I’m back again with another blog. I had meant to write this yesterday (Sunday) but my day was filled with chocolate, a run, seeing my gorgeous nephew and a roast dinner. I ended up running out of time.
But today is a new day and my last day off before I go back to work tomorrow, so here goes with this week’s blog post.
I literally have the worst memory and had to look back at my previous blog to see what I had waffled on about; I couldn’t remember whether I had spoken about last Sunday’s run or not.
(I didn’t blog about Sunday, so that is where I will start)
I am back in training, but for what I am not going to reveal just yet, just in case things go wrong. But just know that I am very excited and enjoying my running right now.
My plan for Sunday said a 3 mile run. In my head, even before I had got myself ready I was thinking I can’t just do 3 miles, I have to do 5k. I wanted to see how my time compared to before my injury, to see how far away I was and to see how much work I had to do. It would be my first 5k in around a month (and that one was a tough run/walk).
I got myself ready, put on my hat and some sun cream as it was a hot one out there and I hadn’t got myself out for an earlier run. I was running just before midday. I started off running and got myself into a pace I felt I could keep up. I wasn’t pushing too hard and the route I had chosen was relatively flat. I had my running playlist on and I was using my Aftershokz (I love my Aftershokz – they are one of the best pieces of running kit I have), singing along to the music in my head. I had taken my running belt with me and had a small bottle of water with me just in case. As I was running I felt that my leg was wet, but thought nothing of it. I then realised that it was my water bottle which was leaking down my leg. I had to chuckle. At the same time I was trying to cross the road but cars were blocking my path. I paused my Garmin and then instead of pressing resume, silly me pressed save. I wasn’t sure how much I had run but I knew I hadn’t quite done a mile. I was having an epic fail of a run. I am like a comedy at times. Garmin found my location again and I was off and running again. In my head, I had planned to go just over a mile more along the road and then turn back. I’m really liking running x miles and then turning back rather than running loops at the moment, but that may change. In my head, I was thinking that I could just add the two times together to see what my 5k time would’ve been, it wasn’t ideal but it was still a 5k, right? However, as I got further into my run a determination to run an actual recorded 5k took over. It was hot and I was starting to feel a little sick towards the end of my run, stopping to walk for 10 seconds so I didn’t throw up (I didn’t may I add) and then I carried on running until I got to 5k. I had only glanced at my watch a couple of times to see how far I had gone. I think that turning off the virtual pacer (which I used to use on every single run) has really helped because I run how I feel rather than what my watch is beeping and me and telling me to do.
I looked at my watch and I was shocked to see the time for my run and also my mile splits. I had run a new PB for 5k. My PB had been the same since June 2016 (I believe) and I was literally gobsmacked. I had no idea that I could run that quickly, especially after such a long time of no running. It appears that my cross training and strength training, combined with losing weight really has had an impact on my running. I also seem to have a new determination.
It’s so easy to get caught up in my splits and times, but the flip side is, how is my hip going to hold up.
I got home from my run and did some exercises with my rugby ball (this is one of my new favourite ways to exercise at home and makes a nice change to the kettlebell). I then had a really good stretch, including my new favourite stretch – pigeon pose (I’ve spotted some of the rugby players doing that as part of their warm up), which really seems to be helping with my hip/glutes. I made sure I wore my recovery tights for the rest of the day as well.
Monday was my “rest day” according to my plan, but my new apple watch 2 came and I wanted to try it out doing a workout, so I went to step aerobics and switched my rest day to Friday instead. Monday was also the start of my “birthday week” and my apple watch was my birthday treat to myself. It took me ages to figure out what I was doing with it and It didn’t seem to track my steps or anything for most of the day. I went food shopping and it said I had only done about 60 steps. I loved the apple watch but it was like it hated me. I used the apple watch to record my step aerobics class and it’s really interesting to see what the heart rate data is. I always thing that Step is quite a hard work out and end up out of breath, but I did realise that we do get a few breaks, which means my heart rate goes down, that I hadn’t realised. My average heart rate for our 42 minute step workout was 102 BPM (compared to 127 BPM for kettlercise, 68 BPM for Pilates and 163 BPM (a relatively flat route) and 174BPM (a route with inclines) for my runs. I thought my average heart rate would’ve been higher, how wrong was I.
Tuesday was my birthday! I turned 29 (I’ve no idea how I am 29!!). I had a plan for my birthday. I was going to go for a run, as per my plan, I was going for a walk with my friend to our local garden centre for a cuppa and a cake and then a walk back, I was going out for my birthday meal and then I was going to kettlercise. I got myself ready for my run, a rare treat of an early run, opened my presents and then headed out. Boy was it cold out there at 7:30am. Luckily I had put my long sleeved top on over my t-shirt but I hadn’t put on my gloves. My plan said 2 miles, but I wanted to test out my apple watch and decided I would do a 30 minute run. My watch said I had done 2.61 miles and my apple watch said 4.20km (I haven’t worked out if you can change it from KM to miles) so for a short run the apple watch was pretty accurate. I loved my birthday run. I didn’t get to do one last year and it felt like such a treat to myself. The best way to start my birthday. Not long after I got home and stretched (and showered) my friend asked if I was ready to go for our walk and a cuppa. We had the yummiest fruit tea, but no cake. The selection of cakes was poor. But we weren’t too disappointed – it was the last week of KSFL and our weigh in on Thursday. I got home and my mum asked if I wanted to go shopping. I really wanted some new running leggings but didn’t come back with any. I am so picky when it comes to running leggings. My birthday meal was at Frankie & Benny’s and I had New York chicken with sweet potato fries followed by salted caramel cheesecake (well it was my birthday!) It was 7:15 and kettlercise started at 8:00. My mum drove me home because I was adamant that I was going to kettlercise – I’m very stubborn at times! The people I usually stand with at kettlercise sang happy birthday to me and gave me birthday hugs. I had taken some cakes for us to have after – we do work hard in kettlercise! This programme is a tough one with lots of exercises combined together – plie squat, bicep curl, shoulder press and lunge, shoulder press etc… it’s a challenge for the mind and the body. Kettlercise was the best way to top off my birthday.
Wednesday was a day with my sister and my nephew. We went shopping and I wanted to get running leggings. Instead I bought a handbag. That’s practically the same thing, right? I will get some running leggings, but Wednesday was not that day. If you have any recommendations on running legging please let me know!
After my day out with my sister, I had Pilates. Pilates is the perfect way to unwind, although one of the guys in the class always makes me laugh with his antics. He starts counting out loud because he knows I can’t do the exercise and count or he will say something funny. Laughter is good for the soul for sure. My plan said cross training for today, but I didn’t have time.
On Thursday I was supposed to run, but literally ran out of time (forgive the pun). I don’t know where the time went. Before I knew it, it was time for me to go out for a meal with some people from work, just before our final session of KSFL where we were doing our measurements and fit test. I was nervous at how I was going to have done and didn’t want to feel disappointed with myself.
The measurements part is always funny – me and my friend Rachel can never use the tape measure properly. We have been known to have it the wrong way (starting from the wrong end!) Whatever my results, I was happy with how I had done and had already decided that I was going to try and stick to the eating side as much as I could, allowing treats and introducing some things back into my diet.
We had a photo taken on the first session and another photo taken to show how much we had changed. It was amazing to see. My back had changed a lot and you could see a difference in how I looked, as well as how I felt. Now without further ado…
I lost 16lbs and a total of 35cms from my body.
I was incredibly proud of that. I had worked hard for that and I am never going back.
|19th January||16th February||9th March||13th April||Difference|
|Weight||13st 8lbs||13st 1lb||12st 10lb||12st 6lb||-16lbs|
I have gained so much more than I could ever have thought when I first started and I have to admit I was a bit sceptical as to whether I would see any results as I had been stuck at the same weight for a while. But this has kicked off my weight loss again and has really made me feel so much better.
I did miss proper roast potatoes though, that was really the only thing I missed as I did still have chocolate at times.
Since June 2015 when I started running I have lost: 25lbs
On Friday I had another rest day and drove to Leicester to watch the open training session that the Leicester Tigers were holding. I treated myself to THE BEST doughnut I’ve ever had from 96 coffee by numbers which is owned by Tom Croft and Ben Youngs (two of the players), I was served by both Tom Croft and Ben Youngs and handed my coffee by Jono Kitto (another player). I also got to have photos with my favourite player, the very funny, extremely lovely and incredibly handsome Freddie Burns (I’m still in denial that he is leaving at the end of the season – there will be ugly crying) and I also had a photo with Owen Williams too.
I had another rest day on Saturday as I was going to the Leicester Tigers vs Newcastle Falcons game. Although, I do watch how the players warm up and stretch and see if there is anything that I can include in my warm ups/stretching. Owen Williams and Dom Barrow use a resistance band around their shins to do exercises that activate their glutes and lots of the players do frog walks (that’s what we call them in circuits anyway), rotating squats, leg swings. It helps that the players have nice legs and bums in their shorts! What?! It’s hard to not look – the shorts are quite short.
We’ve finally made it to Sunday, runday. I have to admit, if I’m being honest, that I really wasn’t feeling a run. It took me ages to get my running kit on and even as I was heading out of the door I still wasn’t prepared for my run. I walked to where I was going to start my run, put my music on and headed on my way. I had decided to run a different route after reading somewhere that you shouldn’t run the same route over and over. I headed down the lanes near where I live. I had my aftershokz on so I could hear my music but also the cars/cyclists etc… The route I was taking had some inclines, although they were tougher than I remembered! I was determined that I was going to run up the inclines, no matter how slow. I felt really strong and actually felt like I was powering up the hills. I didn’t look at my watch (apart from to see how far I had run so I knew when to turn back) and this really seems to be helping me; running how I feel, not worrying about pace at the moment. The inclines were tough, but a nice challenge and it made a nice change to my other runs. I’m an idiot though, who can’t read her watch, so I turned back too soon and had to add a bit onto the end of my run to make it to 5k.
I stopped my watch and realised that I had run another 5k PB, on a tough route and it was sub-35 mins. Literally had no words. I had a nice walk back to my house and then I did some exercises with my kettlebell and my rugby ball whilst watching the rugby highlights from Saturday’s games (I spotted myself in the crowd too). I then had a good stretch, I’ve switched up how I do some of the stretches because I can get a better stretch (e.g. a kneeling hip flexor stretch instead of standing and pushing against the wall when I’m doing a calf stretch). I wore my recovery tights for the rest of the say as well and only felt a slight twinge in my hip just before bedtime.
All in all I had a pretty awesome birthday week. I missed out on a little bit of cross training and one run, but on the whole I am sticking to my plan.
I now just have to try and stop eating all the chocolate.
Thank you for all of the birthday messages and well done messages for my PBs on Twitter. I try and reply to everyone and they really do mean a lot to me.