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!

 

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Sweet R&R…

Since my last post listing my strategies to bring my life back into balance more, I have managed to successfully start implementing this and can report back that I am feeling much better for it already.

Limiting my social media engagement has given me much needed freedom and space!  I am spending less but more quality time on Facebook and Twitter, if you haven’t done this already yourself, I highly recommend it.

It had come to a point where I was struggling being the admin of my running group, as much as I love it I began stressing about continuing to create a community (which had been successfully established months ago) and really feeling like I didn’t want to post anything on there (even my own runs) as 1) not to cause me anymore work to do and 2) I felt like I didn’t fit in any more due to my lack of running or have anything to offer.  Not cool.  A break is what is needed to re-focus, come back to centre, and be able to offer a lot more.

Not being able to run much through one thing or another, lack of sleep, back pain, man flu and a multitude of other things has challenged me so much this year.  However I am not prepared to throw 2 years of training down the toilet and thousands of miles.  In fact I am a woman with a plan…and a goal, that I am not sharing until its completed.

Man flu is now leaving me, so I am going to attempt a short trot out this weekend when I can fit it in around my husbands ever changing shifts (aside from clearing the garage out, the leaning tower of Pisa of ironing piles plus packing for Disney). Going to hit some trails and have some much needed me-time and I can’t freaking wait!  Will upload some pictures here which will re-boot my trail raider series…

Learning how to rest and recover is as important as training itself… however frustrating this can be.  I have had to learn this the goddam hard way, but thankfully I have learnt it nonetheless.  Going to stock up and remember to take on a daily basis zinc, iron and vit C tablets as a base to building a better immune system.  I seem to come down with every bug at nursery, so have been mindful to keep putting on the antibacterial gel on my hands after I have dropped Mia off and picked her up.  If this can save me from one cold then that’s one or two runs saved!

The Poppy challenge starts Tuesday and I will be logging in the KMs for this charity virtual race, I will be clocking them in both in the UK and with my Disney walked (and run!) miles.  Will be good to see how many steps I have taken each day.

Haven’t weighed myself for ages but I am still four pounds heavier than what I want to be… so going to be very good from now till my holiday and see what happens, I think regular weighing on the scales keeps me more in check, although I seem to have got out of the habit of this recently.  I keep forgetting!  Four pounds isn’t the end of the world, and if after walking around Disney for 2 weeks I don’t shift a couple then I really cant be assed and will accept those extra four pounds as staying put for a while.

My latest running buy has been this SiS Energy Drink  (£14.99) as recommended by a running friend.  Its instructions are to drink before exercise as a way of low bulk carb loading and during for fast sustained energy, its recommended to take 4 servings a day prior to a race ever with or between meals to achieve elevated carb intake. So lets see if this helps at all.  Will report back if it made any impact on my running at all… will need all the energy I can after such a dismal running performance of late.

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My holiday book just made it through the door too… Brain Training for Runners by Matt Fitzgerald… (£13.20) this has been highly recommended by a few runner friends now, so I am going to read up on this on the plane/by the pool and may be take my training in a new direction.  Will keep you posted.

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A big epic sorry too that I haven’t posted much running stuff in here, but this will be different next week when I upload the trails, and also in the coming weeks my Disney runs which will be epic.

@BoudicaRuns xx

 

Trail Raider #4

Yesterday I took to Cirencester Park trails once more in an attempt to complete the 14k’s route that I had downloaded on ViewRanger.  Guess what…. I got lost again!  I really can’t work out what I did wrong too as I was certain I took that specific path previously.  Never mind!  Things kicked off badly when I realised I had forgotten to switch Strava on. Gah!

Two fatalities en route were:

  1. Trainer came full off my foot and stuck in the mud.  A comedy hobble back to retrieve it, was just glad no one else was on that trail to witness that.
  2. iPhone smashed screen on the ONE PIECE of pavement thats on the trail. Grrrr….

but the positives….

  1. I did complete 5.6K’s of trail (mostly uphill trail) and 2.4k’s of intervals back to the traffic lights.  I still need to get that proper LSR in and consistently if I have any hope of running Bath Half well in March next year.
  2. I learnt from an experienced trail runner friend that there is no shame walking hills on trails as its preserves energy and keeps good posture rather than trying to run it – why I lump pressure on myself to run the entire lot is ridiculous really.  I could cover much more ground by walking those hills and running the rest.  Taking the Trail Raider to a different location this weekend might do the trick.
  3. I didn’t get killed by a horse I nearly collided with.

The last 3 nights, I haven’t slept very well at all, so any running today is out (and I like to at least have a days break in between running), tomorrow I’m not working from home, but Weds, Fri and Sunday are looking good.  Going to try for a longish pavement run on one of those days on my old route that I used to do to death here – its a varied route through town and out to an army base here and back.  So a good long stretch.  Be good to see what I can do on that old route.

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eye bags say it all… but happy to be out on the trails…

Going to get back to some Yoga too, that may help me sleep and also loosen me up a bit, had some calf pain on my trail yesterday (although nothing like before) but want to keep on top of it before it becomes an issue and I am sidelined.

Other plans now that my husbands shifts are being changed is to book a regular class of something else,  whether that be Yoga, Pilates, Aqua Aerobics etc… I am really not sure at the moment but know I need something else to compliment what I am doing now.  The fittest and best running performance I had was earlier this year when I was doing the Jillian Michael’s 30 day shred alongside my running training and getting in good ten milers.  I know I need that again. There’s a running group here in Cirencester too that I may join, I was going to before but circumstances prevented me, but now might be a good opportunity.

Still have no plans really to book races for next year,  see what wings my way.  Cheddar Gorge I wouldn’t mind having a bash at again!  Feel a lot freer not having too many plans running wise… which makes me happy.

BB x

 

 

 

 

Breakthrough with heel striking…

Went for a great run yesterday,  it feels really good to be able to say that!.  As the summer has left, cooler weather has arrived and I seem to be finding my confidence again, in myself.  As I have mentioned a few times my confidence in running has been pretty much shattered since Swansea and I’ve shied away even from meeting up with running friends even for a quick jaunt.

Life seems to be getting much easier now and this seems to now be coming across into my running performance.  Where lots of people go running to get away from stress, its pretty useless for me as its seems to affect my performance, which spirals my mindset downwards, blah, not a great place for me to be.  A few times over the summer I was very close to walking away from running , which would have been a great shame after 2 years of consistent running training! Thanks to a couple of my running buddies, you know who you are, I was able to download my concerns and they convinced me otherwise.

I just went for a three miler yesterday and certainly not a flying pace at all, but I was happy and this is what I have been searching for for a long time with running, to find that happiness again.  Seems a lot of worry has lifted off my shoulders now and its made me feel so much happier all round.  I met with a good friend yesterday who I hadn’t seen over the summer due to various reasons and had a good, long overdue laugh and natter. Following on from a fabulous VRF’s meet-up at the weekend too, left me in very good spirits, which I am hoping lasts!

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A big difference for me too has been returning to heel striking, I know this is not recommended in many running literature, but after testing out a few different postures/styles with running this year I seem to run much better, consistent and faster with heel striking.  I didn’t intend to set out heel striking however noticed I had fallen back into this habit on a run and noticed the positive difference.

After reading this article in The Guardian, I feel a whole lot better about heel striking and continuing to heel strike.  While trying to run mid to forefoot I seem to get calf injuries (which sidelined me for a few weeks) with my old style of heel striking I never seemed to get injured at all.  May be its the way my muscles have developed through Thai Boxing for many years that means this style is more efficient for me physiologically, who knows.

I am heading off out for my next Trail Raider run this weekend, attempting 14ks of the Cirencester Park trail, which is the complete route.  Now I know what I am doing with ViewRanger (so she says) I feel confident of making my way round and back in one piece!  Thinking of purchasing a new head torch too as Gavs shifts are changing so I may have to go running in the dark, this Silva one is built for trail runners so popping this onto my Amazon wishlist for next payday!

Hope you are all enjoying the cooler Autumn weather, BBxx

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trail Raider #1 Cirencester Park

My first trip out testing the Go Pro and the other equipment/apps the week before was a bit of a #fail due to not wearing my glasses! Hey ho, so my first official Trail Raider post is here! With mixed results!  Still not as detailed as I want.. but this is all about trial and error, or should I say trail and error.

I feel the ViewRanger app is something that I am going to have to get used to, as you can see I came off the route a few times and in the end decided just to try and work myself back to base – I ended up in places that weren’t near the lined route at all!  Whoops…

I don’t find it incredibly user friendly if I am honest, however I am simply not used to this type of app at the moment and my directional sense isn’t the greatest.  Gav had to show me how to use it (well, he had to show me a few times how to use it!) but I am going to go back Saturday and try it again.  I completed 5.4 miles of trail last Saturday and looking forward to going back for more this weekend.

We have downloaded some routes already for the Cotswolds and I plan on jumping in my car and taking myself off over the Autumn/Winter to do a proper review of the trails.  But need to nail this app before I do so.  So will take it back to Cirencester park to complete the 14kms route.  If you use or try out the ViewRanger app please do let me know, we may be able to share some tips.  eskt83831

In the afternoon we went for a stroll in a forest near Sezincote House, the 2 mile walk turned into a very long walk and by the end of the day I had walked a half marathon… that wasn’t the exhausting bit… this was… a truly horrid find in the nearby woods.  Stay safe on the trails all, you don’t know what nutters are about.

 

Happy trails…. BBx

Morning joy

Went for a gorgeous run this morning, been waking up early this week, 5:30am starts (yawn)… however this morning as I was watching the weather forecast predicting crazy temperatures I decided to take myself off for a 7am run before the day started.

Not a soul around! Just my soles… ha ha

Perfect!

Normally I am jostling around tons of people and annoyingly people who walk sideways and backwards in Cirencester on my pavement 2 mile runs,  not this morning, there wasn’t anyone around.  My daughter hadn’t woken up so  I took advantage and so glad I did.

Just popped out for my normal 2 miler and ran really well for it, my pace is picking up again and I believe my two milers are making all the difference to my mindset and building my confidence again.

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Work has been super busy lately and I’ve kept my head down most of last week stuck in spreadsheets so am thankful for an easier week this week and a time to concentrate on running and what I want out of it.  My plan seems to be working and I am finding the joy again, in places where I didn’t think I would.

My footfalls were re-focussing my attention, I seem to be landing a bit differently and it seems to be working for me. I seem oddly enough to have a flatter foot now… which I am sure I have read everywhere isn’t right, but it seems to be better for me.

My Disney vacay is coming up fast – 52 days and counting and after weighing myself this morning aim to lose 5 pounds in weight for then too, to feel good in my clothes and give me a buffer for the glorious USA dinners.  This means strength training too, a touch of swimming and most importantly really cut out a lot of crap I have been eating (and been in denial about).  We have decided no more desserts till Disney!  I can see me falling face first into a Banoffee pie as soon as I get to the States.  Desserts are my favourite thing ever, so this will require a will power of magnificent proportions.  There’s a jogging route around the hotel in Walt Disney World which I am looking forward to exploring too.

Trail Raider started last weekend too and I am testing out the camera and apps.  Had a total fail with ViewRanger, I totally need my glasses to view this properly. However the camera worked out well, here’s a little clip – note to self, I must aim the camera higher than my arm swing!

Tomorrow I will head out again and see how it goes, then its two days break till my LSR weekend trail intervals… can’t WAIT!

BB xx