Running birthday

It was my birthday a few weeks ago and it turned into a bit of a lovely running fest. I am now the proud owner of a running diary and a special pen in which to record my efforts (must try harder with my appalling handwriting) AND some sweatshop vouchers to spend on some proper kit (instead of scratting around the bargain bin at Sports Direct).

I have also been entered into two races, one real and one virtual.


And I treated myself to Tagnix id bracelet so that when I next fall over, I can be retrieved from the gutter and returned home safely. I had mentioned my birthday to the lovely people at Tagnix and when I got back from the Spitfire weekend, I had an extra little treat in with my order!

This was my second set of Event Clips that weekend (technically my third as I lost my first set within hours of being given them) as I sported by UK Fitness Bloggers set for the whole weekend and they are rather good. No more stabbing yourself with safety pins. Oh, that’s just me then…

All products mentioned in this post were either given to me by lovely people cos it was my birthday or were paid for with my own hard earned cash.

Day 6/30 – Tormented by canal desires

First of all, an apology. I was absolutely knackered yesterday and actually fell asleep, laptop on knee, whilst writing up my Juneathon efforts. There was a much better entry planned in my head as I ran, one that was full of witty bon mots and insightful comment. What you ended up with was something barely literate and lightly dribbled on. After that, I crashed out for an hour before heading out for a lovely afternoon/evening with big sis and my adorable niece.

There was no way on this earth that I was going to get up for an early run. No alarm was set and yet I still woke up at bang on 5.45. Thanks Juneathon. Needless to say, I looked at the time, muttered darkly and fell back asleep. A bit unfortunate because a morning run should have been a given today as it’s my mate’s birthday and we were off sailing the dark and choppy waters of the Leeds-Liverpool canal.

I reckon that everyone should have a go on a canal barge at some point in their lives, it’s ace! It’s brilliant seeing things from a different perspective and at a different pace, even if it’s somewhere that you know quite well. The route that we chose took us down to where I tend to do my canal runs and the outward journey was pretty much a repeat of one of my most regretted and hellish runs ever. It was far nicer on a boat.

Where I start my canal runs, viewed from a barge

It’s definitely left me with a taste for a towpath run along a different section of canal. The downside of this is that I’ll have to park up at the ice cream parlour that we went to yesterday (and might well have accidentally called in at again today…) and resist the lure of a single scoop with sprinkles.

Oh yes, today’s exercise. I’m not sure what was the most amazing part of today – the fact that I stayed sober or the fact that I went for a run at the end of all this. Only 2.5 mile s (which was all that I wanted to do after my narcoleptic antics yesterday) and at a deliberately slow pace. I’ve come to the conclusion that if I want to start getting my distance up a bit, I need to keep an eye on my pace and this seemed an ideal opportunity to get used to using the nagging garmin to watch what I was doing. When I uploaded my stats, it was interesting (to me anyway) to see that my deliberately slower pace was the same as my average for yesterday when I was set off nicely then ground to a halt. I think that this should teach me something.

Older, wiser, drunker – it’s the birthday post

I have made the transition from one decade to another – ladies and gentlemen, I am now in my thirties.

I’ve got to say that I’ve had a splendid birthday (and still got 2 hours of it left) and have had lots of lovely pressies (but more of that in a tick).

Monday was racketball day, very much fun but it’s made me realise that I don’t respond well to being asked to do any kind of exercise drill – run up and down a squash court bouncing a ball on a racquet? Well yes I will, but this is the sort of thing that I became an adult to avoid, so if you don’t mind I’ll just go back to hitting squash balls at my husband in a highly competitive fashion. Thanks. Oh, and if I want to be called a girl, I would go back to primary school and then I might be cajoled into doing shuttle runs as well. And yes I know it’s fun and a bit of a giggle, but please stop telling me that. In short, the session was run by a very enthusiastic chap with very good intentions (encouraging women [note ‘women’] to try a new sport) that I support wholeheartedly – it just tapped into the part of my being that hated PE and  feeling like a fat crap kid.

Tuesday was group run night, which was a session in and around the park (conjuring up lots of flashbacks to a. lurking around the park on the swings and b. traumatic cross country in giant pants). Wednesday was yoga (lots of strong leg work and I suspect that warrior poses are going to be the core of our 8 week session – go quads!). Thursday was supposed to be a run, but I finished work for 4 days and had that Friday feeling (and a pile of ironing), so I did nothing.

Friday was supposed to be my long run day. I woke up feeling more tired than when I went to bed and grumpier than a bear with an empty picnic basket. Having set a target of 8am to go out, I eventually went out at the end of Desert Island Discs at 9.45. If I’d have trusted my judgement, I would have run straight up to my mum’s (about 5 and a bit miles) rather than try and extend my running time (I’d only done 1 other run this week, it was already too warm and I didn’t take water). As it was, I stuck to my plan and ran a very winding way to mum’s (we were setting up for a birthday bash there the next night), up a very long, slight hill and then down to the canal. I just about managed an hour and then wanted to give up. So I did. But was still 3 miles away from my destination with no way of getting anywhere else. I was stupidly dehydrated (I don’t seem to learn) and found myself plodding up the canal thinking “I could drink canal water couldn’t I. No, it’s dirty, think of the rats and the weil’s disease. But it’s so wet and cold and I’m so thirsty”. I walked a bit, started to try and run, did a minute, whimpered slightly, walked some more and then pulled myself together and managed another 20 or so minutes. And then had to walk again. Then decided that if I was going to run-walk, I might as well run at a decent speed and did a bit of an interval stylee for the last mile. As my friend very kindly pointed out, this was the last run of my twenties (thanks love) and as a momentous one, it was a bit a shit. But I’m not that bothered – it’s just made me realise that if I’m serious about upping my mileage I need to a. take things more seriously and b. listen to my body.

At this moment of time, I’m full of a cold and gently infused with some lovely real ales, so obviously I need to work on point a. a bit more.

My birthday pressie list has been very interesting and is scarily revealing about how my head works. On the one hand, A Piece of Cake and Red Velvet and Chocolate Heartache (which at least contains veg). On the other hand a lovely running top (much more figure hugging than I would ever choose for myself and will go ever so well with the Ronhill capri pants I won in a raffle), What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, the promise of a new pair of trainers AND….. My very own Garmin. Yes folks, I’m a Serious Runner With A Garmin, see me roar. This will solve many things that I have been whingeing about recently (husband suffers me swearing as I plot my route on walkjogrun, complaining that I can’t pace myself and fretting that I’m over or underestimating my mileage – I suspect that his motivation wasn’t entirely selfless when he chose it) so prepare yourselves for being bored senseless as I figure out what it does.

Oh, and apparently this means that I have to do the half that I’ve been threatening to do.