Hope you are well and you are all enjoying your running.
In my last blog post I’m not sure that I mentioned that I was chosen as the UKRunChat Community Member of the Month for January. It came as a huge shock; I never ever thought I would be chosen, ever. UKRunChat is full of incredibly supportive, knowledgeable, inspiring individuals, who have helped me and inspired me so much since I started running. To be named community member of the month is an honour. It still feels weird that people find me and my running inspiring. I was asked a series of questions for an interview on the UKRunChat website. If you want to have a read you can find it here. Also, if you are on Twitter, give UKRunChat a follow, use #ukrunchat at the end of tweets (so useful for advice or if you have questions) and join in with UKRunchat hour on Wednesday and Sunday night.
So it is 4 weeks and counting until my very first half marathon, and only my second race ever. I have to admit I’m feeling a mixture of excited, scared, underprepared, happy and everything in between. I think missing 2 weeks of training really impacted more on me mentally than physically.
I finally managed to get out for a run last Sunday – it was only a 5k run, rather than the 10 miles on my plan, but I got out there and ran. It was tough. Really tough.
My next run wasn’t until Wednesday. I decided that I needed to give myself extra time to recover between my runs as I still didn’t feel right and I didn’t want to set myself back anymore. I ran another 5k after work and I think I managed to run more than I did on Sunday, but I still couldn’t run the full 5k without having to walk. I was still really snotty and blocked up. After my run I tried out my very first protein shake. It was probably not a long enough run to really need a protein shake, but I wanted to try it sooner rather than later. I also went to Pilates and felt really strong and relaxed afterwards. I held plank for a minute again. I really wanted to stop because my stomach was wobbling soo much and it hurt, but I dug deep and held it for a minute. I did a little “YES!” in my head. I managed not to do a fist pump.
I decided not to go to step on Saturday, I didn’t want to sap my energy ahead of my LSR on Sunday.
I woke up Sunday morning, ate coco pops with raisins (instead of porridge), took hours to get myself ready (making my protein shake, finding my Matt Hampson Foundation running vest to try it out before Silverstone, filling my water bottle – you name it I did it – well apart from one thing!)
I finally headed out for my run (remembered my gloves for once) and started to run down the lanes. I had already decided in my mind that I would just see how far I could go. This would be my longest run in 3 weeks and I had no idea what my legs and body could do. I had also decided that I was going to try and run as much as I could and when I needed to I would walk. I had set my watch on virtual pacer at 12:45 per mile. The route I was taking had lots of inclines which almost finished me off and at one point I realised that I wasn’t quite sure where I was. I saw a parked car with people sat in it and for some reason didn’t feel comfortable running past it (and up the incline). I was down the lanes with no other person in sight. So i decided the best option was to turn around and head back where I came from. I was heading back towards the main road when 3 ladies on their bikes stopped me; they had gotten themselves a little lost and wanted some help. I carried on running as i was giving them directions. It was at this point (close to 6 miles) that I noticed that my Garmin had only one bar of battery left. Not good. After all of the faffing I did pre-run I had only gone and forgotten to charge my watch. Rookie mistake. I made it back to the main road and finished my run at 8 miles. I could probably have done more, but if it hadn’t recorded on my watch I think I would have cried. I tried out Cliffs Shot Blocks on my run instead of energy gels. I’m not sure how much they helped compared to the energy gels, but the taste was so good and they were easy to take (make sure you chew them) – I could get them out of the packet and chew them at the same time as running. Just remember to have water after taking one.
It was a tough run, but I felt like I am finally on my way back. I got home, realised what my average pace was (so happy!) and also realised I had smashed my 10k PB by 1 minute 39 seconds (WOW!!), stretched and drank my protein shake. I couldn’t face eating anything. Not until I had my roast dinner – which I demolished in about 5 minutes. This was followed by blueberries, raisins and cranberries. I could have eaten all the food.
I also did a kettlebell workout with my new kettlebells (surely the only thing for a single girl to do on Valentine’s Day!) I felt strong and happy. But oh so tired. I have to say I’m loving the kettlebells. I treated myself to a 4kg and 6kg kettlebell. The 6kg one is a little too heavy at the moment but the 4kg is perfect. I can do the different exercises but it’s a challenge.
For anyone looking to get fit, healthy or lose weight one of the main things is to find something you enjoy. If you enjoy it, you are more likely to keep on doing it and before you know it your body is changing and you are into a routine. I’ve been lucky enough to find a combination of different types of exercise that complement each other; running, pilates, step aerobics and now kettlebells. For me this is perfect, but may not be for others. I am not, never was, and probably will never be a fan of the gym (and as a result have given up my gym membership) but I know other people who really like it.
My motto at the moment is: do what is right for you.
I am looking forward to the week ahead; more running, more kettlebells, step aerobics and pilates.
**EXCITING NEWS** I had entered the Great North Run pre-ballot and was lucky enough to get a place. I convinced my sister to enter the ballot as well and we found out on Thursday that she also had a place. It’s very exciting to be running this with my sister. She is thinking we need to wear fancy dress – I will keep you posted on any developments. I will also be keeping you updated on how our training is going.
Thank you all for reading and commenting.
I’m raising money for The Matt Hampson Foundation by taking part in 2016 Adidas Silverstone Half Marathon. If you would like to sponsor me visit http://www.virginmoneygiving.com/KimberleyMiles
To find out more about the Matt Hampson Foundation please visit: http://matthampsonfoundation.org/