Chinese celebrations…

What better way to start my training than on beautiful morning with cloudless blue skies and a perfect cool breeze!  Sound the alarms, set off the fireworks, firecrackers, dragon dance or wotnot… the official countdown has started.. whoooo hoooooooooo – bit excited? too much caffeine? yep bit of all of that thanks… wow – a year only and no doubts time will fly!

I haven’t run for a week – the ends of  ANOTHER FRIGGING COLD… (thank you nursery.. you have more germs than the plague) and a lot of flying around the country for work & play.. plus a personal project are keeping me more than busy at the moment.  However today’s the day I pencilled in as the official ‘start date’, so it is so!

Today’s trot was a four mile run consisting of two mile straight run and 2 miles ‘Jeffing’ back to home, Tesco’s and back.. nothing glam.  Then I put Jillian Michaels 30 day shred on, level 3 (what was I thinking?) and destroyed that too… yeah!  The shred is absolutely brilliant and I really noticed the difference when I did this before not only with my core strength, but with my running too, it was incredible.

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frizzy hair, rock hands…

 

Unlike before, I am not intending on doing it every day but it will certainly be a regular part of my training routine. I aim to update here once a week on my training, so I am accountable, and share how its making me feel / results and all that jazz.

Nutrition

I’m not going ‘balls to the wall’ deprivation/starvation diet – but starting by sensibly cutting back and laying down some ground rules really.  First rule I am enforcing is no weekday drinking – this is going to be hell.. but a necessary hell all the same.  The dehydrating effects of alcohol can wake me up at night and when I am awake I find it very hard to get back to sleep again, which then effects my ability or motivation to workout the next day.  So that’s my first rule… set in stone.

Yesterday I had my last weekday beer and last glass of ‘Secco… this was to raise a toast to my best friend who is leaving our workplace for pastures new… as sad as it was its great for her.  Life keeps changing and moving forwards and so should we… so this morning I cracked on with my training with gusto.

Here’s to a total transformation, and possibly the biggest challenge I will face…

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RIP my weekday tipple

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Overhaul of training and eating..

More details about a big event that I am training for will be released soon, mainly due to funds and some other factors mean I may or may not compete.

But what I am focussing on, is getting myself ready for this epic, once in a lifetime challenge. If not I will be in the best nick of my life. So its a win-win all round.

For this event, I want to train in the most sensible way I can, which means minimalizing the risk of injury and working on more muscle groups than the ones I just use for running.  Last year’s downward spiral in my running journey I think wasn’t helped with the monotonous plod on the pavement and boredom it created, so my new plan is more mixed, more trail-based and I am much, much happier in the first week of my new training regime.

So, taking into account my age,  44, and where I am at now in regards to weight, type of training and eating plan I have been looking in the below areas for improvement.

Abel & Colesmoothies and clean eating.  We have been getting the weekly ‘Simple recipe’ food box for quite some time now and really enjoying the meals.  Nothing quite tastes as delicious as organic food to me, and besides, its got me back into enjoying cooking.  We decided to add onto our weekly order the smoothie box, this week’s recipes were banana bread, kale zinger (oh boy, that was hard-core), and a mango one which I will have later today.  I am not one to jump on the scales every day, but I know  need to lose quite a bit of weight to be able to take on this challenge, so that my body isn’t spending unnecessary energy lugging around surplus weight.

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Jeff Galloway (Buy Jeff’s book here) – 3 minutes run: 1 minute walk – I bought Jeff’s book a while back and only got round to picking it up yesterday.  I decided that this is the way I will train for my event as its the best chance of protecting me from injury and conserving energy to ensure I can go for longer periods and more mileage.  Some of the stories in the book where runners have achieved PB’s in races using this technique is incredible.

Without Jeff in mind I have been doing this style myself on my runs last week on the trail hills, but now have set the run/walk programme into my Garmin and going to try this out on my run on Thursday and see how much mileage I can cover.  It will be weird as I know I will feel odd walking so early in the run, but I have heard so many good things about this technique that I must give it a go.

Hydration – aiming for 4 pints a day.  This out of everything, is the biggest challenge and always has been for me, something as simple as drinking water! At the moment I seem to be powdering my nose all day.  Apparently when you start hydrating more then this is natural until your body gets used to the new amount of water!  Some days I just seem to drink coffee – which is NOT good.  So, this I am hoping generates some energy for me, can’t do me any harm right?

Swimming – Adding in swimming to my weekly schedule, this is to help with breath and also to give my arms a good workout.  My first swim was this morning and I managed 20 minutes in the pool,  next week I am aiming for 30 minutes.  Next time I am making sure I put my goggles on and old lady swimming hat.

Next focus: climbing steps…. lunges and everything else to build the leg muscles.

Have a great week all xx

NEW BLOG POST: Relief….

Good afternoon all, its the start of a new week and… for once… I am feeling quite good about all things running! Especially the upcoming Swansea half… which is at the end of June and only 5 weeks away!  Seriously where is this year going?!

After my last post where I admitted I had to shelve the Gloucester marathon till next year I decided to brush myself down and concentrate on what I could do…which is on my ‘halfs’ and other races which I had planned and to do a good job of them.  So that means a sharper eye on training.

Firstly I have purchased a hydration bag to accompany me on my post-6 mile runs.  Its SO GOOD!  It was only a cheapo, but sits really well in between my shoulders, feels comfy.  I was originally going to get a Camelbak one, but opted for a Kalenji one due to purse-strings issues, however I am so pleased with this, I can see me using it for a very long time.  I am not a believer in having to buy the best stuff, some of my running jackets have lasted me forever whereas my more expensive items have not fared so well.  This hydration bag has helped me with my leaking water bottles (which have all been thrown) and its great to run hands-free so to speak. I can tuck my keys in as well as an energy gel.

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My training plan ahead of Swansea is to do a 3, 6 and 9 mile (or longer LSR) run per week and take it from there.  Just praying to Mr Tumble that Mia doesn’t get any more nursery bugs from now and then to keep me to this plan.  The 9 miler I did Saturday was excellent, a new route seems to have given me a new mindset, just shows changing a few things here and there can make all the difference.

Another purchase (which should have been next month but I couldn’t help myself) was a pair of running shoes.  My Asics GT-2000 3 Lites have been good and I only bought them in Jan, but, I think are a little too narrow for my feet.  Especially my right foot as the bunion joint has been painful on long runs 😦 So – after a few other runners have recommended them, I treated myself to some Mizuno Wave Inspire 11’s… they arrive on May 31st so have a little longer to wait for them. Agh…. taps fingers…. can’t wait to see how they feel – but from what I have heard they suit a wider foot and also feel very light.  As for my Asics – well I am going to still use them for my strength training workouts, so they won’t go to waste.

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So at this moment I am feeling really good, training is manageable and on plan, other things in my life seem to be falling into a good place too… I am also looking forward to seeing some friends from my running group in Swansea too.  Will be amazing to meet some folks who I have been talking to for so long in the flesh!

Other races booked are; July: Bath Two Tunnels 10k and August: Cheddar Gorge 10k. Eep!

Take care and hope all is well.

BBxx

These are my own personal views of my running journey….

NEW BLOG POST: Getting real and a little bit creative!

I came to the mahoosive decision yesterday that I would defer the Gloucester marathon to next year.  When I booked it a whole year year ago, I thought that would be ample training time to achieve this huge goal… and now with it only 3 months away it really is impossible, I have to accept the realities and limitations as a runner at the moment.  I very much believe in respecting the miles and I can’t do a half-hearted pitiful attempt, its just not me.  At best I am half marathon ready rather than full marathon.  That’s the real deal.

This decision has greatly upset me, when I told my runner friends yesterday I had tears in my eyes and felt pretty rubbish about it, its the sensible choice, for me, its just not right, at this time.  I know its right as much as I hate the decision.  May be its the Leo in me, or may be my old Nan who was a determined bugger too,  admitting I can’t do something is nothing other than a massive blow in the guts.

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What I will concentrate on are my half marathons and actually achieve the full distance completely running them.  I am also going to go for the New York marathon ballot for next year – so we will see!  If that’s my first marathon then that will be really well worth waiting for.

On another more positive note, I now have a YouTube channel! Some of my runner friends have uploaded their running video histories, please go check it out and let me know what you think?  I aim to film a few of my runs here in the Cotswolds to share.  I love editing movies so hopefully you will enjoy them.

Hope everyone’s running is going well and speak to you soon, BB xx

 

 

NEW BLOG POST: Marathon Planning, Gloucester

Well as Easter looms, so does the start of my marathon planning.  A little frustrated as I was with My Asics plans previously I have decided to download their marathon plan for the inaugural Gloucester marathon on August 7.

I am going to give this my BEST SHOT!  Why?  Because I am clearly insane, but I think as a runner you need to be insane!  It helps!

Earlier in the week I tweeted the organisers if I had the option to defer, which luckily I do, so If I am floored with sleepless nights/illness I can take that option as a final resort.  But I don’t want to.  I want to get this damn race done and prove to myself, by hook or crook, that I can run the entire 26.2, or run/walk, or crawl, or whatever it frigging takes to get over the frigging line.  That could be attaching myself by blades to a much faster runner of course, or a bus a l’a Frank Specer.

Bettttyyyyyyy

Bettttyyyyyyy

My Asics constructs your personalised plan by working out how fast you can say run a HM, and then calculates your training plan and predicted time to complete the distance, for the full marathon its saying 5:06 for me – I would be VERY happy with that!  So let’s see!

So, the training starts on Easter Monday… and the first stage is the pre-conditioning stage, 4 runs in that week at ‘jogging’ pace, 14:10/mile? WTF?  I am definitely not doing that slow pace but my normal 11:00 min/mile pace – see I have broken the rules already.  Then the following weeks it gives you x 3 runs a week, in the ‘Getting Faster’ stage.  This is quite manageable, with a planned strength training, yoga stretch out and ad-hoc sports massage to keep me going.  There are further stages after that but I am taking this huge leap in training in manageable chunks.

Have to get my weight down (she says putting down a flapjack) – to run better than I am… so that’s my next biggie to look at. I may share my recipes details on my runners page on FB.. if the members want to see that?  I may get black-balled.

Finally, I wanted to wish everyone a very happy Easter break, religious or not, hope that is is peaceful and a happy one that you spend with your families.  It always brings happy memories back of me and my brother munching on our chocolate watching the Pink Panther…. happy days!

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I am an officer of the lewwwwwww

I’ll be back to blog my progress on my marathon plan, here we go! BB xx

NEW BLOG POST: Bucket List… oh boy

I’ve seen such amazing races on my Facebook feed lately that it just feels me with massive excitement, I WILL BE DOING ONE NEXT YEAR … this one especially excites me, I only thought the other day how running around temples would just be awesome, a little Lara Croft may be? Hell yeah!… the marathon I REALLY wanna do! Bagan Temple Marathon!

This looks incredible!

Check out the awesome video on their website… its description is pretty intoxicating too.

A relatively flat course, the route takes runners through a temple wonderland and small villages where it feels like time has stood still. The heat and dusty course is a challenge for most runners participating in the Bagan Temple Marathon. However, the beautiful temples, the friendly villagers, the other-worldly atmosphere make this marathon one of a kind.

 

That’s on the list plus … Marathon du Mont St Michel – I have been to Mont St Michel while on holiday in France and its just breath-taking (also to St Michaels Mount in the UK)… could you imagine returning to run a marathon? Well yes… on the list.

The Marathon de la Baie du Mont Saint-Michel is above all a sportive, festive gathering in the heart of an emblematic location in France and overseas, full of history and culture. The Marathon de la Baie du Mont Saint-Michel hosts 5000 runners each year who come from all over France and from every corner of the world. That makes more than 30 nations who come together to experience a magical sporting event in an exceptional environment – the Bay of Mont Saint-Michel between Cancale and Mont Saint-Michel – a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With the majestic Mont Saint-Michel as a backdrop, the Marathon de la Baie du Mont Saint-Michel is one of the only marathons is the world where you can see the historical finish-line even before embarking on the legendary 42,195km distance.

And there’s always this one too…..Midnight Sun Run, Tromso….

Start and finish in the city centre. After 2K you’ll be crossing The Bridge of Tromsø.  The bridge rises from 6 up to 43 meters over sea level and brings runners to Tromsdalenwhere the sight of the Arctic Cathedral with the mountains behind is a great view. After running about 20K the runners recross the bridge, and return through the city centre. The second half of the course is mainly flat and quite easy to run. The course has been measured and controlled by the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS).

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Just thought I would share these amazing marathons…. I wonder which one I will do?

BB xx