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

 

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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

 

 

 

 

 

 

a jaw dropping moment…

My Facebook running group, VRF’s,  will be a year old on Dec 30!  I never actually meant it to be a group, just a page to place my running friends and family to discuss our shared love of the sport off my main Facebook wall.

Friends and family have added their friends and family, and we have become quite a good little group, we have fun, laughs in a not-so-serious environment.  But knowing there’s always the support you need, and sharing tips and advice.  I’ve always said its 80% running, 20% silliness (and that’s how its staying).  I knew I was doing something right with the group when I got trolled!

This week we had our first T-shirts rolled off the press and a few of the members will be wearing them at events this weekend.  The first being at the Disneyland Paris Half Marathon!  I couldn’t be prouder, running and Disney, my two favourite things…I’m the V on the VRF .. this was my jaw dropping moment!

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I’m so proud of the people in this group, some I have known for years, some only a few months.  We’ve all been brought together through friendships and a mutual interest, no matter what level we are at.

There are many running groups on Facebook and Twitter, but this one will always be special to me.  I’ve met some great people through it and we will continue on…

For now that is… plans are afoot.

BBx

Should times matter?

I recently discussed this subject with my runner friends, ‘should times matter’?  Can we be so busy clock watching that we miss so much else about what we are doing irrespective of time and performance?  How are we actually feeling during the run?  Happy or frustrated?  This is something that I have asked myself more and more recently following the disastrous Swansea affair.. the more I seem to clock watch and analyse everything I am doing, the more I am feeling disheartened by what I am doing and my long departed runjo seems to be hiding from me forever!

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So, what am I doing to correct this?

  1. I may have mentioned previously I have switched off the voice prompts from Strava.  I can’t recommend this enough from any app you are using. Takes the pressure off, ’nuff said.
  2. I have refused to wear my Garmin, and will only use this for races only.
  3. I am only running 2 miles a day in the weekday when I am working from home.  No long ass runs in the hot humid weather.  Leaving LSR’s to the weekend.
  4. Cancelled the rest of this years races to make time to find my runjo.
  5. Run for me.  This is something that was told to me a long time ago and its stuck, its been the best piece of advice I have ever been given.  I can’t run for anyone else other than myself.  Whether I am running 10 miles or 2 miles, whether I have walked half or run the lot, its up to me and only me.  Pressure off.  Others expectations/criticism are normally about how they feel about themselves and nothing you are doing.

BBx

Autumn wishes…

Happy September everyone!  So VERY glad to see that my favourite month has arrived…Not that its my birthday coming up or an anniversary but the promise of  beautiful autumnal skies and a fresh air that is perfect for running in. #happy

I have always loved this time of year, the sense of slowing down and peacefulness, I can’t quite describe it really.  After this hectic year of various family in hospital and also my daughter, the promise of the last few months with things looking up in all direction is very enticing!

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My FB running group VRF’s is still going full guns and its been so successful that work have asked me to create one for them, they even featured VRF’s in the staff magazine , so this has kept me busy too!  I never meant it to be a running group but just a place to chat to my running friends I had met on social media, but its taken off with people forming friendships and meet-ups, and I have met some absolutely amazing people myself.  What a year its been!

 

Since Cheddar Gorge I’ve nursed a calf injury that had been off/on for a few weeks and it went 3k’s into the race and took a week of TLC to repair. I am now happy to report that I have been out for 2 runs since (just two miles a piece) and its been fine! Apart from going stir crazy for a week, its been good to get out and feel confident again in running.

The life of a runner has these ups and downs!  The last three months has been full of back injuries, kidney problems and generally crappy running since Swansea – a generally low spirit, but the last two runs I’ve been in a happy place.  Happy with the pace and performance and feel like I am back on track with it all.  I’ve switched off the voice prompts from my Strava too, and this has made life so much easier.  The pressure has been taken off in a positive way.

The 1000 mile challenge I completed too and got it in in JUST under a year.  These types of challenges, although stressful at times, are good for keeping me on track. So I may have a mini-challenge for myself to get a certain amount of miles in for September. We will see!  Nothing as extreme as the 1000 mile challenge again, but a mini-goal 🙂

I have a possible trail 10k coming up in Dartmoor in a couple of weeks, weather permitting (camping in the rain ain’t fun), and then the Bath Half next Spring to train for.  Other than that I can just see local 10k trail races for me next year and that makes me happy! 2016 was too full of clock watching and too much pressure, that isn’t happening for 2017!  I will leave 2016 a very different runner…

Hope you all have your running plans in place for the rest of the year, and enjoy the Autumn months… much love BB xx

 

VRF’s Photo July Challenge

Voting has opened!  In my Facebook running group, VRF’s, we have a photo challenge every few months, just a little comp for the best pix taken while out running..
A small prize is for top 3.

Please cast your vote for your favourite pic by emailing your choice to vikkisrunnerfriends@gmail.com.

Voting closes midnight Sunday 21st August 2016.  Results announced Monday!

If any of my WordPress friends would like to send a vote too, please do go ahead!

One vote only please 🙂

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Andrew – atmospheric runner

Andy

Andy – happy trail selfie

Charley

Charley – paint burst fun

Howard

Howard en Chamomix

Julie

Julie – long pins, little pins

Laurence

Laurence – proud Dad & daughter

Sarah

Sarah – reflective runner

Steve

Steve – sunset over Clifton