Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Running Barefoot - day 1

Today is a momentous occasion.

For the first time in 23 years I ran in my bare feet.

After all the books I've read on this subject (this one and this one) and 'attempts' to do it - the spirit was willing but the flesh was weak...

Since swapping to minimal shoes and then doing an 18 mile run in them while pushing the buggy, my body (strangely enough...) decided to pack in starting with a calf strain then moving into an achilles strain and some other pain under the foot - which is all related to having a weak left calf. *sigh*

Physio appointments and LOTS of strengthening exercises later I'm back doing the miles (in my non-minimal shoes) only starting small and building it up slowly.

I am now educated in the fact you are supposed to gradually introduce minimal footwear or running barefoot - like, 1 minute at a time... WHOOPS! That's so typical of me - it's all or nothing.

So that 50K Ultra I was training for? Yeah nah. Not going to happen.... GUTTED.

And seeing as I'm starting out slowly again on the mileage, I've decided it's time to gradually get those shoes off and start introducing barefoot running, which has been my ultimate goal in all this.

So I headed out the door, running pack strapped to my back, and ran the first mile with shoes on until I reached the tow path by the river. Then the shoes came off and into my backpack and I ran the next 0.8 miles sans shoes!

Oh. My Goodness.

I felt light and quick and I'm sure I could hear the soles of my feet singing the Hallelujah chorus to me!

Sure I felt a bit self-conscious as I ran past people, but I was more focused on how my whole running gait naturally changed to running easily and lightly over the gravel and dirt.

So awesome.

I can see this can become quite addictive.....

And the ultimate goal? NO INJURIES!!
Running with a natural gait landing forefoot first, energy efficient and, you know, natural.

Maybe I need to start growing the hair under my arms too, You know, going all natural and everything.
(don't worry dad, I'm JOKING!...sort of...)

Happy running days peeps!

B x


Saturday, 3 September 2011

I'm still here!

Ok ok I'll be the first to admit I've been SLACK at keeping this blog updated!... It's possibly because I haven't been doing too much running, nothing of real interest anyway.
My excuse? Ah, well, can't really think of a good one...

BUT! You may or may not be pleased to know that in 4 weeks I've lost over 4kgs (for you Americana's that's about 10lbs). Thank you.

I've got to be honest here and say my main reason for running, at this stage, is for weightloss. It also helps that I really really really enjoy running and want to still be running when I'm 80.

So over the past 4 weeks I've been watching what I eat (as in, no more brownie, cakes, cookies, cheese cakes.... all the nice things) and have up'd my running as well. This combination seems to be a winner for getting my 'before children' body back. Hopefully it works again 3rd time round...?!

Anyhoo, this afternoon I ran around Richmond Park which has always been my local training track but today was the first time since baby number 3 that I did the complete 8 mile/14 km circuit.

It's such a stunning run to do. So many trees and grass and open spaces - AMAZING!
I had my sister's RPM instructing music (very electronica) pounding through my ears to help get me up the hills. And it worked!

Now I need to start looking for some races to book in for - would it be too much too think I could be at marathon fitness again by the end of the year?? We'll see. There are so many marathons in different European cities throughout the year, I just need to choose one.
Berlin, Amsterdam, Prague, Paris, Rome, maybe even London...! (crazy I know)

First port of call though will be an off-road half marathon. Get me back to my country girl roots who didn't run on sealed roads until I was in my 20's.

Happy running friends! X

Anyway, hopefully you'll be hearing more from me hence forth!

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Back in Business!

Today was a momentous occasion.
Today I put on my lycra, strapped The Girls down with the tightest running bra I could find, got out my trainers from the back of the cupboard and went for a RUN!
It was momentous because it is the first run I've done in 7 months.
My first run since having baby Max 7 weeks ago.

And damn it felt good!

I wrote the above last Saturday but never got to finish it and post it... Such is my life currently with a newborn, 19 month old and 4 year old who unceasingly seem to demand my attention.

Since that momentous first run I've been sick, which always seems to be the way when I determine to do something life/body changing that there's an initial spanner in the works...
But on Thursday and again today I strapped those babies down and got out there with the Queen's deer in Richmond Park - becoming familiar once again with the sound of my (laboured) breathing and footfalls on the gravel track.

Even better on today's run was the fact that my bestest of friends joined me. So we chatted in between gasping breaths and committed to meet once a week for a run together, with the intention of getting fitter and, as a result, becoming lean machines. I'm super-determined to get rid of my "fat suit" as soon as possible and I've learned from my last 2 pregnancies that RUNNING is the key! HOORAH!!

I have been finding it quite amusing the way my body has taken to starting back running again - the way every part of me seems to jiggle except the boobs which are strapped down into submission.
And also how the part of my body that hurts the most is not my legs, but my groin. What the flip??

And so now I need to scout out some runs that I can register for. As I was only 2 weeks away from running the Lochness Marathon when I discovered I was pregnant I'm SUPER KEEN to have a marathon as my goal this year. Maybe this one? Ooooohhhh yeeeeaaaahhhhhh. That's what I'm talking about. Yup.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Crazy times people - CRAZY!

Crazy times indeed.

As it happens, I'm pregnant.

As it happens, I didn't know I was pregnant.

I am thankful I didn't run the Lochness Marathon because, as it turned out, I am pregnant.

I am THRILLED to be pregnant!!

I am NOT thrilled about having to go through morning sickness again.

I am very very tired, but I went for a 5.2 mile run this evening and, even though I felt tired, it felt good getting out there amongst the birds and the trees (I could have said "birds and the bees" but felt that would just be WRONG as it is because of the birds and the bees that I happen to find myself pregnant!!)...

Anyhoo, yes, it felt GREAT to be running again after having to back off my training so my achilles and knee could recover.

I am pleased to have a good level of fitness (pretty much marathon fitness) going into this pregnancy and I aim to keep running (sensibly) throughout this pregnancy like I did with my previous two. Makes those babies healthy and strong (and hopefully not toooooo big...!)

Well, that's my news and a quick update from me.

Happy and Healthy Running!

Saturday, 25 September 2010

The spirit is willing but the flesh (achilles and knee) is weak

So this is the way of it - my achilles and my knee have thrown in the towel.
With only 1 week to go they couldn't handle the demands of marathon training.
So I'm pretty gutted right about now.

I could only do 7 miles today before the pain kicked in...

I know it's been a while since my last post but I couldn't bring myself to admit there was a potential problem for my first much anticipated marathon...

Anyhoo, I figure it's best to listen to the painful cries of these tendons and give them time to sort out their shit rather than keep on pushing through and likely do permanent damage right?

There'll be other marathons.
Yes, there'll be other marathons.

So it's physio appointments for me - strengthening exercises for the glutes and hamstring on my left side where the affected tendons are. Right leg is stronger than my left and is also 1cm longer (go figure?) so this is the reason for my pain...
I'm discovering that physioherapists are pretty darn clever.

But don't worry I shall keep running and all the while listening to my body.
I'm planning to still be out running when I'm 80 so this is really just a minor setback for now.

I've enjoyed doing the training so much that I shall definitely be tackling a marathon as soon as I can.
And I now know that I can at least do 19 miles and not even feel like I'm dying - I think that's pretty darn good!!

As for now, time to apply another icepack and book another physio appointment.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

19 miles and it's getting tough...

Woah..... this marathon training malarkey is really tough going!

I've just completed a 19 mile training run - was supposed to only be 18 miles but I calculated wrong... it's a bit annoying that my iPhone battery doesn't last the distance required as I could have stopped bang on the 18 mile mark today instead of having to add that extra mile in.... ah well, I did it and have lived to tell the story so that's all that matters right now.

I'm feeling well chuffed that I did it and also VERY SORE! Still think childbirth is easier than this marathon training!!
My fitness (lung capacity) is doing great, it's just my legs that HURT!! And - funnily enough - my uterus...... I guess the muscles all around there are still in shock after having Beni 8 months ago... better get onto those pelvic floor exercises again I suppose (yawn).

I had 3 rest days last week instead of the 2 that I was allowed..... ooooOOOOOOoooooo! But hey, it was my 3 year old's birthday party so I'm thinking this was a good excuse! I spent the morning decorating the cake and the afternoon keeping adults and children happy and entertained. That's exhausting!!

So right now I'm liking the fact that I would only have to run another 7 miles and that would be equivalent to running a marathon! Easier said than done, but I'm feeling more confident now that I will actually be able to complete a marathon and still be breathing!

Hope you are all well and loving your running xx

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Clocking up the miles and loving it!

I'm feeling well chuffed with myself right about now.
I've just run 16.02 miles (to be exact) in 2 hours 30 minutes (9.26 mins/mile pace).
I've just completed another week of marathon training right on target.
This is the first time ever that I've run this sort of ludicrous distance.
And you know what? I'm LOVING IT!
I guess I was expecting it to be such a drag to have to do looooooooong runs every week, but I'm scaring myself by actually meeting the mark in my training schedule, even though it looked impossible and ever so slightly daunting upon commencement!

I've found that it helps to look forward to certain things and keep these in mind when out running and the going gets tough:

i.e. that maybe one day, as a result of all this running, I'll have a body like this...

...but not if I keep drinking this...

... which is another thing I look forward to. 
It's such a shame and really very cruel that a cold beer and it's 'empty calories' tastes so heavenly after a long hot run! *sigh*