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to top off a good week :-)

to top off a good week 🙂

Today was  a very good run indeed.  I didn’t think for a moment that I’d be able to run all 10 miles but I did and I’m very pleased with myself.

Next week Sunday 25th May is the BUPA London 10km and I can’t wait.  I’ve received my number and race information and I think that makes it all the more exciting.  The weather today is absolutely glorious as it’s sunny and very warm, in fact when I stepped out the house this morning just before 6am I was surprised that I didn’t need to go back inside for a jacket.

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Surprisingly, like my dad says I haven’t headed off into town or ‘my London‘ as Ella calls it and I’m having quite a lazy rest of the day, if laziness comprises of doing two loads of laundry, cooking a roast dinner and cutting the grass later!

Just 3 days later we’re off on holiday to celebrate my husbands 40th birthday. Somewhere warm and sunny and that’s all he knows.

But let’s get back to the good news I had just yesterday, I’ve been lamenting about not being back working in fitness for a while now however I got a call yesterday that will allow me to be a part of it for a few hours on a Saturday morning and I’ve very appreciative.  The thing is some time ago I applied for a job as a fitness instructor which I later had to turn down.  Well they kept my number and called me because they need help 3 hours in the morning on Saturdays, which suits me just fine for the moment.  I would potentially run the circuit training classes.

I almost forgot to say that I received a souveneir t-shirt for the Run Hackney this week too!  That’s now just 5 weeks from today June 22nd and it’s the first time this event has happened and I’m really looking forward to running around the streets of Hackney, the town that I was born.  The original t-shirt was purple but I asked for the bright green colour and I love it!

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Keep on running…

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It’s been a busy few months since the beginning of the New Year and I can’t believe it’s May already.  In that time I’ve had a few doctors appointments and Consultant appointments but the good news is I’m fine.  I pretty much knew that but when someone highlights a potential problem you do just get a niggling voice in the back of your mind, suppose I’m not.

Anyway, blood pressure maybe on the rise but that is due to my strong family history of hypertension and there is not too much I can do about that.  I exercise, eat healthily and am not overweight.  I’ve just got to keep an eye on it and my GP will potentially intervene with the possibility of medication once it hits a certain level consistently.  For now I’m definitely hypertensive but not so much that warrants medication.  My heart’s fine, as I knew it was.  My bradycardia is a byproduct of my running and fitness.  Which I guess is good!

I’ve signed up for quite a few runs this year and I’m super excited, starting with the BUPA London 10km which happens on Sunday May 25th.  This will be the 3rd time I’ve done this race and I love it.   It takes in the lovely sites of the capital including Admiralty Arch, Nelson’s Column, Leadenhall Market, Millenium Bridge etc.  It really is lovely and I always find myself chugging along looking around like a tourist, lol.

My next run after that is my first half marathon of the year, Run Hackney, and it’s a new one on the race calendar.  It takes place on Sunday 22nd June and I saw the advertisement for this one in the free Metro paper and the description drew me in.  It’s supposed to be a flat course and takes in some sites of Hackney (where I was born).  Runners pass by the famous Hackney Empire, Broadway Market and we run alongside London Fields.  This one was especially special to me as my dad doesn’t live too far from this venue so maybe, fingers crossed, he’ll come out and see his girl running.

After that I go and run with a dear friend of ours in for a Race for London 10km in Southampton on Sunday 6th July.  Now I try and run a Cancer Research UK Race for Life every year as it’s for such a good cause and the unfortunate fact is 1 in 3 will face it at sometime in our life. Whether it be personally or through a family member or friend.

Now the last one I’ve officially signed up for is the BUPA Great North Run on Sunday 7th September which is the biggest half marathon in the world!  Last time I did this was in 2009 and again it’s one of those you just have to do.  The atmosphere alone is worth the entry fee.  No matter what the weather is it is always well supported.  You feel the crowd urging you on. In fact pulling you along!  Did I forget to say that I’m doing both the BUPA London 10km and the BUPA Great North Run with my son.  The first time I’ll be running with him and I can’t wait.

I’m tempted to sign up for the Pride 10km in Hackney, Victoria Park which I think is in August this year but I haven’t as of yet.

It’s just great to be out there and running again and feeling great 🙂

 

Happy New Year!!

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The last few weeks have been quite eventful and not nearly filled enough with one of my favourite things running!  I’ve had to cut back on myasics.co.uk marathon training programme as there still have been questions, as yet unanswered on my blood pressure.

Some tests have been done 24 hour BP monitoring (Saturday) and some bloods (today).  Next up is the 12 lead ECG and then I’ll make an appointment with the GP to hopefully find out the occasional high BP readings are okay and no changes are needed.  Exercise is supposed to lower your BP but like my mum said (and mums are usually right!) maybe this marathon training is too much.  Maybe I won’t be able to do the marathon in March 2014.  I surely don’t want to pack in the running 😦  Anyway until the time that I get an all clear from the GP I’m cutting back on the running just a little bit.

This year has been hard financially but prosperous in love and laughter.  I’m counting my many blessings on the eve of 2014 and hope that you all have a wonderful, healthy and safe New Year!!!

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Update on my progress..

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Update on my progress..

This week has been a mix bag. Since my run last week I’ve missed two scheduled runs.  I was felt exhausted on Tuesday so missed the 3 mile run and opted to do Wednesday’s 5 mile (fast) run instead.  All went well and on Friday I was scheduled again to do a 5 mile run (fast) however that morning I attended the doctors for a steroid injection and boy was I not looking forward to that!

I had one approximately 7 months ago when I started to get pain in the base of my thumb on my left hand.  The pain had started progressively to the point I ended up using a sling and no amount of ibruprofen or paracetamol was helping so I sought help from the GP. He suggested it was caused from repetitive stress and offered me a steroid injection.  The pain of that injection was something else and so when I started to have this same pain again about a month ago I knew there was only one choice for it.  Yep an injection because although it initially hurts it does do the job.  Anyway, of all things I started to develop tennis elbow in my right elbow.  I have been trying resting, though that’s hard as I am right handed. Lifting, holding just plain movement by the end of the day was excrutiating.  I started out with a small pain in my elbow joint then it radiated down to a pain in my forearm which had me afraid to try and lift anything. It just wasn’t worth it.  So the GP offered me an injection in the elbow as well as the one in my hand. OMG the hand settled by the night but the arm was still hurting yesterday.  It has finally settled and I can feel the difference.  I feel like a new WOMAN!

Whilst I was at the GP I happened to mention that I had a problem with lightheadness and he suggested that maybe I was not getting enough iron in my diet and he is probably right. He suggested I take iron tablets, which I must remember to get. Anyhow he also suggested checking my pulse, well blow me of three readings my lowest diastolic number was 109! When I told him I was planning on going running that evening he suggested that I did not, so that scuppered my second run that week.  He asked me to take BP measurements at varying times of the day and I am to be seen again this Friday (20th) for a review.

I have been a good patient and my BP was okay this morning, so I went out for my scheduled “comfortable run” with a guide pace of 9+ to 11+ min/mile.  I am pleased with what I managed today and hope that my BP continues to behave itself. I really do think it was the thought of those painful injections which had my heart racing.

I’m hungry now I’m back from my run and thoughts have turned to toad in the hole which I haven’t in ages.  I couldn’t remember my exact recipe but found this one on allrecipes.co.uk, enjoy and I hope you all have a wonderful, relaxing day 🙂

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Ingredients

Serves 4

8 Pork sausages (I used beef just as nice)

1 tablespoon of vegetable oil

225gm (8oz) of plain flour

4 eggs

250ml (8fl oz) of milk

salt and pepper to taste

Method

Prep: 10 minutes       Cook: 30 minutes     Ready in:  40 minutes

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C /gas mark 6.
  2. Pour the oil into the bottom of a baking dish, and arrange the sausages over it in a single layer. Bake for 10 minutes in the preheated oven.
  3. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, eggs and half of the milk until smooth. Gradually mix in the rest of the milk until a smooth batter is achieved. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Remove the sausages from the oven, and ladle the batter over them until the sausages are 3/4 covered. Return to the oven, and bake for 35 minutes, or until the centre is risen and browned.  Don’t worry if the underside seems slightly soft, as this is normal.

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I’m going to go for it!

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I’m going to go for it!

I’ve been following the running schedule from my.asics.com for running a full marathon by 2nd March.  Now having said that I’d enter the Steyning Stinger Marathon in March 2014 I have since spoken to my father-in-law who happens to live near the area and is a seasoned pro (19 marathons) and my mum (6 marathons).  He has informed me that it is as I thought, rather hilly.  Part of the run is over the South Downs in West Sussex.

Funny thing is it only confirmed what I already knew as it is described as an undulating and hilly course so it’s not such a big surprise just a mighty challenge for someone who prefers to run on flat surfaces and who does’t have any hills to train on.  It will be tough but I’ve decided to give it a go and so have signed up today via runnersworld.co.uk.  I’m really quite excited and know that with support, encouragement and injury free training I’m sure I’ll get through it.  I really couldn’t care how long it takes just as long as I finish.  My son has already said “mum if you can’t run anymore just walk it real fast!”.

So there you go the first race on my calendar for next year is a full marathon over terrain that I’m not familiar with but oh well.  It’s a challenge and I relish it!

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Maybe trying too hard…

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Maybe trying too hard…

I thought I’d update those who are interested in my training for the Steyning Stinger Marathon in Steyning, West Sussex in March 2014.

I saw this event on the runnersworld.co.uk website and tried to apply online however I was not able to so  I got in touch with the organisers via email and they got back in touch with me within an hour!  Although the event is advertised for online entries the ballot is not opening up until the 1st December.

In the meantime I chose a training programme through my.asics.co.uk and boy am I finding it hard. It’s not the distances as much as I’m not sure that I am supposed to run 4 times a week.  It may well be that it will become easier in time but my legs feel very heavy and everything I’ve read about tired legs seems to indicate that you’re training too hard.  I’m now on the second week of ‘Phase 2: Getting Faster’ stage which consists of 20 runs totaling 101 miles over 6 weeks.

Nutritionally I know I need to up my carbs and I did invest in the High 5 Banana Energy Gel Sachets and they are working a treat!  For me they are not too thick nor sickly and I just take them before I start on my journey, though I probably should try to consume them on my runs to simulate race day.

Although like I’ve mentioned training has been hard I will not give up.  I’ve got far too many people in my  head whilst running encouraging me to keep on going 🙂

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Hello again!

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Hello again!

It has been an age since I wrote anything on my blog and not because I haven’t thought about it, I’ve got no excuses. Quite a bit has been happening since my last entry.

Firstly we had the memorial walk for our friend Vanessa.  It was a solemn occasion however it was marked with the feeling that we were doing some good.  Our aim was to raise £2000 however we smashed it and altogether raised over £6000!!! Enough for 2 nurses from Jamaica instead of one to be trained in paediatric cardiac nursing.  Roughly 15 of us started on the approximately 13km walk and others joined in along the way.  Some very kind people donated to our cause as we walked around some of the landmarks of London.  The theme being places with the word Heart as the walk was held in conjunction with World Heart Day.  Aptly it started outside the Heart Hospital, London.

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Just one short week later or 6 days to be exact I took part in the British Heart Foundation (BHF) 10km in Hyde Park.  It was a great day and well organised and what a beautiful setting.  Two laps of this great park situated in central London.  It truly is one of my favourite places in the city along with the other parks that are so close by i.e. Regents and St James’s.

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Whilst that was all going on I managed to find a part time job as a fitness instructor and was hoping with all hope that I could manage to do both jobs alongside one another.  However I had to give up the ghost just 2 weeks in.  There was no way of fitting the shifts around my other job. Some days it required me to work half the day at one and then rush to the other. I’m too old for that!

As far as running goes I’ve signed up for the BUPA London 10km taking place towards the end of May 2014.  I’ve also registered my interest to take part in the BUPA Great North Run 2014.  I’ve found a marathon that I’d like to take part in in early March 2014.

So to that end I’ve been looking for a training programme and have found one through My ASICS.co.uk.  I’ve plotted in the day of the race and it’s all been laid out for me.  All I have to do now is follow it, she says 🙂  The plan starts on Tuesday with a 3 mile run and has me running 4 times a week but it’s nice and gradual.  I’ve looked at the training programmes on runkeeper but have not found them very helpful.  Anyway, we’ll see how it goes.

Today when I did my run I nearly slipped on all the leaves on the pavements plus we had quite a bit of rain yesterday, so I’d just like to remind everyone to be particularly careful on your runs and I hope you have a good one!

Oh and there was Halloween!!

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a run to remember and inspire …

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a run to remember and inspire …

Yesterday I set off hoping to be able to do another 13.1 miles total however this time there were no obstacles and it was for no one but myself.  I managed it and that I am truly grateful for because I thought I was going to die!!! Talk about lead legs.  They just didn’t want to move.  I’m going to start looking into different energy drinks and gels.  I have noticed quite a few runners in the past with their sports gels and thought that’s a handy way to get the fuel you need without spilling something all over yourself.  To that end I’m going to order some from amazon.co.uk.  I’m leaning towards trying the High 5 banana blast energy gel sachets and the High 5 Raspberry and Caffeine energy gel sachets.

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I came back home and eagerly sat down to watch the events of the BUPA Great North Run.  I have been lucky enough to run this race 4 times and watching it yesterday inspired me to sign up for the email notification cos, you guessed it, I want to do it again next year.  I’ve even made a reservation for the hotel!  My son even got in on it and has also signed up for notification for BGNR 2014.  Not only that we sat there and decided to sign up for the BUPA London 10,000 next year. We’re in and the date is Monday May 26th 2014.  I’m so excited 🙂

My next event this year is the ‘Heart to Heart’ 13km walk.  It’s to coincide with World Heart Day and has been organised by the widow of our friend who passed away from a heart condition late last year.  A fundraising page has been set up at this web address if anyone is interested:- www.justgiving.com/teams/heart-to-heart.  After that it’s a 10km for the British Heart Foundation and I’m all done for 2013.  However I’m not too sure because I can’t help feeling I need to maybe add one more race in there before the end of the year, we’ll see.

Run to the Beat over and done with…

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Today was the Nike+ Run to the Beat starting and finishing in Greenwich Park. Now I would upload my map from my runkeeper.com app however I managed to turn it off whilst running, so I can tell you that indeed there were no PB’s today – I managed 2 hours and 5 mins and 17 secs.   Though I am quite pleased with the time as I did take a toilet break (I was busting) and we came to a completely stop about mile 5 (Woolwich Arsenal).  There were a few moans and groans as we filed into the courtyard of said barracks and then run around a steel band, a water station and Vita Coco and then back to stand in a queue to file out of the barracks.  I don’t think anyone understood what that was all about and why you’d want to squeeze so many people through a tiny gate!

I didn’t mention that we also set off about 15-20 mins later than we were supposed to with no explanation and although this event was billed as a music marathon full of music pumping around the course there wasn’t much music.  In fact I wish I had worn my headphones for there were long periods without music and without support and on those long runs the music keeps me going.  There were the occasional dj’s along the course but not many.

Mile 12 to 13 was a killer as not only was it uphill you kept on looping around areas within the park to find yourself with no finishing line in sight – it was all very confusing.

Anyway, I’m back home and it’s done and I’m not sure that I’d do this one again but at least I can say I’ve done it and I have another medal to add to my collection!!

Run to the Beat

run to the beat medal

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pinch, punch first day of the month – no returns!

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pinch, punch first day of the month – no returns!

Until I went into my runkeeper app to copy and paste the above run I didn’t realise it was the 1st of September.  Wow, where has the year gone and yet I knew next week is the 8th and I’m running ‘Run to the Beat‘, crazy eh?

Today was probably my last training run before said race and it was a relatively slow one but I was trying not to focus on times but clocking the miles.  It’s hard sometimes cos the competitive side of me always wants to go faster but I just didn’t have it today.  That might well be because I was in bed most of yesterday with a dodgy tummy, something I ate the day before we think.

I read somewhere this week and I’m not sure where that you should not wear the same running shoes all the time and I found that really strange as I always try to wear the same shoes for my runs as I intend to use on race day.  Albeit that didn’t happen when I went all the way up to Newcastle for the Great North Run on National Express only to realise just before we got off the bus that I hadn’t packed my trainers, OMG!!! We set off around Newcastle town centre like a pair of loons trying to find some trainers that I could use for the run.  Low and behold we found a pair in a JD Sports or Sports Direct and they ended up being fine and I didn’t get any blisters, which was amazing!

I’m off for a cuppa and a bowl of porridge and then some catch up time with my dad later today.  I hope you all have a lovely day and I’ll update you when I can next week after the race.

PS: just when I was running out of steam this song came on my running playlist so I put it on repeat for the last couple of miles, god bless them boys!