Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Round up 2015

I have a habit of being very critical of myself,particularly when things haven't gone as well as I would have liked. It's unlikely that I am the only person to do this to themselves.

However, I have come through 2015 with some by nice medals and achievements which I know I should be very proud of considering I wasn't running for 5 weeks over the winter due to injury, and the. Struggling with anxiety and depression, which impacted hugely on my motivation to run, and as a result had most of the summer of no running.

So in 2015 I managed to complete:
Stubbington 10k
ABP Southampton 10k
Tri Try Winchester triathlon
Perform 5 mile
Great South Run 10miles
Victory 5 mile
Pirate 8mile
Great Run family run at the Olympic Stadium.

In addition to these I did some virtual runs raising money for other charities during the year too. 

So all in all I've had a pretty good year considering. What about next year? I have some races lined up already, including a half marathon in April. I still have 34 events to do for my #fortyb4forty challenge, which will include parkruns as they are timed events, and there is scope to improve on my 5k time as the year progresses, as well as hopefully completing 50 parkruns (big milestone). I might do a triathlon later in the year, we will see. But for the meantime, I am feeling fairly optimistic that next year will be a good year again.  

Saturday, 19 December 2015


If you run at events, one might have noticed all the marshals and event organisers who are standing at various strategic points encouraging and directing runners in th right direction (there is the odd occasion where marshals have gone missing - who knows where!!!!). 

This morning, instead of running at Parkrun I decided to volunteer after responding to a plea for volunteers. Now, I do still have my #fortyb4forty challenge in mind and this puts me behind another week. However, ther is such a fab feeling of saying well done to runners when they come in, and giving instead of always receiving.

Parkrun is completely dependent on volunteers to go ahead, and it's an hour of my time to give to runners who have also given up their time and volunteered in the past. It's also great to scan in friends barcodes and congratulate them. 

So maybe next week I'll find a parkrun.

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Goal setting

Just a short musing.

Fairly recently I mentioned to a running club friend that by the end of the year I wanted to be able to run 4 miles continuously. I managed it last weekend, and I'd like to know whether by the end of year I can run it again.

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Event 6/40 #fortyb4forty

So, after my little blurt out this morning, I completely exceeded all my expectations.
1. I ran the entire distance of 5 miles
2. My average pace came in less than 12 min/mile
3. I completed it less than an hour.

I'm really chuffed. Am waiting for the official time, but still very happy.

It was very windy. At different points on the course I was hit by the wind in different directions. It made my run easier when it buffeted me along along the path. But it didn't rain. Nor was it particularly cold I thought. 

I know that I don't need to get myself so wound up pre-race as much as I do. I think today I felt that I just didn't have the miles in my legs to run 5 miles in one go. Clearly having company on the run made a huge difference as well, and I am very grateful for my team members.

I will acknowledge that the feelings I get are very real but I was able to beat them today.

I am pleased I did go. 

Please don't judge

Sometimes I wonder why I carry on running. I find the motivation to do it difficult, and swimming is more my natural sport. 

As a result of struggling with mental health difficulties this year (and still struggling) running has been much harder this year than it was last year. As a result of not making it to training because of low feelings,  I don't have the miles in my legs as I did this time last year, my running times and distances are not as good as this time last year. This makes me cross with myself, then I start thinking that I can't hen do something, which in turn switches off the motivation, and cycle goes round and round and round.

As I write this I am making my usual pre-run breakfast of porridge with juice, and then it'll be a cuppa. Today it's a 5 mile race, which is also our club championship race as well. Not that I will win a prize. I entered because I wanted to do one thing a month for the running club. This contributes to my #fortyb4forty challenge as well. Plus, I do want to prove to myself that I am capable of doing something.

I definitely don't have 5 running miles in my legs, but 5 walk/run miles, and I can stride out pretty quickly. But I have such a heavy feeling that I don't want to race today. I'm going to go, as I am picking someone up on the way. All the feelings of being last, a failure, what if I start crying because I get anxious on the way round,what if I struggle because it's really windy. These feelings are so real for me at the moment.

I wish my blog could always be an uplifting and inspirational blog that running is fantastic and I love it. I don't love it. I do like it, a lot of the time, but today this is what I feel at times. I could just ignore what's happening inside me, but I can't. These feelings really bully me, and take over. 

So, I will post later post-race.

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Training in the dark

I really struggle with training during dark evenings. By rights, when it gets dark, that's me preparing to snuggle down, and to try and break that is incredibly hard. I wonder what is the right combination of clothing to wear depending on what the temperature is. What if I get too hot, too cold. What would I do with excess clothing I don't need to wear. (Even now my children are snuggled in their duvets watching TV.)

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey!!!

Freezing!!!!! This was the temperature this morning at 8.30am and I went (against my natural instincts to stay in the warm) to join a running group going out.

I struggled. Running when it's cold is actually quite hard, and it takes a very long time to warm up, despite wearing double layers on top. My walking distance was longer than it had been on Thursday as a result but I'm not worrying about it. I'm just celebrating that I went out!!!! But it was really pleasant being out.

So that's another  4.5 training miles in the bag. 

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Entering races

Three running events entered recently, all club participation ones as well, including our club championships race, but I'm certainly not going with the expectation of winning anything. These are all in aid of my challenge, to participate as a running club member, and to include training for my half marathon event next April.

Tomorrow morning I'm going on a 6m/10k training run. How much running will actually happen I'm not sure but I plan to get around it all, and get miles in my legs.

I get nervous when entering races where club participation is part of the race. I put too much pressure on myself to feel that I have to be up with the stronger runners. I know that I don't have to be.

And I have 63 weeks left to do 35 events.

Thursday, 19 November 2015


Tonight was a training run with running club.

I had put myself forward to lead a 5k slow run in case any beginners wanted to join in, no one took me up on this. So I joined the 5 mile group instead. Now, I had no intention of doing further than 3 miles tonight, having just had some rest time after hurting my knee at the end of last month.

Suffice to say, I ran about 4-4.5 miles of the 5 miles (I can't run it all just yet). No knee pain, which clearly I had been concerned about.

And I think I'm changing allegiances with my running watches. Earlier in the year I had purchased a Tomtom multi sport watch which meant I could swim, bike and run wearing it. It does what I want it to do.. I'm loving it particularly more as it's much slimmer and less bulky than my Garmin 610 (even the FR 10), and much more comfortable le to wear.

Overall I was really happy with tonight. I would have preferred to have stayed under my blanket I am currently crocheting, but as I said I would lead a group I had to go really. Admittedly, at one point during the run I nearly contemplated turning back. I didn't think I would be able to do all 5 miles. But as I had reached mile 2 by this point, I thought that I might as well keep going!!! 

I'm still battling negative thoughts of low confidence and it takes a lot to actually put myself in a group where I definitely feel that I am not as up to speed as the other runners. Hence, why I have avoided this in the past. But if I want to run the Southampton Half marathon next April then I need to get the legwork going and perhaps have a little more confidence in myself.

As a result of having a couple weeks rest, this has impacted on my #fortyb4forty challenge slightly, but not horrendously so. Hopefully I can catch up with some parkruns very soon.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Lessons to be learnt

So, tonight I went back to running club after a couple of weeks off running to give my knee a rest after experiencing a lot of pain at great South run, and in training in the week following.

I have joined a running programme at running club to run a half marathon in less than 2 hours. This really could be a big challenge for me. I came into the programme later than the other participants, and am definitely less fitter than most of the other participants too.

Anyhow, I managed 3 x 800m internals with a one minute rest between each 800m. Thursday is supposedly a 6 mile run. I confess, I'm somewhat nervous as to whether I will realistically manage it.

Anyhow, tonight I went back to wearing my brooks trainers and had no knee pain or even slight discomfort. Lesson is don't change your trainers if what you have is working for you!!!!!

No news on the PSPA article as yet.

Thursday, 5 November 2015


I was contacted recently from the PSPA. I was asked whether they could talk to me about my fundraising challenge for an article for their newsletter. Me, little ol' me? Of course!!

So, having had a lovely chat and a few hours alter a draft article has been emailed to me, and I return it with a photo to include. 

So what did I say in the article? Well, you're just going to have wait and see!! 

Friday, 30 October 2015

Decisions, decisions.......

Why is making a decision so hard to do?

In 6 months time it's the Winchester Triathlon. This year I did the novice race. The swim was no problem, the cycle I really struggled with (admittedly no where near as much training done as I should have done), and then a 2.5km run, which initially I may as well have had spaghetti for legs. I was exhausted!!!!

I have friends who believe that the sprint distance is well within achievable reach. Now admittedly I hated the hills on the cycle route on that occasion. I also am doing the Southampton Half marathon 8 days before Winchester Tri. Is both achievable without worrying about having a PB to worry about?

I would really have to focus on all three disciplines over the next 6 months, particularly the cycling and running. The swimming, whilst equally important, I feel is the most achievable discipline for me.

What are my worries? Struggling with low motivation and low mood predominantly over the next few months. I really need to sit down and write all the pros and cons to entering this event - factual ones, rather than perceived pros and cons, and the what-ifs. 

Let's not also forget that whilst I have plenty of options for my #fortyb4forty challenge, it would be nice to have a little variety.

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Lesson learnt

One thing I have learned much to the detriment of my back account is the importance of running footwear.

A few months ago I bought a new pair of trainers as my other ones needed replacing, and whilst initially they were great, more recently I have been having knee pain whilst wearing them. The difference with these trainers compared to my last is that I changed to a different brand. I had them fitted but clearly they're weren't to be.

So I now have gone back to my usual brand, albeit an upgrade of what I had before. Already even just wearing them around the house, I'm noticing how much more comfortable they are, how much more stable my feet feel, and the ache in my knee I had, and managed to ignore wearing the others, has disappeared.

So what have I now got? A fabulous red/black pair of Brooks Adrenaline GTS 15.

The wide range of running footwear is vast, and the advice on what you should go for is varied, whether you are a pronater, or an over-pronater, how much support and stability shoes offer, barefoot shoes. But one piece of advice is go and get to a running shop that specialises in gait analysis. 

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Event 5/40 #fortyb4forty

So, what an amazing time I had in the end at Great South Run. After initial anxiety and panic about doing it, once I was moving it was much much better. I didn't have any anxiety symptoms on approaching the finish either. That made all the difference.

I ran/walked as I planned to do. I stayed comfortable and got around. No personal best, but I'm still really happy that I finished it, and have since gained more sponsorship for my fundraising.

I did struggle with a painful knee, and a sore foot - of course it was different legs!! I wasn't quite sure which leg to hobble with!! The foot has now recovered, but the knee hasn't so much. I think I'll be getting it checked out soon.

The weather was lovely. A balmy 16 degree Celsius. If I heard right, the race organisers were implementing the warm weather plan, which is unheard of in October!!!

I'm really happy with what I did today. It was fab seeing club members running today, and the cheerleading team at the end. I have definitely come away a happy hedgie. Thanks Jim for this photo!! 

Friday, 23 October 2015

2 days to go

On Sunday, if you didn't know, it's the Great South Run. About 25,000 runners take part on a 10 mile course around Portsmouth and Southsea. It's very flat - I can definitely testify to that having run it last year. It's also event 5/40 in my #fortyb4forty challenge.

So how am I feeling this year about it? Probably pretty much the same as I felt last year about it. Nervous, excited, worried about finishing, am I going to get there on time, where are the water stations? All those kind of questions. 

So my plan? To run/walk the course, staying comfortable so that I enjoy it. There is no pressure to time. I vaguely know the distance the drink stations are located at so my mindset is to make it to each drinks station, then to the next etc until the finish.

I'm desperate to try and use this large event as a big fundraiser for the charity I am raising money for. I have raised 26% of my target amount, so far, so it's good. And I'm aware I will still have 35 events to go after this one. But to raise more than my target amount would just be really awesome.

I have music to listen to going round. I love my aftershokz bone conduction headphones. They are really comfortable and I still have a reasonable awareness of what's going on around me when I'm wearing them.

So there we are. Big event coming up, and loads of running club members either running or helping win marshalling.

I have permission from the owner of this inspirational quote to post this on my blog. It's from 'May the thoughts be with you', from the Facebook page. 

And if you feel like sponsoring me you can donate by text using the code JWHH52 £5 to 70070 or visit my just giving page at 

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Event 4/40 #fortyb4forty

This morning was the first race of the Southern Cross Country League (SXCL) at Pamber Heath. The course was just over 5 miles, over a field, through woods, along footpaths and a couple of hills along the way. The weather was lovely for running.

I think today, it's fair to say, I will be looking at how events prior to and during a race can affect both mental and physical performance for me.  

Having coeliac disease means I have to have a completely gluten free diet, and this also comes down to the preparation of the food. Eating foods which are contaminated with gluten do affect me both physically and mentally. Sickness is the usual quick symptoms of gluten consumption now. So yesterday afternoon, I ate a cake that I bought,which stated it was gluten free. Sadly, I found out it actually wasn't. As a result, it meant that I didn't eat a decent meal yesterday, and therefore didn't fuel my body adequately prior to a race. I did have breakfast today but clearly it wasn't enough. The mental aspect of gluten consumption are the overwhelming emotions that literally engulf me. I probably cried for most of the race. Had it not been for Lisa, I would have turned back fairly soon after starting the race. She kept me going, and at the end, seeing Jenna and Emma come back and run in with us, really showed how much the running club places support to others. So the thing to take away from this: only eat foods prior to a race that I know I can trust.

Add to the issues of Mother Nature paying a visit too. Enough said.

But I did it. I have another 5 miles in my legs. In two weeks it's the Great South Run. So, taking all the above into consideration, I could have a really good race. 

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Mud mud mud......

.......because tomorrow is the first race of the Southern Cross Country league for this season at Pamber Heath, near Basingstoke. And tomorrow I plan to do it again. 

A year ago I ran this race, and along with two other ladies from the club, we managed to finish with a ladies team. Proud moment. 

So, my trail shoes have been located and are ready to get muddy. 

Being on event number 4 of #fortyb4forty

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Tighter, tighter!!!

One thing that has bugged me recently whilst running, is the feeling of my chest and throat tightening, particularly in the final stages of a run. And the feeling of wanting to cry, makes it feel much worse. And makes the end feel a lot harder than it needs to be, and I can't put in that sprint finish that I used to be able to do. 

A really helpful reply to a status for help on Facebook felt that perhaps I was taking things a little too seriously. And yes, without realising it, maybe I am. I do just need to enjoy running, and use it as a tool to escape the mundanity of life and it's routines, and to use that time for me.

As a teenager I was a swimmer, and completed in galas with the club I was a member of. So, my training, rightly enough, focussed on improving in order to win the races I took part in - which never happened!! And I always see sport as a competitive thing, and it's benefits of getting fit, rather than doing something as a means of having time out for myself. And therefore I don't enjoy it as much as I probably could as I'm stuck in this thought of training to improve to do really well and prove myself - to who exactly?  Who am I trying to impress?? It's only myself really that I need to do this for. The training nights at running club are there for my benefit to improve my ability to run - not an essential thing that I have to take part in a race to prove myself to others. 

I do like taking part in events, but I then get stuck in the thought that wearing by my club shirt I am representing the club, and clearly I must be representing the club, and finishing nearly last is clearly not giving the club a good name. Okay, I need to get that out of my head. I know that whatever position I come in, the club has been represented, and, actually, does anyone really give a jot what position I come in? No, they don't!! I'm just still stuck in this competitive sport thing I have in my head. Being competitive is good, but for me, not at the moment.

I'm slowly starting to believe in my ability to do be able to run. I'm touched by the lovely comments I get that I'm doing really well, and that people are actually proud of me when I finish events. Why can't I be really proud of myself? I'm usually just chuffed that I've made it round a course!!

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Event 3/40 #fortyb4forty

So, like last week, I decided to do a race today at the very last minute. It came up because someone was poorly and couldn't run, and someone else suggested if I wanted to have a go. Why not. It's only 8 miles. Good practice for GSR in three weeks, where I would be running along Southsea promenade anyway. I could do this, couldn't I?

Generally I had a ball today. Wearing my headphones made a huge difference in focussing my mind away from nasty derogatory thoughts, (not that I had many) by focussing on singing (not loudly) familiar words of songs. I didn't run it all. I'm okay with that. I didn't expect to, as it's a huge leap in mileage from recent runs.  But I still came in with a very nice time of 1:38:45.

I belong to an epic running club. Along the way back to the RNLI station, at mile 7, Keith came and joined me (having already finished) and ran with me back to the finish line, where more hedgies were waiting to cheer me in.

I really did enjoy today. I'm looking forward to GSR in three weeks time.

(The medal is pretty cool too)

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Last. Minute

There's nothing like deciding to do a race at the last minute - again!!!!! Pieces of Eight in Southse? 8 flat miles. Good prep for Great South Run which is 3 weeks tomorrow!!!!

Event 2/40 #fortyb4forty

So, I got to Netley Abbey Parkrun this morning and, with the encouragement of the very lovely Vanessa, I ran all the 5k, with a really respectable time of 35.24. It was the course of 5.5 laps around the cricket pitch. Bizarrely, I can cope with that really well mentally, than the course that is 3 laps. Who knows why!!!!

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Event 1/40 of #fortyb4forty

Wnat a beautiful day it was today. The sun was out, the temperature was really pleasant and what a fabulous atmosphere generally.

So today was Perform 5, which was a 5 mile road race organised by the Ageas Bowl, and marshalled by Hedge End Running Club.

If you saw my blog post yesterday I mentioned that I decided to enter at the last minute. Yes, I was nervous, but I found a group of club members to run with, and that made it so much easier to keep moving round the course. Roberta stay with me the whole way, and for that I am eternally grateful. I think overall I probably ran accumulativly 4-4.5 miles of the route. I ran the first nearly 3.5 miles.

So, what have I learnt from today:

  • Running with a head of mental mess is not recommended. It really interfered with my focus and having Roberta to be that physical voice telling me to keep going really did so much to change some of that
  • I Definitely need to ignore the negative voices when I need to go and do some training.
  • I am capable of anything.
  • I am amazing
  • I belong to an amazing running club
  • I have amazing friends and family who believe in me
  • My dad and my grandparents would be so proud of me watching from heaven.
I had my first episode of being sick once finishing a race. Not pleasant but I did feel better after!!!

It's a 4 weeks until GSR. I'm not going to panic or worry about it. I will just enjoy, get around and do the best I can, knowing I am raising money for a fantastic charity.

Saturday, 26 September 2015

#fortyb4forty número uno!!!

there's nothing like leaving things to the last minute and that is entering a race that is happening tomorrow. Yep, that's what I've done and it's my first event for my #fortyb4forty challenge.

Monday, 21 September 2015


I recently saw a video on Twitter recently, on which a triathlete mentioned that he was going to try and do 30 events before he was 30.

This got me thinking. What an awesome challenge. Except I'm the wrong end of the 30's to consider it. Therefore, why don't I do 40 events before I am 40? This gives me about 73 weeks/17 months to do this.

The practicalities - namely cost and time. I'm not sure I could find 40 fairly local organised events, let alone afford to pay for them all. But, there are events coming up that, whilst some are not timed and are free, contribute to HERC's place on league tables. So I intend to take part in the Southern Cross Country League races this autumn/winter. Then there are parkruns which are timed events. Again they are free. Considering I have done only 16 since I started them in May last year, I could also work towards getting my 50th parkrun milestone in the bargain. I do have the great south run and Southampton half marathon booked, so this is looking doable. I might do a triathlon or  aquathlon too.

So, I have a challenge now. Let's go!!!

Here is my fundraising page raising money and awareness for Progressive Supranuclear Palsy:

This is the charity website for the Progressive Supranuclear Palsy Association:

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Building up the miles

It's been a little while since I last blogged. So what has been happening? Well, I've been back to running club and been involved with a group who graduated from the beginners course they did in May. For selfish reasons, this has helped me get back into running, and feeling too overwhelmed by the fabulousness of the other members of the running club.

Last Tuesday, everyone joined in the main intervals session. It was hard but really good, and I really did put effort into it. Thursday I helped lead the walk/run group and managed a reasonable just over 4 miles.

This morning, I joined a group doing 10k. Okay, clearly my fitness has a long way to go, and the girls really were fabulous. And as time was ticking along I had to cut it short and did 4.5 miles. Again, walk/run, but definitely more running than walking.

Great South Run is 6 weeks today. Little too close for comfort now, but my mantra shall be that I will get around - as it was last year. I haven't chosen a charity to raise money for this time specifically, but I might set up a last minute page.

Next planned run is intervals on Tuesday.

I need to push past the pre- run feelings of too tired, not enough time, can't be bothered. Once I am out, I am fine. Having started the summer with virtually no running has really impacted. Having depression, and not knowing what triggered it this year, has really complicated how I deal with it.

My diet is also shocking. I need to get that back on track. All the weight I lost at slimming world I have put back on, through self-indulgent comfort eating. There, I am claiming responsibility. Gluten free processed foods are higher in calories and this has clearly had a bad effect. Why can't I like fruit and vegetables like normal people???? Clearly, eating well will also be good for my mental wellbeing as well as my physical wellbeing.

Saturday, 1 August 2015

Top gear

I had an interesting conversation this morning. When asked whether I had fallen back in love with running again, the conversation moved on to how much of a hassle it can be to get changed into running gear to even do a mile, and then get changed again when finished. Not an issue for the lads generally, but even  the hassle of finding and changing into a running bra for that time period made going out for a run feel even more hard to do. Even finding a matching pair of trusty running socks is painful at times. Seriously I have three socks all intended for the left foot. The sock monster has been let loose clearly!

But, this morning I was at parkrun again, and slightly bettered last week's time, I was very grateful for the lovely friend who kept me going this morning, and even when I walked a couple of times she didn't run off, even though I had said to her not to wait for me.

So has the love returned? It's getting there.

Saturday, 25 July 2015


I doubt you're dying to know whether or not I did parkrun or not, but I did, I hauled myself out of bed, having the previous night, been persuaded to do it by a friend who was also not going to go. She also turned up.

What can I say? It was lovely to see some faces I hadn't seen for a long time, having missed out a lot on running club nights and generally not been to a parkrun for a while. I worked out the last time I went to my regular parkrun was in December last year. The last parkrun I did was two days later at a different location.

Today the course was no different than before - 5km. But it was the longest distance I had run since the beginning of May with very little training in between. Hence my time of 37:47 was the slowest time I've ever done at parkrun.

I ran naked. Now before you start wondering whether I was then arrested for indecent exposure, what I mean is that I ran not wearing a sports watch. So I couldn't keep track of my time/distance and therefore I wouldn't put pressure on myself, or start berating myself for how rubbish I was doing whilst running around.

I found the course hard. I ran/walked. Although I'm not entirely sure I have ever ran that particular course all the way before, so perhaps I can give myself a break.

I do need to give myself a break. I have this idea that I have to run all the way for it to be a good run. The fact I went and got around is more than I have done for a long time. I am harsh on myself and as a result, probably like a lot of runners, I don't always appreciate the fact that when I run, I am going faster than those sat in the sofa. But, my training regime is poor. I don't actually have a regime, but I haven't done a lot recently of running so I can't elicit sympathy when things don't go well.

So, next week my plan is to go back to parkrun again.

Friday, 24 July 2015

Bricking it

Over  a year ago I ran my first park run. I was nervous and had no idea what to expect. I had nothing to worry about. I last did a parkrun at the end of December. Having not run properly since the May Day tri, the thought of doing a parkrun again makes me nervous all over again. I need to MTFU (in the words of a very good friend who' doesn't stand for self-pitying. And if you don't know what it means - Google it).

I have nothing to be worried about. Its not a competition. But inside me I have a feeling of letting myself down. But I have have myself to blame for not getting out and going for a run. Depression stinks, and it can make life hard. But my attitude is what is going to get me going and I need to focus.

So hopefully, tomorrow, I might have another parkrun result.

Friday, 17 July 2015

I would like to announce......

.......that since I wrote the last blog post I have got back out and running.

Sometimes, writing things down is a therapeutic process and helps put things into perspective. So this includes that actually I don't hate running. I find it okay. I have been back to running club a couple of times and helped with the beginners groups. I really enjoyed that.

I have also since signed up for Great South Run again, and the Southampton Half Marathon.

I am undecided on which charity to support this year. There are so many to choose from. I am inclined to support a charity that supports families and sufferers with Progressive Supranuclear Palsy. My nan had been diagnosed with this a couple of years before she died. It's a devastating illness, like many degenerative diseases.

I feel like I am learning to run all over again at the moment. But with perseverance I'll be able to manage the great south run like last year. I do still have some fitness within me.

Sunday, 14 June 2015

a bit of a me, me, me.......

My name is Helen and........I haven't run since the 4th May.

Since doing the May Day Tri, I have completely lost all motivation and desire to want to run, swim or cycle. 

Doing the May Day Tri was an interesting experience. I loved the swimming aspect, I could have kept going. The cycling was really hard, and as for trying to run after putting my bike into transition, I may as well have had spaghetti for legs, rather than bones, ligaments, tendons. I was glad I finished it. But I wasn't exhilarated, or on a high.

But since then, my trainers have stayed where they were put that day.

Am I bothered? Yes, and no. 

Yes: I ran 10 miles last year. I worked up to that. And I actually enjoyed that experience. I know that it is possible to achieve a goal.

No: is there any point to keeping on going? What is my motivation to keep going now that I completed my challenge to raise money for cancer research in memory of my dad? 

I struggle with the notion of exercising for pleasure, for relaxation. I really hoped that I would have developed the running that it became something I would come to enjoy. But I feel let down by that.

But it's the thought of getting out and doing it. By now, I think I have lost a fair amount of fitness now. And I guess that is now negatively impacting on my confidence to go out again, because I think that I'll struggle and I'll fail myself. I go out with expectations on myself, and if I don't fulfill it, I've failed myself.

I feel I've let so many people down. Getting to running club has been difficult since My OH started working in London. Being honest, I was struggling before to get there before he started, but now he can't avoid the hours he works, and the subsequent commuting time. If I do go back, I'll struggle that I won't be able to keep up, and it will all completely fall around my ears. And that people will just get frustrated with me. So what's the point in going?

Now, I know there are many people who would love to be able to have the ability to run, and can't due to injury, disability etc. and I should be thankful that I have  legs that can move,  I have the freedom and choice to be able to run. To those people, I apologise. But I struggle with my own battles of low confidence and low self-esteem, and not reaching out to others for help because I feel like an idiot. Maybe this is my cry for help. 

Sunday, 26 April 2015

This girl is back!!

today was my first race since I pulled out of Ryde 10 miles in January. Training hadn't been as consistent as I would have liked, but my cycling and swimming had increased in this time so I think they were my saving grace today.

So I'm waiting at 7am at Hoglands Park (race starts at 8.30). I'd been paranoid that if my husband had brought me in later I would be completely panicking that I wouldn't reach the start of the race. I felt completely sick with anxiety, and tiredness (I'd woken up at 5am).

So, anyway, once the race started I follwed the pack on a route which started at Hoglands Park, via the guildhall, Ocean Village, over and back across the Itchen Bridge, past St. Mary's Stadium, and back into town to finish back at the Guildhall. 10km.

I'd been dreading the Itchen Bridge, having not practiced it at all. Being sensible I walked and ran it. It was such a lovely atmosphere seeing and hearing people encourage each other as they passed each other.

The last 2 miles I really struggled with, but I still came in with a respectable time of 1:11:57. By the time I reached Guildhall I was completely finished. But it was worth getting through.

The running club were fabulous in being mile markers, and it was a big relief to see the. At the bottom of Itchen Bridge. That really pushed me to keep going. I even ran without my usual running watch, which was really odd, but a good thing to do.

So, what's next? After the May Day Triahlon I have nothing else booked in. But, in true running club fashion, it's Sunday evening and therefore races to be entered!!!

(When I can add pictures I will!!))

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Suffering a disappointment

Today was the Eastleigh 10k run. A nice local run which was reasonably flat, from what I've been led to believe. But due to being w good girl and following my running rehab programme, it meant that I was unable to take part. Very disappointed, although in some ways, as a friend said to me, feeling like this means I do have some passion for keeping going. However, one of the stewards took pity on me and let me have a tshirt, which the finishers were getting. 

My children did take part in the fun run and did themselves, and me, very proud. Both coming in having run it all and looking really strong. They pipped me to the post for the first medal this year, but I'm so proud that they gave it a really good go.

So, yesterday I was on a 20 minute run. And although the general throat burning sensation occurred when I always run, I kept going and felt reasonably comfortable. I am really happy that my fitness has been maintained and keeping going is a major achievement. 

5 weeks to Southampton 10k. Still disappointed that I'm not doing the half but this will be a test of perseverance to run over (and back across) the Itchen Bridge. 

Trying to stay positive and still building the confidence to get out on the bike. Although the weather at the moment is perfect. 

Monday, 16 March 2015

Starting rehab

So today, I receive my 6 weeks back to running plan. And it looks okay. Having done a couple of runs this last week,  my fitness hasn't completely given up the ghost so definitely manageable.

Having seen the 'This Girl Can' ads on TV, I am definitely much more inspired, and following today's pain and niggle free run (with the help of musical accompaniment), I am definitely feeling much more in the 'zone' and looking forward to recovering.

Let me say this now: I do not love running. I never have done, despite somehowbeing chosen to run as part of a select group at school during the games lessons during the last two years of school. Every time I drive by  Forches Cross fields near Newton Abbot, that's all I remember about it.

But  I love the feeling of accomplishment that I get when I finish a run. And I am so inspired by seeing friends really move forward in their own achievements. They make it look so easy. I know it's not. But I wonder do I have a problem with my own mentality and PMA (positive mental attitude). How do I overcome the voices that tell me I'm too tired, running in the dark isn't safe, I won't have enough time, I've got too much to do, I've not long eaten a big meal..........the list goes on.

I am very disappointed that I am only doing the 10k, and not the half marathon distance in Southampton next month. I signed up last June-ish. Putting aside the sensible decision making considering the last couple of months of not running, seeing so many of the running club taking part kind of makes me feel I'm letting someone down, not really sure who really. But I definelitely feel guilty. And I shouldnt. I have to put me first.

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Poetic justice

I was inspired to write a poem:

I look in the mirror
And what do I see,
A girl who can run
And just wants to be
A girl who is amazing,
Confident and true.
But plagued by her feelings
Of  'what's wrong with you?'.

I just want to run,
To swim and to ride.
But my mind says I can't,
And wants me to hide.

I step out with fear,
Afraid of what might come.
But instead I am surprised
When I choose to succumb
To the sports I enjoy,
The feelings I get.
When I finish a race
Like a fast jumbo jet!

I struggle a lot,
My mind makes me fear.
But I never forget
The support I have all year.

It's a bit naff but it helped me!!!!

Long Overdue update

Okay, so here we are nearly at the end of February and things haven't been going so well. My optimism for doing the ABP southampton half marathon was shattered three weeks ago when I had to pull out of the Ryde 10 mile race due to knee pain. I was able to get a next day appointment with a sports massage therapist I had previously been to.

So three weeks later with no running,  I am due to see him again soon with the hope of starting a running rehab programme. I wonder what response I'd get if I was to put on a facebook status that I was starting rehab........

Back to the half marathon. I was able to defer my place for 2016 so that I can build up distance again properly, and try and prevent a repeat of the injury. Instead I have been able to enter the 10km race instead as building up to that distance is achievable, so I can still take part on the day as a club member. I still have to cross Itchen Bridge over and back so I haven't got out of that!!!!

But how have things been, having taken time out to not run and allow healing to take place? Well, it was a very self pitying journey really. Lots of eating and feeling sorry for myself and not inclined to want to exercise at all which included cycling or swimming (which I could do), so in the meantime my fitness has taken a bit of a dive.

One thing I have had to battle for a very long time is going to new things by myself. Or even going to things that are familiar to me but I have no motivation to go. And often I have been beaten by the feeling that 'I just can't do it', or 'what do I do if something happens?'. The thought of doing something I know I can do has been completely overridden by low confidence. So last week I plucked up the courage to go to a lanes session at a local pool, and absolutely loved it!!! Now I'm chomping at the bit to want to go again, which is tomorrow morning, although I am not a morning person!!!

Now to tackle getting the bike out. Again, I want to, and I know I can, but worried about 'what if I get too out of breath and can't get home?' Or the bike has a puncture, or the chain falls off. Or the idiots on the road that have no respect for cyclists freak me out (BTW I am receiving treatment for depression so these feelings aren't unusual or requiring a need to seek professional help). Thankfully I have some friends who are amazing with offering support, and the occasional kick up the bum, as well as an amazing running club.