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

Auld Lang Syne…

I’ve been reading a lot of end of year posts and felt compelled to write mine.. but now as I am sat here typing I didn’t want to reflect back and write about the crappy year called 2016 but fancy writing about my plans for 2017 rather;

2017 goals

  1. Mindfulness/Mindset: I’ve downloaded Headspace again onto my phone and the motivation module – its 10 minute sessions at a time, so not a great commitment to have a moment of peace, its entirely manageable for me, so I’ve decided to do this every night for a while.  Thought this would help me with my other goals overall.
  2. Reading a book a month – I do not read enough at all and I want to get back into the habit.  I like old-school paper books, once where you can feel the pages rather than on a kindle or similar.  I feel a huge chunk of my life is already looking into a screen of some sort so picking up books again has been a pure pleasure.
  3. Zumba instructor course – this is in Feb, so I have a good 6 weeks of diet and strength training/Zumba/running to get fit for this (today I started T25 – which I will dip in and out of) – if I pass this module it opens up opportunities for teaching older adults and babies/toddlers too.  Purchased some Zumba trainers today as my running shoes have too much grip rather than dancing shoes.
  4. Project Management course – this I need to do for work and the studying for it is just mind-numbingly boring. However I need to get it completed for my year assessment.  My revising is going to be in the morning where I am the most alert, my plans are to drop Mia off at nursery and then do an hours study in Costa with the books.  The actual exam is in Jan, a long ass trip up London and a very long set of exam questions… groan.  I will just do my best/wing it as much as I can.  It would be handy to have this on my CV too as you can never be complacent where you work, as media moves so fast which technology.
  5. Trail Raider 2017 – picking up my Cotswolds trail running series again for 2017, and I will start again from the beginning.  Tomorrow I am off out with my Go-Pro and promise to upload my video.
  6. Enjoy running again – well, I think I am on the right path with this already, I have been slowing my pace right down and enjoying what I am doing.  My friend has been doing HR training and you can see the benefits its had for him, so slowing my pace down has made sense, and much more fun.  This also means too just one race booked for next year and my own trail runs to keep me motivated.  I can’t be doing with the pressures of racing any more, I don’t enjoy it and feel overwhelmed with everything work / home life and the lot without this adding to it.  Running is returning to being my pleasurable escape which is what it was always meant to be.
  7. More time for me – my daughter doesn’t sleep much and usually ends up in our bed.  At the sight of my huge eye bags the other day I noticed that I need more time for myself and to try and get more sleep.  We are aiming on getting her to bed earlier and in her own bed… I look ancient/worn at the moment and being squashed to the edge in my bed on most nights is not how I want to continue.
  8. Phone free evenings – yep, I am going to go phone-free for some evenings in the week, so I can watch a film without picking my phone up, or even having dinner with my husband without looking at it! (yep that happens)… I need to have a break from it.
  9. Save for Canada – after watching a fantastic movie about Canada at Walt Disney World, it reminded me how much I wanted to go there, specifically Quebec.  So thats the next savings fund for the next BIG holiday. Whoppee! Really can’t wait, it looks a fascinating place to go.

Have you decided what your 2017 plans are?

Whatever your plans, or just let things ebb and flow as they do, I wish you the very best for the New Year.    I can feel that its going to be a great year!

 

Strengthening up…

 

My first shuffle out post hols wasn’t that bad, it wasn’t huffed, puffed and grasping a fence with one hand as expected… in total I did 4.1. miles, broken up by a few traffic light stops plus had to walk a bit on a trail hill.  Not bad for two weeks off apart from 80 miles at Disney (mostly walked) and three small runs, which I am so glad I did as the first post-hols run would have been diabolical.  I think all the walking plus constant lifting up of Mia during those 2 weeks have managed to keep some of the Mickey waffle damage at bay, as well as keeping some sort of level of fitness.  So, all in all, was quite pleased with my effort and not out of shape as I thought.  Bath Half is looming in the Spring, so now training has officially commenced for that.

Concentrating on my breath more, slower intakes and deeper breathing, plus bringing my pace down (as advised by a friend who is doing a HR zone training plan) makes things a bit more comfortable plodding out the miles. I wish I had, but I didn’t take any pix on the run, but the weather was just beautiful, sun filtering through the trees, plus the trail was full of different coloured autumnal leaves. Gorgeous!  A pleasure to run in such a beautiful environment.  I’ll be back tomorrow for another shuffle…

Earlier this year I was in better shape, I had more tone, weighed less and had a solid core with all the Jillian Michaels strength training I was doing. A ten mile run was a breeze. Then, and quite foolishly looking back, I just went into a running only phase – which seemed to work against me, injuries.. you name it (its all been detailed in this blog) – so I thought for my winter training I would do more different types of training to accompany and better my running performance.

Pulling out some old exercise DVD’s I have done these….

  1. Pilates for Beginners: an old Christmas present and was just excellent, there is a lot of emphasis on breath control which is what I am looking at.  Some parts look easy when demonstrated, but when doing them myself found quite challenging. All in all I did 36 minutes precisely!
  2. Zumba: hadn’t done any in this set of DVD’s in a year and chose the strength one to start with (45 minutes in duration). Had SUCH A BLAST, so going to continue on with this once a week, all those squats have to be good for runner legs don’t they?
  3. Davina McCall: 30 minute workout, lunges with weights and HIIT training to maximise your time, this gave me MAJOR DOMS the next day and another reminder that my foam roller isn’t an ornament.
  4. Yoga with Toddlers: a 20 minute YouTube upload, it was fun seeing Mia try the yoga positions and copy Mum plus a bonus that got a lovely stretch routine in.
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Zumba-tastic

Next up I will try a couple more of my ‘celebrity’ DVD workouts, Charlie Brooks and Mel B! How these haven’t been thrown into the charity shop already is beyond me… and I have forgotten to mention P90x .. found that DVD set… that’s gonna be HARD. Ohh and dug out my skipping rope… oh boy…

Good luck to all training over the winter.. !  BRxx

 

Running at Disney!

Well hello you fabulous lot!  Its been a while since I blogged – that’s because I have been soaking up the sun and getting some serious Disney miles stacked up, 80 miles!  over the past few weeks at Walt Disney World, Florida.  Not all of that was running, actually a very small percentage was running.  But I walked, and walked, and walked… for many, many miles around the parks and the whole Disney ‘area’ which is quoted as being the size of Manchester!

We left the UK while it was still mild, not really cold, but not really warm…and were then drenched in lovely sunshine when we got to Florida (the trip there was nasty via New York, which ended with me in tears on a bus, another story, another blog, another time).

We checked into the All Star Movies resort, one of Disney’s value resorts, which is located in the ‘Animal Kingdom’ area, first time we’ve stayed on site at WDW so to speak and it was utterly fabulous!  After a few days of getting used to the time difference, I tentatively went out for a short plod on their marked running trail which was a pathway running across the front of the 3 All Stars resorts which was a mile in length – it was a good chance to wear my running skort, probably for the last time for a while!  The route was heavily used by other runners which was great to see and in the absence of a gym in the hotel I guess this is how visitors got their workouts in each morning. Did the mandatory nods and thumbs up to the other runners, quite surprisingly with not much pleasantries in return…. All in all, I had three plods out over the two week period, I didn’t go far as I knew we’d have a mountain of miles to walk in the day, plus swimming too… just helped to fight back some of the Mickey waffle damage I was enduring!

The picture above includes a shot of shoes in a brilliant running store in Disney Springs, Fit2Run.  They have a brilliant collection of running items, including strollers, accessories,  supplements and more.  They had a Star Wars tech top – which I shockingly didn’t buy… may be next time.  I did purchase (or my husband did for me) a strap to hold my iPhone (my Garmin GPS is a bloody fail at locating me which is so frustrating).  I tried it on in the shop and it fit great!  Will report back after my first post-hols run this weekend, decided to start running with audio again – well Podcasts to keep me motivated as I am upping the mileage to train for the Bath Half HM.

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So now we enter PDD (post Disney depression), but and with a big BUT, Disney have just released their races for next year including Spring 2018 with a Star Wars dark side race… this is very, very tempting, and the husband DID agree to leave it a couple of years till our next Disney visit (it is 2 years really, in terms of numbers….).  lets see!

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In terms of other training, I have my swimming kit packed, plus have been doing Pilates and strength training this week, hello DOMS!  So lets see how I fare over the winter with training – I am in a much happier place, with the family healthier and a sense of renewal for the new year, I’m in good spirits…

Here’s a shot of the non-tech Star Wars top, I had to get this as it had 77 on the back… I’m an old Star Wars fan…. 🙂

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Do you listen to any podcasts while running?  Any recommendations?

BRxx

 

 

 

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: If you can’t stand the heat…

Wow, it was hot yesterday.  As we were at Alton Towers on Monday and Tuesday of this week I missed my 3 mile ‘fast’ run that I normally do on Monday’s (although we did 8 miles of walking), however I wanted to get out yesterday as I started getting the crazies, plus I had a 6 mile run to do to stick with my training plan for Swansea.  Just a reminder, I am doing a fast 3, normal pace 6, and then LSR (at whatever pace I fall into) per week.

Due to work I could only manage a 4:30pm run, and oh boy that was HOT and MUGGY!  I tried to stick to the shaded areas where I could and slowed my pace right down.  My backpack was full of water thankfully!  Wore my skort and a vest top (black, probably not the best colour to wear), thought I would be OK.  Eep how wrong was I! By mile 5 I was DONE, only a mile short of what I wanted, but I couldn’t get any more out of my legs and all my water had gone too.

Felt a bit stupid running at that time really, however, reflecting on it Swansea HM could have the exact same conditions in terms of heat and humidity, and if you’re training for an upcoming race then it should be in all conditions.  So all in all, was pleased.  Plus, I did it in 53 mins, which is pretty much my normal time for that distance anyway.

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A few of my runner friends shared their tips on staying cool while running in the heat…

I decided this week too that I am picking up strength training too, after completing the 30 day shred in April and getting to a 3 minute plank in the May 30 day plank challenge I am ready to take on more.  I asked my running group to share what other sports they do to compliment running and have seen that swimming is quite popular.  We have a lido in Cirencester that I am hoping to get to to do a few proper laps in!  The swimming I do at the moment is a few doggy paddle strokes while playing with my daughter! So will be interesting to see how my lungs fare with proper swimming.

Hope you are all having a good week, how do you cope in the heat?

BBxx

ps – I vlogged my Alton Towers trip and stay at Splash Landings, if you wanted to take a look?