Category Archives: Running

Chatteris to March

Sorry for the complete silence recently. We have a family member that is really poorly. That has taken priority as well as a lot of emotional energy. Hopefully the emotional rollercoaster has stabilised a bit.

This run came close on the heels of the previous 2 but was no less enjoyable. It was also in a part of the county/diocese that I had very little knowledge of as it is not somewhere that I go very often. Unfortunately I did not have any volunteers to run with me this week but instead I had some very detailed directions as to the route I should take.

IMG_1651AI set off having had the obligatory photographs. I am constantly amazed that people turn up at 9ish on a Saturday morning to wave me off.

As I had done three of these runs this week it meant that I had missed out on some of the other training runs that I do in order to fit them in. For some odd reason I decided that instead of just completing the distance today I would include intervals within it. I did 1 mile warm up and then started to run 0.25 of a mile at a faster pace followed by a recovery of the same distance. I figured that I would probably end up walking the recovery section but in reality I was surprised by how good I felt. I managed to run them all, and at a pace that I was pleased with.

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Half way I passed through a place called Doddington where I was met by some more lovely people (I was a bit more sweaty than normal but nobody seemed to mind.)IMG_1653A

I didn’t stay long which always feels a bit rude seeing how these people have made the effort to come out and see me but if I hung around I would get too stiff. A bit further on and I completed my last interval (narrowly missing out on being tripped over by a dog!) and then I entered March. When I don’t know a place and I arrive I think that the run is nearly over and today, of all days I was ready to stop. Unfortunately it was one of the occasions when I had quite a lot further to go. I passed a church near the edge but this wasn’t where I was headed. I had about another mile to go. This is really cruel as my brain had thought I was finished, only to have to carry on. Pure torture. I was in fact, headed right in the middle of the market town.

As always it was worth getting there. I was presented with a medal which always has to be worth it! I think this medal was almost more appreciated than the one I will get once I complete the marathon as it was so unexpected!medal

There was also a coffee morning (tea is always very welcome) and we sat around and had a really lovely chat (well I mostly chatted and everyone listened but there was some discussion!).

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All in all another lovely run. I ran in a new place, met some amazing people, surprised myself with how well I managed to complete my intervals and got more miles under my belt.

 

Ely to Littleport

In complete contrast to the previous Saturday this morning was bright and sunny, cold but sunny. Today, being half term I had my lovely boys with me. It is on days like this that I really appreciate how good-natured they are as not all boys of their age would happily tag along to something like this.

Today’s schedule started with a phone call to the press! How exciting. This was followed up with photographs outside the cathedral.

img_1625All by a professional photographer! The pained look on their faces was due to them having to crouch down. Apparently their legs are not really strong enough. (It doesn’t look sunny but it was, I promise.)

I then had a gentle jog along the road to Littleport. Only 5 miles but really beautiful in the sunshine. On arrival (I beat those following in the car) I was greeted by some more lovely ladies with lunch all set up.

img_1627Some really lovely leek and potato soup which just happens to be my children’s favourite! We had a lovely chat.

Tour number 2 done and very pleasant it was too!

Yaxley to Farcet

On Saturday morning at 7am I wondered what an earth I had let myself in for. It was cold outside and I was really tired from an extremely busy few weeks at school. Bed was definitely calling. It was not meant to be however, today was the first day of my running tour around the diocese.

When I dreamed up the idea before Christmas it seemed like a really good idea. I would drum up some publicity and get people talking as well as run some miles in new and exciting areas. I had to run the miles so why not make it more interesting?

Heading off up the A1 at 8.30 on a cold and pretty miserable morning it did not feel like a good idea!

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However, I could not have been more wrong. I loved every single minute! We were heading for Yaxley and I was so honoured to be met the most lovely bunch of people, all of whom had got up to come and wave me off along the first leg of my journey.

img_1619The best bit however is that the lovely gentleman standing to my right had agreed to be my personal guide for the morning. We ran 10 miles through sleet and snow, chatting the whole time. He told me all about the local history, the clay pits, the brick works, the railways and the old factories that are no longer standing.  We had one little detour where we had been chatting so much that we forgot to turn off the road but that was nothing compared to the disaster that it would have been had I been on my own.dscf0004

I am afraid that he has set a president and I am now looking for guides for the rest of the runs that I am going to be doing……I will go at your pace (as long as it is slower and not faster than mine!) …..but I digress.

All along the route some of the people who are in the above photograph beeped their horns as they passed us, or even waited for us along the course waving and giving us encouragement as we passed. I could not have asked for any more.

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Then, as we reached Farcet a lovely lady called Irene had opened her home for a coffee morning. It was so nice to go into a lovely warm home and have a cup of tea pressed into my hands. Heaven! I told the people there a bit about my challenge and why I was doing it, had a chat with different people and before I knew it I had to set off for home to prepare for my son’s birthday party. I was buzzing all day from it and am really looking forward to this Thursday when I am heading from Ely to Littleport. I shall definitely not be dreading it when I wake up, what ever the weather is doing.

 

100 Mile Marathon

In my last post I talked about how I am trying to keep my long runs interesting. Luckily, for the majority of my long runs coming up I will not have to worry about boredom as I am running around the diocese, visiting as many branches of the Mothers’ Union as I can. (I am running the marathon for the Mothers’ Union – this is of the posts that is coming up – explaining just who they are and why I am doing it for them.).

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In the meantime, if you live near Yaxley in Cambridgeshire this coming Saturday morning, keep a look out for me – I will be running between Yaxley and Woodstone, then Woodstone to Farcet. If you do live in these areas (or know someone that does) and would like more details then please e-mail me on running4familiesworldwide@gmail.com. I will be glad of any company.

 

Busy, busy, busy

Why is it that life gets in the way so often? Unfortunately, this blog is one of the first things to go when I am pushed for time. Not the running – that will be almost the last thing! (Feeding my children will probably be last.) Behind the scenes I have been very busy organising fundraising events as well as keeping up with my training. I have quite a few posts coming up so keep tuned but today’s post is about my training.

Dare I say it? I think it is going quite well.

My work in the gym is paying off and I am definitely getting stronger. I am now doing squats with a 20 kg weight. That is nearly one-third of my body weight! I am celebrating.

I am sticking with the yoga. Whether I am improving is harder to say but I am definitely enjoying the deep stretching along with the time out (Adriene calls it a rest for the brain!).

I think that I am getting fitter re my running but that is hard to say. Yesterday I ran 14 miles. It was hard towards the end but I did it :).

My biggest problem is where to go to keep my runs interesting. A week ago yesterday I think I was more stressed about where to go than the actual run itself; road, trail or a mixture. If I did a mixture what shoes to wear (trail or road). The weather was on the cool side. The ground was partly frozen but not completely so I knew that I would get muddy.

In the end I just went for it. I had a bit of a plan but nothing set in stone – I had definitely not measured out a distance. I did a mixture of everything. Here is my run in photographs:

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A wooded area

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I live near a ‘dyke’ – a raised bit of land.

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A muddy bridle path

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A not so muddy bridle path

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A cycle path

So you see – a bit of everything. Being mainly off-road this was quite a slow, tough run but all good for building strength in my legs. I even found some ‘hills’ which for me is a real novelty. I went exploring and found new paths , worried that I was trespassing and generally following my nose. These are the best type of runs.

How do you keep repetative tasks interesting?

What activities are the ones that are the last ones you drop?

 

 

Daily Greatness

Following my last post this post may come as a bit of a surprise! Sorry.

Over the Christmas period I had a sudden urge to buy a training journal so that I could  record all my fitness achievements. My requirements were quite specific:

  1. To be able to able to use it for my running.
  2. To be able to record my gym sessions.
  3. To be able to record my food (this is an area that I need to work on, especially when running longer distances.

Hmm well this turned out to be quite a task I can tell you! Most seem to be written for the gym, or for running, or for exercise but not food…. I asked on twitter and Facebook but still didn’t find anything to meet my exact requirements…..and I still haven’t!

What I did find was this:

Dailygreatness Training Journal: 12 Weeks to a Rocking Fit Body, Mind & Spirit

I need some positivity in my life! This is a whole programme designed to improve your health and fitness over 12 weeks- perfect if your New Years Resolution is to get fitter and healthier. You can subscribe to the ‘Rocking Fit’ programme which is designed to improve you body, mind and spirit but I am going this alone!

Before starting on the actual journal bit there are a series of tasks to do. Now, believe me, I am not one for tasks, not…..at…..all. BUT I did find these thought provoking. I had to think about my values. This is one of those things where you go through the list and think…yes, yes, yes and then you get to the end and you have said yes to them all. I did, eventually manage to identify 5 key values  which was HUGE for me.

What I particularly like about these exercises are that they really make you think about what it is that you want to achieve, why and then the steps that you can do to achieve them (SMART goals anyone?) Yes, even I managed to set some goals which from someone with a huge aversion to setting goals is awesome.

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Each day you have 8 daily steps to follow, all designed to keep you on track to achieve your goals. In the morning there are some questions designed to help you identify things that you are thankful for. Now I am rubbish at this and had to think really hard to identify 5 this morning (I know, in reality I have so much but, as I have said before, I tend to focus on the areas needing improvement.) I am hoping this improves! There are boxes to check if you drink 8 glasses of water, meditate and stretch. Then in the evening there are questions designed to get you to reflect on your day, identifying things that went well and things that you could improve on.

It is this that has inspired me to start my daily morning yoga sessions (yes, I am still doing them!) Stretching and mindfulness in one. I am definitely benefitting from this. I feel calmer as I start the day and the stretching can only improve too. When I first got the journal, I did wonder if I would find the time to fill it in, but I am. I am enjoying the enforced focus on me for a change, it feels like I am finally looking after myself properly and I AM WORTH IT. If I also manage to become a bit more positive and achieve some goals then all the better.

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I shall update you as I move further into it (I only started Monday). Right now though I am very excited by it. It will serve as a record of my training for the London Marathon but hopefully will give me some life skills and practises that will continue to benefit me for years to come.

Should you wish to purchase your own copy follow this link. You will get 5% off your purchase (and I will get a 10% referral reward). This is (I believe) something that everyone gets when they purchase one of their journals and has nothing to do with me reviewing their product.

Disclaimer: All the views in this post are my own. I have bought the book myself.

 

Yoga – how long will it last!

On New Years Day we went for a soggy, wet walk. By the time we got back the gym was shut so in desperation I decided to disappear and do some yoga. Unfortunately I realised just how tight my body was. A couple of months ago I had been quite good at doing yoga on a fairly regular basis, to the extent that I was actually seeing benefits. As you can predict, this didn’t last for very long.

It was very clear that I needed to do something about it. The trouble is fitting everything in; the gym, the running, the job, being a Mum, a wife and a housekeeper. (Notice the order of the list!)

My alarm goes off at 6.30 am. I get up to make a cup of tea and some breakfast before wasting half an hour or so on social media. It occurred to me that I could forego the social media and fit in half an hours yoga.

I use YouTube for my yoga and this week have been using Runner’s Yoga with Adrienne.

I managed 2 days which I am very pleased with. Yoga first thing in the morning is not the best time as everyone is stiff after a nights sleep but it is a good way to start the day. I kind of feel a bit more chilled. I wonder if this is just because it was close to a holiday? Time will tell.

Today (Saturday) I had a bit of a lie in with a cup of tea to start but then I did get up and do half an hours yoga. This time I used Ekhart Yoga for runner’s. I am no expert but this routine feels a bit more intense (maybe because I had done the other one 3 times and have got used to it?) For now I think I will mix it up between both these until I feel a bit more flexible!

I wonder how long this new little fad will last?

Do any of you use YouTube for Yoga? Can you recommend any different ones?