SS: Sunday Saves (#78)

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Good morning everyone and Happy Sunday! I hope you’re all having a lovely day so far. Today I’m back with another Sunday Saves and I’ll be talking about running a marathon, letting people help you and being in a blogging slump.

1) Claire Bella Loves (This Mum Can | I Ran A Marathon)

Claire ran a marathon! How amazing is it? It’s definitely a dream of mine but she done it, how incredible! In her post, she talks about when she started running and how it’s progressed from there; even when she couldn’t run for thirty seconds to joining a running club then to train for a marathon. Well done Claire!

2) Nothing Good Rhymes With Charlotte (Strength Is: Letting People Be There For You)

Before we get into Charlotte’s blog post, can we just appreciate the greatness of her blog name? Brilliant. So just by the title of Charlotte’s blog post, I knew I was going to relate to this because this is something I have struggled with. It’s hard to open up to people, it’s hard to tell someone you’re struggling and it’s even harder to be okay with the fact that you feel extremely vulnerable in that moment. She talks about anxiety and panic attacks; two things I’ve been unlucky to suffer from too so if you struggle to let people in when you’re at your most vulnerable, I think Charlotte’s post will help you.

3) Essential Twenty (I’m In A Blogging Slump)

I’ve featured Sophie quite a few times on my Sunday Saves but from her writing, we do seem quite similar so it’s not surprising she’s always featured. Blogging slumps; we all get them and right now, I would say I’m currently in a slump at the minute but not in a “I don’t have any ideas” way. I have quite a lot of ideas but for me, it’s finding the time. This week I didn’t have a free night after work and this week coming, I only have Tuesday night free. I know it’s all about balance but finding that balance is tough. If you’re in the same boat as us, go and give Sophie’s post a read.

That’s all for today’s post! I hope you’ve enjoyed all three posts and remember to head over to the blog posts themselves and take a read. Thank you for reading!

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Training for a 10K Race: Starting Out With Longer Distances.

Apologises but this will be a slightly longer post, I’ve been running more than usual lately, so that’s only a good thing. If you missed my post about signing up for a 10K race, it’s linked here.

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After I recovered from my injury and started back on the parkruns (which I talked about in my running update) my long distance running had to begin in order for my 10K training so that’s what I done and before I begin, all the long distance runs I have done so far have been in the same place which I’ll talk about, except I’ve just gone a little further each time.

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(Results from our first long distance runs and as usual my tracker decided to play up and over estimate the distance rather than under. So we ran 4.7 miles rather than 4.9 miles.)

The first long distance run was done one Sunday evening when it was just starting to get dark. The towpath we run on is 4 miles or just over 6.5K altogether when we turn at the tunnel and come back around. Once we finished on the route, we actually ran a little further to hit 7.5K. This particular run wasn’t that difficult, I thought I would have struggled but because we slowed down, I didn’t feel out of breath and I even said I could have kept going. I’ve never ran that distance before so I was over the moon with it, and at that point I didn’t care about timings, I was just so happy that I done it.

IMG_20171012_220544_460.jpg(A first 9K run! Distance was 5.61 miles which equals 9K.)

The next long distance was done after work one evening and as much as I love the Autumn and Winter seasons, I hate that it’s getting so dark so soon. We run down a quiet towpath near our area and it’s really lovely but the one downside is that at night, it’s very badly lit. Thankfully Scott had his head light with him and when it was really dark, he went in front of me so cyclists could see him first. Again, this wasn’t a tough run and I only really started to feel tired after the towpath and we went further than the 7.5K stopping point. We went to the 9K stopping point!

Yes, I ran 9K. You have no idea how happy I was, and quite frankly, I’m still proud of it. According to Scott, I was four minutes faster at the 7.5K mark this time too. So because I was four minutes faster, I’m assuming I picked up the pace and I had been at work all day so I put my added tiredness to the fact I’d been in work all day then I came home to run. My dinner was thoroughly enjoyed that night.

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(I moved to Strava for my running training statistics, mainly because it is known to be more reliable and more accurate that my FitBit but of course, I’m still using the FitBit.)

My third run was a lone run which I didn’t mind too much. I really like when I run with Scott but I don’t like feeling dependent on someone so that’s why I don’t miss out on parkrun’s if he can’t come with me, I want to feel like I’m progressing all the time and this experience was no exception.

I went straight after work meaning I rushed in, got changed and make-up off within ten minutes then headed to my route and it was already starting to get dark. Thankfully I have a torch on my phone so I stuck that on in very dark patches or when I thought I would need to be seen by other runners or cyclists.

I would say this was the toughest run but yet, I wasn’t overwhelmed. I wasn’t gasping for my last breath like sometimes I can be at the parkrun but it certainly wasn’t a walk in the park (or shall we say run in the park? Ha!). If you scroll up, you can see my first 9K run was finished in one hour and eleven minutes; this 9K run was completed in one hour and four minutes. How? For me, these longer runs are not about the time because I need to prove to myself that I can run a longer distance and be able to mentally get through it (which I feel like I’m doing pretty well) but when you see such a significant time difference, you can’t help but be pleased.

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(Because I run later on at night now, the photographs don’t turn out too well. I took this before starting on my route while the sky still had a little light in it.)

So that’s my long distance running progress so far. Am I happy? Absolutely! I’ve been running more than just the parkrun and I genuinely feel better because I can see progressing happening. I’m still worried about the 10K itself but I think that’s completely normal to be nervous. Thank you for reading! 💛

Training for a 10K Race: Yes, 10K!

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I am writing this post a lot sooner than I thought so sometimes when I remember about the 10K run, it takes me a minute to adjust that it is actually going to happen.

It all began after the 5K race was finished; it was a really tough race mentally for me and I had been very hesitant to sign up to another one based off that experience. My boyfriend had been talking about signing me up for my next race and I simply wasn’t interested yet; I was quite happy to stick to the parkrun and prepare to get faster for those. He brought up a 10K run that had quite a unique twist but it was in November and I had told myself that I didn’t see myself realistically training for a 5K until March or April next year. I’m not sure how it happened; I can’t remember if Scott talked me round or if I convinced myself it was a good idea, but he signed us up to the 10K run.

Yes, in August I pulled myself through a 5K race (and now that I’m back from injury, I continue to do 5K runs every Saturday morning) and now in November, I’ll be taking part in a 10K run. It still doesn’t seem real to me and quite frankly, I am very nervous. When I run 5K, I think to myself “If I’m tired after a 5K, how am I going to tackle a 10K?”

20170717_205853.jpg(My local park has the prettiest flowers!)

One of my biggest fears, which is completely understandable, is the fear of the negative thoughts taking over which is where the anger, the upset and the panic attacks will come in. If you haven’t read about my very negative run, it will be linked at the end of the post, but I urge you to read it if you haven’t already. It’s a very raw and emotional post that was not only hard to go through, but hard to write. At the end of the day, I’m writing about my running training and that was part of the experience, so I would feel like a fraud not to write about it. I’m worried about that experience happening again and there’s not a day I don’t think about it.

The 10K is happening in the middle of November so we’re just a month away so what’s my plan? Well, I’m still planning on running in the parkrun each week and continue to work on my timings. During the week, I hope to run at least twice but up the distance; I’ll not be running 10K from the get-go, it might only be an extra half a mile for a while, then we’ll add on a full mile after a week or two. Scott will be helping me throughout thankfully and because I’ve had the constant challenge of upping my speed on the Saturday morning, I’m going to have to slow it down for the 10K. I believe that that will be something that I’ll struggle with at first because I still have no real idea about my pacing and if I’m going too fast or too slow, so he’ll be there to help me along the way with that.

For all my other running posts, have a look below and take your pick!
Training for a 5K Race: An Introduction and My First Run.
Training for a 5K Race: Running and Negative Mental Health.
Training for a 5K Race: The Lone Run. 
Training for a 5K Race: My First (Unofficial) Park Run
Training for a 5K Race: Last Minute Training!
Training for a 5K Race: Race Day!

Training for a 5K Race: What happened after?

Training for a 5K Race: What happened after?

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It’s been almost two months since my last running update, so that’s what I’m here today to talk about. So what has happened since that 5K race? (You can read it here if you missed it!)

I took part in another parkrun the next week, I didn’t get my code scanned that day because we turned up late and started late so I didn’t want a bad time so that doesn’t count towards my parkrun participation unfortunately. I finished that in just under 36 minutes which I was a little disappointed with but I tried my best regardless.

The next week I took part in something which I never thought I would, it was a mud run. My best friend Leonie asked me did I want to take part and the thought of mud turned me off so I originally said no, but when her sister couldn’t do it, I changed my mind and I’m so glad! It was so much fun!

IMG_20170902_133643_357.jpg(We had to get the obligatory “before” picture)

20170902_122018-01.jpeg(The “after” mud look was worth it. It took two hair washes and three all over body washes to get all the mud off me though!)

I decided to be a little too adventurous on the run however; I thought that I would speed through obstacles under ropes like a little cheetah. That came with consequences where I hurt my groin and it continued to hurt for about four weeks. My running came to a stop at that point; I couldn’t go to the gym in the morning because my walk to work had become unbearable and the injury added an extra ten minutes to my journey just because I was limping so much. After ignoring the advice from my boyfriend for two weeks, he told me that I absolutely had to start using ice gels, heat gels, ice packs and ibuprofen. I’m not a fan of pain killers because I feel like they have never worked for me so I wasn’t too keen on taking them but after two weeks, the pain was getting worse so I didn’t have a choice in the matter.

Thankfully after a few days, I started to feel better and it took about two weeks after I started using the gels and taking the painkillers. I still get slight pains from time to time (on a daily basis) but it’s definitely not as bad as it was.

Last week I went back to the local parkrun and I have never been so thankful to be running again. An injury really makes you appreciate what you can and can’t do and I made a promise to myself not to complain on this first run back. My mental head space tends to take over and tells me that I can’t do it so because I hadn’t ran in a while, I tried my best to push the negative thoughts to the back of my head and just run. It seemed to work and I was really proud of myself for getting back out there.

IMG_20170930_114712_792.jpg(If you’re not red in the face, did you really run?)

IMG_20170930_114712_793.jpg(A very early Christmas present from my boyfriend. It has now become my running shirt!)

With my first parkrun back, I finished with a time of 35:16 and considering I’d been out for about four weeks, I was really proud of that. My groin did start to hurt as soon as I stopped running but that was to be expected.

IMG_20171007_125435_815.jpg(My new Personal Best that I achieved on Saturday 7th October. Just a reminder if you haven’t read any of my other running posts, my FitBit doesn’t seem to recognise the 5K so even though it only says just over three miles, I did run 3.12 miles or 5K.)

So where are we now? Well, this past Saturday I went to the parkrun (which was celebrating it’s 13th Birthday!) and I ended up gaining a new personal best (which is pictured above!). I was completely over the moon! I would say I definitely pushed myself a lot more this run and by the end of the first lap, I was really tired and wasn’t sure whether I could do a second lap but I did!

If you want to run my other runnings posts, they are all linked here:
Training for a 5K Race: An Introduction and My First Run.
Training for a 5K Race: Running and Negative Mental Health.
Training for a 5K Race: The Lone Run. 
Training for a 5K Race: My First (Unofficial) Park Run
Training for a 5K Race: Last Minute Training!
Training for a 5K Race: Race Day!

Three Intentions For Me (#3)

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Happy October everyone! Apologises that I’m coming to you a few days into the month already, but I’m back with another monthly intentions and if you don’t know about my monthly intentions, you can go to my first post from August to see why I’m now setting myself the challenge each month. So before we get into this month’s intentions, let’s talk about last month’s.

❤ Take part in two Park Runs.

I was VERY confident about this because I didn’t think anything was going to stop me doing this. I even told myself I would run in two rather than four, because I thought it was that easy. Turns out when you hurt your groin, you can barely walk to work never mind running a 5K. Thankfully, it eventually healed and I was back at the Park Run at the end of the month. (And for all the runners, I know that’s not how you write Park Run, but I hate seeing it without the capital letters.)

❤ Get back in meal prep mode.

Yes, I did this! I didn’t make the curry, the brownies or the energy balls but I started to bring my bean chilli into work and because I don’t like to reheat rice (I’ve heard the horror stories about the bacteria!), I decided to cook quinoa at home instead and have that with it. It’s just as good as rice too. I felt so much more organised with it and even though I was having the same meal twice in one day sometimes, I don’t mind that at all.

❤ Take my library book back.

I’m not going to pretend this is an excuse but I’ve lost it. It’s in the house somewhere, it’s just hiding but I promise once I find it, it’s going back. I have no excuse when there’s a library down the street from work.

Again, same as last month, one out of three. And moving swiftly onto this month’s intentions…

❤ Run further. 

I was going to put a specific distance for this but I want to run further than 5K, so whether that’s 5.5K, 6K or even just 5.2K, it’s still a longer distance than I’m used to.

❤ Get back into my morning gym routine.

Before my injury, I was on fire with my morning routine, but once I couldn’t go, it stopped completely. Now that I’m not as sore, I want to get back into my early morning gym sessions because I felt so much better going out in the fresh air that early and I felt more motivated during the day. I need that feeling back!

❤ Try a new recipe!

I have lots of recipe books, some that I haven’t even tried one meal out of, so now seems like the perfect time.

Check back next month to see how I got on, and keep your fingers crossed for me! ☀️

SS: Sunday Saves (#68)

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Happy Sunday evening everyone (or whenever you read this!) I’ve had such a busy weekend that the evening of my Sunday Saves was the only free time I had to write my post. I’ve just taken part in the #UKRunChat over on Twitter (it takes place every Wednesday and Sunday at 8pm) and I’ve came across a number of running blog posts during that so I thought it would be quite nice to talk about those.

1) Two Legs One Beard (My First Parkrun)

Reading Richard’s blog post about his first parkrun reminds me of my first parkrun last year (even though I started getting into them properly just a few weeks ago). He’ll give you some advice on what to expect from the Saturday morning run and he also talks about his experience.

2) Honest Fitness (I’m back. Running, blogging and moaning!)

Kev has just started up his blog again and he talks through some of the life changes he has gone through over the last few years. He talks about mental health and taking part in a 10K along with his little boy, so lots covered in just one post.

3) The Run Blog (Winning The Mental Battle)

The mental battle when running is something that I still struggle with and if you haven’t read my blog post on it, I’ll link it here. I love Paula’s honesty around running and how it used to make her feel versus where she currently is now. It’s definitely a relatable post for anyone who feels “off” when they run.

And we’re done for the evening! I hope you all enjoyed my chosen posts and remember to give them a little read and maybe a comment, it always means so much. Have a great weekend everyone!

Three Intentions For Me (#2)

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Happy September everyone! If you read August’s post (which I’ll link here) I talked about having a monthly intentions list where I would choose three things that I wanted to achieve by the end of the month. They don’t have to be life changing activities by any means, it’s just something that motivates me throughout the month. So before I get into this month’s intentions, let’s look at last months: 

❤ Read one fiction and one non-fiction, and finish them both.

●  I was quite disappointed I didn’t complete this one. I started my non-fiction and right now, I’m still only half way through it and haven’t even started the second book. I’ll continue on until I finish the non-fiction one because it is a really good book, but I think I was just too relaxed with it and didn’t start reading until half way through the month.

❤ Take part in two Twitter chats.

● I only took part in one which can be quite hard to believe because there are SO MANY Twitter chats taking place each week. I participated in #UKRunChat on Sunday’s at 8pm and it was the day after my 5K race so I felt like I had something to talk about too.

❤ Complete the 5K I have signed up for.

● If you’ve been following the blog, I’ve been documenting my 5K Race Training and I specifically wrote a post about the race (which I’ll link here). If you read the post, you’ll read how I found it tough for parts of the race but overall, I was just really proud to finish it.

One out of three isn’t so bad right? I can’t really hide my disappointment with my monthly intentions because even though they’re not serious things, I don’t like to let myself down. Now it’s on to this month’s intentions!

❤ Take part in two Park Runs.

In an ideal world, I would like to take part every Saturday but sometimes that’s just not possible so I think if I took part in two over the month, I’d be very happy.

❤ Get back in meal prep mode.

I used to be SO good at this! I would make my curry for my weekly lunches and I would make either sweet potato brownies or almond energy bites so I need to start preparing for my work lunches again because I felt so much more organised for the week when I did.

❤ Take my library book back.

I’m ashamed to say that I have a borrowed library book from last October. Yes, I have a book borrowed from a year ago and this is quite clearly the push I need to take it back with my tail between my legs…

Make sure to check back at the start of next month to see how I got on and to see what I’ll be making a top priority in October. Have a lovely week! ☀️