Training Archives

On My Bike…


Yes- that is me!

I am fed up with having silly little niggly injuries. You know, the kind that kick in just as you think you are progressing with your training… and then send you straight back to square zero.

Mine has been a niggly knee thing so I have slowed up on the running in favour of walking. And sadly I haven’t been doing too much of that…

I went up to stay with my sister in Blackpool a couple of weekends ago; she and my brother-in-law love to be active so it’s all good. However they are really, REALLY into cycling in a big way… and I’m not. Well, mainly as I don’t own a bike…

I did agree to go out on a bike ride with my sister, despite being on a bike once in the last few years, and borrowed a bike and helmet from her. We set out on a route she takes with her cycling group every week into the Forest of Bowland in Lancashire. We varied this a little to ride through Garstang, so I could try my legs up some lovely hills… the cycling groups always have a lunch break stop at the Apple Store café in the beautiful Wyresdale Park and we had arranged to meet my brother-in-law and his Mum there.

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Argh- Illness!

Bradgate ParkIt was going so well… I had been much more motivated and had even managed two fairly long runs on two consecutive days. I was feeling quite chuffed with myself…

… and then- wham! Runny nose, sore throat, aching limbs, wheezing when doing nothing more strenuous when climbing stairs (oh wait, that’s not the cold, that’s just me!) and feeling generally sh*te.

I succumbed to a nasty cold which took nearly a week to go and then left me with a nasty virus that gave me a headache for five days in a row.

Consequently the training took a back seat. It is amazing and incredibly frustrating how quickly fitness is lost. I am fed up with my training consisting of these peaks and troughs!

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Another Update…

slobNot a wildly exciting update really… but there has been some marked improvement on the running!

I ran 8 miles on Thursday and then to my great shock followed this up with another 6 mile plod on Friday- plus I felt pretty good while I was running!

I can’t remember the last time I ran two decent distances back to back… it’s been a long while…

I let myself down rather at the weekend cos it was socially hectic- a friend came over Saturday and I went out Saturday night for a meal and to the theatre Saturday night with two other friends. I got no training done on Saturday so I promised myself I would walk/ run Sunday.

I had got as far as putting on my running kit when another friend rang and said she was free and would be over shortly… so I changed, but fully intended to go out after she had left. And I would have done… if it hadn’t have been absolutely throwing it down and really really windy!

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endurance adventuresI have to confess I kind of lost my way after completing the Marathon des Sables. I don’t know why. Maybe it was because the event was so grand, so epic and such an adventure that when I got home the harsh reality set in; I was absolutely skint and living in a friend’s spare room, an arrangement that was not really working for either of us. Maybe it was because I had had such an awesome time with such a great group of people, and we had got to know each other over the past two years, meeting up for events, training towards a common goal, shared the experience and now we were all going our separate ways.

I became quite depressed following the MdS. I think that this is normal after such a challenge. Pre-MdS training took up most of my free time and all of my focus, but post MdS suddenly there was nothing to focus on or to train for, no reason to lace up the running shoes and head out there. I wanted something to replace it but could barely even afford to enter a 10k road race.

So I drifted, and apart from a few events and treks, I have been drifting ever since. Although I never actually stopped training, I have lost fitness and gained weight and it takes me all my time to puff my way round a 26 mile challenge walk. Hardly endurance adventures! My training has been sporadic at best.

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GunthorpeI must admit, I have been in a slump lately. First Christmas came with all the hustle and busyness that comes with it, and after that I came down with a really nasty cold and chest infection.

All of this affected my ability and motivation to train, and so there has been far less running, walking and thrashing it out at the gym, hence the lack of writing as there has been nothing to write about! I had entered the Millennium Ultra but have withdrawn as I am just not ready.

My training seems to have followed this pattern of peaks and troughs; I build up to quite a good level of fitness, and am pleased with my progress and then bam! Some excuse comes up, such as ‘I feel to busy to train this week‘, or ‘I don’t feel too well so better take it easy for a few days‘, or even ‘I did a long event at the weekend so can’t do too much for a bit‘, and before I know it, a couple of weeks have gone by with virtually no training and I am back to square one again…

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Happy 2015!!!

2015Ooops- just where did the last few months go? 2014 seems to have zipped past like an express train on a greased track!

I can’t excuse my lengthy absence… I could say it’s a combination of lack of time, of not much training and far too much chocolate over the festive period, but truthfully every time I have thought about updating the blog something else always seems to have come up!

And now we are faced with a brand shiny new year to look forward too…

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A Mid Week Skive to Bakewell

BakewellWorking the 9-5 (I feel a Dolly Parton song coming on…) I usually have to wait until the weekend for any long walks or epic adventures, but just for a change I decided to skive off work today and have a little adventure instead…

Well okay technically I wasn’t skiving as it was annual leave. But it did feel odd to be going off on a walk instead of heading off to work like everyone else.

I picked a 15 mile route from John Merrill’s book ‘Long Walks in The Peak District’ which started and finished at Bakewell. I timed it right as the weather was gorgeous- a perfect sunny Autumn day. I climbed out of Bakewell into the rising sun and soon discovered that it had rained more than I realised as paths were decidedly muddy and slippery underfoot. Ah well, the views more than made up for it.

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A gentle stroll round Draycote Water

The fight back to fitness continues as I wobbled my way around 4.5 miles last night. Unfortunately I haven’t done an awful lot else apart from a walk with a friend at the weekend.

Draycote WaterWe went to Draycote Water; a reservoir near Rugby in Warwickshire. At 630 acres it is quite a large reservoir and as we approached the wall of the dam near the visitors centre the expanse of water stretched into the distance. We thought we would walk so far and then retrace our steps- it made a nice change having company and I was quite happy with a gentle undemanding stroll given my current lack of fitness,

There is an easy tarmac path round the perimeter of the reservoir with the odd nature trail deviating from it. Although dogs aren’t allowed it is obviously a popular running and cycling route.

It was quite pleasant strolling along the path, chatting and watching the boats on the water and we suddenly realised that it would be quicker to complete the circuit of the lake than to turn back.

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Beating the Ego!

slobWhatever it is we want to achieve in life, be it a certain level of fitness or attaining our idea weight, there is unfortunately an enemy in our camp, lurking and lying in wait to ensure we fail. Who is this enemy and where are they to be found? The enemy is actually in your own mind and it’s called the ego…

It is the ego’s seductive voice we hear when it whispers into our ear ‘You have had a tough day… you can’t possibly think about going out for that run right now… put your feet up, watch a bit of trashy telly and run tomorrow…’

Or ‘You may as well eat that chocolate bar… you had chips and a couple of biscuits at work remember- the damage is done now so you might as well pig out now and start the diet again from tomorrow’.

Or how about ‘you’re far too busy to go to the gym tonight… look at all the cleaning you need to do and what about that humongous pile of ironing?’

Sounds familiar?

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Keeping Plodding as the Nights are Drawing In…

j0443420… and this is exactly what I have been doing… plodding my way back to some semblence of fitness!

I have managed to wobble my way round my three mile circuit a couple of times which, whilst quite pathetic, it a lot more than I have been doing this summer thanks to my mystery foot injury!

As well as completing the Norfolk Coast Path I have also been going fairly consistently to the gym- it’s amazing how the mind convinces the body that work’s been so stressful today, I can’t possibly think about exercising tonight, what I really, really need is to sit down in front of the telly with a mug of coffee and a mahoosive bar of chocolate…

This is especially the case when the nights start drawing in. Instead of lovely sunny evening walks and runs by lakeside, canal or through fields, we are faced with pounding along dark, wet pavements through rain and drizzle. The only mitigating factor for the dark nights is that I can run without being seen- pound the pavements in broad daylight and I feel I should be wearing a sign above my head saying ‘Hey! Look at this fat girl trying to run!!’

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