.

Joanne to the rescue

For those of you who know that we have half term here you may well be wondering why I haven’t written more posts. The simple answer is that I did but I am struggling with WordPress. It seems to not save everything. Anyone else having these issues?

Anyway back to the point of this post. My lovely friend Joanne came to my rescue this week. I had really lost all mojo when it came to yarn related projects. Luckily I knew she was just THE person to sort me out. After Christmas I had picked up this lovely yarn in the sale:

It is Rowan Sock yarn.

It is Rowan Sock yarn.

The first obvious place to start is with socks. We logged onto Ravelry and started searching. I really liked the look of these:

beauty shot Skew by Lana Holden

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I really like these and will probably make them one day. We then saw these:

beauty shot

Wraptor 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The thing about these socks that really appeal is the unusual way the stripes go across the socks. Definitely on the to-do list but not quite right for now.

We then went onto shawls and found the one.

It is Miss Winkle by Martina Behlm. This is a lovely pattern that is easy but the hoops along the edge add that bit of interest. Perfect for those evenings where I am really tired and need something to take my mind off the events of the day.

Joanne being Joanne bought the pattern right there and then. She then popped home to get her winder so I could wind the skein and get going straight away. How lucky am I? I am very, very grateful and look forward to the next couple of weeks. Thank you lovely.

Stop Running and Stop Panicking!

This post is for all those of you out there suffering from running related injuries. I know that there are a lot of you. I also understand how you are feeling but this post will hopefully make you feel a lot better and slightly more optimistic about any events coming up.

Source

On Christmas eve I agreed to doing a run that I shouldn’t have done. As you all know, the run up to Christmas is a busy time so runs had become the barest minimum. With a 10k race coming up on New Years eve I was keen to try to build my confidence.

On Sunday I ran a 10k

6..21 mi

Distance

8:57 min/mi

Avg Pace

55:35

Time

I was more than happy with that. My downfall really came when I agreed to run a paced run on Christmas eve with a friend.
6.21 mi
Distance
8:57 min/mi
Avg Pace

55:35
Time

I had pain from the beginning but I pushed through…….BIG mistake. From that day on it hurt when I walked. The next few days were horrid as I came to terms with what I had stupidly done. I knew that rest was a good idea. I tried anti inflammatories. I googled it (never to be advised). Finally I consulted a physio. I wanted answers now and I wanted to do it properly as I have a marathon to train for! If you haven’t read the diagnosis then you can here.

It was three weeks before I put on my trainers again. I did do swimming, rowing and biking as I need to get those endorphins from somewhere but nothing is quite like running. :(

On the 14th January I took the executive decision that I could run/walk a couple of miles. I was very careful as I had not had the official go ahead from the physio so definitely did more walking than running but all felt good.

Source

The next day I got the all clear to go ahead and walk/run :) This is what I did:

3.08 mi
Distance
9:53 min/mi
Avg Pace

30:28
Time

All still felt fine. I then did some more run/walks until finally on the 21st January I finally ran 3 miles, 5 weeks after my final run.
3.00 mi
Distance
9:10 min/mi
Avg Pace

27:31
Time

Look at the pace – not too shabby at all. I have now run 40 miles since then, gradually increasing the miles each week. (With a week off running due to a cold I might add!)

Last week I ran 8 miles in one go which is the furthest that I have run this year BUT and the best bit is that I did it in an average pace of 9.50 which I don’t think is too bad at all. The last time that I ran 8 miles pre injury was December the 8th and the average pace was 9.38.

So my purpose in writing this is that despite having had a total of 4 weeks out of 7 off running, my overall pace has not dropped anywhere as near as much as I expected. If anything I feel stronger than before. My body has had a bit of a rest, the pressure has been taken off me and I am enjoying running more than ever. Everytime I go out I remind myself how lucky I am to be able to go for a run.

lucky running

Original picture from here.

So if you have an injury my advice would be to cross train and to give it the rest it needs to repair itself. Your body will not go back to being a beginner runner overnight. All those miles and training really do count. So stop panicking and give your body the time it needs. Your body will definitely thank you for it.

Source

As for me I am continuing to add-on the miles as I build up for the London Marathon which I am running for Mind. To read my story click here. To donate click here.

Nothing to see here

Unfortunately the title says it all. As I said in the last post I was a bit unwell last week which meant normal activities was enough for me. That, along with a family birthday this weekend has left very little time for sewing or knitting. :(

The time that I had to sew has been spent trying to get a twin needle to work. I was left with this:

As you can see, I wasn't successful.

As you can see, I wasn’t successful.

The knitting has not been going well either as I needed to be able to concentrate. The illness has meant no running has taken place either.

With a busy week ahead at work I doubt that I will have much to report on. I fear I may be a bit quiet this week. The only upside is that my breathing is returning to normal so I may just be able to get back running again which is just as well as the marathon is getting closer and closer.

I hope you all have a happy week and that I have something to report soon :)

My up and down running week

I am pleased to report that my new trainers have been getting a few outings. My ankle / Achilles has, so far been OK. I managed to complete 4 runs last week YAY. The pace was one that I am more than happy with considering the 3 weeks or so enforced rest I had.

And then…..this week I have managed to get a cold :( I am so worried about getting another chest infection ( as last year) that I am being very cautious. Early bed-times, limiting the amount of work completed (I have the type of job where the work is never, ever completed), taking in plenty of fruit and veg as well as doing a bit of socializing etc. Unfortunately life does continue; children need ferrying, work continues and the house needs to be ‘kept under-control’. Add into the mix a husband with ‘man flu’ and a child poorly an easy week is not that easy. Fingers crossed that I have done enough.

source

On the plus side:

A visit to the physio resulted in me being allowed more running miles (when I get well) and 2 weeks before my next visit. It was also slightly less painful than the previous week.

 

 

 

Source

I was able to share my love for running with children. There is a cross-country event coming up soon and I volunteered to take them out for a ‘trial’ run. It was great. We did a little warm up, a few laps – with some top tips obviously, and a cool down. It was lovely to see them achieve more than they believed they could. One more outing before the event next week. I feel myself volunteering to run a club before long!