Category Archives: Running

Pants, I’d forgotten the gym sucks

This is a bit of a catch up, not a great week for blogging, but not a bad week for #janathon. Every day, I’ve still had my early morning core/stretch/yoga thing going on, followed by 30 minutes on the bike (mostly in pjs, although a couple of times, I’ve actually got out some proper kit to wear!).

I had a hard physio session on Tuesday, so abandoned my swim and pilates, which was probably the sensible thing to do although it put me in a very bad mood to miss it. (Just ask my partner!)

Thursday was more physio and nothing much allowed over and above the usual until today. I’ve been back in the gym for the first time since I last broke my foot four years ago. And I’d sort of forgotten how much I hate it.

All I was to do – under instruction from my physiotherapist – was 10 minutes on the cross trainer, 3 x 10 sets on the leg press and then a final 10 minutes on the cross trainer.

Ok, sounds straightforward, but no. I got on the cross thingy whatsit and pressed all the buttons, nothing seemed to be happening, so I tried another, then on the fourth a guy behind me advised that you have to move your feet and arms to spark it into action. Huge thanks to him, but why doesn’t just pressing start work? Grrrrr, made me miss running even more.

After getting that sorted, I was supposed to use the leg press, of course none of the things in the gym have a label and it really wasn’t obvious what it was, so I had to find someone to ask. After a 10-minute wait – they really need to employ more people – a really lovely member of staff showed me what it was and what to do and gave me a bit of extra help and advice about my foot.

A final 10 minutes on the cross trainer and then I was free! I headed to the pool as my reward, doh, forgot my bag and had to go back, wasting more time and so ended up only doing 40 lengths, not the 80 I’d hoped for as I’d got my timings all wrong, what with the nonsense in the gym and all. It did remind me how much I enjoy being in the pool more than the gym and running even more.

Still, I’m back in my blogging mojo now so hopefully that’ll get me more motivated to try more in the gym again, even if it’s just so I can use this space to have a big old moan about it. If I’m moaning a lot, that means I’m in the gym a lot right? All good?

Advertisements

A sneaky peak at (my) normality

Today felt a little bit more like the old pre-break days, which has definitely given me a bit of a lift. I managed to fit in another Pilates class today and followed it with another 80 lengths of the pool. Plus, of course, the usual early morning routine, and I’m still at 25 minutes on the bike (pjs obligatory).

Today’s Pilates was a little harder on my foot, the teacher called for a downward dog, and I behaved like a naughty puppy and refused. Ok, that’s taking it a bit far, but at the moment it just won’t bend that way. I also discovered that I can’t do that side plank thing, I’m sure there’s a proper name, but it’s late on a Friday and I can’t think now.

After this, I was feeling a bit tired, up early to cycle, walked to class, an hour of Pilates, so I ummmed and ahhhed about whether to go swimming. I put my coat and boots back on – easier to carry them downstairs, honest – and got to the pool changing area, where I hung about for a few minutes, procrastinating.

I had a little chat with myself, as you do, and reminded myself that I never regret doing any exercise and as I’m a member and pay whether I swim or not, it doesn’t matter if I only do 10 lengths or two – and anyway, I still needed to have a shower from this morning and now I’ve left the Pilates changing area and moved to the pool, I can’t go back up…

Again, swimming costume on, goggles on, I was having my pre-swim shower – I like to stick to the rules – and contemplated for minute of sneaking straight out again, no one had seen me after all. But then I’d know. So I finally committed. And boy was I glad that I did!

80 lengths later I forced myself out of the pool, with a satisfied smile on my face.

My favourite days pre-break were when I managed to get in an early run, then cycle to yoga, a quick swim and cycle home. Today was a slight twist on that, but almost as good.

The endorphins are still raging!

So, #janathon day 9 summary, strength work, 25 minutes on the bike, hour of Pilates and 80 lengths of the pool. I feel the need to add a big tick.

Just keep swimming….

Back at the physio again today, first thing, so nothing outside the strength work, yoga and pj cycling. Still, time on the bike is now up to 25 minutes, so I feel like I’m getting somewhere and finally breaking into a sweat. I’d forgotten how good it feels!

Another plus is that each day I increase the time on the bike, my right leg muscles hurt the first time, but the second day, it all seems a lot easier, so I must be getting stronger.

Yesterday, I only managed a tweet, but had a good session in the pool. I’ve been doing about 40 lengths, which I didn’t think was too unrealistic to start off with. Then, I felt strong, so thought, ‘why not go for 50?’

I looked around and realised there was only me in the pool, it doesn’t happen very often so I thought I’d go for a mile, I got to 64 and still no one in the pool, then still just me at 70. Two people finally got in at 72, but I just can’t stop when it’s not a round number, I know, don’t ask, so up to 80 it was.

Thought it was time to get out then, no more excuses, plus, I needed the loo, desperately and so I had to get out.

So that’s day seven and eight of #janathon done, after today’s physio session, I’m slightly hopeful of getting maybe one tiny run in before the end of the month!

For the love of Lycra

Well, the big news of the day is that I’ve been back in Lycra, hurray! I’d forgotten just how comfortable my thermal Kalenji running tights are (must check to see if they’ve got a sale on) and to feel properly sporty again. Oh dear, that means I have to admit to doing my exercise bike stints in my pjs, ok, it’s true, but just because it’s been first thing in the morning and I have worn sensible trainers.

I’ve only ever done one Pilates class before, and it was years ago, but the class times didn’t really work for me then so I didn’t make it back. Then in 2014 I became a yoga convert, to the point of being evangelical about it to anyone who would listen and many who had no choice but to.

My physio said it was ok to go back to yoga or Pilates, so I decided that perhaps the latter would be more sensible and I think I made the right decision. There was no real pressure on my foot and very little I felt unable to do. I’m going to stick with it for a bit, I think, I’m definitely not ready for any downward dog or child’s pose yet but getting through a whole hour long class has given me a real lift.

So today, day six, has been my most uplifting #janathon day so far, especially when I add in the two mile walk to the class and back and, of course, 20 mins on the bike (in pjs), a few core exercises and a longer plank.

It’s not cheating, is it?

Day five of #janathon and my blog is in danger of becoming very repetitive – a bit of yoga and a stint on the exercise bike is about all I’ve been able to do – then I managed to add in a swimming session.

It was my physio appointment today, so I did my exercise – yes, yoga and bike – early, although I did throw in an extra plank just to liven things up, and headed out to the session.

The last appointment was two weeks ago with the holidays and all, so I was looking forward to it. I optimistically took my swimming stuff with me thinking I could go on the way home, but no. Foot was far too sore, still that was kind of the idea, massage, ultrasound and electrotherapy will have that effect I discovered.

So, instead I took all the Christmas decorations down, packed away the tree then cleaned and vacuumed the flat. If I add “vigorously” before cleaned and vacuumed, can I claim it as contributing? Just makes my efforts seem slightly less dull!

On the upside, I am allowed to try a Pilates class, so that’s tomorrow livened up. I’ll have to be careful, but just to be doing something different will be fantastic. Hopefully we can look forward to a more upbeat blogpost then.

#Janathon so far so, well, mixed

Ok, so January 1 and 2 were a bit of a write off exercise wise. In 2014 I’d got off to a great start with a New Year’s Day 10 mile run including parkrun, but not to be in 2015.

If you count dancing until 4am, I did a bit of exercise on 1st, then just a two mile walk on the 2nd, I neither blogged nor tweeted about either. Sorry.

On the 3rd I managed a tweet about my 15 minutes on the bike and a bit of yoga. Still this was progress.

Today, day four, was a bit more like it. After some early morning core strength / yoga work, I hopped on the exercise bike and pushed the time up to 20 minutes, right leg was really feeling it, but this is why I’m doing it. The sooner I can build up strength in that leg, the sooner, hopefully, I’ll be back running again. My short-term goal is to be back on an ordinary bike by next weekend.

Feeling inspired and raring to go, I headed off to the pool for half hour swim.

I finally feel like my #Janathon has kicked in and I really hope to keep it up, even though there’ll be no running at all involved (recovering from a broken foot) which seems a bit odd, as the rules say, you don’t have to run everyday, but slacking is not an option!

Ending the year as I mean to start the next

Oh dear, oh dear. I’ve been a bad blogger this year. I can’t believe I haven’t written anything since May 20th, which means I didn’t share my two most exciting running things this year. I smashed my marathon PB in Liverpool on May 25 finishing in 3 hr 22 mins 39 secs, the seventh woman to finish. I was made up when this got me my second highlight, a good for age place in the 2015 London marathon.

This was also the year of yoga! I’d started doing a bit towards the end of 2013, then it all took off in a big way in 2014 when I discovered Hot Bikram Yoga! I’ve been doing a couple of classes a week and my regular Iyengar class too. Along with swimming, I think this definitely helped with my core strength and kept me injury free for (most of) the season. Hmm, more of that later.

Sport was becoming an ever bigger part of my life, I added badminton too, and reminded myself how competitive I could be. Running was still my first love.

After the high of Liverpool there were a couple of other great races to look forward to; the inaugural Hackney Half in June – my first half marathon – and my second half in October, the Royal Parks Half. I got another first in September with the London Duathlon. I’d done a triathlon back in 2003, but no cycling races since so this was a great new thing for me. I learnt that I’ve got a lot of work to do on the bike, but was pretty happy with both lots of running! I’ve signed up for next year, and another cycling event too.

Over the years, my interest in my sport, and sport in general, has increased, so as a step towards working in the area, I decided to apply for a degree in sport and exercise science, which I started in October, I’ve really enjoyed getting technical about sport, getting a deeper understanding about how the body uses energy, for example, has been fascinating, and pretty useful too.

This was all going really well, running or cycling to and from University, fitting in all other bits and pieces of exercise around study, when, running downstairs to get the parmesan cheese to go with tea (I know, ridiculous), I slipped on the stairs and bang, or rather, snap. I broke some bones in my foot. I knew straight away as I’d done the same thing, on the same step (different foot though) four years before.

After only two weeks of the course, there I was in a full non-weight bearing cast, hobbling about on crutches. Not even a sporting injury. After six weeks in that and another four weeks in one of those moon boots, I’m finally in proper shoes, walking unaided, but still a good couple of months away from running.

Not being able to run has been hard, but not being able to do anything has been horrible! I’m allowed on the exercise bike now and can head back to the pool too. The advice at the moment is running in March, I daren’t say how many races I’ve booked in for next year with my optimistic head on. Then I look down at my withered muscle and think how will I ever get back? But I will, it will take time, but I will get back and beat that marathon PB, and then some.

At least I’ll have missed the cold winter training and get going again in spring for my comeback in the Hackney Half in May.

And I promise to be a better blogger too.

Happy New Year everyone!