Blog

7 Week Half Marathon Training | Beginners Running Blog | Week 5

I’m afraid to report that this week has been just as bad as the last. Am I even writing a running blog right now or more a ‘what I didn’t do this week’ blog?? I’m still suffering from illness and also I feel a little exhausted too. I’m sure I said this last week but I’m trying to do lots of things and I’m doing them all badly!

So what did I get up to this week? Well, I coughed….. a lot…. so much, in fact, I pulled a muscle in my back and it was agony for a couple of days.

It was also my birthday on Friday and I still wasn’t feeling great but had a great evening eating pizza and snacks and drinking prosecco.

The worst thing that happened this week was that I was signed up for the Oldbury 10 mile race today (Sunday). It was a race that I missed out on last year so I was keen to sign up as soon as the registrations were out. It was also going to be a good gauge for where I am in my training for the half marathon in 2 weeks time. But I didn’t race it. I’d decided on Saturday night that I was still coughing and I don’t even know if I’d have had the energy to run that far. If it had been a 10k I might have attempted it, but 10 miles seemed a stretch too far for me on this occasion.

Let me tell you, I didn’t take this decision lightly. I’ve done around 40 races in the past 2 years and never have I not turned up to race one of them, even when I felt injured or just low enthusiasm. The fact that there’s a medal out there with my actual name on it and it’s not in my sweaty, ill hands makes me feel sad.

Not only that, I’m now wondering whether I should even attempt to run the Half Marathon at all now? This month, Strava kindly emailed me to let me know I’d run 11.5 miles the entire month of August. Which is depressing!

If anyone’s got any advice on whether they would run the half having done hardly any training or whether they’d give it a miss I’d love to hear it. I don’t want to start not turning up to races, I’m not that person at all, but I also don’t want to do something stupid. Am I likely to be injured having not run further than 10k in months?

On a brighter note, here’s a picture of me and Teddy bun, who has been a much better-behaved bunny this past week. He didn’t help me open my birthday cards though like my beautiful Labrador used to. I miss her so much, my birthday just wasn’t the same without her. I want more than anything to have another dog in my life but unfortunately, my circumstances won’t allow for it at the moment. I’m also planning to spend a month travelling around the British coast and there’s no way I could do that as easily with a pupper in tow. So, for now, I’ll smile at strangers dogs instead…

Hope you’ve all had a better bout of running than I have and here’s to a better week next week.

Advertisements
Blog

7 Week Half Marathon Training | Beginners Running Blog | Week 3

Welcome back to my half marathon training blog! Here goes with this week….. and panic in 3…. 2…. 1… Summer has gone and the winter/ rain season is very much upon us – English weather, so heckin’ annoying.

Monday 20 August | Rest Day
I don’t know whether it’s the change in weather (aka from summer to full-blown winter) but I’ve been feeling just awful this past week. The mornings are dark, and getting out of bed is 10 times harder, and the evenings seem super short and it gets dark way too early. That also means that my motivation is lowwwwwww.

Tuesday 21 August | Planned run day
So… here’s what happened, I planned to go for a short run when I got home but I just didn’t have it in me. I felt exhausted when I got home from work and ended up falling asleep on the sofa all night (one of my all-time most annoying habits).

Wednesday 22 August | What’s up
I felt totally drained again today when I got home, I’m not sure what on earth is going on. I feel tired all of the time and I’m sleeping most of my evening away. Running is so far at the back of my mind at the moment when it should be at the forefront. I have a 10 mile race in a couple of weeks and it’s the first time since I started running that I’m thinking of pulling out because I know it’s not going to go well. It was supposed to be a good gauge for me 2 weeks before the half marathon but it’s going to be more like a reality check on how little work I’ve done this time around.

I’m really hoping that this is just a mini phase because I don’t think I’ve gone this long without doing proper training runs since I started taking running more seriously 18 months ago. I’ve been in one long taper…

Thursday 23 August | Packing? No thanks
In preparation for my weekend in London, I decided that I’d need a London manicure too. I have so many nails though I had trouble deciding so it was up to Teddy to make the decision for me. That obviously burned zero calories to go with the zero that I’ve burned so far this week, which totals zero.

Friday 24 August | Shopping
I realised that I actually had no backpack to take with me to London this weekend so I had to go shopping and get one. That obviously then took a large chunk of time out of my evening after work and I did zero miles… again…

Saturday 25 August | London Baby!
Got up early to get ready to go to London on the train, I just love going to London (even though it scares me and I don’t understand the tube and people….. just people everywhere). The occasion? Britney Spears was at the O2 arena doing her Piece of Me tour.

We got into London around 12.30pm and our first stop was the London Eye. I wanted to do a ‘Coachella style’ photo in front of the wheel but there were so many people, we went and had some lunch and got cocktails (two for one yes please) in the Slug and Lettuce.

We stopped off at Downing Street (like you do) and took a lovely stroll through St James’s Park and stopped to speak to some birds. I also saw some pelicans, which I’ve never seen before, and a squirrel trying to fight some pigeons off so that he could eat a nut – he was utterly unphased, clearly, he’s a tough London street squirrel.

The next stop was the Queen’s House. I’ve been told that when the flag is up at Buckingham Palace, the Queen is home. I mused that if I were the Queen, I wouldn’t want to answer the door and I’d make sure the flag was always down and I’d be watching Netflix and having a snooze. It’s probably best that I’m not the Queen… just saying.

We went to the hotel to get ready for Britney and then took one stop on the train to get to the o2. It was absolutely huge inside, I’ve never been to a concert as big as this before. Our seats were pretty good and Britney wasn’t a tiny dot in the distance. This may well be a controversial opinion but Britney Spears was the best performer I’ve ever seen live. From the moment she got out on stage until the minute she stepped off she was absolutely on it.

After the concert, we went to a nearby bar so that we could avoid all of the crowds going home, and landed on a rooftop bar which was full of people who had also been to see Britney and some of them were dressed up as Britney… why didn’t we think of that.

Sunday 26 August | Still in London
Putting our backpacks back on after wearing them all day yesterday, was agony. After all of the excitement of yesterday, we decided that we’d do some sightseeing today, however, the weather was absolutely atrocious. We went over to Tower Bridge and got soaked right through (I didn’t realise I’d need wellies to walk around London but that should have been my footwear choice).

We had booked in to have afternoon tea and Prosecco at a cute cafe type establishment and we happily watched everyone walking past getting soaking wet on their way to the Notting Hill festival, while we sat all smug in the dry.

Cold, wet and exhausted, we made our way back to the train station to get the train home (and a cheeky cocktail in one of the bars). My contacts lenses were playing me and I couldn’t see a damn thing by the end of the day and we got home about 9pm. Contact lenses out, snooze trousers on! Tomorrow is a bank holiday, blessed. I’m going to need the day off tomorrow after such a hectic weekend.

Total Miles | Zero but did walk A LOT around London

Click here to read last week’s running blog ==> last week

How many miles did you manage this week?

Blog

7 Week Half Marathon Training | Beginners Running Blog | Week 2

Welcome back to my half marathon training blog! Highlights from this week include ‘was this my first time out wearing running shoes? Turns out, it wasn’t, but it sure felt like it’ followed by ‘I ended up in a snooze situation that I couldn’t get out of’. So let’s jump into what went on this week.

Monday 13 August | Yoga day
Thought about doing some yoga. Didn’t. That’s all there is to say about that. Spent the evening instead trying to hold onto my bread roll while the rabbit tried to steal it from my hands. What kind of sassy bunny have I ended up with??

Tuesday 14 August | Rest Day
After all of the excitement of doing literally nothing productive yesterday, I figured I was due a rest day… I’m taking this ‘treat yo self’ mantra a bit too seriously and I need to stop.

Wednesday 15 August | 2k is better than no k
I had a million things to do this evening after work but I was so determined to get out and run that I vowed to do at least a mile, because a mile is better than nothing right! I’ve mentioned before that I am not a warm weather runner and much prefer running in the cold so 24 degrees is definitely too hecking hot for me! It was also a little bit windy (it’s England, it’s pretty much always windy) which made it a bit trickier.

I set out all raring to go, secretly hoping that, while I was aiming for a mile, I may well pull 3 out of the bag… I was wrong about that. My legs felt like actual lead and I tried to cast my mind back to remember whether I was in fact a runner and whether this was my absolute first time out wearing running shoes. Turns out, it wasn’t, I have the medals to prove it, but it sure felt like it.

Determined as I felt, I just didn’t have it in me today so I wrapped up a short loop around and back home and felt content enough that I’d gone out. I’m practically superwoman, I know.

Thursday 16 August | Rest Day
I can’t quite believe how sore I feel today after yesterday’s mini run! It dawned on me that I can’t actually remember the last time I went out and ran that wasn’t a race… which is terrifying to me. It’s a good job I don’t have a half marathon in 6 weeks…. oh wait….

Friday 17 August | Planned Run Day
I’d planned a run for tonight when I got home from work but I was so tired I decided to have a little sit and watch TV then *bam* I accidentally ended up in a snooze situation that I couldn’t get out of. It was one of those naps where you know you need to come around but your eyes are saying nope. Very annoying. Sleep deprivation has done nothing for my mood or motivation this week.

Snooze days are the best days

Saturday 18 August | Busy Day
I was awake super early this morning thanks to my rabbit (he had some 5.30am time out outside) and it did cross my mind to go out for a short run but I had so much to do today and was leaving the house early so I couldn’t. I’m doing a ‘long’ run tomorrow, which I suspect will only be about 4 miles for me and I’m going to take it very slow and steady, I just need some miles in the legs at this point.

Spent the day in Bath doing a bit of shopping so I spent a lot of time walking around (that totally counts as training right??).

Sunday 19 August | ‘Long Run’
Today’s run was one of those that nothing went right and could be considered a ‘terrible run’. However, I already knew that this was going to be a terrible run because a) it was super windy b) it was really muggy c) I had a bread roll, unicorn smarties and a peppermint tea for breakfast. A, B and C combined I almost didn’t go out but there was that little niggle in my mind that said I absolutely had to. I have a to do list as long as my arm but I need to start making running a priority again!

My pace started off great, lovely and slow at around 12:00. Perfect. Just what I was aiming for. Even with this slow pace though it still felt incredibly tough. So while this may have been the run that ended with me having a bleeding toe from a rogue toenail, it was also a run that happened. And that’s the main thing. I’ve also never seen my face look that red and blotchy before. While I’m no glamorous runner by any stretch of the imagination I don’t usually look like an actual post box.

As weeks go, it wasn’t the best, it wasn’t the worst. I could have tried so much harder but I got out there at least a couple of times and did my best. Next week is going to be a bit of a struggle as the weekend is jam packed but we’ve been blessed with a Bank Holiday Monday so I’m going to make that day my long run day instead.

Total Miles | 5.4

Click here to read last week’s running blog http://bellesrunningblog.com/2018/08/18/7-week-half-marathon-training-beginners-running-blog-week-2/

If you’re training for a distance race I’d love the hear how you manage to motivate yourself when you really don’t feel like it.

Blog

Need For Speed | Week 4 | 10k Training | Diary of an Injured Runner | Race Day!

Hey everyone! If you’ve been reading my need for speed journey, you’ll have noticed that I didn’t actually post this back in May (which is when the race was) because it’s been in my draft posts this whole time! And I have a lot to say about this race so I’ve got no idea why I didn’t post it. Anyway… let’s jump back in time and relive the final week of the race that started it all.

Disclaimer: This post has affiliate links, which means if you choose to buy through my links I receive a commission at no extra cost to you! I’ll only ever link products that I absolutely love and use, thank you for supporting me.

Monday | Rest Day

Clearly I was going to take a rest day today after running races on Saturday and Sunday last week! And rest day I had!! I had real trouble sleeping on Sunday night (perhaps from all of the excitement) and didn’t get to sleep until pretty late. Thankfully it is a bank holiday so I was able to have a nice lie in (ignoring the fact I was awake and up at 6am feeding the animals).

I spent a bit of time watching some YouTube videos about ‘maintaining’ your body during rest days and it inspired me to try some stick rolling. According to The Run Experience, you should be doing something every day to help combat injuries and I’m terrible at actually doing this. I spent most of my time rolling my hips because that’s where it felt particularly bad but I am hoping it’s going to help most with my shin splint pain.

Tuesday | Day Off

Wednesday | Unintentional Day Off 

Thursday | Rest Day
 

Friday | Unintentional Day Off 

Saturday…. you can see where this is going
I kind of gave myself the week off, mostly because I’m really worried about aggravating my shins and I really didn’t want to make things worse with the big race tomorrow. Getting injured is just the worst and I’m so jealous of anyone that manages to get away injury free. On my running Instagram I’m following many other runners and some of them are just running crazy distances consistently without injury, but there are probably 5 times more people suffering serious injuries that have put them out of action and that really scares me. This is always a problem when you sign up for so many races, if you get seriously injured, you obviously shouldn’t run and I sign up for A LOT of races!

One reason I bought my spin bike for home was that, depending upon what kind of injury I’d had, I could still get some pretty decent cardio in but with less impact. I did find that when I was suffering from plantar fasciitis, this still aggravated my foot, the pedals are pretty sturdy and it didn’t like being in that position, but luckily I’ve not been suffering quite as bad this year.

Sunday | Race Day!
Waaaaaa, the day is finally here. Do I feel like I’ve done enough work to beat last year’s time? No, I do not. Was that all my fault? No, you’ve been suffering through some injuries but perhaps could have tried a bit harder… There’s nothing that makes me hecking mad with myself as much as knowing I could have tried harder. But anyway!

Woke up to a dry and sunny morning but it wasn’t too hot so I was hoping that the early start was going to make sure we were home and dry before it got scorching. I’d rather run all day long in the rain and cold weather than the heat, I’m just terrible at it!

One criticism I have of big races like this are the crowds. I’m used to doing races with around 300-500 people but this is literally thousands of people running and around the course. This means that instead of having one ‘3-2-1-GO’ you get several and it takes FOREVER to even get up to the start line. I was in the white wave this year and I think it was the green wave behind us, because there are so many people in the pens all of the groups get jumbled into one and by the time we set off (at least half an hour after the warm up!) I was starting with mostly green people. I thought ‘this is no problem, once we set off I’ll be able to overtake anyone that might be slower because the roads are pretty wide’. Well I was wrong about that! I think for the first mile I was struggling to get around slower runners, my pace was all over the place because I was trying to compensate for my slower start, it was just a bit of a disaster!

Also, I had another mishap with my watch. Because it took so long to get past the start, it sort of happened all of a sudden and I hadn’t set my watch up as I didn’t realise we were setting off. That meant I pressed start on my pacer a good time after we actually set off and that was the one thing I was counting on to help me achieve my 55 minute dream (I don’t know if I’ve already mentioned, my 2017 time was 58:19 which was my PB for that year, so I wasn’t looking to take too much off but my race times so far this year haven’t been close to that).

Once I managed to settle into a pace I felt a bit better but I was definitely struggling. It was getting pretty hot and I found myself walking for a couple of seconds at water stations just to compose myself a little and get my head back in it. I love watching The Run Experience on YouTube and I’ve watched most of their videos, one piece of advice they gave for a 10k is don’t stop at water stations. The race isn’t long enough for you to give yourself much benefit during the race and you’re ticking off major time by stopping, however, while I didn’t drink much at the water station, I did pour some water over me instead.

So, all of that aside, I finally found myself staring down the road towards the finish line. (Another thing I hate is long finish lines – Dublin Half Marathon…. just wow). I looked down at my watch and I was at 54/55mins ish and I thought I really need to push at this last bit, I’d be gutted if I took a leisurely pace and it ended up I could have got 55 mins! This was quite possibly the worst part of the entire race for me. There were so. many. people on that final stretch. Some people were walking at this point (probably because the waves were so jumbled up) but mostly people seemed to be out for a leisurely stroll toward the finish line and it gets narrow here as you go past the centre towards At Bristol. The frustration of trying to have some sort of sprint finish while having to try and weave in and out of so many people was enough to make me feel the angers. I love the Bristol races but I’m not so sure I’ll be doing this one again next year, I just find it all a bit too stressful! Does anyone else find this?

Pushing the stop button on my Garmin was both a relief and a disappointment. My watch time said 56:33 (which I knew wasn’t right due to my failure to press start crossing the start line) and I was gutted. While this was a PB for me by just over 2 minutes, I couldn’t help but kick myself for walking those couple of times and generally having a grumpy run because of all of the people.

My official time was 56:57 so I barely managed a 56 min race let alone getting close to the 55 mins I was after. I know that I’ll get there though but it definitely won’t be at a big race like this one. I longed for for the smaller races of Glastonbury and the Clock Change Challenge, which do have their own downsides, but not being able to push yourself to your ability because of crowds just isn’t what I’m looking for in a race. It’s funny though because I don’t recall it being like this last year. Were there more runners? Was I just unlucky in my race wave?

While I didn’t get the time I was going for, I have changed my whole mindset when it comes to racing. For some silly reason I was never pushing myself because I was worried I’d burn out and running races for me isn’t all about PBs, it’s sometimes about going to new and exciting places and getting to see them and explore them. Finding my Garmin pacer though has changed the game for me and I can’t imagine running a race now without it. It gives me the reassurance that I can slow down if necessary or that I need to push myself a bit more whereas before it was just sheer guesswork especially on that final mile.

I’ve got so many more exciting races coming up this year and I know I’m going to achieve that 55 minute PB and who knows, perhaps I’ll be looking to a 50 minute PB this time next year!

Did you race the Bristol 10k this year? I really would like to hear from other runners who have done it and your personal experiences with this race.

Running

Need For Speed | Week 3 | 10k Training | Diary of an Injured Runner

Things I thought I’d never say… ‘I’m writing this on a Bank Holiday Monday, sat in the garden in the glorious sunshine… in England’. ‘I have two 10k races in 2 days, one of them is a trail run’. ‘I lost 11lbs in 5 weeks’. And yet, here I am saying all of those things!

Disclaimer: This post has affiliate links, which means if you choose to buy through my links I receive a commission at no extra cost to you! I’ll only ever link products that I absolutely love and use, thank you for supporting me.

The Bristol 10k is now a week away and I’m feeling pretty optimistic that I might be able to pull a further PB out of the bag. While I’m obviously going for a course PB AND an all time 10k PB, I’m wondering whether aiming for a 55min PB is out of the question! I don’t want to crash and burn by running outside of my actual ability. There has to become a point where I physically cannot achieve a certain time which is nothing to do with how hard I push??

Monday | Shins Shins Shins
I’ve been really really suffering with my shins lately and foam rolling was just way too painful to try and ease it off so I ordered this body roller which is like a big stick with little wheels on that you use to roll away your aches and pains. I’m a little sceptical but I’m getting desperate at this point and need to feel like I’m doing something. I’ve watched more YouTube videos than I can count on how to ease the pain and this was one of the things that was highly recommended. It’s such a difficult area to try and stretch out, I find myself trying to contort into all sorts of positions to try and get a stretch there but nothing really works.

Tuesday | Cardio Day
I’ve been embracing these ‘non running cardio days’ these past couple of weeks and my legs are definitely feeling the benefit of it. That doesn’t mean that I didn’t do this workout in constant pain on the inside of my shins though! I wanted to do a little longer but I thought I’d be silly to push it, especially with 2 races this weekend so I did just over an hour.

Wednesday | They See me Rollin’
The ‘body roller’ was delivered today, hooray! I gave it a little test on my legs, they’re still sore, and I can’t say they felt any better afterwards but I’m assuming persistence is the key here. The Labrador was also very interested in this new contraption!

Thursday | Rest Day
I’m feeling nervous about Saturday’s run because I feel very under qualified to run it. I always imagine that there’s going to be runners there who look at me and think ‘she’s definitely no runner, what on earth is she doing at a trail run’. And while they’re right, to date, I’ve never felt like this when I’m at a run. There are always many different abilities at races and everyone is encouraging. I’ll admit that I have thought about not going. It’s such a long way and I really don’t want to fall over ahead of Sunday’s run and do myself an injury.

Friday | Out Out + New Trail Shoes
I had the day off of work today and my main goal was to get some much needed new trail shoes. The guy in the running shop was very helpful and I sauntered around the store trying on as many different shoes as they had and running up and down stairs. I was surprised that I ended up with a size 4 as I am actually a size 4… and I know running shoes are usually bigger than your normal shoe size. Anyway, they felt comfortable and I went away new shoes in hand – also knowing I was going to commit the sin of running in a brand new pair of shoes… ah well, what was I going to wear, my battered Nikes or my toe crippling trail shoes!

The evening followed by a trip into town to say goodbye to a work colleague but I had to leave fairly early because of the lovely early start tomorrow!

Saturday | Brecon Beacons 10k Trail Challenge
This race may have taken over as my most favourite one yet! Before that, I’d like to share a fun fact about myself that, if you don’t know me, you may not know. I am rather silly. Which means that silly things happen to me… A LOT. While I’m the kind of person who cannot fit any more information into my brain until the last possible moment, I do like to have a general idea of how far away a race is ahead of time, which means I’d looked to see how far away the Brecon Beacons were and my sat nav reliably informed me that it was just under 2 hours away from home. The sensible part of my brain said ‘that’s weird, it’s only across the bridge into Wales and up a bit’, but I reasoned that perhaps the roads into the Brecons were slow and winding which is why it was going to take so long.

So we’re at race day, hopped into the car at some stupid o’clock, and I’m following the sat nav to get on our way. What I thought was really strange was the way that it was taking us, up through Gloucester and onto the M5… weird, I need to be on the M4 and I know this isn’t the right way. I pulled over on the side of the road and instantly realised why we’d gone so far off course… my sat nav was set to ‘avoid tolls’! So we weren’t going across the bridge into Wales we were going ALL THE WAY AROUND IT! Great start to the day, I could have had an extra half an hour in bed!

Crisis averted, we eventually made it to Race HQ, which was a tad troublesome in itself. Because there was also an Ultra, Marathon and Half Marathon on the same day spaced an hour apart, we’d arrived during the half marathon set off and we had to wait for all of the runners to cross the start before we could get into the car park and we were sat there for quite some time. Phew, we made it. The views in this part of the world are stunning and I was feeling a little nervous as to what these trails were going to be like. I’m 100% no technical runner but the views on trails cannot be matched which is why I come back to them time and time again. During this race I had a very brief discussion with another runner as to the fact that we were both here for the ‘experience’ and not the PBs, which is how I feel about nearly every trail run I’ve completed.

We had to gather for a race briefing 15 mins before the start and I’ll be honest, it wasn’t great. They were using a tannoy system which didn’t seem to be working and I couldn’t hear a thing. People were shouting that they couldn’t hear but that didn’t make the instructions any clearer to me. They held up signs which I assumed meant that we had to follow them… easy enough.

The puppers set off 5 minutes before the main race and then we were off. As soon as we started I felt knackered! Even though the race started early, it was already pretty hot. Because I have the Glastonbury 10k tomorrow, I’m not going to push myself today that’s for sure because that IS a time I care about! The views on this course were absolutely stunning and I’m not even ashamed to say that I stopped on multiple occasions to either take in the views or to take photos of the views. The terrain was great and not very ‘technical’ in my mind, with the exception of a couple of rocky places towards the end. Had it been raining and more muddy, it might have been different (that’s not to say there weren’t some muddy parts as there were).

My new trail shoes held up well, they could definitely still do with some breaking in, but otherwise they felt okay (not like my last pair where I actually thought my toes might fall off after wearing them) and I was a teeny bit upset when they got mud on them, not gonna lie haha.

Coming up to around mile 6 and I thought I was on the home stretch but my watch clocked a final distance of over 7 miles, and it’s usually pretty accurate! (Reading some peoples’ Instagram posts after, the Half Marathon was more like 16 miles – eek).

Overall this was a great race, I loved it and I’d love to go back again and not race as I wanted to really take in the stunning views instead of running away from them! The medal wasn’t too shabby either, one of my favourites. Also worth noting, I had zero pain, niggles, nothing. My shins didn’t hurt one tiny bit.

Sunday | Glastonbury 10k
This was the first ‘race’ I’d done (since 2012 when I ran the Bristol Half Marathon) in 2017 so I felt there was a bit of pressure to get at least a course PB and then under the hour was my goal. I adore Glastonbury, it’s such a unique place. Unfortunately last year I didn’t get a chance to look around much as I felt absolutely horrible after and wanted to get back to the car and home as soon as possible.

Glastonbury, as you might expect, is also a very chill race and it doesn’t start until 11.20am which is the latest start time I’ve ever had. This also meant that the temperature was absolutely scorching by the time we set off at around 24 degrees. I couldn’t remember much about the course, although I vaguely remember thinking it was pretty hilly the first time around, and there’s ‘Heartbreak Hill’ on the very last 1k of the race, which I didn’t manage to run up in 2017 (I think I may have said a curse word when I saw it around the corner then too).

I’d set my pace time on my Garmin to 59:30 (definitely not going for any kind of 10k PB after running trails yesterday and it being so hot), getting around in under an hour was my number one goal. I set off quite well and managed to get 1min lead time fairly quickly so I just needed to hold onto that pace as long as I could. Last weekend, at Bridgwater 10k, I only stopped at the water stations for mere seconds because I knew that was going to make a massive difference to my overall time but today, I couldn’t run past them I really needed that few seconds break and a bit of water intake.

I managed to maintain my pace right up until mile 5 but by this point, someone had notched up the temperature and I was absolutely boiling! I scraped by this mile, managing to hold onto about a 50 second lead but it was tough. The photographer (also, free race photos at Glastonbury!) takes a photo of you with the Glastonbury Tor in the background, which is a great backdrop and I knew that Heartbreak Hill was just around the corner from here. There is even a sign ‘Welcome to Heartbreak Hill’ at the bottom. I looked up (mistake), did a little internal cursing, and ran up the whole flippin’ thing, which already meant I was better than last year. Then it’s a nice little downhill to the finish line and boom you’re done! I looked at my watch and it said ’58:44′ and I was over the moon with that time! 5 minutes faster than 2017 which (to me) is a huge difference. Another sub 1 hr 10k in the bank, which makes this the 3rd run so far.

I’m so thankful that I found the pacer on my Garmin, I honestly don’t think I’d be able to get the past sub 1hr times without it. Before, I’d look at around mile 5 and guestimate whether I’d be able to get in under or not but with this, I know my estimated finish time and whether I’m on course or not – it’s absolutely brilliant!

After the race, I felt horrible. I’d been feeling sick since yesterday and the heat didn’t help but I’d also had completely blocked ears. Every step I took, every time I breathed in, I could ‘hear’ it and I felt like I was on a plane. We had ice creams and a wander around the Abbey and then came back to the start to watch the drummers and then headed back to the car. I must have sat in the car for around 20 minutes trying not to feel sick – nonetheless, great day, great race and I may come back again in 2019 we’ll see. I did get a bit sunburned though, being a pale English Rose hahaha. How silly of me not to wear any lotion! I also had no pain at all during or after this race, which I didn’t even realise until I’ve sat down to think about it now! I’m really hoping that it stays pain free as this is the only way I’m going to continue to get better race times. (Pray to the shin gods).

Next Week – Week 4
The week of the BIG run, which I’m looking forward to but also I’m going to be so nervous trying to get that ‘need for speed’ and all time PB. The weather forecast is showers and definitely cooler than this week, so I’m feeling better about that! While I will never, ever, ever, complain about it being too hot in England, I may complain that it’s too hot for running.

Blog

Need For Speed | Week 2 | 10k Training | Diary of an Injured Runner

Wow what a week! I had a highly anticipated (by me) race on Sunday 29th and I’d put a lot of pressure on myself to get under that elusive hour and I pushed myself HARD on race day but did I get a sub 1 hour time… let’s find out!

Disclaimer: This post may have affiliate links, which means if you choose to buy through my links I receive a commission at no extra cost to you! I’ll only ever link products that I absolutely love and use, thank you for supporting me.

Monday | Yoga Day
Yoga is something that I’m always sure I need to do but because it’s not cardio, I’m not interested! I’ve heard for years that yoga is the perfect accompaniment to running and I can see why. I’m terrible at not stretching enough before and after a run (I’ve been working on it) but I wanted to dedicate a day just to yoga.

I searched through YouTube (there was no way I was going to do my outdated workout DVDs that go on for hours) and found a YouTube channel ‘Yoga with Adriene – 30 Days of Yoga’ so figured that would be a great place to start. I wasn’t wrong, she’s a really great instructor and it’s not boring like some yoga workouts are. I’m considering next month doing a 30 day yoga challenge and I just might use this series.

Tuesday | Fast 5k (that didn’t count)
I ended up in a full on rage today. I went out with the intention of using some kind of pacer on my watch because I need something to keep me on track during races and I really can’t be doing any kind of adding/ subtracting in my mind while I’m running (let’s be honest I can’t do any kind of math even when I’m not running) and I found an add on app for my Garmin Fenix 5s which is called ‘Peter’s Pacer’. Great! Let’s test it out.

I set the time for 30mins for a 5k run and it alerts you when you are under your target time and shows you how many seconds you’re over/under. Amazing. Except, I was having some kind of internal struggle and went off way too fast thinking in the back of my mind I might get a PB and pushed myself so hard I crashed and burned.

I paused my watch several times but the longest time I paused my watch was when I had a major wobbly… the last stretch of my run is on a very long, pretty straight pavement which has got lots of grass on either side. There are lots and lots of dog walkers in this area as well as runners and, unfortunately, cyclists, even though the pavement is fairly narrow. So I spot a cyclist pretty far down the way and so I did that thing that EVERYONE on the planet does, you move to one side of the pavement well in advance (try this out and you’ll be surprised how far away you’ll do this when you’re walking in the opposite direction to another pedestrian). However, this particular cyclist was on his mobile phone looking down. We’re getting pretty close at this point but he’s sort of moved to the left hand side so I go to the right side. At the very last second (while still looking down at his phone) he swerves to the right side and nearly hits into me! I had to put my hands out and say ‘hey’ so that he doesn’t cycle straight into me. His response….?? Now you’d probably think he’d say ‘sorry, I wasn’t looking where I was going’…. no. He shouts back at me ‘hey’ as if I’d just run into him and then cycles off proceeding to look back and shout stuff at me. What an absolute total idiot! If you know me, I’m the least confrontational person on the planet so I was shocked at myself when I was so angry at his response, I turned around and shouted ‘look where you’re going’!

There are not many things that irk me as much as people cycling on pavements, especially if they’re going fast. You perhaps might think ‘maybe it was dusk’ or ‘perhaps you weren’t wearing bright enough clothing’ and both of these would be wrong. I was wearing my BRIGHT PINK LEGGINGS, people could have spotted me from twenty times the distance that we nearly collided. If he had looked up for even 1 second, he would have seen me! So that put me in a pretty bad mood and I nearly abandoned my run entirely. Investing in a treadmill looks more and more appealing than braving it out in the urban jungle.

Anyway… enough of my near death experience, back to my watch. I was using this app to pace myself and when I reached 5k, finally, I stopped my watch but it didn’t actually record like it usually does so I was not happy about that!

Wednesday | Rest Day
Went to Cardiff today with work so today ended up being my cheat meal day (which was amazing), but I was definitely feeling it later on in the evening.

Thursday | Blah Day
Considered doing some kind of cardio workout but I was feeling super tired so had a rest instead. Out here living my best life eh!

Friday | Cancelled Day
I had an easy run on the agenda today but I was in a bit of a grump and still super tired so I skipped it but I did find a really useful Garmin tool. After my failed run on Tuesday with the Garmin add on I reasoned that the Fenix 5 is a pretty amazing watch there must be a way for me to do the same thing on the main watch functions. And Son of a Gun there was! And it was even better than the other one.

If you go to ‘run’ and hold the menu button it will take you into another menu. Select ‘training’ and go down to ‘set a target’. Here, you can set a distance only, distance and time or distance and pace goal. On these data screens it will show you your time ahead/ behind, an avatar to show how far/close you are on pace and your estimated finish time. I can’t wait to go out and test it!

Saturday | 5k Using Pacer
The Garmin Virtual Pacer is going to be a game changer for me, I can tell already. I tested it out today for my easy 5k run with a 30 minute goal. Even though this isn’t too difficult a time for me to achieve, it was pretty windy so I had to work much harder but it did keep me on track. I have a race tomorrow and I am definitely going to use this tool to get by sub 1 hour time.

Sunday | Bridgwater Bolt 10k
I was feeling really pumped for this race and I was feeling nervous, which is unusual for me, but I knew I was going to be going for under an hour as opposed to turning up and ‘trying my best’. I have to say, this new mindset of mine is helping greatly with my running! I think I’ve realised that actually I SHOULD be improving after running consistently for over a year and, apart from injuries I’ve had, there’s no good reason why I shouldn’t be smashing those PBs.

This was such a great race, I really enjoyed it. The course was pretty much flat with a couple of hills around 4 miles and 5.5 miles but I was so determined to run them and I’ve slowly come to realise that if there’s a hill up, there’s bound to be a lovely hill to run down!!

So, armed with my new ‘trick’ up my sleeve, I set my Garmin for a time of 59:30 (just to doubly make sure I was under the hour). The first mile or so of the race was really frustrating because there was a narrow pathway that you have to navigate, but so too do a couple of hundred other people. My time was dwindling before my eyes and I was starting to panic that I’d never make up this time further in the race so the first opportunity I got I tried to dash inbetween the other runners ahead of me and get my watch ahead by a couple of seconds.

As I eased into the race, I’d managed to get around 1 min ahead of my race time and logic told me that if I could keep this 1 min buffer time I’d be able to finish in under an hour easily… The hills did have a bit of an effect on me but by this time I’d managed to get around 2 mins ahead! Whoop go me! This was when I started to get a little excited when it dawned on me that not only could I get under an hour, I might actually hit an ALL TIME PB!! Once that thought occurred to me there was no stopping me and I pushed myself right to the end, finishing with a time of 57:15.

Obviously we had to celebrate with our first ever McFlurry too!

There you have it. Change your mindset and you can change your whole world! Hoping you’ve all had a great week and that you too can change your whole worlds.

Blog

Need For Speed | Week 1 | 10k Training | Diary of an Injured Runner

It dawned on me the other day that it’s only 4 weeks until the Bristol 10k. While there isn’t anything particularly spectacular about this, as I’m running multiple 10ks this year, it’s a massive deal for me because this is where I got my race PB last year. I’ve never come close to hitting or breaking this record of mine and I’ve been continually frustrated that I can’t even get under an hour in alllll of my races! It’s the only race I’ve ever run and got under an hour. What I find most frustrating about this is that I’ve been training for the past year (with the exception of December / January where I had the flu and did no running at all) and I can’t seem to improve my times.

So I decided to make it my mission in these 4 weeks to try and increase my speed so that when I’m at that start line, I’m all set to smash my course time and perhaps even pull an all time PB out of the bag!

I’m going to talk more about what I’m going to do to increase my speed in the next few weeks but for this week, let’s just look at what I’ve been up to.

Monday | Yoga Day Turned Sick Day
I did not feel good today, which is never good when you’re trying to start a new regime! After the Frenchay 10k yesterday, I was going to do a long yoga session to try and keep my injuries at bay and give myself a great stretch out but it wasn’t to be.

Tuesday | Easy Run ~ 2.5 miles
I wanted to go out and get some miles in the legs so there was nothing too strenuous about this run, although it was super windy which I HATE.

Even though this run wasn’t a particular victory, I am feeling great and injury-free which is such a novelty for me. I’m really hoping that if I can keep any niggles at bay I’m going to be able to keep training so that I can put the miles in, as this is where it’s all gone wrong for me in the past. I need to be able to run, otherwise, this just isn’t going to work out.

Wednesday | Strength Training
Strength training is something that I’ll always avoid. I’m a cardio junkie, always have been, and I find anything other than this a tad boring. I didn’t want to go mad though so I kind of cheated and did an old workout DVD of mine which had a ‘toning’ section which was pretty tough but, to be fair, it could have probably been better.

Thursday | Rest Day
No workouts for me today but I did manage to squeeze two walks in today so not a total rest day. It was also my cheat day and I had an amazing takeaway.

Friday | Hill Work + Lamppost sprints
It was pretty hot today, I guess we’ve skipped spring and gone straight to summer! Don’t let that fool you, apparently there’s more snow on the way. Get it together England!!

After a dance workout in my living room (waiting for my Garmin to charge) warm up, I tried to do a little bit of everything and push myself, I did an easy run followed by my ‘nemesis hill’ for miles 0-2, lamppost sprints for mile 2-3, and then the final mile was a nice easy pace. I had the best Spotify playlist and was really feeling The Saturdays’ Greatest Hits Megamix.

Saturday | High Intensity Workout
The plan was to do Davina McCall’s newest workout DVD, however, I really wasn’t feeling it so I opted for the 2004 Nell McAndrew Ultimate Challenge Ultimate Results instead. Wow, I forgot how intense this workout was! My legs were literally on fire doing this and my arms felt like they might actually fall off. I can’t believe how unfit I am now, even with all the running, I still have noodle arms but that’s all changing!

I dug out one of my Labrador’s tennis balls from the cupboard and used it as a mini foam roller for my legs. I’ve had some pain down the side of my shins for the past few months so I was hoping that it would relieve some of the pain I’ve had there and I’ll say this, it felt great! The only downside is that I bruise like a peach and now I’ve got bruises all down my legs!

Sunday | 7 Planned Miles Turned into 5 (also the London Marathon!)
I did contemplate not going out for this run after the intense workout I did yesterday but I felt pretty good so I went out with 7 very slow and easy miles in mind. They’d predicted that it was going to be the hottest London Marathon ever so I don’t know why I was so shocked that it was absolutely boiling at 8am…

I started off ok, my legs felt good and I was loving the quiet roads, however, I turned the corner and there was a long stretch of headwind and it just knocked me for six. I kept running but my energy had gone from an 8 to around a 3 and that was it for me, I was done. I was walking for literally no reason. Yes it was warm but the majority of my races are in the summer months so this isn’t something that’s new to me. I tried to claw it back with a really slow pace but I just couldn’t get back to it.

So I’m struggling on my final stretch of road and the end is in sight, and this woman was running in the opposite direction towards me and she had the most amazing body I’d ever seen on anyone in real life, she was awesome, and suddenly I’ve never felt less in shape in my life. Then I was kind of annoyed with myself for feeling like this, why do we have to compare ourselves to others when it brings us down so much? Let’s not just be kind to other people, let’s also be kind to ourselves too.

Weekly Roundup
While I had a bit of a pants run on Sunday, I was pretty happy with my efforts this week. I know I need to incorporate some more speed work in my runs so next week that’s going to be the number one goal and everything else will have to work around that. I may even have to suck it up and break out my torturous foam roller.

I have a race next Sunday and I’m already hoping that I’m going to be able to get under an hour ahead of the Bristol 10k as it’s predominantly flat and I’ve got the mental determination to do it.

If you’ve managed to shave some significant time from your PB let me know how you did it, I’m looking for tips for sure!

Blog

Half Marathon Training | Week 10 | Diary of an Injured Runner – Easter Bunny Edition

I lost an hour of my life and I’m feeling it! I spent the entire week trying to claw that hour back but unfortunately it’s been stolen from me forever!! I’m going to call this week ‘one big taper week’ because I have not even run once as I’ve had a crazy busy week. I knew I wasn’t going to get as much running in as I’d have liked but I’m also welcoming the break to make sure I don’t overdo it for next week’s half marathon.

Monday | Rest Day
This daylight savings business is so annoying, I felt so tired all day because I couldn’t sleep (it felt like it was too early to sleep) and then I woke up at 5am. Thank goodness we’ve got a 4 day week this week as I’m not sure I could make it through 5 days! Does anyone else feel like this when the clocks change? I want my hour back, thanks so much. I tried to do some work when I got home but everything I wrote sounded awful so I decided to give it a rest for the evening and do some mindless tasks instead.

Tuesday | Work Day
I worked my 9-5 all day today and then I went to a friend’s work and did some work in the warehouse. It was really tiring but time did go super quick! No time for me to run today, but as always, I feel like I need that extra day to recover after a run (and a course PB whoop!).

Wednesday | Rest Day (aka Pizza day)
Another rest day today and I took full advantage of this and ate some delicious pizza too!

Thursday | Kinda Sick Day
I’ve been so so tired this week it’s been unreal. As I was driving to work I could see spots in front of my eyes and I knew that it was because I was tired from the week so I’m very much looking forward to the bank holiday 4 day weekend where I can have a bit of a rest (which also means doing tons of stuff that I need to do and not resting at all). I spent the evening having a bit of a chill out and watching the series finale of Friends while balling my eyes out. ‘Did she get off the plane?’. ‘I got off the plane’. Gets me every time!

This Snapchat filter sums up perfectly my mood today

Friday | Bank Holiday
We woke up at 6am this morning so I decided that I’d get stuck in to some work. We are still riding the tired train but 3 mochas later, I’m feeling a little more upbeat. I’m also planning for a special blog post project in April which is going to be a huge change for me but I’m ready.

Saturday | Work Day
I spent all day working today from the minute I got up until the minute I went to bed so no running for me today. I’m trying to make the most of this break and being as productive as I possibly can.

Sunday | Easter Day
Happy Easter everyone! Here’s a picture of my real-life Easter Bunny Teddy – who is a total rascal but he’s just cute enough to get away with it and he never seems to get a mention on my blog and he’s just a part of the family as everyone else.

I’ve started day one of my special project today and so far it’s going well I just need to make sure that I’m super organised and stay focused because I just cannot accept the thought of failing something once I’ve put my mind to it.

So this week has been great (really really not), I’ve not done any workouts at all except walking. Honestly, the reality is that I’m scared to injure myself or find that I can’t run and I won’t be able to do my half marathon…. I’m planning to do a short couple of runs next week and lots and lots of stretching! This time next week I’ll be writing about my half marathon and I really wish I had been 100% so that I could have trained better – I’m so jealous of everyone who can just go out and run as much and as often as they want to!

I hope your week has been amazing and you’re slaying any injuries that you may have.

Blog

Half Marathon Training | Week 8 | Diary of an Injured Runner

For goodness sake, the Beast of the East is back! Just when England had finally got back to ‘normal’ the sight of snow is again upon us and has cancelled more races this weekend such as the Weston Super Mare Half Marathon, Bowood House 10k and Reading Half Marathon! I will say, I’ve been super lucky in that respect. I had a race in between the last flurry of snow but I was going to sign up for the Bath Half (couldn’t get in as it was full) and the Weston Super Mare Half (but I thought it was expensive) and both of these were cancelled. Even so, it hasn’t been a great week for me running-wise…

One race I missed out on this weekend was the Frampton Globe Trot, which sold out in 4 hours! It’s definitely going to be up there with the races that I want to do in 2019 as it looks like so much fun.

Disclaimer: This post has affiliate links, which means if you choose to buy through my links I receive a commission at no extra cost to you! I’ll only ever link products that I absolutely love and use, thank you for supporting me.

Monday | Rest Day
My legs were still super tired from yesterday’s race but not in a muscle soreness kind of way, they just felt a little weak noticeably when I was walking upstairs. Other than that I felt great and was still on my runner’s high from the Minchinhampton 10k. Checked the stats today and I was 280th out of 471 runners and the 104th female out of 257, which I can’t say I was crazy about but I know I ran to the best of my ability.

Tuesday | Recovery Run 5k
I debuted one of my pairs of running shoes the Asics Patriot 8s which I’d purchased in a 5 (a size bigger) and they were great, they felt nice and comfortable but I do feel like I’m missing some cushioning and I feel quite heavy footed when I’m striking the floor. I’m on the hunt for some more expensive ones but I’m still out doing my field research (aka doing a poll on my Instagram and seeing everyone else’s favourites).

All of that aside, this was an awful run as my legs didn’t feel like they belonged to my body and my top half felt like Phoebe from Friends with my arms flailing all around. I don’t normally run like this (I’m 87% sure that’s the case), however, that wasn’t the worst part. I had terrible pains going down the inside of my legs after around mile 1 and when I got home my knee was not in a good way. My legs felt like they were planks of wood and really seized up so I did around 15 minutes of stretching and they seemed to have eased up a bit. I had a bath later on and by the end of the evening they were feeling a little sore but pretty good otherwise. Perhaps my legs were still fatigued from Sunday’s run?

Wednesday | Indulgent Day
It’s my Mum’s birthday on St Patrick’s Day so we went out for dinner tonight and we both had lovely steaks and deserts… I regret nothing, it was delicious.

Thursday | Rest Day
I was going to put myself to a run today but I decided that, after Tuesday’s disaster of a run, I’d give myself another rest day just to make sure I was fully recovered.

Definitely loving a rest day!

Friday | Worst Run of My Life 1.9 miles
Today was like no run I have EVER had before in my life (dramatic aren’t I).

I figured that because of Tuesday’s pain following my run I was going to do roughly 2 miles around the block and then come home and do a dance workout. I started off strong, perhaps a little too strong, and had to ease myself back a bit as I was supposed to be taking it steady. I managed around a mile in relative comfort and then the pain started. I couldn’t even pinpoint where the pain was but it was pretty much from my hips all the way down to my feet and I nearly cried at one point in sheer frustration that I was actually not going to be able to continue running.

So for the first time ever, I stopped running and had to hobble the half of a mile home in the cold. When I got home, things went from bad to worse, I couldn’t even stretch out my legs at all they were so stiff! I knew I had to try and do some stretches but I just physically couldn’t. I then started to think of all of the races I’ve got coming up (one is a 10k next weekend) and that I just might have to pull out of my half marathon in 3 weeks time.

Surely my legs can’t still be tired from Sunday’s race?? They felt absolutely fine! What’s really strange though is I got in the bath and had a bit of a sulk but by the time I got out my legs felt pretty much fine again, with the exception of a little calf pain. Yes they still felt tired and yes they ached a little bit (more than you’d expect from running only 2 miles) but they felt good… what on earth is going on??

Saturday | Rest Day
I had lots of work to get done today so I was sat at the home office pretty much all day. My little chicken nugget of a Labrador wanted to be close to me so I pulled her bed up and she slept right next to me while I worked.

I had a glorious package delivered today… as if I needed any more… my new Tikiboo leggings arrived!

Sunday | Snow Day = Spin Day
Today was supposed to be my long run day and I was going to try for around 8 miles. The Beast of the East had other ideas though and, to be honest, after the pain of this week’s two runs I don’t think it would be very smart of me to attempt to run that far even if we hadn’t had snow again. I am getting ever concerned that I haven’t run further than 6 miles in a very long time so if I manage to get to the start line of the Devizes Half, I have no idea how well I’ll be able to run it.

Anyway, enough of what I can’t do and more of what I can do! Thankfully I have my spin bike to fall back on when running is out of the question and because I couldn’t do my long run I decided that I needed to do a ‘long cycle’ instead. I wasn’t sure what that consisted of as I’ve only really done 45mins – 1hr before but my logic was, if I’m running a half marathon, 2 hours would be about right in comparison.

I put on the film Revenant to distract me but it was pretty gory in places so I spent a lot of time looking away (which wasn’t the plan). I tried to do some variations of spinning and did: – 30 mins flat road running, 30 mins hill climbing, 15 mins flat road, 15 mins hill climb x 2 which totalled 70 miles. My legs held up really well and I definitely put them through their paces. Plan A was to tire my legs as much as I would if I was running and I’m pretty sure I managed that as I couldn’t get up off of the sofa later in the evening…

So that was my week, mostly filled with disappointing runs but I managed to claw it back with a good spin. My plan next week is to do a gentle run during the week and a couple more spin sessions and I must do more stretching and foam rolling (don’t I say that every week…).

I hope your week has been awesome. Let me know what you do when you can’t get out and run.

Blog

Half Marathon Training | Week 7 | Diary of an Injured Runner

So the snow has melted and we’ve gone back to ‘normal’, however, I’ve been in a little bit of a grump that I couldn’t get out of this week. I was over tired and just didn’t have any motivation to do anything let alone run but it did pick up towards the end of the week and it ended with a 10k race hoorayyy!

Me having a mini crisis this week

Monday | Week 7 | No Joke I had another rest day
I had a really weird day today for many reasons. While I felt motivated and confident in doing a workout DVD when I got in from walking the dog, the reality was I sat down, felt cold and miserable and ate biscuits instead. What is wrong with me??

Tuesday | Week 7 | Sad Day
I can’t even with today…. I went out for dinner with some friends which cheered me up though.

Wednesday | Week 7 | Bed Day
I literally came straight home from work and had a nap, got up, spent time with the animals and had an early night! I need to get out of this funk!

Thursday | Week 7 | 4.4 miles
Finally, I’m feeling more like myself! That may have something to do with my kind work friends and also… cake… I just went out to test the legs really and my gosh running felt so hard!!! My last run was my race at Slay The Dragon and I only did a 30 mile spin session last week. You wouldn’t think that with my relaxed attitude I’ve only got 4 weeks until my next half marathon would you?? Although, I guess everyone goes through this kind of stage at some point when they’re training so I’m not too worried. I am a tad concerned that I haven’t yet managed to get anywhere near the 10 miles that I did when I was training for my last half marathon.

On another note, I really need to sort my diet out and I’m going to make a real effort to plan this out for the rest of the month. After my run I was starving and I thought ‘I’m going to go to the local shop and pick something healthy up for dinner’ but when I got there THERE WAS NO FOOD! Because of the snow…. which melted on Sunday… England + Snow = World Comes To a Halt… ridiculous.

Friday | Week 7 | Glorious Rest Day
Because I totally messed up my running days this week I didn’t run today like I usually do on Fridays. I did spend some time working on my blog and having a lovely tequila or two.

Saturday | Week 7 | Another Rest Day #Facepalm
Am I even actually a runner at the moment?? I know I have a lot of running shoes and I know I have a Garmin GPS tracker but…. I’ve got a race tomorrow so I can’t really do anything cardio-wise today but I SHOULD have done something instead of just working.

Sunday | Week 7 | Race Day Minchinhampton 10k yayyyyy
I’ve been looking forward to this race all week. For some, unknown, reason I’d bargained with myself that this was going to be a great race for me and I was going to get a time under an hour. I don’t know where this bravado came from and I felt a little defeated when I read the course details last night and they described it as ‘undulating’ which isn’t my strong point (although I’m much much better at running hills now, read how here).

We set off around 8am and it was only a half an hour drive to race HQ through beautiful countryside, I don’t think I’ve ever been to this part of the world before. I picked up my bib and race t-shirt and we headed out to the start line. It was pretty cold waiting for the race to start and I debated whether to keep my jumper on, even though I get hotter than the sun when I’m running.

If I say so myself, I think this is a pretty awesome photo captured mid-race

I started somewhere near the back of the line, that’s where I always feel I belong and we started on time. The field at the first section was pretty muddy and really slippery in places and all I could think about was ‘if I fall over now in front of all of these people, do I get up and keep running or take it as an omen and go home’. Anyway, I didn’t fall over and we soon got out onto the country roads.

The roads around the course were pretty busy in places and at one point we were continuously being overtaken by cars which had to keep pulling aside for cars on the other side of the road, which isn’t ideal.

I have a confession… when I’m in a race, I will always get up to the runner in front of me and kind of linger behind them unless I’m feeling particularly energetic and I’ll overtake. But this time I had a completely different mindset. I decided that once I got to a runner in front of me, if I couldn’t overtake, I’d make it my mission to overtake them at some point when I felt like I could. This meant that I didn’t stay with one person for long periods of time like I usually do and I felt like I was actually getting somewhere in the race as it felt like progress to get just a little bit further ahead. This was a good strategy for me and I knew that I was pushing myself more than I usually do when in a race.

I’d also decided that if my legs hurt, so what. If my breathing was laboured, so what. I was going to push myself and keep going because I’ve run 10k races lots of times and I’m more than capable. My legs won’t hurt forever. Short term pain for long term gain right!

In my opinion this race was tough. The elevation was crazy and there were lots of hills. There was a lovely girl that I got chatting to for part of the way nearly at the end. It was really nice to run with someone in a race and the chatting (even if I was totally out of breath) distracted me from the pain of the final push. So I don’t know who you were but thank you so much, you were a great running buddy even if for a short time.

I realised that I wasn’t going to get in under an hour, it was going to be close, but I was so pleased with my effort, it almost didn’t matter. I couldn’t have physically pushed myself any harder today and that’s all I can ever ask of myself.

The race itself though, I absolutely loved it. It’s probably one of my favourite ones so far. The route is nice, everyone was really lovely and the medal and t-shirt were cute. I’d definitely sign up for next year and I’ll be damned if I can’t get under an hour next time. I got 3 PBs during this race (2018 PBs not all time PBs) of 10k, 5k and mile! It was those lovely downhill parts that did it!

So that was my week! I have a pretty hectic week next week but I’m feeling better about things so I know I can smash out some good runs. My next race is on the 25th and I am feeling super confident now that I really am going to smash this one. I’ve run this race before and it’s an out an back, fairly flat route. I managed 1:04 last year so let’s see how I get on this year.

When they handed me this creme egg I was ecstatic

Has anyone got any tips for getting yourself out of a funk because I feel like this won’t be my only one?