Tag Archives: fitness

How much exercise?

I am finally beginning to believe in myself with regards to my fitness and running abilities. A couple of days ago I managed to run 12 miles (as well as spend the rest of the weekend packing and hauling boxes around!). I am also speeding up again. This Sunday I managed to run 5 miles at an average speed of about 8.50minute miles. This is much more what I would expect.source

I had begun to tell myself that this was because I was having proper rest days and only running three – four times a week. Then I read this post by musingsandmotion where she documented her weeks exercise program. She had ONE rest day. Yep ONE, not two or three ONE. I suddenly felt inadequate and woefully unfit. What is your view on this? I used to exercise nearly every day – when I had the time. I now like to think that I do more quality work outs? Am I just kidding myself?


I suspect that this is the important thing. I need to stop worrying about and comparing myself to others – I just need to focus on me and do what is right for me. After all we are all different so what is right for one cannot be right for all…(If only it was as easy to believe it!)


True Dedication?

Like most of the country I woke up this morning to frozen, half melted snow (an English specialty I believe!). At 07.15 I received a text from my friend asking me if I was going to go running this morning as planned. My answer?’ ????’ My gut feeling was that the chances are that we would slip and end up breaking a bone thus scuppering all future training. The sensible thing, therefore, would probably have been to miss this one in the hope the terrain improved for tomorrow.

But NO. We are not talking about any runners here – we are hard-core. The real deal. After a quick discussion having delivered our children to various places we came to the conclusion that we had 2 choices: Run on the roads that had been gritted or run on grass. In the end we plumped for the grass option.


We ended up running around this field a few times. 7 times to be exact. It was not at all easy – very cold (not great for my asthma), foggy (did I mention that), an icy wind, uneven and wet but, importantly, not icy! I found that I used different muscles than usual. 3 miles felt like 10!

Annoyingly the ice disappeared through the day and had we waited we would have been able to go on the roads. Still we had a good workout and you never do know what it will do later. It may have got worse.

Have you done anything like this or are you far too sensible?


We had a snowman cheering us on! (you need to look very carefully!)

We are hoping the weather improves for our training runs later this week!

My Park Run Debut

Last Saturday (yes a week ago now!) I ran my first ever park run race. I decided to do it because I could really do with the practice of running in crowds. I find this really hard. Being over a distance of 5k it is a comfortable distance for me.


Registering was really, really easy. I simply filled in a few details and very soon received an e-mail confirming and giving me my unique bar code to print out in order to get my time.


Having laid in bed the night before listening to the rain beating against the window I realised that it would be a wet and muddy run as it is run on tracks. Undaunted I arrived fairly early and sat in my car for a fair while wondering whether I was brave enough to remove my lovely cosy sweat shirt as it was quite cold. Spotting someone I knew I made a very quick decision to risk  it and jumped out of the car.

The Start

For the first time in …um forever, I did a bit of a warm up. I walked fairly briskly wondering at all these other people who seemed to take the whole business very seriously – sprinting, stretching etc. (Do you warm up? I am terrible at it).  Just before the start us newbies were pulled to one side by a very lovely enthusiastic lady who went through the  process with us, including the rules. These consisted of keeping to the left and being nice to everyone. I then went off to line up at around the 27 minute mark figuring that I would probably run about this time due to the volume of people.


As expected the start was quite congested and therefore slowish. I tucked in behind someone and followed her path dodging around people to find some open space. The course itself is run over 1 shortish loop and 2 longer ones. There were quite a few tight corners  and lots of nice puddles. To start with I was a typical girly girl and tried to avoid all the puddles but soon gave up on that!


This photo sums up the other two main hazards – wet, slippery bridges and dogs running with runners. The former was fine but I very nearly fell over a dog!! It was close to the beginning, just as the course was narrowing. I was on the right as I was overtaking but someone shouted ‘coming through’ so I moved over a bit. I was about to move back when I saw a dog (or rather  nearly tripped over it !). I have to say that I really felt that this was a bit unfair but as I survived I cannot complain too much.

The end

As always this was a long time coming. I thought I was at the end, speeded up and overtook several people only to find that it was further off than I thought> I couldn’t keep the pace up and so ended up being over taken by all those I had done! (Oh well you learn). At the end we were fed into a funnel and given a ticket.

We then headed over to the cafe where we had the ticket scanned as well as our bar code. That was it. Finished and done. I found it a bit strange, like I was skiving off early although not really sure why.

Back home

Back at home, later that day I had an e-mail telling me my position overall, my time as well as a load of other results. It even knew that it was my first run. Impressive eh?

I will definitely be doing this again. I really, really enjoyed it and found that I pushed myself quite hard – running a fairly good time for me. I had thought that I would not go that fast to allow for fairly easy improvement but that is just not in my make up at all. Can you do that? Do you have any great park runs near you that you do? Oh and the best bit of all is that it is totally free. I really strongly suggest that you give one a go if you can.

Uh oh!


I have just 2 weeks until a half Marathon that I have signed up for. That in itself is not particularly a problem, except that I have not managed to do much training at all. In fact, if you look at my running totals page you will see that my training has fallen to the lowest level this year! In June I ran 109 miles and in July just 39! My last run of distance was on the 28th July (8 miles), nearly a whole month ago.



I am very weak-willed and so will make some excuses. August is holiday time. I have three mini people who I love being around but are full of energy. When it comes to the evening      when I have the time to exercise I am quite exhausted. We have also had a lovely holiday away which was great fun but again, exhausting.

I do know that I could have made a bit more effort but ….. well enough of this. I am not going to get fit by making excuses.

“If you really want to do it, you do it. There are no excuses. “Bruce Nauman

This week looks like this:
Monday: 3.15 miles with average pace 10.22
Tuesday: 3.26 miles with average pace 10.27
(Probably a little bit too much chatting going on?)
Friday: 4 miles with average pace of 9.04
Saturday: 10miles with average pace of 10.02
It is probably true therefore, if you want something bad enough you will do it! I want to be able to run this half marathon without too much pain and I have realised that time is running out so I have started to train.
No Pain, No Gain
I knew that I was being a bit silly last night, going out and doing 4 miles but I couldn’t stop myself. The 10 miles this morning was only possible because I ran with my brother and I daren’t complain. (I did stop once because I felt very sick but he stopped soon after as it was raining very hard and he couldn’t see though his glasses!). I did find the last mile particularly hard and luckily found a bench just where I finished to (collapse) have a bit of a rest on. 🙂
I am a bit worried about the half marathon although I am trying to boost myself by saying that I did run 14 miles in less than 24 hours which must help my fitness? As for the next couple of weeks I will have to try my hardest not to go out and completely kill myself getting the miles under my belt!
If you have any words of wisdom to help me correct my mistake I would love to hear it. I have 2 weeks from tomorrow! Hope you all have a good week :).


Truth or Lies?

I have learnt something new today – Ostriches do not stick their head in the sand when in danger. It is a shame because I had all sorts of clever headings for this post revolving around this fact! Instead I will go with the mantra – I MUST NOT MOAN (No-one wants to read a post full of my moans right?)


Ostrich (Photo credit: Ginger Me)

I have completely neglected the running half of my blog the past couple of weeks! Why? Well I am frustrated and when this happens I tend to pretend that it is not happening. I think that I hope that it will then go away. Obviously this doesn’t happen so I am being brave today and facing up to a few home truths.

True or false?: I thought I was fairly fit.

Picture credit:Britsintheus

So why do I ache so much? This week my body has felt completely broken! Last week  running was an effort – you only have to look at the figures. Despite cutting back on miles my timings were slow. This week too has been hard. I have been like an elderly lady with two knee replacements. My thighs are so sore. (I must not moan!) The positive however is that I did run 10 miles in quite a good time on Saturday, following 7 on Friday! (I can be positive!)

Answer: I am expecting too much from myself (or am I just getting too old?)

Picture credit: fitness motivational quotes

True or False? I thought my shoes fit.     

So why have I got blisters all over my feet? I have no answer to this except that it hurts 😦 (I know I must not moan!) Any answers gratefully accepted (I have changed nothing, not socks, not shoes, nothing!)

Answer:? (should be true as I had them fitted properly in a shop with a treadmill!)

On the other hand I have had my successes – I ran my fastest mile (8.17) without setting out to and I ran 10 miles for the first time in months. See, it is not all bad really but it is very easy to ignore the good things and convince myself that the bad things are bigger than they are. Is there anything that you do this for? Do you ignore the good things and focus on the bad?

Picture source: fitness motivational quotes


Some things just do not go away and some things are not as bad as you make them out to be. There are good things mixed in as well as the bad (Or is that just me?)

Insane or Dedication?

For those of you reading this who don’t run the answer will be insane, because going for a run is always insane, but for those of you who like to dabble then please read on and let me know if I am as insane as I think I am.

Under pressure:

Most of you know that I run, quite a lot. Some of you will know that I have recently began to not only record my mileage but also my workouts here.  I have, therefore just added a whole lot of pressure onto myself (more than just what is in my brain!). Wednesday, (yesterday) is one of my run days, except that due to child illness I was unable to go (that and I was shattered!) I even sent my apologies to a meeting I should have attended.


Normally this would not have been a problem, I would simply have gone out on Thursday evening instead. Fine except that I would not be able to without leaving the children home alone as Hubby is away.


Being the responsible adult that I am this was not going to be possible. That left two options: Not run for 2 days or get up early…. When my son came into me at 6.30am this morning instead of letting him in and dozing off again I jumped out of bed. 10minutes later I was out of the door and literally stumbling down the road. I soon remembered why I do not do this on a regular basis.

Reasons I do not run first thing in the morning:

1. My brain and legs do not have time to link up properly.

2. I have no fuel.

3. I am slightly dehydrated.

4. My muscles are stiff.

5. I do not run very fast.

Need anymore reasons? I did however feel better for doing it.

Over to you:

So where do you stand on this question?

Do you think that I am insane or would you have done the same thing? Would you have done this but made some changes? Please let me know. I need to know if I am certifiable or not!

Drip, drop

I am not a fan of writing a post about the great British weather but I just cannot help it today! I went for a run on Sunday. It was a slowish run. I had waited for a heavy downpour to finish and thought that this would be a safe time to go out – surely there would not be any left after the amount we had just had? Well obviously there could! I got to the end of the road and saw black, menacing clouds. I turned around and picked up a rain coat! Good job because it rained for most of the 30 minutes I was out. Rain was running down my face. (I so hate that!)

THEN today I went for a run again. On the school run I put on a jumper because it is always a bit cool in the mornings. Except for today that is! I soon took it off. I did go for a run and instead of the rain causing water to run down my face today it was sweat! Too much info? Sorry. It was obviously not quite as bad as from the rain but I think this just sums up the British weather nicely. Unpredictable!


It was worth it!


I have had a tough week, mostly on an emotional level. I have been disappointed by the selfishness of humans and the way me and my family have been treated. Anyway this morning I was tired. I got dressed in my running gear as normal for a Friday but was a bit half-hearted.

Let’s just see……

And then, as we left for school it started to rain. This combined with the wind was not enticing me to run! However, once I had dropped the children off I decided to give it a go and see how I felt. It had stopped raining by now and so I set off feeling a bit tight and tired but, as is often the way, felt ok once I got going.


Due to a road that I usually use being shut I was forced to run a bit further than normal but when I got to the point where I could have cut the run short (too short really) I carried on and I am so glad I did because I saw one of these:

This is a Marsh Harrier. They are big birds and we occasionally see them around here. They are larger than the average bird we usually get. I saw him really up close – close enough to see the markings which was really amazing. It was really windy and he was struggling with the wind a bit but it really lifted my mood. I love seeing things like this as it makes me realise that I really do live in the countryside and that there is more to life than silly selfish people.

I went on to run 8 miles which I was pleased with – and yes I was glad I went.

(Rather belatedly here are my summaries for last week.)

Treadmills: Love or Hate?

 I ask this because I had a very interesting conversation this week at the gym which made me stop and think. (In case you are wondering – this is not me, she is far too neat and tidy!)A woman on a treadmill (Original caption: &quo...

As always it started with general chit-chat. It then got interesting.

Do you run slower on a treadmill? That got me thinking and the answer is yes I think I do. Do you? I do a warm up program on the treadmill of 1 mile at a pace of about 10. This felt ok, not easy but not that hard either. When outside I find it hard to keep at a pace as slow as this – it always creeps up to 9 / 9.30 even when I am trying to run slowly. Then when I get into my running properly I seem to run faster than that but on the treadmill it never seems to be that easy – 8.30 pace seems really fast and a lot of effort.

Hmmm so then why? (these are just hypothesis).

It’s all in the rhythm? When outside you can subtly change your pace without realising it until you find the correct running rhythm for you on that day. (It amazes me how much my pace does change and when I think I am doing well it is not always the case!) On the treadmill your pace is determined by your brain and the computer. You put a speed in and the belt moves at that pace. That means that you have to run at a consistent pace the whole time. Although the treadmill does give you an even surface with no discrepancies in it.

It’s all in the brain? When you are outside there is much to distract you, from your surroundings, ensuring your foot falls on an even surface and even your route (where you are, where are you going next etc.) On the treadmill I do have a tv with a variety of channels to watch but I wouldn’t say that I ever got totally engrossed in any of them. My mind does not wander in the same way. All I focus on is the time and pace. This then means I put focus on how I feel now and how I might feel in another 5 minutes!!

I don’t have as much contact. When running up a hill (well slope here in the fens), when I need a bit of a boost I consciously push-off my back foot a bit harder. This obviously gives me a bit of momentum with which to keep my speed up. When I tried this on the treadmill I just wasn’t able to do it as the bit of the strap was moving and so wasn’t there long enough for me to get enough purchase.

You cannot have a bit of recovery. When I reach the top of a hill I can slow down a bit. Mentally I think that it doesn’t matter and give myself a bit of flack even if in reality I speed up quite quickly. On the treadmill unless you change the speed with the button your stay at the same pace. Whenever I slow down on a treadmill I don’t seem to be able to do it for a bit and it also seems to be slower than when outside.

What goes up must come down! (and hills all have a top) Well in real life that is true. I have a couple of ‘hills’ on my route. They are not long but steep for here. When embarking on them I have a definite end (the top) and after this there is a downhill ‘reward’ or recovery. When on a treadmill the ‘top’ is not visible – just a time so there is no real reward in making yourself go faster to reach the top. Also there is no downhill afterwards.

Am I making excuses or is there any truth in any of this? I would love to know. If it is all in my head then I need to change my mental state and move on! You may have guessed that I am not a particular fan of treadmills but I do see that they have their uses.

I am wondering if this would make it easier for me! I could catch up with all the news. (and be quite sick too I suspect!)treadmill workstation side view

As always to see what I have managed this week see here.

How do I get a balance?

Help! How do I get a balance between the gym whilst also keeping my running fitness up? (Remembering that I have limited time!)