Back to nature…

Yesterday I took myself off in my new Mizuno‘s to test them on the local trails… these Mizuno’s are an early birthday present to myself, along with a new ‘do and next up a spa day! (don’t tell the bank manager!).

I went with Mizunos as I have been really impressed with the  Mizuno Wave Inspire 11 that I bought earlier in the year, wide enough to accommodate my feet, best of all its taken the pressure off my right foot bunion issue.. which seems to be no issue at all now thankfully.

My local park is Cirencester Park, owned by Earl Bathurst, its 3000 acres in total and has many trails throughout to explore and only approximately a mile trot from my home.  As you enter the park is has a slow rising hill, affectionately called Big Bertha, which really tests the lungs and great for hill work… the trails branch off and out from the top of Bertha. I did 4 miles steady uphill and 1 mile downhill, with a one mile cool down walk after.  The shoes felt super light and springy and much lighter than the Karrimor ones I had bought last year.   My feet felt really cushioned and supported throughout my run, which was thoroughly enjoyable too.

Trail running has become a new love, its a whole different run, no terrain is the same so it takes away the monotony of pavement pounding which has just become very boring for me.  Plus the locals around here hate runners on the pavements…

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Mizuno Wave Hayate 2 trail running shoes

There was no-one else on the trails yesterday too, just the birds chirping and the sunlight filtering through the trees, it was so peaceful, I truly loved it.  What I like too is the challenge of the terrain, some parts were hugely muddy to navigate and others I seemed to fly down.  This type of running seems to be the key to finding my joy in running which is one of my goals for the the remainder of the year.  Too much is focussed on times and performance in running, that it had become to stress me out.  With running being my release from stress, it had started to become a stressor – that had to stop!

BBxx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Putting my back into it…

I seem to have pulled the muscles in my middle back… not sure how I did this exactly but possibly lifting Mia out of her cot at an awkward angle the other day.  Not good!  Hot baths, my massage pillow and a hot water bottle have relieved it somewhat however not being able to run today is a real downer and not good news for 1) Bath Two Tunnels on Sunday and 2) my 1000 mile challenge total (23.62 miles per week to meet my goal!)

The Bath Two Tunnels races are an amazing experience, the tunnels themselves are eerie and just fabulous to run in.  I really don’t want to miss it at all… lets see if I get running to Bath, or get the bath running!

The old me would be panicking about this, but I decided that I can just do what I can – if I miss either of those events/challenges then whats the worse that could happen? Asteroids won’t hit the earth…. I don’t think!

Gav and Mia are away for the weekend tomorrow, so I plan on chilling out, watching some crap TV and may be I will put my trainers on for Bath this Sunday if I am up for it.  If my back is still in pain then I will get to the doctors, there is no risking it with back complaints!

On another note the latest episode in the A week in the life of … a runner! is out now on YT, please check it out.

All the best BBxx

Amazon Prime Day is 12 June… find out more…

 

 

 

NEW BLOG POST: In a happy place…

I seem to have found a very good balance since Swansea Half Marathon and learning from its silver linings.  Yesterday I decided to go walking with my family rather than an LSR (I’d normally be gone for 2+ hours with Gav at home left holding the baby so to speak) and enjoy the views in the beautiful  county of Gloucestershire, my adopted home!

The weather was simply glorious, we were originally going to go swimming (and it took me an hour of hunting down my cossie at home), but sacked it off for the walk instead. It was the best choice, a beautiful sunny Sunday to enjoy outside… what more could you ask for!  As a runner I want to get into walking/hiking more, I think its so important to value this part of the overall training.

Recovery from the Half Marathon was a complete week of rest, no training whatsoever! A rest and reassess was well deserved and welcomed.  Only downside is that it has delayed me in my quest in the 1000 miles a year challenge, but I am not going to stress about it, I can make it up!

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Crickley Hills… beautiful

I’ve been glugging my green boost powder drink too to boost my greens and goodness and build me back up again (I’m completely bone-achingly lethargic after a big run).  So far so good, I feeling much more energetic and sleeping very well, last night I had 8 glorious hours sleep.  I have the coconut powder and beetroot powder options too.

The coconut powder water is much more palatable than the beetroot one, but I am finding each day its getting easier to take.  I saw these powders in Holland and Barrett on special so thought I would try them out, although I am a big believer in getting nutrients from real food, I just wanted to take these to see if they made a difference.

It was a pleasure to pop down to the Cirencester Race for Life to grab the ever awe-inspiring Shona Darley to say hi and a quick selfie. Shona is featured in the August Women’s Running Magazine, please go check her article out.  Her story is amazing, and she goes on to inspire so many others too.   I was especially touched that my Dad’s name was recognised… he is a cancer fighter… thank you that meant the world to me.

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Funny who you bump into in Ciren Park…

Today was my first run since Swansea and I wanted to clock in 3 miles, to start me off again, which I did.  It was quite warm and muggy but I feel good for stretching my legs and getting back into running – leaving it any longer than a week of recovery starts off the cabin fever loonies. Going to treadmill it tomorrow while using the Run Social app – it’s so addictive! I’d highly recommend this app to anyone.  It’s so fun! We were joking in the running group that its easy to just jump on the app for fun even when you’re not even running!

Hope you’re all running well and enjoying the summer races…

Take care all, BB xx

 

 

NEW BLOG POST: Look into my eyes..

Some of you may not know I am a trained hypnotherapist!  I studied this initially out of interest and to help others (I stopped a smoker of 30 years, smoking!).  Whilst have grand delusions of becoming a female Derren Brown or modern day Jedi.. its dawned upon me that I don’t really take the advice that I freely give and support to others.

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the key to success is perception

So, detaching from my ego… and treating myself as a client.  Then what would I say to someone mentally struggling with running or training for a race… how could they access the negative wittering of the sub conscious mind and begin to perceive things differently.

Note: The subconscious is the protective, survivalist part of the mind.  It makes your heart beat without you consciously thinking about it, it also learns patterns of behaviour to keep you safe, sometimes against the advice of your conscious, analytical mind.

For starters a trained hypnotherapist would walk you through these steps taking you into trance with certain methods, they would for example get you to walk down some stairs, relaxing even deeper with each step… by the end of this stage the client will be in a state of hypnosis, the sub conscious mind is receptive to new, positive information…

Just to advise, during trance a client can never be at the whim of the hypnotherapist, trance can be snapped out of by the client at any time, i.e. the spectacles you see on stage i.e. turning someone into a chicken is purely for entertainment, there is a certain amount of ego of the client or ‘performer’ than the skills of a hypnotherapist.

However for a simple guide on self hypnosis, why not try this out yourself…

Find yourself some quiet time where you will not be disturbed, play some relaxing music if you wish, and be comfortable.. close your eyes.

  1. Visualisation: See yourself preparing for your event, calmly laying out your kit so that you know you have everything ready, you’ve pinned your bib to your top and you feel excitement about the race.  Feel the buzz before the race, other runners excitement, the music, the cheering and the sound of the horn as all the runners start.  In your mind you’re running well, see it and feel it, how good this feels right now, you were meant to achieve this, you are meant to achieve everything you have set out about the race. Feel the atmosphere en route, your friends and family cheering you on the sidelines, the happiness and pride in their faces.  You’re feeling so good right now that you have overtaken a few people, but this isn’t about them, you are exceeding all your expectations…but they were high anyway. Finally see yourself running through the finishing line ecstatic that you have performed well.  See it so closely that you can actually taste success.  The Law of Attraction that I bang on about all the time is at work here. Believe and you will achieve.

Other helpful tips;

  1. Re=framing the past: Had a bad race or run? then this is the opportunity now to re-frame how that experience played out, after all the event happened, its just your perception of what has happened that needs looking at – as we all know, we learn something from everything.  For a bad race we could say ‘Next time, I will plan my nutrition/hydration better’, or ‘Next time, I will leave earlier to allow myself more time to relax before the race’.  There is no bad run or bad race, there are positives from everything and they all count towards the bigger picture.  Say a ‘bad run’ this week, could have actually strengthened my muscles more for the brilliant 9 mile run I did at the weekend, or showed me that I need to concentrate on my breathing and pace more.
  2. Be Yourself: The only good point to ‘comparison thinking’ is to motivate yourself to book your next race, and make it ABOUT YOU rather than trying to beat someone elses PB.  If you are comparing yourself to another person then you will always fall short of your best as your focus has switched away from your own improvement.  Be yourself always, good or bad days, we all have them, we ain’t perfect.. the universe wasn’t made that way anyway according to Stephen Hawking and he knows what he is talking about!  So perfectionists out there (we know who we are), this is time to drop the ego and look at being kinder to ourselves.

I hope that helps in some small way if you’re struggling.. and remember the key to success always lie in the mind rather than anything physically, the biggest battle we will always have is with ourselves and the ego.

“One of the basic rules of the universe is that nothing is perfect. Perfection simply doesn’t exist…..Without imperfection, neither you nor I would exist”

Cotswolds snippet: Spook-tacular haunting Walks!

I picked up a ‘Haunted Cotswolds’ book the other week – thought it would be fun in the Autumn/Winter months to go to supposedly local haunted locations and have a roast dinner with the family! Will report back on how we get on and upload some pix, I do not expect to see or hear anything spook-tacular but will be fun to seek out new places!  My friends and I visited my local haunted inn, The Kings Head on Friday.  This gorgeous 16th Century coaching inn has had its fair share of haunting activities, occupants have reported terrified wailing and a monk apparition and staff have seen a cavalier! We unfortunately didn’t see anything apart from the remains of a cool Roman floor which can be seen near the entrance.

While browsing for other local things to do I picked up a Pathfinder Cotswolds ‘Walks’ book, it contains 28 walks of varyig abilities covering the entire Cotswolds.   I plan on running some of these walks over the winter – as I am picking up a car in the New Year so will be able to expand my horizons (locally at least), logic was that now I have my trail shoes I might as well buy a car!  However with the family this weekend we are going to try out the first of our walks which is the Castle Combe 2 hour stroll.   Its only 4 miles, which they describe as a ‘leisurely half day walk‘ with ‘pleasant moderate exercise‘.  With my daughter wanting to walk more now rather than be in her stroller we may be a lot longer, but no doubts it will be fun whatever!  I may be back to run this route… watch this space. BB x

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NEW BLOG POST: Cheltenham HM booked!

As a bonus for my marshaling duties at the Bristol to Bath half marathon, I received an email with a choice of events that I could run, for FREE!  I wasn’t too sure with the choice to be honest, not the locations, but just the timings around other races I had booked, probably would give me burn out if I did 2 HM’s in a short space of time! (and there’s no chance of me doing the B2B marathon after the Gloucester one!).

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My feet will not be happy…..

After reviewing the list and mulling over the options, I decided to go for the Cheltenham Half Marathon, from the running event reviews on Runners World it had a high % overall rating (and much higher than the Oxford one I was pondering too), so decided to go for it!

On their website it states ….

The course will take you on broad, tree-lined avenues and features a lap of the majestic Cheltenham Racecourse. This a half marathon designed to show off Cheltenham, taking you on an intimate tour on traffic-free roads, through the heart of the stunning Regency town.

The racecourse section sounds like the ‘tough bit’, right at the end it has some challenging hills and no spectators to see you on your way.  I wonder if the event organisers have taken these reviews into consideration for next years’ race?  I hope so, as everyone who left a review seems to mention it!

I live pretty close to Cheltenham so won’t be staying at any accommodation to review, but will review here the race itself, training plans and nutrition as per normal with all my other races I have lined up.

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Doing this half marathon means that I won’t be able to do the Bristol HM, event dates are very close!  Unless I am feeling super fit and feel that its achievable. However i’m planning do the Bristol 10k earlier in the year – I would miss Bristol too much!  Cheltenham is such a beautiful place, i’m very much looking forward to running it plus the racecourse will be so pleasurable!

BB x

Whats it all about?

This website will be dedicated mostly to running routes in the Cotswolds and may be beyond! I do not intend to flog any products but just provide helpful information to those beginning their running journey and to some old hands too.

I’ll provide links to relevant articles and share knowledge on my journey too, vlogs and Periscope will be uploaded as well as a stream from Instagram and Twitter to keep you posted on what I have bought, booked, challenged or flopped at.

As always I appreciate feedback and possibly any handy hints for us all to share!

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Cirencester Park…. foggy abyss

BBx