Tub on the Run


My Weston Christmas Cracker 10k

After a very muddy and incredibly slow parkrun at Killerton yesterday, it was questionable whether my trainers were going to dry out in enough time for today’s event.  I managed a personal worst on parkrun, but enjoyed chatting to the lady I’d picked up with, about a kilometre in.  It was also very nice to catch up with Sharon from shazruns again.  We’re on for a cuppa next week, as I am barcode scanning instead of running.  I’m currently trying to think about what I can wear as fancy dress.

Anyway, when I got home, I put my trainers straight in front of the heater, which quickly attracted Timo, who then spent a large part of the day guarding them.


We made sure we went to bed early, as I knew we’d need to be up in good time to get in the car and drive to Weston-Super-Mare.  I really wasn’t sure if I’d be able to do 10k.  I felt nervous on the way up, and said to M that if I hadn’t completed the course by 1hr 45 mins, then I would be withdrawing.  In the back of my head, I thought I could probably do 1:30, but I really wasn’t sure.

We arrived at the Weston Christmas Cracker 10k HQ at Weston College, where I nipped in to get my chip.  I’d not thought to bring any tinsel, and seeing so many runners with tinsel (and also in some of the most amazing fancy dress costumes), I felt less sparkly.  I dived into the Sovereign Centre and waited patiently for the 99p store to open.

Complete with tinsel, M and I headed out to the Pier.  We bumped into mother- and father-in-law on the beach.  Father-in-law was also running.  Father-in-law had made a real effort and dressed as the Grinch, which tickled me as that is just not him at all.  I wasn’t too impressed with mother-in-law, who pretty much abandoned her son at the earliest opportunity.

At just before 11am, everyone started lining up at the Pier.  I deliberately went to the back, knowing I was not going to be a mid-pack competitor.  The people were nice and chatty, and despite the biting wind and slight drizzle, the atmosphere was tense but fun.


I got off to a good start.  I was desperately trying to remember all the good advice I had been given via the blog and on Twitter.  I didn’t start out too quick, but had created a playlist that I knew I could run to the beat with.  What I hadn’t accounted for was the sand.  In parts, it felt like running on a trail or grass, other times, it was exactly what I expected from sand – energy sapping, calf ache inducing misery.  There was a strong head wind too, though I imagine that those in a pack didn’t have so much of a problem.  Unfortunately, us back markers spread out quite a bit.  Another issue with the head wind was that when you splashed in a puddle, it just went up over your toes and soaked your feet.  Ah well!  Thankfully no blisters ensued.

I am third in from the right

I am the first person in the second half of the photo

I was surprised to see that my 5k time was about normal in comparison to my parkrun times.  However, never have I been so pleased to get back on to firm ground!  Just before the 5k mark was a water station which was also very welcome.  My speeds picked up over the next couple of kilometres as my calves settled into “normal” terrain.  At the 6k mark, M was waiting for me.  I stopped for a quick hug and a brief walk before setting off again.


As I worked my way down the promenade, I was clapped and cheered on by marshals, the public and runners who had finished.  I nearly cried as I found it quite overwhelming, but then found it hard to keep my breathing steady, so I focused on the task at hand and headed towards Knightstone Causeway.

The finish line was about half a kilometre along the beach.  As I approached, the commentator called out my name and congratulated me – I’m not sure if he remembered something I had put on my entry form, or whether it was one of the Twitter interactions, but I was really quite touched.  I ran over the chip recording foot pad thingy at 1:24:18.  I was 1,623rd, and I am damn proud!  I think the lady who took my chip off thought I was going to be trouble, as I probably looked a bit of a state, though I assured her I wasn’t going to faint.  M met me in the finish area where I promptly burst into tears.  I was so overwhelmed.  People were so kind and considerate, encouraging every single step of the way.  I didn’t think I was going to be able to do it, and I’d done it.  It was an amazing feeling knowing that I’d proved myself wrong in a good way.

I grabbed a bottle of water and made my way up to the College to collect my mince pie and t-shirt, not feeling too bad.  I made my way to the t-shirt queue.  Unfortunately the last XL shirt went to the lady in front of me, so I had an L.


And I was right.  That mince pie was the best mince pie I’ve ever had in my life.  It was amazing!


I had been given a raffle ticket when I crossed the line, which the lady at the finish line explained to me, if I went to the second floor in the College, I could pick a raffle prize.  M loves Minstrels, so I picked a box of those for him to say thank you for standing about in the cold for over 2 hours, waiting for me to set off, run, come back and just hug me when I got all silly and cried.


After the run, we went to nan-in-law’s for lunch (and so I could change in relative comfort), and then came home after lunch.

I’m now feeling a bit stiff, and I suspect getting down the stairs to get out of our flat will be a challenge tomorrow morning.

I would really like to thank the organisers of the Weston Christmas Cracker 10k, and give special thanks to the marshals (and public) who clapped, cheered, encouraged and high-5’d me along – it kept me going and I am so grateful.  I tried to thank everyone as I went along, but I am sure there are some people who I missed.  I plan on returning next year!  Thank you also to those who gave me advice here and on Twitter – your tips made my ride a little more organised (and probably comfortable!).

The biggest thank you has to go to M, who has endured my whining and mythering about not wanting to do it (or generally go out for runs at the moment), made sure I packed my bag, directed me to free parking near the College, holding my bag (and hand), wishing me luck, waiting for me, cheering me on and… well, plenty more!

See you next year Christmas Cracker!



Sunday night and Blog Block

I have tried to write this post about six times now, and nothing is flowing.  M has diagnosed it as Blog Block.  Apologies, therefore, for the probable rambling, jumbled-upness of this post.  I shall, however, try to break it into some logical chunks (“try” being the operative word there).


I bunked off Slimming World again this week.  I know it’s been a bad food week when I don’t want to go to church Group and confess my sins syns, and believe me, there have been many.  How many?  I have no idea.  That’s another tell tale sign – I don’t count because I know it’s bad.  Well, my body is now beginning to demand a better quality fuel.  After weeks (months?) of feeding it rubbish, it’s now getting all grumbly and gripey and, to be honest, it isn’t much fun.  This is coming from the person who prides herself on owning a cast iron tummy, the girl who can eat out of date food, or that which has been undercooked, and not feel the effects while those around her are actively seeking out the nearest toilet.

Well, so long high fat/sugar food.  It’s been, ummm, unhealthy (both physically and mentally).

Normally, I blindly choose meals based on what we have left over in the veggies department from last week, paying no heed to what I’m actually doing in the week.  This week is different.  I know I am going to be late home a couple of nights.  I know this is a danger zone, where I will default to takeaway because “I haven’t got enough time/energy/other poor excuse to cook”.  The slow cooker is my greatest ally in this particular battle.  The other thing?  Oh, well, there isn’t enough leftovers to use for lunch tomorrow, so I’ll just buy from the canteen.  That is expensive.  It’s also quite unhealthy, as while I may have the intention of having a jacket spud with beans and salad, I may add a flapjack on to that, or change my mind entirely to a cheese and onion pasty.  To combat this, I first need to buy some new batteries for my scales – I can’t measure anything out at the moment (unless it is a liquid).  This means that then, I’ll be able to use my breadmaker that I got for Christmas, but haven’t actually used yet.  That means that sandwiches with cheese and tomato, or ham, or whatever, is now a default option where there may not be enough leftovers.

That’s my week planned for food.


I would like to say that Week 1 of my 10k plan got off to a cracking start, but it has been more like a crappy start.  The stupid thing is that I know that if I feel low, going out for a run will help.  I’ve literally just come back from a run and I feel like I’m about to die from exploding lungs better than before I went out.  The hardest part is actually getting out the door.  As I started writing this post at 8pm, I thought I really should go out for a run.  I haven’t been out and made one run this week.  How can I talk about running if I haven’t actually been running.  Sometimes, like this evening, I can just tell myself that I am going out, and there is no internal argument.  Other times, there’s an almighty furore in my brain that absolutely refuses to get changed and go out.

This evening’s run was 3 miles.  The longest run on Week 1’s plan.  I shall crack on with Week 2 on Tuesday, Thursday (or Friday) and Saturday (watch out parkrun – I may come out to play!).  I didn’t set any records unfortunately, but I am quite pleased with my 41:27 5k given that I haven’t run regularly for what feels like forever.

One thing I have learnt this evening is that it most definitely is not time to crack the base layer out.  I thought I might get chilly, what with it being autumn and all, but no, a t-shirt is more than sufficient still.  According to the Garmin, it was 14°c, so maybe I’ll reintroduce the base layer when we hit 10°c and see how I go then.

On that note, I’m off for a shower because I am sweaty and smelly.  All round delightful!



A goal

When I started running this year, right at the fore of my mind was my three or four failed attempts at trying to get in to running.  In the past, I would start running, pick a race (typically a Race for Life or Exeter’s Santa Run), and pressure myself to get to a magical milestone in time for the race.  I never stuck with it.  I don’t know whether it was the pressure I put myself under, eventually giving in to crippling self-doubt, or whether I just didn’t suit the plan I was using.  I suspect it was a combination of both.  For a long time, before I’d heard of Couch to 5k, I used Running Made Easy‘s “60 Second Secret Plan”.


This is pretty much the same as C25K, but the big difference for me, and what I think I struggled with, was having to keep track of the time myself.  I would constantly be looking at my watch instead of focusing on running, willing the seconds to pass quicker.  C25K, of course, being a podcast, tells you when to start and stop so you don’t have to worry about the timing.  Yeah the music is a bit odd, but I’d rather that than have to work it out myself.

Armed with Couch to 5k, my kit and some enthusiasm, I headed out at the end of January.  I ignored the conventional wisdom pumped out by the running magazines – sign up for your first race so that you have a goal.  I didn’t want to.  I wanted my running to be more of a regular thing than I had managed in the past, and I thought that would be counter-productive.  I focused on being able to get to Week 9 of C25K.  I then started a 10k plan.  I fell off the wagon, attempted to climb back on, and then slipped off again.

A shift happened, and I started looking around for 10k races.  I feel that I am ready to take on that kind of challenge now.  I know I can do 5k (ok, not quickly, but I can), and I’ve really enjoyed my parkruns, but I want to look at the next stage.

Where am I now, in terms of my running and fitness?  I’m not in my best place.  I’m heavier than I’d like to be still, and I have struggled with Slimming World lately.  I’ve missed 2 weeks, and had booked holiday for one, so it’ll have been 4 weeks this week since I last showed my face.  I haven’t progressed with C25K after coming back from Cyprus.  I would roll out my list of excuses, but I need to be more proactive – running is good for my body and my mental state, and I am going to need to take better care of both, especially over the next few weeks.  Work is ramping up quickly, and I feel like time is quickly trickling away before the wedding now.  Running will help me deal with this.

With all of this in mind, I looked for winter 10ks.  I settled on Weston Athletics Club’s Christmas Cracker 10k.  I’d read good things about it on the Runners World event review (back in the day, when I was a subscriber), and it is conveniently in Weston-Super-Mare, where I can kill two birds with one stone – run, and drop off Christmas presents for the in-laws (maybe even get fed with mother-in-law’s amazing moussaka after the run).  Sunday 15th December will see me huffing and puffing my way along the beach (I’ll need to get some sand running in on a couple of runs) and back along the tarmac, all for a t-shirt and mince pie.  Father-in-law is also running it, but I don’t think we’ll be running together, given he’s an 8 minute miler, and I’m 14 at the moment.

My plan?  Back to Hal Higdon’s 10k plan.  I made it up to 4 miles on the plan earlier in the summer, and I enjoyed the shift in focus on to distance rather than time.  I’ve popped the runs in my diary, having tweaked it around a bit so that I can get parkruns on Saturday in and make it to Slimming World.  I’m starting the plan a little bit before (it’s an 8 week plan, and I’m starting at 9 weeks before), so I plan to break myself in on Week 1 this coming week, and repeat it the week after.

Now, one thing is that fancy dress is optional, tinsel is mandatory.  Any dress-up ideas (which was free or cheap – it is nearly Christmas!) would be most appreciated!

Tub on the Run, disguised as Father Christmas :D

Tub on the Run, disguised as Father Christmas 😀

I won’t wear a beard though.  I wore a beard for the Santa run, and ended up breathing a lot of it in.  I guess that’s why you don’t see too many beardy runners…


Calm(ish) on the outside, ARGHHHH on the inside

I am a week away from my holiday, and my usual pre-holiday, work related anxiety and panic is beginning to set in.  Add in to that an interesting situation whereby I could apply for a promotion, mix it in with a couple of frank conversations and a couple of realisations, and my nerves are shot to hell and I am beginning to feel overwhelmed.  Oh yeah, add in my wedding dress fitting, and I’m quite amazed that I am functioning at all.  I know they aren’t big problems, but I suffer from anxiety, and the trigger will determine how well I cope.

Normally, I find that running really helps.  I get the chance to be alone with my thoughts and work through things.  I’ve really enjoyed getting back to it this week, and I have had the opportunity to explore a couple of new routes.  I’ve also been chuffed to use my Garmin, and I’ve found the stats quite interesting.  I ran the first run of Week 5, and ran two runs from Week 4.

I ran the third run of Week 4 at parkrun this morning.  I haven’t set any records, and I haven’t set a new PB, but I was pleased with how I went.  I ran for more than Week 4’s podcast, and I’m beginning to feel a little bit more “part of it” (don’t get me wrong, parkrun is very friendly, but people are now beginning to recognise me and know my name).  Also, it was really lovely to see Sharon from Shazruns at the finish line.  It was the first time we’ve had the chance for a chat before, and I’m sure we’ll stop for a coffee in the cafe when the weather turns cooler.  Sadly, I’m not back to parkrun now until nearly the end of the month.

Unfortunately, running hasn’t really helped clear my head.  Well, maybe it has, and in which case, I’d dread to think what I’d feel like if I hadn’t run.

Anyway, one of the issues has been highlighted this week is that I have become increasingly scruffy in my work dress, therefore a shopping trip was in order.  To be honest,  I could have done without the financial expenditure right now, but I guess there would never have been a good time (financially) in the run up to the wedding.  I had a very pleasant afternoon out with my mum, nonetheless, and I now have some new work clothes.

Post shopping cuppa

My post-shopping cup of tea 🙂

I think part of the issue has been that I bought “interim” clothes while I was (am) losing weight, and I haven’t wanted to replace them until I have “deserved” new ones (by going down a size).  Frustratingly, I haven’t gone down a clothes size.  I’m still firmly in a size 20 in shirts.  Three stone, and I still haven’t gone down a dress size really.  I’ve disliked shopping for a long time.  I suspect that I will disliked it for a while longer.

As for the anxiety, I’m just going to have to work like the clappers this week, get everything in order and do a good handover.  Realistically, that is all I can do right now.   I foresee a week of late nights in the office.  Otherwise, it is just a case of dealing with individual issues rather than trying to fire fight them all at once.


Back to parkrun I went!

The results are in for parkrun this week, and I’ve truly astounded myself with a PW (a personal worst).  To be completely fair, it isn’t a true PW, as I “ran” the Race for Life at Plymouth about 10 minutes slower, but the time I recorded was:

Parkrun 31st August 2013

Despite being a PW for 2013, I am actually quite pleased with how it went.  I ran for longer than I thought I was going to be able to, and I wasn’t completely last.  In fact, I managed to overtake a couple of people (having been at the back for roughly the first kilometre or so).  With that in mind, I am pretty confident that I will be able to make it through Week 4 of the Couch to 5k plan without having to go back even further.

As you may be aware, I got a new Garmin and Yurbuds for my birthday, so I thought I’d take them out for a spin on Saturday.  Well, it was not meant to be.  In my complete ignorance, I didn’t charge my Garmin for long enough, so it stuttered into life long enough for me to sort the settings and locate a satellite before shutting down.  I did wear the HRM strap, which was I expecting to be uncomfortable, but it wasn’t.  So, note to self – remember to charge the Garmin the night before a run.  It was a comfortable watch to wear though.  The second was the Yurbuds.  I haven’t worn headphones to a parkrun before, as I quite like to just take the time out and listen to what’s going on around me.  This time was no different.  While I packed the earphones in my bag, I left my bag with M before taking them out.  D’oh!  When I got the bag back, to be fair, I didn’t have Week 4 of C25K downloaded anyway.

At the end of the run, there was a cake sale (it was for charity!), so I did indulge and buy both myself and M a homemade brownie.  It was delicious!  Obviously, I can’t do that every week, but it was VERY welcome this week.

As for the after effects of parkrun, well, I’m in excruciating agony a bit sore.  My hips started getting tight in the last mile or so, and they’re quite sore now, and going downstairs is a problem for my quads.  Otherwise, I feel pretty much ok.  I think if anything, it’s served as a bit of a lesson about why Tubs don’t stop running for two months.  Yes, it’s been two months since I last went out!  No wonder I don’t feel as fit as I was.

In other news, I have kept my food diary up to date and it’s gone quite well.  The big reveal is tomorrow, but I’ve actually quite enjoyed the challenge.  I’ve tried a couple of new things (scan bran cake, couscous pancakes, quark), and overall, my weekend eating has been much better.  The weekends are usually a really difficult time for me to keep focused and on track, but I made sure to pick some things that we really like (like BBQ pulled pork, a grill up, and snacky things).  While I went over my syns on both Saturday and Sunday, it’s much more in control than, let’s say, the weekend before.

The plan for the week ahead is to restart C25K at Week 4 (3 min run, 1.5 min walk, 5 min run, 2.5 min walk, 3 min run, 1.5 min walk, 5 min run).  I may even go somewhere new!  It may have to incorporate some hills too, as I feel I should get back into hills rather than just running on the flat.  East Devon – watch out!


To continue with the gym or not… that is today’s question

I, for one, am looking forward to a return to normality.  These last two weeks have been quite busy with one thing and another, and I am looking forward to being able to establish a better routine. 

At my Slimming World group this week, I weighed in and miraculously recorded a “no change”.  Ok, the scales may not have shown a change, but I felt blobby and bloated.  I deserved a large gain, and I feel a bit guilty for somehow “cheating” the system.  Our consultant then said that she was going to run a food diary challenge, and that if we would like to complete a food diary to share around with the group, that might be a good way to see what success looks like and get some ideas for different foods.  I immediately looked to H and said the challenge was on!  Wednesday, I managed not to have any syns and yesterday wasn’t much better, with a token Hob Nob just to make sure I registered something.  I have tried couscous pancakes though, and I’m quite impressed by them (they sound wrong, but they’re like little Scotch pancakes).  You’re meant to have between 5 and 15 syns a day, and not having them isn’t ideal.  Must try harder!

Today isn’t looking too bad.  I’m out for tea tonight, and having looked at the menu, there are a couple of salads that I think could fit the bill.  The alternative is pizza, and I’m not feeling pizza right now.

parkrun logo

Tomorrow I am parkrunning.  I have been told I am.  My new Garmin hasn’t seen the light of day yet, so it will make its debut tomorrow.  I realised I haven’t actually been running for a long time (maybe two months), and I need to make an assessment of where I currently am in my running fitness levels.  I have a couple of exciting things coming up in terms of running, and I need to make sure that I can pick up at least some of Couch to 5k soon.  I’m going to pick a run from Week 4 and run it tomorrow.  If I feel ok, then I will plan to progress my next run to Week 5 and assess again. 

I am currently debating whether to cancel my gym membership.  I admit that I haven’t exactly been a regular gym bunny of late, and I don’t really see that changing much.  I’ve fallen completely out of love with the gym itself – I’d rather run outside, do weights or mat work at home.  For classes, I haven’t been spinning in ages and I can’t motivate myself to get back into it.  Honestly?  I don’t care much for the new spin studio.  Our old one used to have windows and a view (admittedly, of a car park, but it was enough to act as a distraction).  The new one is a disused squash court – no windows, no natural ventilation and wet walls from the condensation.  Is that me making an excuse?  Yes it is.  But I don’t feel inspired to go there at the moment.  Plus, it’s a real sweat box in the summer.  Zumba?  Well, I haven’t been for months and months.  The only class I can get to is on a Monday, and it works out more economically viable to pay for the classes individually if I’m only going once a week.  I need to do at least 7 classes a month to make the membership worthwhile.  Some time ago, Mum and I were having a chat about things and she said that I’m very much an “all or nothing” kind of person – I’m either going to the gym all the time, or not at all.  My food is either 100% on plan, or dire.  She’s right (as my mum usually is), and I don’t think that having a running programme plus a huge amount of classes to attend is going to be right – I’ve done it before and I just end up being a little sad that I’m never home.  Then I get bored and despondent and stop all together. Now is the time for some moderation.

I’ve rattled on about the cons of the gym, but what are the pros?  It’s one place that I get to see a couple of friends.  We work hard in the class, but it’s nice to catch up before and natter after.  I should make the effort to see them more outside of the gym though.  It does also mean that I can go to the dreadmill if I really need to, and there is air conditioning.  There is also variety.  If I get bored of, let’s say, Zumba Tone, I can change to Kettlebells with no additional costs.  I could use the pool (for context, the last time I graced the pool was probably when I was about 13 years old).  There is the “what if” factor.  What if I really want to go spinning?  What if I get injured and the only way I can exercise is to swim?  Hmm… I am sure they’d let me rejoin, and I can pay as I go.

Anyway, that’s enough gym talk.  I’m off to mentally prepare myself for parkrun!


Marshalling at parkrun

Don’t worry, it hasn’t escaped my notice that lately that Tub on the Run is very much still a Tub, but not so much on the run.  “Tub not on the Run” doesn’t have quite the same ring to it though.

Anyway, I’d signed up to marshal yesterday’s parkrun at Killerton (being close to other runners must count for something, surely?!).  I’ve not marshalled parkrun before, and I was a bit nervous about what to expect.

I didn’t need to be too nervous though.  I had been changed from being Marshal 5 to Marshal 4 – one of the furthest points away for marshalling.  While the place where I stood wasn’t too far away, the post started about a mile and a quarter from the finish line.  I realised, quite early on, why marshals choose to wear their running stuff.  I wore jeans and my normal (i.e. my non-running) trainers.  No sports bra.  I don’t care what anyone says, more important (for me) than the right shoes is a sports bra.  I got a bit paranoid about the time, as it was getting on for 8:55am when I had just tied the gate at the furthest point back, so I made a run for it.  With a handbag on one shoulder, the marshal pack in one hand, and boobs in the other, I made an awkward dash for it.  I dread to think what I may have looked like to anyone who may have been there to witness this half crazed, out of puff runner, in the most un-runnerish attire whilst appearing to be groping herself…  It turned out that I needn’t have worried so much.   There was no one around, and the first runners didn’t come through for another 20 minutes (it seems they must have started quite late).

The runners come towards you from here

The runners come towards you from here


And continue running past you, up here

And continue running past you, up here

I really enjoyed it.  For a start, it was nice to see the runners who I never see past the start line (and even then, they’re a blur in the distance), and I was actually quite touched by the amount of people who said thank you, smiled, nodded, or said good morning.  I always try to say thank you, but having close to 237 people saying thank you (just for standing there and marvelling at their speed really) was quite heartwarming.

In amongst the quicker runners was Sharon from Shazruns.  We’ve been commenting on each others’ blogs for some time.  I missed her at my second parkrun where she was on the finishing tokens, and I definitely never see her on the course, as I’m a good 14 minutes slower, but yesterday, I was spotted.  Impressively, not only did she manage to detour slightly to say hi and shake my hand, but she also PBd!  Well done Sharon!!

Next week, Sharon’s volunteering, so I will have some company at the back!

As the last people came past me, I walked along with them, chatting away to a (newly) 7 year old, who told me all about her dog, and how she was pleased to be walking this marathon.  She was very sweet, and her mum was a hoot too.  When I arrived back at the finish tent, I helped take the tent down and some other bits and bobs before heading home.

I’ll look to marshal again in September or October, depending on the diary.  My weekends are getting increasingly fuller as the wedding approaches (less than three months now).  I may start getting a mild panic on about having too much back fat spilling over my wedding dress soon.


We’re off camping!

I have a busy few weekends coming up, as I mentioned in my last post.  This is the first of them – we’re off to Grafham Water in Cambridgeshire for the Nice Tri Duathlon.  M’s best man, J, is competing.  J is insanely fit and very good at these kinds of competitions.  He’s been training hard and this is his last event before he and N (my bridesmaid) head off to Canada for the 2013 ITU World Duathlon where he is one of the age qualifying athletes (I am finding it hard to stop blurting out “I know an athlete!!” in random conversations).  M and I are both very excited for J and N, and we’re really touched that they asked us to come along to Grafham to spend some time with them and support J.


We’re camping, but only for one night.  This will probably be the first time since August last year that we’ll have put the tent up a) in daylight and b) in sunshine.  I’m also confident that I won’t need to take our usual 5 blankets and heater to stay warm overnight!  Hurrah!  The only thing I’m slightly worried about is being eaten alive by mozzies.  I’m hoping I’m not as tasty to mozzies as I am to fleas…  We’ll be travelling up on Saturday, chilling out and enjoying the time away, then Sunday will be “the day”.  I think J will be finished within two and a half hours including cool down time, and then we’re off to Ikea.  N and I have an undying love for the Swedish company – what’s not to love about a Daim Cake (ok, maybe my waistline doesn’t love it so much). 

Clearly this means that I am foregoing parkrun at Killerton again.  I’ve not done a lot in the way of running at all lately.  I have been procrastinating mainly because of the heat, but I need to just deal with it and get on – accept that I am going to be super sweaty (as opposed to my normal “very sweaty”) and maybe look for new places to run to minimise the sweaty pain. 

Making the right food choices is going to be key for me while we’re away and while I’m galavanting with work on Monday and Tuesday.  Thankfully, salads are always a relatively safe bet at this time of year.  I want to be back in the 15 stone range when I weigh in on Tuesday.

So – TTFN – enjoy the sunshine, slap on the sun cream and drink plenty!


To parkrun or not to parkrun, that was the question

And the answer was yes.

When the alarm went off, I debated whether to get up, get my running gear on, knowing that it was going to be a hot one.  As I started getting too hot in bed, the decision was made for me and I got up (I have a feeling that getting up for parkrun in the winter will be a much more difficult struggle leaving a warm bed).

The weather today has been beautiful.  As suspected, it was a bit warm for running, but I was really pleased with how I went.  I managed to run nearly all of the shady parts (roughly half of the route), breaking in to walk a couple of times – once when I rolled my ankle, and the second was to catch my breath at the top of one of the hills.  When it got to the more exposed part of the course, I felt baked.  It wasn’t that bad, but I did wish I’d taken a bottle of water around with me.

Given the result from last week, where I thought I’d gone quicker, but had actually gone slower, I wasn’t expecting to be much different from last week.  Well, I’m pleased to confirm that I got a PB today!  I broke 40 minutes!

6th july parkrun resultsI was surprised to see the result given the heat.  I’m not going to place too much pressure on myself in terms of beating that, as I feel I have made some progress this week with regards to getting back on an even keel.

While I parkrunned (parkran?), M snapped some more pictures, and I thought I’d include my concession to summer.  I think this might be the first time this year that I’ve painted my toes.

parkrun 6th july

So now, M and I are just about to settle down to watch J. Edgar on DVD.

Happy Saturday all!




No PB, but a good weekend with added Gromits

After my monster workout on Thursday, I was suffering already on Friday.  My back hurt the most, but as the day progressed, my shoulders and arms started aching too.  As I crawled into bed on Friday night, I wondered whether I’d actually be able to go to parkrun on Saturday morning.  I hurt.  I wasn’t just sore, I was hurting (yeah yeah, overdramatic I know).

I confess, I didn’t exactly spring out of bed on Saturday morning, but I did make it to Killerton.  I started off much better than the week before, and I felt good.  I thought I was running for more than I was walking (side note: Gah!  Why can’t I run continuously any more?!), and I felt my pace was more consistent as a result.  Not only that, but I wasn’t at the back.  M actually caught a couple of pictures of me:

parkrun 29.6.13

I felt good, better in fact that last week, despite my sore muscles.  The result?  4 seconds slower.  Oh well!  I wasn’t last though.  I am wondering what the result will be next week.  Apologies too for the selfie – but it had a purpose.  I decided, having spoken to one of the guys at work about muscle soreness to try a protein shake (hence the picture).  I spent quite a lot of time of Friday night researching whether protein shakes should be avoided by those trying to lose weight (general consensus: research the protein v carb content, and factor it in to your calorie allowance).  After my run, we stopped by our local smoothie bar, and I ordered a protein shake.  It was quite tasty.  I will, however, see if I can find a couple of sample powders to try and make my own at home, as buying shakes could prove to be expensive.

I don’t know whether it was the shake itself, or maybe a placebo effect, but I am not feeling anywhere near as sore as I think I probably would have been.  I’ve decided, therefore, that when I double up spinning and kettlebells, my tea will be a shake when I get in (I don’t want to eat that late in the evening, but I can’t deal with the muscle soreness).

The rest of the day was spent with M’s family.  Mother-in-law is getting married again in September, and a shopping trip had been planned so that M and I could be kitted out in appropriate wedding attire.  A trip to Bristol it was.  All over Bristol were lots of Gromits (from Wallace and Gromit, not grommets for ear problems).  It is part of Gromit Unleashed, an art exhibition of 80 5ft Gromits and is in Bristol for 10 weeks from 1st July, raising money for The Grand Appeal (Bristol’s Children’s Hospital).  I snapped this one is Cabot Circus.

Gromit - Simons Cat

We did see a couple more, but annoyingly I didn’t have my camera on me, and my phone camera is very poor (stupid Blackberry!).  That said, for my phone, this came out rather well.  I sent this to my sister tout suite, because it’s a Simon’s Cat Gromit (she got me in to Simon’s Cat a couple of years ago).  Simon Torfield, creator of Simon’s Cat, makes sketches and video clips of cat behaviour that will resonate deeply with cat owners.  A favourite of mine being:

I really want to go back to Bristol and go on a Gromit Hunt.  We have quite a quiet month in August, so I may pester M into having a weekend there to track them down.

Notwithstanding Gromit spotting, we had a really nice afternoon out and about, and I came away with a gorgeous purple maxi dress from Hobbs (in the sale too – what’s not to love!) and M got a new suit.  Frustratingly, my foot has started playing up again.  It is sore in exactly the same area as it was when I injured it last time.  I’ve decided to try and take it easy today to help it heal, and I may decide to back off the running (not that I have actually done any between parkruns… Oops) if a day with it resting doesn’t help.

Hope everyone’s had a great weekend too!